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Power and Corruption with Stephen Frears and Mary Beard

Tom Sutcliffe is joined by classicist Mary Beard, film director Stephen Frears, playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker and theatre director Mehmet Ergen.

On Start the Week the classicist Mary Beard tells Tom Sutcliffe that Ancient Rome matters: its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty. The Magna Carta is the starting point for the playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker's latest play which draws parallels between the King's abuse of power in 1215 and the global business elite today. The film director Stephen Frears tells the story of the meteoric rise and fall of one of the most celebrated and controversial sportsmen in recent history, Lance Armstrong, and of the journalist who was vilified when he tried to expose him. Lurid headlines take centre stage in the play Clarion, directed by Mehmet Ergen, which takes a satirical look at nationalism and the state of the British media.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

Available now

43 minutes

Mary Beard

Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the Classics editor of the TLS.

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome is published by Profile Books.

Timberlake Wertenbaker

Timberlake Wertenbaker is a playwright.

We Sell Right is one of The Magna Carta Plays at the Salisbury Playhouse and runs from 22 October to 7 November.

Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears is a director.

The Program is on general release.

Mehmet Ergen

Mehmet Ergen is Artistic Director of Arcola Theatre.

Clarion is on at the Arcola Theatre in London from 20 October to 14 November.

Start the Week at the Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

Start the Week is recording an edition of the programme at BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead on Saturday 7 November, 2.00-3.00pm.  For tickets to this and other festival events click here.


Role Contributor
Presenter Tom Sutcliffe
Interviewed Guest Mary Beard
Interviewed Guest Timberlake Wertenbaker
Interviewed Guest Stephen Frears
Interviewed Guest Mehmet Ergen
Producer Katy Hickman