Colson Whitehead, Duke Ellington's Sacred Music, Carnival Row, Sheila Steafel
Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2016 novel The Underground Railroad, about slaves escaping from the southern states and seeking sanctuary in the north. The author discusses his new novel The Nickel Boys, which follows the misfortunes of a young black boy, Elwood Curtis, who finds himself being sent to the brutal Nickel Academy, a segregated reform school where the threat of severe - and sometimes fatal - punishment beatings is a constant fear for all the pupils.
Prior to Thursday’s Prom featuring the sacred music of Duke Ellington, Samira talks to two of the performers in the concert, singer Carleen Anderson and conductor Peter Edwards, about Ellington’s blend of big-band, gospel and orchestral music in this evening of dance, song and jazz with a Christian theme.
Carnival Row is a new fantasy from Amazon Prime which debuts on Friday. Ekow Eshun reviews the series described "as a complex and dark world where Game of Thrones meets Ripper Street." Starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, and directed by Jon Amiel, it features a human detective and a fairy rekindling a dangerous affair in a Victorian fantasy world; the city's uneasy peace collapses when a string of murders reveals an unimaginable monster.
We end the programme with a tribute to Sheila Steafel, whose death was announced yesterday. A much loved comic performer and versatile actress whose career spanned six decades, Steafel appeared in films including Quatermass and the Pit (1967), was a regular performer in the long-running music hall style variety programme The Good Old Days and the first woman to join the all-male cast of the Radio 4 satirical show Week Ending.…read more