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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Recent episodes (10)

  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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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  • Free Thinking - Ai Weiwei at Blenheim: 1 Oct 14

    Wed, 1 Oct 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Rana Mitter has a first-night review of Electra with Kristin Scott Thomas from Professor Edith Hall and Susannah Clapp; historian Andrew Roberts talks about his new biography of Napoleon and Katie Hill discusses the most extensive to date UK exhibition of Ai Weiwei's artworks just opening at Blenheim Palace.

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  • Free Thinking - Neel Mukherjee - 30 Sep 14

    Tue, 30 Sep 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Matthew Sweet examines our contradictory attitudes to China and it's culture with the film historian Sir Christopher Frayling and the Chinese ceramics expert Stacey Pierson, who has been to see the British Museum's new exhibition about Ming. Padraig Reidy who writes for Index on Censorship and Rob Gifford of the Economist discuss the merits of Tim Berners Lee's Magna Carta for the web. And novelist Neel Mukherjee talks about his Man Booker Prize nominated book The Lives of Others.

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  • Free Thinking - Thomas Ostermeier - 25 Sep 14

    Thu, 25 Sep 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    As the Schaubühne Berlin's production of Henrik Ibsen's 'An Enemy of the People' opens at The Barbican, Anne McElvoy speaks to the play's director Thomas Ostermeier. American novelist Joseph O'Neill discusses his new book 'The Dog' and, continuing the series meeting this year's shortlisted authors for the Man Booker Prize, Ali Smith explains the connected stories which comprise her novel 'How to Be Both'.

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