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The Birth of a Nation, Ruth Padel, Joan Eardley, Mark Lockyer

Ashley Clarke reviews The Birth of a Nation, poet Ruth Padel reveals the reality of Christmas, painter Joan Eardley, actor Mark Lockyer on Living With The Lights On.

New film The Birth of a Nation takes the title from DW Griffith's 1915 silent film but not much else. Directed by and starring Nate Parker, it tells the true story of an 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. Ashley Clarke reviews.

Poet Ruth Padel discusses her latest book Tidings, a narrative Christmas poem about a little girl, a homeless man and a fox. It takes the reader all around the world, from St Pancras churchyard in London to Bethlehem, Australia and New York.

Joan Eardley's painting career lasted only 15 years but, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, her work gets more requests than Picasso. The gallery's curator Patrick Elliott discusses a new exhibition of her work alongside composer Helen Grime, whose composition Snow is inspired by Eardley's paintings.

In the spring of 1995, actor Mark Lockyer was playing Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Shakespeare Company when he was overcome with anxiety, fear and paranoia. It was the start of a bipolar attack. Now he has turned that experience into a one man show called Living With The Lights On at the Young Vic in London.

Presenter: Kirsty Lang
Producer: Angie Nehring.

Available now

30 minutes


  • The Birth of a Nation

    Duration: 05:43

  • Ruth Padel

    Duration: 07:15

  • Joan Eardley

    Duration: 07:18

  • Mark Lockyer

    Duration: 07:14

The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation, certificate 15, is in UK cinemas from 09 December 2016.


Main image above: Nate Parker as Nat Turner in The Birth of a Nation

Image to the left: a still from The Birth of a Nation film

Ruth Padel

Ruth Padel

Ruth Padel's book, Tidings - A Christmas Journey, is out  now in hardback, published by Chatto & Windus.

Image: Ruth Padel

Joan Eardley

Joan Eardley

Joan Eardley: A Sense of Place is at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh

Image: Joan Eardley at easel, looking downwards and holding paintbrushes, C/O Audrey Walker

Image Credit: John McKenzie © Jane Walker

Helen Grime’s composition Snow is premiered on 10  December 2016 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Glasgow City Halls



Mark Lockyer

Mark Lockyer

Living with the Lights On, written and performed by Mark Lockyer is at The Young Vic, London until 23 December 2016.

Image: Mark Lockyer

Image credit: Simon Annand


Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest Ashley Clarke
Interviewed Guest Ruth Padel
Interviewed Guest Patrick Elliott
Interviewed Guest Helen Grime
Interviewed Guest Mark Lockyer
Presenter Kirsty Lang
Producer Angie Nehring




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