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Jackie, The Transports, TS Eliot Prize, 'Yellowface' row

Sarah Crompton reviews Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, a new production of The Transports, the winner of the TS Eliot Prize, and should non-Asian actors play Asian roles?

Following the casting of Tilda Swinton as a character originally identified as Tibetan in the recent film Dr Strange, and the furore surrounding the casting of a new production of Howard Barker's play, In The Depths of Dead Love - Kumiko Mendl, Artistic Director of Yellow Earth Theatre, and Deborah Williams, Executive Director of Creative Diversity Network join Samira to discuss the issue of 'Yellowface' - the practice of non-Asian actors playing Asian roles.

Sarah Crompton reviews the film Jackie, directed by Pablo Lorrain and starring Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, which focuses on the immediate aftermath of JFK's assassination in 1963.

The Transports is a ballad opera telling the true story of two convicts who fell in love in prison as they were waiting to be sent on the First Fleet to Australia. They had a child, were cruelly separated, but thanks to a kind gaoler, were eventually united. It was recorded in 1977 by giants of the folk world - June Tabor, Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson. 40 years on a new generation of folk stars - Nancy Kerr, Faustus, the Young'Uns - are touring their new production. Samira meets them as they rehearse and finds The Transports has plenty to say about exile and migration today.

Britain's most prestigious award for poetry, the TS Eliot Award, is announced this evening. The prize is for the best collection of poems published in 2016, and Front Row will have the first interview with the winner.

Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Rebecca Armstrong.

Available now

30 minutes


  • The 'Yellow face' row

    Duration: 08:45

  • Jackie

    Duration: 04:38

  • The Transports

    Duration: 09:25

  • The T. S. Eliot Prize

    Duration: 04:40



Jackie is in UK cinemas from 20 January 2017, certificate 15.


Main image above and image to the left: Natalie Portman as Jackie Kenney in Jackie.

The 'Yellowface' row

The 'Yellowface' row

The Yellow Earth Theatre's production of Tamburlaine, with British East Asian actors, opens at the Arcola Theatre, London on 15 March 2017, and then visits Oxford, Colchester and Birmingham in April 2017.

Image: Yellow Earth Theatre's Tamburlaine

Image credit: Suki Mok

The Transports

The Transports

The Transports is on tour around the UK in 2017, visiting Cambridge - 24 January; Glasgow - 25 January; Gateshead, - 26 January; Buxton - 27 January;  Bury - 28 January; Derby - 29 January; Exeter - 30 January; Wavendon - 31 January; Crawley - 01 February; London - 02 February; Shoreham - 03 February 2017.


Image: The Transport performers - top row from Left: the Young'Uns, Nancy Kerr, Matthew Crampton

Bottom row: Faustus, Greg Russell, Rachel McShane 


The TS Eliot Prize

The TS Eliot Prize

The winner of the  TS Eliot Prize for the best collection of poetry published in 2016 is announced on 16 January 2017.

Image: The shortlisted poets

Top row from Left: Rachel Boast, Vahni Capuildeo, Ian Duhig, J.O. Morgan, Bernard O'Donoghue

Bottom row: Alice Oswald, Jacob Polley, Denise Riley, Ruby Robinson, Katharine Towers.



Role Contributor
Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producer Rebecca Armstrong


  • Mon 16 Jan 2017 19:15



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