This edition of Front Row is devoted to one of the most exciting playwrights to emerge this century. James Graham is only 37 but has already become a foremost chronicler of modern Britain on stage and screen. He is known for taking on the big issues of the day – Brexit, privacy online, parliamentary democracy, fake news - whilst enabling his audience to see things from the points of view of those involved. In This House the whip's office, more than the chamber of the House of Commons, is where power plays. His controversial television play Brexit: The Uncivil War, set in the offices of the Vote Leave campaign, brought our attention to the critical role played by Dominic Cummings, now the Prime Minister’s chief adviser. At Easter ITV will broadcast his adaptation of his play – Quiz – about the coughing controversy and the major accused of cheating on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It is about truth, fact and power - the power of television.
Graham's work in the theatre is often interactive: in Privacy audience members were asked to keep their phones on and information gathered from them became part of the drama. The final performance of The Vote, set in a polling station, was live-streamed from one as it closed on the night of the general election of 2015. In Quiz the audience became the trial jury. Graham talks about the importance of the live, communal aspect of theatre, and, too, how television can be an arena where millions can consider the complex challenges of our times.
In a wide ranging, richly illustrated interview James Graham tells Kirsty Lang about the crucial role of drama in explaining power and politics, in learning about how our society works, and the importance of being even-handed.
Presenter: Kirsty Lang
Producer: Julian May…read more