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Fiona Shaw, Martha Wainwright

Presented by Jenni Murray. Award-winning actress Fiona Shaw on her role in Scenes from an Execution. Martha Wainwright performs a track from her new album.

Fiona Shaw, award winning actress and star of True Blood on her role in Scenes from an Execution in which she plays a free spirited artist. Martha Wainwright performs a track from her new album Come Home to Mama and talks about how the death of her mother and the birth of her daughter have influenced her work; Are women treated more harshly than men in the criminal justice system? The trial of Beatrice Pace - why a 1928 murder became a world wide sensation.
Presented by Jenni Murray
Produced by Kirsty Starkey.

Available now

58 minutes


  • Women and the justice system

    Philip Davies MP says it’s a myth that women are treated more harshly by the system

    Duration: 08:36

  • The Trial of Beatrice Pace

    How Beatrice Pace became a national hero after being acquitted of her husband's murder

    Duration: 07:54

  • Fiona Shaw

    Fiona Shaw discusss her career and her latest role

    Duration: 08:57

  • Martha Wainwright

    Martha dicusses the inspiration behind her latest album

    Duration: 10:01

  • The changing nature of the modern family

    IVF means that some families have 1, 2 or 3 parents. How does it affect the children?

    Duration: 07:32

Are women treated more harshly by the justice system?

It’s a myth that women are treated more harshly by the justice system says Conservative MP Philip Davies  He decided to look at the statistical evidence to find out why many people think women are more likely to be sent to prison or given custodial sentences than men. Now he wants to set the record straight. But can statistics tell the whole story? Juliet Lyon from the Prison Reform Trust says the context of these statistics has been ignored. Many women sent to prison are hugely vulnerable; having with mental health issues, problems with drugs or alcohol. 

The Trial of Beatrice Pace

In 1928 Beatrice Pace was described as ‘the most remarkable woman in England’ by the Sunday Express. She was accused, then acquitted of the murder of her husband by arsenic poisoning. She became something of a national celebrity and attracted the sympathy of thousands of women worldwide. Her case led to debates in Parliament about police interrogation methods, overbearing coroners and the plight of poor defendants. Historian Dr John Wood, whose book about Beatrice Pace has recently been published, talks about criminal justice, celebrity culture and British society between the wars.

Fiona Shaw in Scenes from an Execution

Fiona Shaw is an award-winning actress and theatre director, known for roles including Electra, Hedda Gabler, Medea and Richard II. She is also known to film and television audiences for her role Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films or her role portraying Marnie Stonebrook in the HBO series True Blood. Fiona is currently appearing in the National Theatre production of 'Scenes from an Execution', in which she plays the free-spirited artist, Galactia. She joins Jenni to discuss the play’s themes of sexual politics and the timeless tension between personal ambition and moral responsibility. 

Scenes from an Execution is on at the Lyttleton Theatre at the National Theatre in London on selected dates until 9 December.

Martha Wainwright

In the four years since Martha Wainwright last appeared on Woman’s Hour she has experienced both the grief of losing her mother and the joy of becoming a mother herself.  These themes are played out in her new album Come Home to Mama and she’s about to embark on an international tour with her husband and baby in tow. Martha joins Jenni to describe how the events of the past couple of years have affected her music, and she performs her track I Am Sorry.

The Modern Family: Prof Susan Golombok discusses new kinds of families created by IVF

Since the birth of the first test tube baby in 1978 it’s become possible for a child to have more than two parents. The creation of in vitro fertilization (IVF) started a fundamental change in the way in which families could be created. Professor Susam Golombok, Director, Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge has been studying the new kinds of families created and the emotional health of the children involved. Susan joins Jenni tomorrow to talk about what really counts for children who grow up in “new family forms”.


  • Wed 17 Oct 2012 10:00

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