Mathew Parris is back with BBC Radio Four's acclaimed biography series 'Great Lives', in which celebrated people of today nominate a great life from the past to explore and discuss.
The series begins with playwright John Godber's choice of his literary hero and inspiration, Bertolt Brecht. Both writers have in common an instinct and desire for truly popular theatre which has the power to change fundamentally the perspective of its audiences. And who else could bring the spectacle of the sports stadium into the theatre auditorium?
Specialist in German drama, Professor Michael Patterson, joins the debate to counter the widespread view that 'if it's German and political it must be boring'. Brecht's own productions were immensely lively and popular and his theatrical legacy, although eschewed by Hollywood devotees of naturalism, stands firm in the work of many of today's greatest writers. We also learn the truth about allegations of Brecht plundering the genius of his many lovers, and how he made love with his socks on.