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BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival Presents

Why We Need Weepies

Booking Information

To guarantee your ticket, book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.

Venue: Sage Two

Tickets: Free, ticketed (Max 4 per person)


Actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, poet and critic Bridget Minamore, TV drama expert John Yorke and film expert Melanie Williams join Matthew Sweet for a Brief Encounter to look at the devices – music, close ups and the cliffhangers that cinema and TV employ to make us cry. From Bambi to Titanic, how have directors managed to trigger our tear ducts? And has the big screen actually shaped our understanding of emotion in modern life.

Julie Hesmondhalgh played Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street and the lead role in the final series of ITV’s Broadchurch. On stage she has performed at The Royal Court Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange, and in a one woman show at the Edinburgh Festival. Her first book is Julie Hesmondhalgh: A Working Diary.

John Yorke is the author of How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them. Former Head of Channel Four Drama, Controller of BBC Drama Production and MD of Company Pictures, John has shaped stories and big emotional moments in British TV working on series such as Shameless and Life On Mars, EastEnders and Holby City, Bodies and Wolf Hall.

Melanie Williams is the author of Female Stars of British Cinema, a book about David Lean and British Women’s Cinema. She teaches at the University of East Anglia.

Bridget Minamore has published a poetry pamphlet about modern love and loss Titanic and her journalism includes writing for The Guardian and The Stage. She has written with organisations including The Royal Opera House, The National Theatre and Tate Modern.

Matthew Sweet is author of Inventing the Victorians, Shepperton Babylon, The West End Front and Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers and Themselves. He is a columnist for Art Quarterly and Newsweek and presents Free Thinking and Sound of Cinema on BBC Radio 3 and The Philosopher’s Arms on Radio 4. He was series consultant on the Showtime drama Penny Dreadful.

For your information…

  • Phase one tickets will be available from 12noon on Friday 15 February, with phase two tickets available from 12noon on Friday 1 March.
  • Tickets are strictly limited to four per person.
  • To guarantee your ticket book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.
  • Please take your seats 10 minutes prior to the event start time otherwise you may lose your place.

Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival