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Front Row

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music

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James Shapiro, Ben Folds, Zareer Masani, Giacometti

October 14th, 2015

Episode 1018 of 1332 episodes

Author James Shapiro describes how the Gunpowder Plot and King James' desire to unite England and Scotland inspired Shakespeare's great plays King Lear and Macbeth. In India 40 writers have returned their literary awards in protest against what they consider a 'rising intolerance of free speech' which has seen some writers attacked and murdered. Historian Zareer Masani considers the significance of their action and its political and historical context. Giacometti: Pure Presence at the National Portrait Gallery in London is the first major exhibition to focus on his portraiture and includes his paintings, sculptures and drawings. Art critic Charlotte Mullins reviews. Ben Folds discusses his new album So There, which sees him collaborating with New York sextet, yMusic. The resulting eight 'chamber rock' songs are followed by his first piano concerto and he reveals why he enjoys blurring the lines between classical and pop. Presenter Samira Ahmed Producer Angie Nehring.

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