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Popular Protest and Patriotism

Kirsty Wark discusses the history of protest with John Rees, Josie Rourke, Rachel Reeves and James Frayne.

On Start the Week Kirsty Wark explores the history of protest.

The Levellers were revolutionaries who brought 17th century England to the edge of radical republicanism. In his biography, John Rees argues the Levellers are central figures in the country's history of democracy.

The original soldier-turned-saint and nationalist protester Joan of Arc takes centre stage in Josie Rourke's revival of Bernard Shaw's play, Saint Joan.

The Labour MP, Rachel Reeves, finds inspiration in her fellow parliamentarian Alice Bacon, who she says helped usher in a new era of social justice post-war, while the political commentator James Frayne looks at the era post-Brexit and considers whether provincial England is now in revolt.

Producer: Katy Hickman

Photo: Alice Bacon elected as the first female MP for Leeds, in 1945 Credit: The Yorkshire Post.

Available now

43 minutes

John Rees

John Rees is a historian, broadcaster and campaigner.

The Leveller Revolution: Radical Political Organisation in England, 1640-1650 is published by Verso.

Josie Rourke

Josie Rourke is the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse.

Saint Joan is on at the Donmar Warehouse, London, from 9th December to 18th February.  It will also be broadcast live in cinemas on Thursday 16 February 2017.

Rachel Reeves

Rachel Reeves is the Labour MP for Leeds West.

Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon is published by I.B. Tauris.

James Frayne

James Frayne is the Director of the communications agency Public First and author of Meet the People.


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Wark
Interviewed Guest John Rees
Interviewed Guest Josie Rourke
Interviewed Guest Rachel Reeves
Interviewed Guest James Frayne
Producer Katy Hickman