One empty theatre stage. Two artists. A film, a poem, a song. This podcast series is an intimate exploration of the profound value of the arts in a time of crisis.
Launched on 22nd October 2020, with theatres, cinemas and stages on the verge of permanent closure, What I Love highlights the value of arts and culture to all our lives.
This eight-part interview series in which some of the UK’s most celebrated artists, performers and creatives reveal how this period of isolation has impacted on their artistic lives, and what has mattered most to them during this time. In each interview, celebrated arts figures share their three cultural highlights - a cherished piece of writing, a memorable song and a favourite film – exploring what we are in danger of losing.
Ian Rickson, former artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre and one of British theatre’s most celebrated directors conducted the interviews on the stages of the empty auditoriums of some of Britain’s most iconic venues. The theatres having been left in the dark for months due to the imposed shutdown opened their doors for this special series.
Featuring original theme music from PJ Harvey, the series is Executive Produced by Robert Delamere, a critically acclaimed theatre, television director and writer (Force of Change, Hang Ups, Bleak House Guest) and founder of Digital Theatre and Digital Theatre Plus – the world’s leading digital platforms for the arts and for arts education. The series is produced by Sarah Murray and Ben Walker for Storyglass.
Interviewed for the series are:
Kae Tempest, spoken word performer, poet, recording artist, novelist and playwright – recorded at the Harold Pinter Theatre
Cusho Jumbo OBE, actress and writer - recorded at the Young Vic
Ben Whishaw, Olivier Award-nominated television and theatre actor – recorded at the Harold Pinter Theatre
Sonia Friedman OBE, International theatre producer – recorded at the Palace Theatre
Chiwetal Ejiofor CBE, Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated actor and filmmaker - recorded at the Young Vic
Russell Brand, comedian and author – recorded at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead
Johnny Flynn, musician, singer, songwriter and actor – recorded at the Hackney Empire
Jessie Buckley, actress and singer – recorded at the Hackney Empire
Ian Rickson, Creator and Host says: "To step inside our empty theatres is a powerful experience. Sitting on stage with performers, writers and producers gives What I Love a poignant sense of what has been lost. I wanted to do the interviews face to face, in these spaces, to create an ambience that would liberate candour and intimacy. Why am I doing this? Well, firstly to remind ourselves about the vital importance of culture in all our lives, but more importantly when we talk about the things we especially love, perhaps we reveal something deep about ourselves."
Robert Delamere, Executive Producer, comments: “What I Love is a timely and urgent must-listen set of encounters in a charged space with a deft and gifted interviewer. This curated series of interviews offer both profound conversation and a private insight into the creative lives of some of our most notable figures from the world of the arts. Against the backdrop of an emergency for the industry, these intimate conversations remind us all of the power of the arts to forge a way through crisis.”
Bob McCourt, Chair of Storyglass, adds: “This is a very exciting moment as we launch the first series from our newly-created company. We’re delighted to be working with Ian and Robert on what we know will be a resonant project. Podcasting is an intimate and immediate medium, the perfect platform for this timely interview series.”
Now available on all podcast platforms.
Reviews are forthcoming for What I Love