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FT Weekend: How Shakespeare gave actor Michael Patrick Thornton his life back

This weekend, Lilah talks to actor Michael Patrick Thornton, who appears in the buzzy new Broadway production of Macbeth. When Michael was 24, he had a series of spinal cord strokes. Reciting Shakespeare's sonnets taught him how to breathe and speak again, and continue his career. Michael is at present the only actor on Broadway who uses a wheelchair. We ask him about the power of language and his role in the play (which also stars Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga). Then, we learn about Britain's top forensic artist from journalist Will Coldwell, and the techniques she uses to catch criminals — which include a jar of strawberry jam.

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Want to say hi? We love hearing from you. Email us at ftweekendpodcast@ft.com. We’re on Twitter @ftweekendpod, and Lilah is on Instagram and Twitter @lilahrap

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Links and mentions from the episode: 

– Will’s profile of Melissa Dring, ‘To catch a criminal: what a forensic artist knows about the mind’: https://on.ft.com/3rw0lht 

– Michael Patrick Thornton’s theatre company, The Gift: https://thegifttheatre.org/ 

– Macbeth – starring Daniel Craig, Ruth Negga and Michael – is on Broadway’s Longacre Theatre until July 10

– Michael is on Twitter @ThorntonMPT, and Will is on Twitter at @Will_Coldwell

– Select coverage of the war in Ukraine is free to read at https://www.ft.com/freetoread

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Special offers for Weekend listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial are here: http://ft.com/weekendpodcast

If you have an iPhone and want to try FT Edit (eight pieces of journalism a day, handpicked by senior editors, for much less than an FT subscription), search ‘FT Edit’ in the App Store.

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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco.


Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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