Women’s History Month

March marks women’s history month and International Women’s Day on the 8th, plus Mother’s Day in the UK this year on the 27th. Here’s a select playlist of Audiovisual Cultures episodes highlighting women’s history with topics including stardom, violence, activism, abortion rights and suffrage. Please comment with your further listening or reading suggestions on women’s history.


Happy Halloween!

If you’re in a spooky mood, then here are some of our more frightfully themed episodes:

92. with Dr Gary D. Rhodes – Paula Blair catches up with Gary Rhodes. As well as reminiscing about their time at Queen’s University Belfast, Gary talks through his research in the areas of the history of American horror cinema, the life of Bela Lugosi, Irish cinema, and how cinema was impacted by the Great Influenza of 1918.
31. Frankenstein – Paula Blair looks at Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein (1818) and its adaptations, mainly the 1931 Universal Pictures horror film directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff and Colin Clive.
79. Circles with Brendon Connelly – Brendon Connelly talks in detail about creating the mystery audio drama Circles during the lockdown period in 2020.
15. A Quiet Place – Paula Blair and Andrew Shail share their experiences after a tension-filled viewing of A Quiet Place (dir. John Krasinski, 2018, BBFC cert. 15).
25. Get Out – Paula Blair and Andrew Shail step up to Patron Kristie Smith’s challenge to watch some horror with Get Out (dir. Jordan Peele, 2017, 15). Discussion involves racism, violence, slavery and emotional manipulation.
30. The Little Stranger – Paula Blair and Andrew Shail discuss The Little Stranger (dir. Lenny Abrahamson, 2018, BBFC cert. 12A) and its adaptation from Sarah Waters’s novel of the same title (published 2009). Topics include historical fiction, emotional abuse, social class, violence, post-World War II England and the paranormal.
50. Musicals and Women in Film with Martha Shearer – Dr Martha Shearer talks about her research on cinema musicals and women working in horror and New Hollywood.
78. Audio Production with Jack Bowman – Jack Bowman talks through his career in audio drama and podcast production with helpful advice and tips for audio creatives. The shows he’s worked on often have paranormal mystery themes.
5. The Shape of Water – Paula Blair and Andrew Shail discuss The Shape of Water (dir. Guillermo del Toro, 2017, BBFC cert. 15), the 2018 Academy Awards, and representation in film.

Black History Month

October is Black History Month in the UK, so it’s a good time to list episodes we’ve done focusing on black lives and the experiences of people of recent African origin, as well as those spotlighting African-American and Black British creative practitioners. Listening to About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge is also highly recommended and the linked site has loads more suggestions.

We’re always keen to cover areas of culture intersecting with race, so please get in touch with suggestions for discussion topics and to nominate a speaker or put yourself forward to be on the show.

19. The Rape of Recy Taylor and Edie
22. Selma
25. Get Out
69. Writing and Men’s Mental Health with Caleb Harris
70. That Means Countless with Justin Rich
75. Leighanne’s Voice with Leighanne Turner
110. Diversity in Tech and Media with Damion Taylor

Happy Pride!

It’s Pride Month 2021 and here are our episodes so far that most involve relevant themes and issues:

29. The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Released 3 Oct 2018. Paula Blair and Andrew Shail have a post-screening discussion of The Miseducation of Cameron Post (dir. Desiree Akharan, 2018, BBFC cert. 15) about a teenage girl in the USA who is sent to a gay conversion camp. Involves topics such as religion, emotional abuse and self-harm. View with enabled captions.

34. Bohemian Rhapsody

Released 12 Dec 2018. Andrew Shail and Paula Blair view and discuss the Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (dir. Bryan Singer, 2018, BBFC cert.  12A), Queen’s music and the band’s connection to film culture. Short  excerpts from the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ are used to mark separate  parts of the discussion, and it and its significance in the film are discussed. There are references to sexuality, drug use, illness and  some swearing in the episode. View with enabled captions.

36. Hard Craft

Released 9 Jan 2019. Paula Blair talks to artists Sarah-Joy Ford and Juliet Fleming about their Hard Craft exhibition in Vane gallery, Nov – Dec 2018. View with enabled captions.

39. Mary Queen of Scots

Released 20 Feb 2019. Film doctors Paula Blair and Andrew Shail discuss historical drama Mary Queen of Scots (dir. Josie Rourke, BBFC cert. 15, 2018). With references to violence, religion, sexuality, gender fluidity and women in power. Spoilers abound. View with enabled captions.

62. Community, Collaboration & Courage

Released 18 March 2020. Special episode recorded for International Women’s Day 2020 featuring Paula Blair, Rachel Brook, Claire Murphy-Morgan, Ciara Lenihan, Jess Bennett, Caroline and Jenni McDermott. View with enabled captions.

86. Art & Community with Clinton Kirkpatrick

Released 2 March 2021. Artist Clinton Kirkpatrick talks about working across a range of styles and media and initiating remote community art projects. View with enabled captions.