Special Night Waves series considering some of important cultural figures who have seen their reputations wither in the last decades. In the face of the collapse of communism, lurid biographical revelation, the authority of feminism and time itself, these grand male voices have seen their intellectual influence diminish - or even collapse.
Philip Dodd and guests offer a re-appraisal of the work and influence of the great German dramatist Bertolt Brecht. Once considered to be the essence of radical drama, his plays and productions were considered models of modernity, intellectual insight and social commentary. Yet the word Brechtian can now seem to represent to many people a production that is leaden, a message which is laboured and a design that is drab and unimaginitive. Are his political fables now fatally outdated and his dramatic techniques no longer effective? Or is it time to take the man who once bestrode the theatrical landscape of Europe and place him back at the centre of the stage?