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Tom Sutcliffe talks to John Gray and Mary Beard

43 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 01 April 2013

On Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe discusses the 'myth' of progress with James Lasdun, Mary Beard, Mark Ravenhill and John Gray.

The poet and novelist James Lasdun talks about his experience of being cyber-stalked and the terrifying opportunities new technology offers. Mary Beard looks back to classical times to see how far the relationship between persecutor and persecuted have changed.

Playwright Mark Ravenhill discusses his comic reworking of Voltaire's 'Candide'. But is everything in the 21st century still for 'the best in the best of all possible worlds?' John Gray argues that ethical progress in human civilisation is easily reversible and yet people need to believe in myths to shape their lives and give them meaning.

Producer: Natalia Fernandez.

  • John Gray

    John Gray is a philosopher and writer.


    The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths is published by Allen Lane.

  • James Lasdun

    James Lasdun is a writer.


    Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked is published by Jonathan Cape.


    James Lasdun

  • Mary Beard

    Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge.


    Confronting the Classics is published by Profile Books.


    Professor Mary Beard

  • Mark Ravenhill

    Mark Ravenhill is a playwright.


    The premiere of Candide, A New Comedy by Mark Ravenhill Inspired by Voltaire plays in repertoire at the RSC’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from 29 August – 26 October.


Tom Sutcliffe
Interviewed Guest
Mary Beard
Interviewed Guest
Mark Ravenhill
Interviewed Guest
John Gray
Natalia Fernandez


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    Start the Week

    Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the…

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