Main content

Sharks in culture, Thea Musgrave, Derren Brown

As The Meg hits cinema screens we look at sharks in culture, composer Thea Musgrave reflects on her career at 90 and illusionist Derren Brown reveals what inspires his work.

Sharks have long held a prominent place in mythology, the imagination and even religion for centuries. As The Meg, a thriller about a 75-foot-long prehistoric shark, hits cinema screens nature writer Philip Hoare and film critic Isabel Stevens discuss the ways in which sharks have been represented in the arts. How much is the cultural representation of these 400 million year old mysterious creatures of the deep a reflection of our own human fantasies and anxieties?

This year the distinguished composer Thea Musgrave celebrated her 90th birthday. The event is being marked with a series of special performances including Turbulent Landscapes, her sequence of movements inspired by the land and seascapes of JMW Turner, at the Edinburgh Festival. She talks to Front Row about her career: her work, her teachers, her inspirations and why she puts drama at the heart of her work.

Award winning mentalist and illusionist Derren Brown reveals what it is that inspires his work on stage and screen and the art he creates in his spare time as both a painter and street photographer.

Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Hannah Robins.

Available now

30 minutes


Thea Musgrave

Thea Musgrave
Thea Musgrave

Thea Musgrave at the BBC Proms

Thea Musgrave's Turbulent Landscapes is performed at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh
on Thurs 9 Aug at 7.30 pm 

Derren Brown

Derren Brown
Derren Brown
Photo credit: Seamus Ryan

Derren Brown's book Meet the People with Love is available


Role Contributor
Presenter John Wilson
Interviewed Guest Philip Hoare
Interviewed Guest Isabel Stevens
Interviewed Guest Thea Musgrave
Interviewed Guest Derren Brown
Producer Hannah Robins




A season discovering where artists find inspiration and helping listeners get creative.

BBC Arts Digital

BBC Arts Digital

The best of British culture live and on demand.

Front Row on TV

Front Row on TV

Join Mary Beard and guests for live and late debate on Friday evenings on BBC Two.