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Richard III, Civic Activism, Laurence Scott, Kosmos

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 30 June 2011

Susannah Clapp reviews a new adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III, starring Kevin Spacey and directed by Sam Mendes, currently on show at the Old Vic.

As a day of strikes comes to an end, the idea that civic activism is at a low point in Britain seems to have been contradicted. But is that so? And to what extent are traditional forms of civic activism, such as striking, still relevant? Anne McElvoy is joined by David Skelton, from Policy Exchange, and Ricken Patel from Avaaz to discuss.

And we hear from another of Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers, the next generation of public thinkers. Laurence Scott teaches literature at King's College London, Arcadia University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently working on a project exploring the image of the desert in English and French modernism. But his real concern right now is the tennis....

The space race between the United States Of America and the Soviet Union also took place in the cinema during the late 50s and early 60s with a series of sci-fi movies that mixed political messages with the usual array of tentacled monsters, sentient robots and flying cars. As a season of rarely seen Iron Curtain B-movies unspools in London's BFI, author Francis Spufford considers the propaganda value of films about mysterious planets, lizard people and man-eating plants.

  • Richard III

    Richard III is on at the Old Vic until 11 September.

  • Kosmos

    Kosmos: A Soviet Space Odyssey runs throughout July in the BFI Southbank in London.


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