Arts and Ideas

Arts and Ideas

The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews with artists, scientists and public figures, vociferous debates, and reviews of the latest cultural events. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Tues – Thurs 10pm

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    Weekly
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Recent episodes (10)

  • Free Thinking - Margaret Atwood 23 Oct 14

    Thu, 23 Oct 14

    Duration:
    41 mins

    Anne McElvoy talks to celebrated Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood whose most recent novel MaddAddam completed her dystopian trilogy that began a decade ago with Oryx and Crake and continued six years later with The Year of the Flood.

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  • Free Thinking - Australian writer Peter Carey - 22.10.14

    Wed, 22 Oct 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    How history can help to shape policy making? Rana Mitter is joined by The History Manifesto's co-author, David Armitage, Chris Skidmore MP and historian, and Lucy Delap, Director of Cambridge University and Kings College London’s History and Policy Unit. And one of Australia’s most prominent novelists Peter Carey is back with a new book ‘Amnesia’. He talks to Philip Dodd.

    Download 21MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Free Thinking - Marcel Proust 21 Oct 14

    Tue, 21 Oct 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    This Free Thinking is devoted to one of the landmarks of European literature -- Marcel Proust's gigantic novel, A la recherche du temps perdu which is perhaps best known in English as In Search of Lost Time. Matthew Sweet gathers together four Proust fans from very different backgrounds - the Pulitzer prize winning novelist, Jane Smiley, the psychotherapist, Jane Haynes, Christopher Prendergast, who has edited the latest translation of the book and from France, the writer, Marie Darrieussecq. The actor Peter Marinker tackles the difficult task of giving an English voice to Proust.

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  • Free Thinking - William Morris 16 Oct 14

    Thu, 16 Oct 14

    Duration:
    46 mins

    Jeremy Deller and Fiona McCarthy have each curated an exhibition looking at the art of William Morris. David Cromer's production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town was an off Broadway hit. Now the actor director is staging it in London. Ken Burns won an Emmy for his documentary about The American Civil War. Anne McElvoy has been watching his new series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History and discusses it with historian Charlie Laderman and DD Guttenplan, who writes for The International Herald Tribune, The Nation and The New York Times.

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  • Free Thinking - The notion of Jewish identity: 15.10.15

    Wed, 15 Oct 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Rana Mitter talks to three people who have been exploring their own relationship with the Jewish faith: writer and broadcaster David Baddiel, the Israeli historian Professor Shlomo Sand and the journalist Julie Burchill

    Download 21MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Free Thinking - Man Booker Prize 14 Oct 14

    Tue, 14 Oct 14

    Duration:
    46 mins

    Sherlock Holmes is investigated by Mark Gatiss and Matthew Sweet as the Museum of London opens an exhibition. Literary critic Alex Clark gives her verdict as the Man Booker Prize is announced. Also the relevance of Plato and Aristotle to contemporary life are debated by the American novelist and philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and Armand Leroi, Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Biology at Imperial College, London.

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  • Free Thinking - Henry IV 09 Oct 14

    Thu, 9 Oct 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Anne McElvoy talks to Phyllida Lloyd about playing Shakespeare in a female prison in her new version of Henry IV. Tim Marlow, Karen Lang, and Daniel Johnson discuss reading history through the paintings of Kiefer and Polke ahead of next month's 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. And the man often touted as France's greatest writer has just won this year's Nobel prize for Literature. Anne talks about the contribution of Patrick Modiano to film as well as literature with Ian Christie and Akane Kawakami.

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  • Free Thinking - Tim Minchin, David Cronenberg 8 Oct 14

    Wed, 8 Oct 14

    Duration:
    46 mins

    Canadian filmmaker and originator of the body horror genre, David Cronenberg covers topics as wide ranging as consumption, cancer, and creativity as he talks about his debut novel and new film. Shami Chakrabarti discusses her work as a human rights campaigner, and the idea of anger as a motivating force. Plus Tim Minchin on turning Storm, a poem he performed in a live set, into a graphic novel.Presenter: Matthew Sweet. Producer: Ella-mai Robey

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  • Free Thinking Festival - Colm Toibin - 07 Oct 14

    Tue, 7 Oct 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Colm Toibin is one of Ireland's finest writers, whose books explore issues such as Catholicism, immigration and homosexuality. This month he has published Nora Webster - a novel set in Ireland in the late 1960s which features a cameo appearance from one of his characters in Brooklyn. In 2012 he published a re-imagining of the life of the Virgin Mary - The Testament of Mary. As booking opens this week for this year's Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead, hear the conversation he recorded with Philip Dodd at the 2012 festival. First broadcast on 6th December 2012.

    Download 20MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Free Thinking - Matthew Barzun - 2 Oct 14

    Thu, 2 Oct 14

    Duration:
    46 mins

    At a time when the special relationship between the UK and the US is under particular scrutiny, Anne McElvoy talks to the American Ambassador to Britain, Matthew Barzun, about the politics of power and takes a look with Matt Wolf at sexual politics in Hollywood in the new Anglo-American production of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, starring Lindsay Lohan and Richard Schiff.

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