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Amateur of Life and Death

The Crescent Theatre

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The Amateur of Life and Death podcast brings together amateur theatre makers to talk about their theatrical lives, theatrical loves, and the times when they’ve died on stage. We take you behind the scenes at The Crescent Theatre to discover more about what goes into making a production, shining a spotlight on the stars behind the scenes, as well as those on stage.Theatre is our passion; amateur from the Latin ‘amare’, meaning ‘to love’. This is a podcast for anyone with an interest in watchi ...
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Matters of Life and Death

Premier Unbelievable?

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In each episode of Matters of Life and Death, brought to you by Premier Unbelievable?, John Wyatt and his son Tim discuss issues in healthcare, ethics, technology, science, faith and more. John is a doctor, professor of ethics, and writer and speaker on many of these topics, while Tim is a religion and social affairs journalist. We talk about how Christians can better engage with a particular question of life, death or something else in between.
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Life and Death Row

BBC Radio 1

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Based on an episode from the new, second series of BBC Three's Life and Death Row, Greg James looks at the story of Daniel Lopez, convicted of killing a policeman during a high speed chase in Texas in 2009.
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Tom Carvel — ice cream king, business tycoon, the man who brought us Fudgie the Whale. His voice was one that could sink a thousand ships, yet his was the voice of Carvel. “Who better to sell my ice cream than me?” he reasoned. And he was right. In the 1970s and ‘80s you’d hear him calling out “Buy one, get one free!” deals during commercial breaks. It was precisely that lack of Madison Avenue polish that made you believe Carvel was kindly, grandfatherly, a regular guy who just happened to m ...
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The Mysterious Life and Death

Taylor Victoria Holcroft

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Dive into a world where mystery, accidents and history collide in ”The Mysterious Life and Death,” your weekly summer escape into the unknown. Each episode uncovers a part of the unexplained, from shadowy historical events to baffling plane accidents, passing by curious affairs or mysterious disappearances, inviting you guys on a captivating journey through time and intrigue. Join us as we explore a myriad of mysteries, each more perplexing than the last. With a focus on the enigmatic and th ...
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Star Wars: Life and Death on the Rim

Galactic North Productions

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Amidst the stars of a distant galaxy, a new tale of daring and danger is set to take flight. Traversing the depths of the Expanded Universe, 40 years after the Battle of Yavin, join a cast of unlikely heroes as they embark on a journey of epic proportions, and face their greatest challenge yet. In this 7-part audio series, you’ll follow our crew of privateers as they make their way across the galaxy far, far away.. Each episode features ambient sound, original soundtrack, a full-cast, and mo ...
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The Death and Life of Kobe Bryant tells the tragic story of the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his daughter and seven others. The docuseries explores lesser-known angles including real-time analysis of the radio chatter between the pilot and tower, the investigation into the crash, the lawsuits that followed, even artists who honor Bryant. The program also reveals parts of Bryant’s life seldom seen. The program is hosted and produced by award-winning journalist Steve Gregory and produc ...
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Death is a taboo in most culture so people avoid talking about it but here on The Life Celebrant Podcast, we talk openly about all things related to death and funerals, and even suggests some new ideas that we likely be a trend in the coming years. Death shouldn't be gloomy; it should be the celebration of one's life. The Life Celebrant is led by accidental funeral director Ms. Angjolie Mei. Singapore's only certified funeral celebrant.
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We in the UK have been startled by the sudden announcement from the prime minister that our general election, due at the end of the year, would actually be held in six weeks’ time in early July. In this episode we reflect on why Christians are so politically engaged in Britain, with research suggesting they are much more likely to vote, join a part…
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This month we're focussing on two great American musicals of the 20th century. We speak to actor, singer and dancer Jo Brookes about her role as Louise in the Crescent Theatre's production of Gypsy. We also go backstage with Tinker's Farm Opera and speak to director and choreographer Emma Harley to find out more about the history of society and its…
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Diagnosis rates for autism have been steadily rising for decades now, and as the condition has become more prevalent there has been a growing debate within the community and wider society about what autism is. Some prefer to talk about neurodiversity rather than think of it as a developmental condition, and others go as far as calling it a superpow…
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Science fiction has long been fascinated by the idea of humans becoming friends with computers. And the dream of an always-on digital companion you can talk to day or night is closer than ever before, thanks to advances in AI software in recent years. But research into one of the leading AI companion companies and its users has flagged concerns amo…
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What would contact with intelligent aliens mean for humanity? Will doctors ever be able to cure depression with a drug? Can we bestow personhood on animals?Nick Spencer, senior fellow at the religion and society think tank Theos, is the author of the recent book Playing God: Science, religion and the future of humanity. The book explores eight cont…
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A new law has been proposed in the Scottish Parliament which would allow terminally ill people to request doctors assist them in committing suicide. This is the latest push in a growing campaign across the UK and more widely in the Western world to legislate for assisted dying and euthanasia. In this episode we look through the bill to discuss its …
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Society has been on a long and slow journey in recent decades into a richer and more sympathetic understanding of how abuse and coercion work within relationships. We are much better at both identifying and prosecuting this kind of abuse, and at being more attuned to the needs of victims and understanding why they find it difficult to just walk awa…
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Our first topic in this Q&A episode is a recent study which found that in 2023, the first full calendar year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and the constitutional right to an abortion, total abortions actually increased. Despite 21 states enacting full or partial abortion bans, more women not fewer are ending their pregnancies. How c…
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Each episode takes a look at a different aspect of the wonderful world of amateur theatre, and features an amateur theatre-maker talking about their theatrical life, theatrical loves, and the times when they’ve ‘died’ on stage. This month’s episode focuses on the upcoming production of the play ‘Love From a Stranger’ by Agatha Christie and Frank Vo…
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the faster growing mental health diagnoses of our age. More and more people, including those well into adulthood, are seeking out and being diagnosed with ADHD. And the typical treatment plan involves taking powerful amphetamine-based stimulant medication, effectively turbocharging parts of …
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In our series finale, we speak with Mary Arcadipane--niece of Carvel secretary/power behind the throne Mildred Arcadipane--about her aunt's auspicious climb and tragic end. Then we'll talk with estate planning pros Danielle Mayoras and Sean O'Dowd about why having seven executors in your will is never a good idea. A legacy that began with frozen cu…
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We’re both away for our Easter breaks, so this week we’re bringing you a classic episode from the MOLAD archive, when we were joined by the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron to discuss social media and politics. Research suggests UK members of parliament like Tim get sent thousands of offensive tweets every single day. Why have soci…
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A new wave of anti-obesity drugs led by Wegovy (also known as Ozempic) are causing huge ripples in the medical world and popular culture. Astonishingly successful at helping people lose weight, these drugs both offer a tantalising solution to the obesity epidemic and its associated public health crisis, and have also made the pharma companies which…
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As is probably obvious from previous episodes, John is extremely interested in generative AI and thinks it will be the next transformative technology to entirely up-end how society works. Tim, however, is much more sceptical and thinks a lot of the rhetoric around AI is overblown. So, prompted by Tim sharing an AI-sceptical blog, in this episode we…
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Alabama’s Supreme Court has ruled that embryos in deep freeze, stored as part of IVF treatment, can be considered as legally children. This unexpected judgement has prompted many clinics to shut their doors, fearing lawsuits, as the storage and eventual destruction of surplus embryos is standard practice in IVF. In this episode we reflect on how an…
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This week we’re bringing you a classic episode from the MOLAD vault. Medical Assistance in Dying is Canada’s euthanasia programme. It started in 2016 with a Supreme Court decision but has since rapidly expanded and liberalised. The latest battleground is over mental health. The government has committed to changing its laws so that people suffering …
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A prelude to the unknown... Welcome to the enigmatic world of The Mysterious Life and Death, where each episode is a portal to the unexplored corridors of history and the unexplained, or the mysteriously explained. That's the first trailer of the series, giving you guys a glimpse into a series that spans the unknown, from shadowy events etched into…
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Culture is increasingly interested in psychedelic drugs. Whether it’s Silicon Valley execs micro-dosing LSD to turbocharge their meetings, Americans doing ayahuasca weekends in Mexico, or rafts of studies suggesting ketamine can really help in treating depression, we’re all taking drugs much more seriously than any time since the 1960s countercultu…
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This episode delves into the world of Willy Russell's modern classic, Educating Rita. We talk to actress Vicky Youster about her theatrical life, theatrical loves and the times when she's 'died' on stage. Vicky is playing Rita in the Crescent Theatre Birmingham's production of Educating Rita and she also tells us all about rehearsals, the challenge…
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A listener has emailed in his dilemma off the back of our recent series of episodes: His small evangelical church teaches a traditional Christian message on relationships and marriage, yet offers single members like him no opportunities to meet like-minded women. Is it OK for him to turn to dating apps to fish in a deeper pool, or are the apps unav…
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Our four-part series on the deeper narrative of the Bible comes to an end with New Creation. Just as with the beginning of the story, this final chapter is often overlooked in many churches and the Christian narrative is compressed simply to fall and redemption. But losing sight of our future hope and where the story ends is hugely detrimental to o…
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A listener has emailed in two excellent questions in response to our recent episode looking at egg freezing. What happens to the leftover eggs which are frozen but never reimplanted, and can Christians be relaxed about this intrinsic wastefulness of the process? And also, if the whole problem stems from sexual activity beginning in your mid-teens b…
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Each episode takes a look at a different aspect of the wonderful world of amateur theatre, and features an amateur theatre-maker talking about their theatrical life, theatrical loves, and the times when they’ve ‘died’ on stage. This episode focuses on the Crescent’s upcoming pair of productions, 'House' and 'Garden', both by Alan Ayckbourn. Luke Pl…
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One major response to our conversation on egg freezing was the idea that for many single Christian women it is a sensible choice given the difficulty in finding a partner/husband. For years it has been often said that the church is disproportionately made up of women, which means it is much harder for female believers to find husbands than the othe…
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Some more listener questions: what kind of line is crossed once a country legalises euthanasia and how can a state simultaneously fund suicide prevention for some while offering state-sanctioned and facilitated assisting dying for others? Will this contradictory worldview eventually collapse under the weight of its own incoherence? Then, we respond…
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Increasing numbers of women are choosing to freeze their eggs in the hope that years down the line they can use these younger, healthier eggs to have children once their relationship, personal, financial or work circumstances are right. And fertility clinics and employers are increasingly pushing women to consider this option as a ‘normal’ part of …
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A final classic episode to see us through the Christmas and New Year break. Today we’re returning to an interview with NHS geneticist Melody Redman. Each of us carries around in our cells about 20,000 different genes – a unique set of biological code which shapes how our bodies develop. As scientists better understand genes and how they work, genet…
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Today we’re returning to a classic episode from our back catalogue, with special guest Sophie Guthrie-Kummer from Choices, a Christian crisis pregnancy centre in London. Abortion is a flashpoint issue in both the church and wider culture, with the very language you choose used as a cudgel for either side. So how does Choices juggle the theological …
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This week we’re bringing you an episode from our back catalogue, this time from March 2022. The latest report from the UN's climate scientists was both incredibly downbeat about climate change and almost entirely ignored by a media fixated on Ukraine. In this episode we consider the communication and changing narratives around climate change, why a…
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Our final Q&A episode of the year tackles two medical ethics questions in the news recently. The first is Wegovy, the ground-breaking anti-obesity drug which has been a controversial sensation in the United States. It is now available (in very limited supply) on the NHS here in the UK, but only for those with quite serious obesity with BMIs of 35 o…
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This episode we’re celebrating the past, exploring the present, and looking ahead to the future of amateur theatre. Chairman of the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Kevin Middleton tells us about his theatrical life and theatrical loves, as well as discussing the governance of an amateur theatre, and the role of the board. We also chat to one of the C…
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Creation. Fall. Redemption. New Creation. Our series on the theological foundations of Christian ethics and the grand narrative of the Bible has reached the third chapter – redemption. How is the story of what Christ accomplished on the cross a uniquely Christian approach to the problem of evil, and what light does it shed on our approach to everyt…
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John’s on holiday this week so we’re bringing you a classic episode from the Matters of Life and Death vault. A couple of years ago we interviewed Sarah Foot, a Christian palliative care doctor. She spoke about how she treats the physical, mental, social and even spiritual needs of those who are dying, the Christian foundations of the discipline, a…
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Back onboard the Scarlet, a chilling transformation grips the crew after their harrowing ordeal. An enigmatic command sets a course for a mission that will reshape destinies. Secrets stir beneath the surface, alliances teeter on the brink, and the galaxy braces for the unexpected. Their journey unfolds against the backdrop of Bothawui's turmoil, le…
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New official data in England reveals an alarming and much under-reported phenomenon – significant increases in mortality among children from the most deprived communities over the last two years. What is driving this concerning uptick in the statistics and why has it gone under the radar, both for mainstream society and the church? Also in the news…
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This week’s guest is Nick Spencer, senior fellow at the faith thinktank Theos, and recent author of Magisteria: The entangled histories of science and religion. Nick joins us to discuss the complicated backstory to how we all came to believe science and faith were inevitably at odds with each other. Where did this myth come from, and what is a more…
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This week we dip back into the postbag to look at some more listener questions. First up we return to our episode looking at recent shifts in abortion rates – is the narrative of ‘it’s my body and I’ll do what I want’ what is truly driving increases in abortion figures in recent years, or is that a bit of a myth?We also take a closer look into rece…
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Each episode takes a look at a different aspect of the wonderful world of amateur theatre, and features an amateur theatre maker talking about their theatrical life, theatrical loves, and the times when they’ve ‘died’ on stage. This episode focuses on the Crescent’s upcoming production of Othello. Our backstage pass holder, John O'Neill, will be ex…
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We last tackled the idea of friendship when we explored the so-called ‘hermeneutic of suspicion’ – that cloud of concern that today hangs over any close relationship between two people. But friendship in the Bible was not inevitably corrupted by sex, coercion, or power plays. Today we pick up some other themes from John’s new book Transforming Frie…
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Creation. Fall. Redemption. New Creation. This is the grand narrative of scripture and the theological foundation we use to try to probe into the ethical challenges thrown up by advances in science and technology. We looked at creation in September, and now we’ve come to the Fall. What is the uniquely Christian approach to the nature of evil in our…
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We spoke last week about the hugely welcome shift in how society talks about miscarriage and cares for women (and men) who have experienced it. And yet at the same time in Britain, we desperately avoid using the same language and narrative established in baby loss services when we are in the abortion zone. Now, the fetus is not a much loved, named …
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We have just finished Baby Loss Awareness Week here in the UK. While the event is not hugely well known, it is indicative of an enormous cultural shift in recent decades around how society talks about miscarriage and stillbirth. Today, the messaging is much more compassionate and empathetic, acknowledging the reality of the baby who has died and th…
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Each episode takes a look at a different aspect of the wonderful world of amateur theatre, and features an amateur theatre maker talking about their theatrical life, theatrical loves, and the times when they’ve ‘died’ on stage. This episode focuses on the work of a giant of modern British theatre, Harold Pinter. We will be talking to Graeme Braidwo…
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Christianity is sometimes described as ‘bad news for women’. Clearly we would all disagree with this epithet, but why does it have cultural currency right now for a growing number of particularly younger women? In this episode we’re joined by Ellidh Cook, a student worker in central London whose theological studies focused on violence against women…
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When the pandemic first spread beyond China there was a straightforward message from scientific elites: the virus came from a wild animal accidentally spilling over into humans, and any suggestion it might have instead been manipulated in a lab and then escaped was a quasi-racist conspiracy theory. However, as the years have gone on this has been s…
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A listener has emailed in to ask where we stand on alternative medicine, such as homeopathy or chiropractors. Is it fine for believers to partake in these kinds of complementary treatments and therapies, alongside traditional evidence-based scientific medicine? Why are they so stubbornly popular despite mountains of research suggesting they mostly …
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Today we start a new series unpacking the theological foundations of much of what we talk about on Matters of Life and Death. Many Christians, going back to church fathers, have understood the grand narrative of scripture through a four-part journey: from Creation, to Fall, to Redemption, to New Creation. This week we are beginning with creation. W…
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Each episode takes a look at a different aspect of the wonderful world of amateur theatre, and features an amateur theatre maker talking about their theatrical life, theatrical loves, and the times when they’ve ‘died’ on stage. This episode focuses on the history of the Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, which is celebrating a big birthday this season. …
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As our heroes set course for a mysterious sanctuary, veiled in cosmic complexities, they find themselves traversing a labyrinth where even Jedi wisdom falters and shadows elude the light. On their quest to evade capture, they're ensnared in a web of inexplicable maladies and lingering echoes from the past. An unforeseen encounter in the haunting co…
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Our latest episode tackling questions from the listeners starts by considering whether we can harmonise a belief in modern science and a literalistic reading of the Genesis account of creation. Did God really create the universe in six days only 6,000 years ago, but then set up all of created order with fossils, carbon decay and the speed of light …
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