Night Waves - Eric Schlosser, Richard II, Basil Bunting, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough
Anne McElvoy reviews David Tennant in Richard II, discusses nuclear security with Eric Schlosser, the rhythms of Old English and the poetry of Basil Bunting.
As the curtain goes down on David Tennant's much anticipated performance in the lead role of Shakespeare's Richard II at Stratford, Susannah Clapp joins Anne for the very first review.
In 1980 an accident in a missile silo in Arkansas almost detonated the most powerful bomb ever constructed. Had it gone off the explosion would have been more powerful than all of the bombs used in the Second World War combined, including those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In his new book Command And Control journalist Eric Schlosser reveals this was only one of several very near misses since 1945. He joins Anne.
It is a thousand years since King Sweyn 'Forkbeard' of Denmark was named king of England in 1013 and the Illuminating York Festival is marking the city's Viking history with an artwork in the form of a Son et Lumiere based around Old Nordic and Anglo Saxon texts. Eleanor Barraclough, Radio 3 New Generation Thinker and lecturer in medieval literature at Durham University, has had a sneak preview.
Poet Basil Bunting has fallen into obscurity since his death in 1985. Yet during his life he was admired by the finest writers of the twentieth century including W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and Ford Madox Ford. Richard Burton's new biography charts the poet's astonishing life including several spells in prison, and jobs working as an artists' model, music critic, balloon operator, wing commander, diplomat and spy.
Producer: Luke Mulhall.