This weekend, we bring you a conversation with actor Michael Patrick Thornton, who is currently in a buzzy Broadway production of A Doll's House alongsideJessica Chastain. 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. The interview was recorded a few months ago, while Michael was on stage in Macbeth with Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga. Then, we learn about Melissa Dring, Britain's top forensic artist, from journalist Will Coldwell, and the techniques she uses to catch criminals — they are surprisingly cute, and include a jar of strawberry jam.

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

Links and mentions from the episode:

– Will’s profile of Melissa Dring, ‘To catch a criminal: what a forensic artist knows about the mind’:

– Michael Patrick Thornton’s theatre company, The Gift: – Michael is on Twitter @ThorntonMPT, and Will is on Twitter at @Will_Coldwell

– A Doll’s House is on Broadway through June 10

– Select coverage of the war in Ukraine is free to read at


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

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