THE disparate talents of a folk singer, a poet and a choreographer focus on just what shapes their art in Radio 3’s THE ESSAY.
Monday sees the acclaimed English singer Jon Boden describe how he eventually reconciled his commitment to traditional song with his appetite for post-apocalyptic literature such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road or Peter Dickinson’s trilogy The Changes, while on Tuesday the choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh reflects on the importance of both Indian and Western dance traditions to her work, and on the need to sometimes escape their influence. On Friday the Jamaican poet Kei Miller considers how his native island informs his poetry, but also how the former American Poet Laureate William Stanley Merwin had a profound effect on his work.
Going by its title, you might think that we’re sticking with literature; AFTERNOON DRAMA: ZOLA, however, is nothing to do with Émile, but is a dramatic reconstruction of how the famously barefoot South African runner Zola Budd came to run in the 1984 Olympics, despite international repugnance at her country’s apartheid policies. Written by Richard Monks, the play draws on Budd’s autobiography, as well as on documents only recently released under the Freedom of Information Act. Jessica Sian plays Budd, David Calder plays Denis Howell, Britain’s first Sports Minister, and Jack Klaff plays her father, Frank Budd.
Meanwhile, Radio 2 continues its current “Best of British” season with BIG SHOT: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE CANYONS OF VIC STANSHALL’S MIND, first broadcast in 2001, five years after Stanshall was found dead in his burned-out London flat. Aficionados of the inimitably anarchic Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band will recall the languid drawl with which their front man declaimed lines such as “And looking very relaxed – Adolf Hitler on vibes,” during the ever-expanding silliness of The Intro and the Outro.
A flawed genius who succumbed latterly to drink and depression, Stanshall is recalled with affection by his friend and fellow English eccentric Stephen Fry.
Mon, Tues, Fri, Radio 3, 10:45pm
Afternoon Drama: Zola
Friday, Radio 4, 2:15pm
Big Shot: A Journey Through the Canyons of Viv Stanshall’s Mind
Thursday, Radio 2, 10pm
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
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