How Shakespeare gave actor Michael Patrick Thornton his life back

How Shakespeare gave actor Michael Patrick Thornton his life back

By Financial Times

FT Weekend

Saturday, 14 May

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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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: 

– 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


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

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