Front Row

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

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


Man Booker Prize, Lee Hall's Shakespeare in Love, Dom Flemons and Martin Simpson

July 23rd, 2014

Episode 474 of 1300 episodes

Chair of the judges A C Grayling and his fellow judge Erica Wagner join John Wilson to discuss the longlist for this years' Man Booker Prize. It's the first time that American novelists have been eligible for this prestigious award, and four of the listed writers are American. Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall talks about creating a stage play out of the Oscar winning film Shakespeare in Love. Hall also reveals that he's been busy reading Elton John's personal diaries in preparation for making a biopic of the singer. Tonight's Front Row features the first joint performance, in the studio, by two leading figures in world music. Dom Flemons - co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops - and Martin Simpson - renowned acoustic and slide guitarist - have been researching and exploring how folk songs travelled back and forth between England and North America, changing shape as they journeyed. They retraced the fieldwork done by folklorist Cecil Sharp, a hundred years ago - and give John a musical demonstration of how an English dancehall ballad became a ragtime blues number. Image: Shakespeare In Love - Company with Tom Bateman as Will. Photo by Johan Persson (c) Disney.