Kaleidoscope Of Muses

Episodes

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01Sacred And Monsters20180604

A personal exploration of writers' unexpected muses - place, people and memories.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essays series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft.

Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.'

An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing.

One: Sacred Monsters.

In the 1980s Jeff was an Amsterdam squatter, The king of the warehouse he lived in was a magenta haired man called Wim de Wolf, mad from his years in a concentration camp, wildly queer, flamboyant and revolutionary. Amsterdam at that time was a hotbed of anarcho-hippy revolt - squatters riots, burning trams, and violent protest. Wim is an anarchic Muse. Make your stories cause a bit of trouble. This essay looks at character and the importance of breaking the rules, of dismantling the accepted conventions of writing. The guiding spirit of this essay is really Wim de Wolf, the mad, flamboyant rebel, but it's also Gregory Corso the delinquent Beat poet who Jeff encountered in an Amsterdam bar. He was a classic bad influence, the perfect role model to help a writer break the rules.

Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters's exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University.

Producer - Polly Thomas
Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore

A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.

01Sacred Monsters20180604

A personal exploration of writers' unexpected muses - place, people and memories.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essays series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft.

Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.'

An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing.

One: Sacred Monsters.

In the 1980s Jeff was an Amsterdam squatter, The king of the warehouse he lived in was a magenta haired man called Wim de Wolf, mad from his years in a concentration camp, wildly queer, flamboyant and revolutionary. Amsterdam at that time was a hotbed of anarcho-hippy revolt - squatters riots, burning trams, and violent protest. Wim is an anarchic Muse. Make your stories cause a bit of trouble. This essay looks at character and the importance of breaking the rules, of dismantling the accepted conventions of writing. The guiding spirit of this essay is really Wim de Wolf, the mad, flamboyant rebel, but it's also Gregory Corso the delinquent Beat poet who Jeff encountered in an Amsterdam bar. He was a classic bad influence, the perfect role model to help a writer break the rules.

Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters's exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University.

Producer - Polly Thomas
Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore

A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.

02The Glass Constellations20180605

A personal exploration of writers' unexpected muses - place, people and memories.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essays series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on- by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft.

Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.'

An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing.

Two: The Glass Constellations

Over the years, Jeff's personal mythology has emerged, rooted in almost hallucinatory memories of childhood and characters. Jeff's remembers his butcher uncles, on trips to Nana's house to share out the abattoir meat and watch westerns on TV; his blind grandfather who spent his entire day listening to his precious Bakelite radio. The banter, slang and jokes, the TV on full blast so that deaf nana could hear it, the vibrant chaos of these Sunday rituals instilled a love of wild, vernacular talk, a kind of slum-poetry. Out of the mouths of these rough men from the slums came riches. Alongside this there came a passion for street characters, pub-drunks, the people in the shadows, drawing on the ghosts of those long dead grandfathers and uncles.

This essay draws on stories of these characters and places to explore the importance of vital dialogue. The guiding spirits of this essay are the poetic Liverpool films of Terence Davies, whose stories in The Long Day Closes and Distant Voices, Still Lives have been a huge influence on the stories he tells.

Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters's exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University.

Producer - Polly Thomas
Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore

A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.

03Hell's Rainbow20180606

A personal exploration of writers' unexpected muses - place, people and memories.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essay series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft.

Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.'

An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing.

Three: Hell's Rainbow

Jeff fell in love with a wild animal with flashing eyes and skin that smelled of danger and threw his life away to go and live in Cornwall, where he went off the rails. ... He ended up half-mad and homeless, living on the beach, and found a different kind of connection to the world on the wild marine landscape of Cornwall. This moment was the essence of transformation, through wildness and the elemental and through recklessness. This essay looks at metaphor and transformation. The great poet W.S Graham, Jean Rhys and the St Ives painters found their place of exile in Cornwall. The essay equates Cornwall with madness and a witchy or druidic magic, embodied in the work of the Surrealist painter and writer, Ithell Colquhoun, the guiding spirit of this essay.

Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters' exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University.

Producer - Polly Thomas
Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore

A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.

03Hell's Rainbow20180606

A personal exploration of writers' unexpected muses - place, people and memories.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essay series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft.

Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.'

An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing.

Three: Hell's Rainbow

Jeff fell in love with a wild animal with flashing eyes and skin that smelled of danger and threw his life away to go and live in Cornwall, where he went off the rails.... He ended up half-mad and homeless, living on the beach, and found a different kind of connection to the world on the wild marine landscape of Cornwall. This moment was the essence of transformation, through wildness and the elemental and through recklessness. This essay looks at metaphor and transformation. The great poet W.S Graham, Jean Rhys and the St Ives painters found their place of exile in Cornwall. The essay equates Cornwall with madness and a witchy or druidic magic, embodied in the work of the Surrealist painter and writer, Ithell Colquhoun, the guiding spirit of this essay.

Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters' exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University.

Producer - Polly Thomas
Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore

A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.

04Gutted Arcades20180607

A personal exploration of writers' unexpected muses - place, people and memories.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essay series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft.

Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.'

An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing.

Four: Gutted Arcades

Jeff still lives in Liverpool, the city where he was born and bred. As a child, he learned about the city through his mum, who taught him the poetry of the pavements and the Victorian nooks and jiggers. 90 per cent of his writing is set in cities and the Muse of this fascination, the woman who imbued in him a potent sense of the life and death and beauty of the streets is his mother. Through her eyes, he absorbed a passion for the magic of dead cinemas and the atmospheres of ruins. When he walks the streets of Liverpool, he sees his mother - who died fifteen years ago - on street corners, waving to him. This essay will talk about the importance of walking and memory as part of his writer's toolbox, how memory seeps into stories and how walking is the spell that summons those memories up. The guiding spirit of this essay is Malcolm Lowry, author of Ultramarine and Under the Volcano who spent much of his early life walking Liverpool's streets and watching B Movies in its fleapit cinemas.

Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters's exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University.

Producer - Polly Thomas
Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore.

05The Haunted Lullaby20180608

A personal exploration of writers' unexpected muses - place, people and memories.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essay series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft.

Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.'

An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing.

Five: The Haunted Lullaby.

When Jeff was a child, he used to lie awake at night, listening to a dead woman whispering men's names. The woman floated outside the bedroom window, draped in veils and a tattered gown and she held her crooked fingers out, beckoning men to come to her and kiss her. She was breathtakingly beautiful and terrifying and it was only the closed curtains that kept Jeff safe from being dragged out to some kind of ecstatic doom. He was 8 years old, scared of her, but also somehow in love with her and she would haunt him all his life. The painting 'The Punishment of Luxury' by Segantini in Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery obsesses Jeff and he was in his 40s before he realised that the woman outside his bedroom window had come to him from Segantini's painting. He had magically brought her to life. This essay looks at Image and Imagination - the powerful, haunting Segantini painting infiltrated childhood imagination and created a powerful character to be found in many of Jeff's plays - Elsie Barmaid.

Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters's exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University.

Producer - Polly Thomas
Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore

A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.

05 LASTThe Haunted Lullaby20180608

A personal exploration of writers' unexpected muses - place, people and memories.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essay series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft.

Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.'

An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing.

Five: The Haunted Lullaby.

When Jeff was a child, he used to lie awake at night, listening to a dead woman whispering men's names. The woman floated outside the bedroom window, draped in veils and a tattered gown and she held her crooked fingers out, beckoning men to come to her and kiss her. She was breathtakingly beautiful and terrifying and it was only the closed curtains that kept Jeff safe from being dragged out to some kind of ecstatic doom. He was 8 years old, scared of her, but also somehow in love with her and she would haunt him all his life. The painting 'The Punishment of Luxury' by Segantini in Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery obsesses Jeff and he was in his 40s before he realised that the woman outside his bedroom window had come to him from Segantini's painting. He had magically brought her to life. This essay looks at Image and Imagination - the powerful, haunting Segantini painting infiltrated childhood imagination and created a powerful character to be found in many of Jeff's plays - Elsie Barmaid.

Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters's exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University.

Producer - Polly Thomas
Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore

A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.