Front Row - 05/06/2009

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Arts news and reviews. A new documentary on TS Eliot promises fresh insights into the poet's life and work, after his second wife Valerie granted the filmmakers access for the first time to her personal archives. Poet Peter Porter discusses whether this new access really offers a more revealing take on the man and his work. The impressionist and satirist Rory Bremner is returning with a new series of Bremner, Bird and Fortune. After the recent events in politics, he is unlikely to be short of material. Rory Bremner discusses the ebb and flow of subjects ripe for satire. John Wilson reports from two schemes in the UK - Big Noise in Scotland and In Harmony in England - which give children in deprived areas the chance to learn a musical instrument and be part of an orchestra. The schemes are modeled on the hugely successful El Sistema project from Venezuela, which in the past 34 years has rescued thousands of children from extreme poverty and, under conductor Gustavo Dudamel, produced the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra. Author Melvin Burgess is well known for his controversial novels for young adults, including Junk and Doing It, which feature drug taking and underage sex. His latest novel, Nicholas Dane, is no exception: a modern-day take on Dickens' Oliver Twist which exposes the brutal sexual abuse that took place in some children's care homes in the UK in the 1980s. He discusses what he learned from Dickens and why he felt the story had to be told.