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Stan Laurel novel; Tanika Gupta; film Una; Ed Skrein Walks Away

John Connolly on his fictional biography of Stan Laurel; Ed Skrein steps down from the role of a Japanese American; Tanika Gupta's new play, based on a resistance fighter uncle.

Best known for his series of crime novels starring private detective Charlie Parker, John Connolly's new novel, He, is a fictional reimagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known, Stan Laurel, and his enduring partnership with Oliver Hardy, the man he knew as Babe.

Actor Ed Skrein has stepped own from the role of Major Ben Daimo in the film Hellboy because he is British and the character Japanese American. Samira Ahmed probes the significance of this, the first time an actor has made such a move, with Rebecca Ford, an Asian American journalist who has been covering the story in Los Angeles for The Hollywood Reporter.

Tanika Gupta talks to Samira about her new play Lions and Tigers, which opens tonight at Shakespeare's Globe. The play is based on Tanika Gupta's great-uncle Dinesh Gupta, and his violent resistance against British Rule in 1930s Calcutta. The playwright explains how family recollections of Dinesh and his letters from prison helped inspire the drama.

Based on David Harrower's Oliver-Award winning play Blackbird, the film Una is the cinematic debut of acclaimed theatre director Benedict Andrews, starring Rooney Mara as a woman who confronts the older neighbour who sexually abused her when she thirteen. Kate Maltby reviews.

Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Julian May.

Available now

30 minutes


  • John Connolly

    Duration: 08:17

  • Rebecca Ford

    Duration: 04:49

  • Tanika Gupta

    Duration: 08:26

  • Kate Maltby

    Duration: 05:50

Stan Laurel novel

Stan Laurel novel
John Connolly

John Connolly's novel, He is available now

Tanika Gupta

Tanika Gupta
Shalini Peiris as Kamala in Lions and Tigers
Photo credit: Marc Brenner

Lions and Tigers is at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until
16 Sept

Main image: Esh Alladi as Ghandi and Jaz Deol as Nehru in Lions and Tigers
Photo credit: Marc Brenner


Rooney Mara in Una
Photo credit: Thunderbird

Una is in selected cinemas from 1 Sept, cert 15


Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest John Connolly
Interviewed Guest Rebecca Ford
Interviewed Guest Tanika Gupta
Interviewed Guest Kate Maltby
Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producer Julian May




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