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Sage Gateshead



Crimes of Passion


Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2019

Northern Rock Foundation Hall

Tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis

Duration – 2.45pm - 3.45pm


Many legal systems have allowed the accused the defence of a “crime of passion”: attributing their act to a sudden explosion of feeling, rather than pre-meditated violence. Prosecutors, though, have argued that “passion” is simply another word for “insanity” or “malice”. A panel with distinguished criminal records tries to draw the line in a discussion hosted by Matthew Sweet.

David Wilson was the youngest prison governor in England aged 29. He is Emeritus Professor of Criminology and founding Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University. He presented the CBS series Voice of a Serial Killerand, for BBC Radio 4, In The Criminologist’s Chair. His latest book is My Life with Murderers: Behind Bars with the World’s Most Violent Men.

Sophie Hannah is a poet and crime novelist who, with the blessing of the Christie estate, has written three new Poirot novels The Monogram Murders, Closed Casketand The Mystery of Three Quarters. Her latest publication is a self-help book entitled How to Hold a Grudge.

Michael Hughes’ most recent novel Country maps Homer’s Iliad onto 1990s Northern Ireland to describe both the black comedy and the brutality of The Troubles. His previous novel is The Countenance Divine. He teaches creative writing and also works as a professional actor.

Lisa Appignanesi is the author of books including Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love; Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors; All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion and Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness. She is Chair of the Royal Society of Literature Council.

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 BBC 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.

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: Northern Rock Foundation Hall

Tickets: Free, ticketed (Max 4 per person)