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Monday 20 April 2015: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Until recently, it was thought that human brain development was all over by early childhood but research in the last decade has shown that the adolescent brain is still changing into early adulthood. Jim al-Khalili talks to pioneering cognitive neuroscientist professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore who is responsible for much of the research which shows that our brains continue to develop through the teenage years. She discusses why teenagers take risks and are so susceptible to influence from their peers, as well as her childhood growing up with the constant threat of attacks from animal rights groups.

Tuesday 21 April 2015: Stand Up for China 

In Stand Up for China Comedian Des Bishop learns Mandarin and heads to the comedy club in Beijing to find out what makes the Chinese laugh. He finds that there is a long tradition of comedy in China called Xiangsheng, or Crosstalk, often in the form of two comedians playing off each other. But the younger generation are keen to hear something new and more challenging, and stand up comedy is taking its place in clubs across Beijing.

Wednesday 22 April 2015: A Love Supreme: 50 Years On 

Often cited as one of the greatest albums ever made, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme is revered not just by jazz aficionados but music fans the world over. Fifty years on from its release, British saxophonist Courtney Pine explores what makes A Love Supreme such a unique and important record. Released in February 1965 - just days after black rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated, and weeks before Martin Luther King led the March on Alabama - for many, the sound and feel of A Love Supreme perfectly captured the sadness, confusion and anger of America’s growing black consciousness movement.

Thursday 23 April 2015: Who's Afraid of Teatr Doc?

Teatr doc was founded 12 years ago by playwrights who couldn't find a venue willing to stage their documentary-style plays that often challenge the status quo. In December the theatre was raided and forced to shut its doors but it quickly reopened in new premises and is still cocking a snook at the authorities. "Doc", as it is known to those who frequent it, has been recognised internationally as one of Russia's most prolific, innovative, and socially engaged theatre companies. Lucy Ash attends the opening night in the theatre's new home, and asks its actors, directors and its audience what the theatre says about life in Russia today.