Saturday Review

Saturday Review

Tom Sutcliffe and guests discuss the week’s cultural highlights on BBC Radio 4.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

Recent episodes (10)

  • Richard Diebenkorn, Mommy, Frozen, The Shore, Coalition, 21 Mar 15

    Sat, 21 Mar 15

    Duration:
    42 mins

    The first major retrospective of Richard Diebenkorn's work for 25 years opens at London's Royal Academy. Does this new show restore his reputation as a serious artist? A new Channel 4 drama "Coalition" dramatises the negotiations which took place immediately after the last general election. A revival of Bryony Lavery's award winning play Frozen opens at the Park Theatre in London tells the story of the disappearance of a 10-year-old girl, Rhona, through three protagonists: the girl's killer, her mother and a New York psychiatrist. Set on a collection of islands off the coast of Virginia, Bailey longlisted debut novel "The Shore" by Sara Taylor interweaves stories that trace different generations of the same family over the course of 150 years. In "Mommy" 25 year old Canadian director Xavier Dolan returns to the theme of mothers and sons. How does he portray the pressures inflicted by the chaotic, testosterone fuelled madness of a 15 year old boy.

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  • Alexander McQueen, Suite Francaise, X+Y, Antigone, Tom McCarthy, 14 Mar 15

    Sat, 14 Mar 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    When an exhibition of the fashion creations of Alexander McQueen opened in New York, visitors queued for up to 5 hours to get in. It's now at London's Victoria and Albert Museum; will it be such a crowd-puller? Suite Francaise - Irene Nemerovsky's wartime novel (discovered more than six decades after her death) was a best seller. Can it repeat its success as a film? X+Y is a film about a young maths prodigy who is on the autistic spectrum. It deals with his participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad and growing up emotionally. Juliette Binoche plays the lead in Antigone at London's Barbican Theatre. Directed by Ivo Von Hove, it's caused a lot of advance excitement. Tom McCarthy's new novel Satin Island is a meditation on contemporary society that some reviewers have accused of ditching traditionally novelistic techniques like plot and character. Is it all the better for it?

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  • Still Alice, Game, Nurse, David Vann, Forensics, 07 Mar 15

    Sat, 7 Mar 15

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her performance as Alice, who has Early Onset Alzheimer's disease in Still Alice. Does a great performance make a great movie? Mike Bartlett's new play Game at London's Almeida Theatre raises questions about how desperate people become when they're looking for somewhere to live. Paul Whitehouse plays multiple characters in his TV series Nurse which is transferring from Radio 4 to BBC2. It deals with the travails of a Community Psychiatric Nurse and her patients. David Vann's novel Aquarium is told from the point of view of a 12 year old girl whose happy life with her single mother is thrown into disarray by a chance encounter. Forensics - The Anatomy of Crime, has opened at The Wellcome Collection in London, and it looks at crime from when it's committed to the eventual criminal conviction.

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  • Kazuo Ishiguro, Man and Superman, It Follows, Matt Luca - Pompidou, Sculpture Victorious, 28 Feb 15

    Sat, 28 Feb 15

    Duration:
    42 mins

    The Buried Giant is Kazuo Ishiguro's first new novel for 10 years, set in Arthurian England. George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman at The National's Lyttleton Theatre starring Ralph Fiennes. New horror film It Follows has been a success in the US and could be a new teen creepy classic. Matt Lucas is best known for Little Britain; his new TV show is entirely devoid of catchphrases - it's a wordless series called Pompidou. Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain looks at sculpture created during Queen Victoria's reign - the innovations in style and technique.

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  • Eugene Onegin, The Duke of Burgundy, Suffragettes Forever, Art From Elsewhere, Peter Swanson, 21 Feb 15

    Sat, 21 Feb 15

    Duration:
    42 mins

    The production of Eugene Onegin by Moscow's Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre being staged at London's Barbican sold out for a year in Russia and the international tour sells to packed-out houses. The Duke of Burgundy is Peter Strickland's latest film which looks at the love affair between 2 sub-dom lesbian lepidoptrists. Amanda Vickery presents BBC2's Suffragettes Forever, a three part series trying to tell "the unknown story" of "Britain's longest war, the 300 year-long campaign by women for political and sex equality." The touring exhibition "Art From Elsewhere" currently in Birmingham displays some of The Art Fund's acquisitions of works by artists from overseas. Peter Swanson's novel "The Kind Worth Killing" is a twisty turny thing; a thriller full of unexpected surprises. Is it surprisingly good?

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  • Anne Tyler, Indian Summers, Love Is Strange, How To Hold Your Breath, History Is Now 14 Feb 15

    Sat, 14 Feb 15

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Anne Tyler's latest novel 'A Spool of Blue Thread' (her 20th) follows the dynamics of an American family through several generations. Indian Summers is a sumptuous drama on Channel 4 looking at life in India in 1932. It stars Julie Walters and follows the early stirrings of political opposition to The Raj. Love Is Strange is a film with Jon Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a gay couple who decide to get married after being together for 40 years and their relationship is put under a strain by forces they hadn't expected. Maxine Peake is in a new play at London's Royal Court. How To Hold Your Breath is about personal and political journeys. History Is Now at The Southbank Centre's Hayward Gallery is subtitled "7 Artists Take On Britain" and looks at 70 years of cultural and social history.

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  • Selma, The Illuminations, You're Not Alone, Better Call Saul 07 Feb 2015

    Sat, 7 Feb 15

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe and this weeks panel discuss the film Selma, which tells the story of Martin Luther King and struggle for black voting rights in 1960s America. Human Rights Human Wrongs is the latest exhibition in The Photographers Gallery.It charts, through photojournalism, how violent flash points through the world in 20th century have shaped our perception of conflict, race, empire and ourselves. The illuminations is the 5th novel by author Andrew O'Hagan, it tells the tale of Anne, a Scottish pensioner and her Grandson who is serving with the Army in Afghanistan. The panel also discuss comedian and artist Kim Noble's new show You're Not Alone. He uses live action, video, music and audience participation to paint a picture of darkly comic loneliness. Better Call Saul is the prequel to cult series Breaking Bad. Its from the same creator, so can it capture the magic of the original series? Presenter Tom Sutcliffe. Producer Ruth Sanderson

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  • Tom Stoppard, Inherent Vice, Adam Curtis, Joyce Carol Oates, Christian Marclay, 31 Jan 15

    Sat, 31 Jan 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Tom Stoppard's play The Hard Problem is his first new work for the National Theatre in 13 years; is it worth the wait? Paul Thomas Anderson has adapted a Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice - the first time a cinema director has wrestled this famously difficult author onto the screen. How well does it work? Documentary maker Adam Curtis's Bitter Lake attempts to explain the complicated political situation in Afghanistan. It's only available on iPlayer; might this be a new way for the BBC to 'broadcast' material? If so, what might the consequences be? Joyce Carol Oates has published more than 40 novels in her five decade long career. Her latest 'The Sacrifice' is based around a notorious alleged rape case in the US. Christian Marclay's exhibition at White Cube in Bermondsey includes a post-pub-crawl soundscape and paintings of sound effects - turning representations of audio experiences into fine art.

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  • Oppenheimer, A Most Violent Year, Fortitude, Rubens, Sandip Roy 24 Jan 15

    Sat, 24 Jan 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    The RSC's latest production is Oppenheimer, a play about the man behind the invention of the nuclear bomb - a flawed hero, is it a flawless production? A Most Violent Year is set in New York in 1981, a year when more than 1.2m crimes were committed. JC Chandor's film follows a man trying to build up a family business in the face of alarming violence and corruption. Fortitude is Arctic-noir TV: set in an Icelandic Research Station where mysterious and untoward things start happening, the cast includes Sofie Grabol, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston and a host of other big names. Will it leave the reviewers cold? Rubens And His Legacy at the Royal Academy attempts to explore the influence of the great Flemish master on artists over the last three and a half centuries. Sandip Roy's first novel Don’t Let Him Know tells the story of a young man in modern India exploring his sexual identity.

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  • Women on the Verge..., Reese Witherspoon in Wild, Wolf Hall on TV, Adam Thirlwell, Bull 17 Jan 2015

    Sat, 17 Jan 15

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown; Pedro Almodovar's film has been turned into a stage musical with Tamsin Greig as Pepa Marcos. It flopped on Broadway, now thoroughly rejigged, can it succeed in London? Reese Witherspoon is in the running for an Oscar playing Cheryl in Wild, about a woman who sets off to discover herself on a 1100 mile walk in the wilderness. Wolf Hall was first a best-selling book by Hilary Mantel, then an RSC play and now it comes to BBCTV, with Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell. Adam Thirlwell is a young British writer whose third novel Lurid and Cute focusses on an ordinary egotistical young man whose life spirals out of control. Bull at The Young Vic is a play about the consequences of ruthless office bullying. At only 55 minutes long it has to come out swinging, but does it land any punches?

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