Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri, author of The Famished Road, Astonishing the Gods and The Age of Magic, reads from his recent work and talks to Sean Rocks, presenter of Arena on RTÉ Radio 1.
Photo by Daniel Mordzinski
Drawing on a lifetime of thinking about 19th-century Europe, the pre-eminent historian re-evaluates this remarkable era bounded by the Battle of Waterloo and the outbreak of World War I. Charting overwhelming cultural, political and technological change, he highlights how Europe dominated the rest of the world as never before or since.
Macbeth, Macbeth is by Fernie and Palfrey, with stunning original pictures by de Freston. The tragedy is done, the tyrant Macbeth dead. The time is free. But for how long? As Macduff pursues dreams of national revival, smaller lives are seeding. In the ruins of Dunsinane, the Porter tries to keep his three young boys safe from the nightmare of history. In a nunnery deep in Birnam Wood, a girl attempts to forget what she lost in war. Flitting between them, a tortured clairvoyant shakes with the knowledge of what’s to come. An unprecedented collaboration between two leading Shakespeareans, Macbeth, Macbeth sparks a whole new world from the embers of Shakespeare’s darkest play.
How should we value the Arts in the schools curriculum? What do we learn from putting on plays, playing in bands, painting and dancing? The CEO of the Creative Industries Federation and his guests challenge the government’s focus on STEM subjects and examine the place of culture in British education and the national economy.
Celebrate everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant, on the very first Elmer Day. Listen to the wonderful stories about Elmer, and share in the funny adventures he and his friends get up to. Come dressed in your brightest clothes.
Comics and animation entrepreneur Chief Nyamweya explores the many unexpected lessons learned while trying to re-invent an industry in Kenya. Chief is best known for the prolific crime-fiction comics Roba (syndicated daily in The Star newspaper) and Emergency - both of which popularized the Kenya Noir style of art characterized by abundant use of black ink, high contrasts and dark themes.
Author and zoologist Nicola Davies and illustrator/artist Cathy Fisher introduce swifts – amazing birds that sleep and eat on the wing and never stop flying. Learn how to look out for them, listen for their cries and how to tell if they might be nesting where you live. Help Cathy draw a swift, see how she made the stunning artwork for Perfect, and listen to a story about how swifts helped a boy to understand his new baby sister.
Rather than continually making more clothes using more materials, there should be a greater emphasis on how clothes can be repaired, adapted and upcycled. The Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at University of the Arts London presents an inspiring manifesto for improving durability and resourcefulness in the fashion industry.
'As much as anything, World War I turned on the fate of Ukraine...' The decision to go to war in 1914 had catastrophic consequences for Russia. The result was revolution, civil war and famine in 1917–20, followed by decades of Communist rule. Dominic Lieven explains why this suicidal decision was made and explores the world of the men who made it. But by looking at the origins and results of the First World War from a mostly Russian angle he also offers a radically different view of why Europe descended into disaster, overturning assumptions about the war's causes and consequences in a way that still has major implications for world history down to the present day. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
Ursula Martin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer aged 31 and walked around Wales to raise money for a cancer charity: she recorded the experience in One Woman Walks Wales. Hannah Engelkamp’s book and film Seaside Donkey were based on her experience travelling with this companion around Wales. Hannah’s meanders are now accompanied by her toddler, Osian, who inspired her current writing on ‘wilding’ childhood and what the ‘dériving’ and colonialist habits of infants can teach us about travel. They talk to Gwen Davies.
The English Language is spoken by more than a billion people throughout the world. But where did English come from? And how has it evolved into the language used today? The Oxford Professor investigates the evolution of the English language, examining how it continues to adapt, as English continues to find new speakers and new uses. Engaging with contemporary concerns about correctness, he considers whether such changes are improvements, or evidence of slipping standards. What is the future for the English Language? Will Standard English continue to hold sway, or are we witnessing its replacement by newly emerging Englishes?
Sagar is a performance poet in the Kannada language, the Keralan poet Thampi writes in Malayalam. They’ve created a multi-lingual performance translating and writing together with the Cymraeg (Dafydd) and English-language (Davies) poets from Wales.
The distinguished art historian presents his elegant and intriguing survey of the evolution of visual art in Wales from the Renaissance to the present day, told through landscape and portrait paintings, drawings and sculptures. Chaired by Jon Gower.