samiraahmed.co.uk
The Teen Within…
This week's Something Understood gives voice to people who I reckon are rarely heard on radio. Teenagers. The readings are all done by young actors and much of the music and poetry you'll hear was written by them, or about that remarkable time in our lives. We reflect on the surprisingly enduring template of the original teenager: There's the 50s/early 60s dawn of the teen as captured in John Waters' original, self-aware and comic Hairspray and its forerunner Girl Trouble as much as James Dean's earnest Rebel Without A Cause. Janis Ian's anthem for ugly ducklings everywhere At Seventeen is no surprise, while Cat Stevens' The Wind captures the solemnity and earnestness of young poets and musicians. But I've enjoyed re-visiting Claude Tardat's Sweet Death - the acclaimed French satire I first encountered as a teenager myself, about a brilliant young student rebelling against her mother's bourgeois perfection by - quel horreur - gorging herself to obese death. Novelle Vague's version of