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Iraq war revisited and UK theatres go dark (E343)

It's been almost twenty years since the BBC and others cheered on the invasion of Iraq by the United States and British forces. It is now widely agreed that that invasion and occupation was a complete disaster. A new five-part documentary series on the subject has been hailed as monumental and brilliant, though many unanswered questions remain. Did the media at the time get it wrong? Were the voices that opposed the war ignored? And, with 13 years of sanctions prior to the invasion, is the narrative portrayed in the documentary one which most Iraqis subscribe to? The film makes for traumatic viewing so, if it is traumatic to watch, what must it have been like for the people who lived through it? Sami Ramadani joined Sputnik to discuss the Iraq of yesterday as well to express some of the feelings held by many Iraqis today.

All kinds of sectors of the British economy have been hit badly by coronavirus, some devastated, but no sector has gone so completely dark as the British theatre, after the curtains fell at the beginning of the “Lockdown.” From the top actor treading the boards to the front-of-house workers in the box office selling tickets, the stage lights appear to have been extinguished. Townsend Theatre productions is just one company navigating its way through this pandemic and trying to find new ways of working. So, we invited Louise Townsend, the director, and Neil Gore, the writer, actor and musician, to tell us about the virus’ impact on the arts and what they are doing to combat its devastating effects.