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03/12/2008

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 03 December 2008

Mark Lawson talks to Maria Friedman, star of musical shows like Chicago and Ragtime, who specializes in performing the songs of Stephen Sondheim. During the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Woman in White in 2005, Maria Friedman was diagnosed with breast cancer. Post treatment, earlier this year she released a new album and is now re-opening her one woman show, Maria Friedman: Re-arranged, at the Trafalgar Studios in London. Maria talks about working through her illness, the ups and down of schooldays in Germany and the importance of interpretation in her singing , particularly when working with the meticulous Stephen Sondheim.

Elizabeth Bishop was first introduced to Robert Lowell in 1947 and letters between these two American poets, which span three decades, discuss everything from their literary heroes and their arguments about each other's work to Lowell's mental illness and Bishop's struggles with alcohol. Poet Tom Paulin has been reading them.

The recent DVD release of Stephen King's The Mist offers an unusual extra: a version of the film in black and white. Film critic Adam Smith takes a look at this, and turns down the colour on a selection of other recent DVD releases to see how going black and white changes our viewing experience.

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