Saturday Review

Saturday Review

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

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
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Recent episodes (10)

  • The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, Anselm Kiefer, An Enemy Of The People, Ida, 27 Sep 14

    Sat, 27 Sep 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Tom Sutcliffe and guests discuss the cultural highlights of the week including Hilary Mantel's new book of short stories The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. The first major of retrospective of German artist Anselm Kiefer in the UK opens at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Thomas Ostermeier, artistic director of Berlin's Schaubühne's Theatre, launches the Barbican's International Ibsen season with a potent adaptation of An Enemy of the People. Pawel Pawlikowski's award winning film Ida is his first set in his native Poland and explores the relationship between a novice and her magistrate aunt in 1960's Poland struggling to come to terms with its recent history. And Transparent is a new ten part series from Amazon, winning a public vote to be made into a series after a pilot was aired on line.

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  • Riot Club, Ballyturk, Mr Mac and Me, Constable, The Driver, 20 Sept 12

    Sat, 20 Sep 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    The film Riot Club fictionalises the riotous behaviour of Oxford's notorious Bullingdon Club, whose members included David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson. Enda Walsh's new play Ballyturk starring Cillan Murphy and Stephen Rea has been compared to Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot. The novel Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud is a blend of fact and fiction which sees the architect Charles Mackintosh through the eyes of a 12 year old boy. Constable, the Making of a Master, a new exhibition at London's V&A, shows his work alongside the Old Masters whom he copied so fastidiously. The Driver, a new BBC One drama written by Danny Brocklehurst and starring David Morrissey, focuses on an ordinary man who due to a family mystery and frustration with his job and life, makes a terrible decision.

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  • Destiny, Pride, The Leftovers, Ali Smith, Horst, 13 Sep 14

    Sat, 13 Sep 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Destiny: the most expensive video game ever produced has just been released - a perfect excuse for us to explore the rich and diverse world of gaming. Pride is a lighthearted film about lesbian and gay groups from London who supported Welsh miners during the 84 miners' strike. - leading to an unexpectedly harmonious and fruitful relationship. What would America be like after a Rapture-like event if 2% of the population were taken into heaven and the rest are left behind? The Leftovers is a TV series that considers a post-rapture-like USA. Ali Smith's new novel is called How To Be Both - 2 complimentary self-contained stories that can be read in either order. The work of German American fashion photographer Horst is featured in a new exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

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  • The Children Act, Little Revolution, Watermark, Secrets, Bernd and Hilla Becher, 06 Sep 14

    Sat, 6 Sep 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Ian McEwan's new novel The Children Act deals with a young man who is suffering from leukaemia and the conflict between his parent's wishes and the authority of the State in the form of a high court judge. Little Revolution is a play by Alecky Blythe concerning the London riots of 2011 using a script drawn from verbatim interviews. Watermark is a film by photographer Edward Burtynsky about the world's most precious resource: H2O. The Secrets, a new mini drama series on BBC1 begins with a play about a mother who discovers she's dying of cancer and her relationship with her daughter. Bernd and Hilla Becher were a German husband and wife photographic duo who specialised in impartial pictures of industrial structures.

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  • Pitcairn, Martin Amis, The Moth, Obvious Child, Secret Life of Books, 30 Aug 14

    Sat, 30 Aug 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Martin Amis' latest novel The Zone of Interest deals with the Holocaust, but has riled some critics because of its light tone. Pitcairn is Richard "One Man, Two Guv'nors" Bean's new play dealing with the aftermath of The Mutiny on the Bounty. The Moth is a public storytelling event that started in America and is now coming to the UK ; "true stories told live". Obvious Child is a romcom film about abortion which has incurred the wrath of pro-lifers in the US; can it be a suitable topic for a humorous film? BBC TV's new series The Secret Life of Books examines original texts, manuscripts, letters and diaries to uncover the story behind the creation of six classic books.

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  • A selection of the best of the Edinburgh Festival 23 Aug 14

    Sat, 23 Aug 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    At the 2014 Edinburgh Festival: National Theatre of Scotland's production of a new history play looking at the Scottish Stuart kings - we've been to see James II. Front is a multilingual, multi sensory theatrical experience telling the stories of the First World War. Marion Cotillard's new film, directed by The Dardenne brothers is Two Days One Night; in order to try and save her own job, a woman has to persuade her work colleagues to forgo their annual bonus. The shameful history of colonisation and racial exploitation is explored in Exhibit B, an exhibition that has caused consternation and extreme reactions amongst those who have visited it. Sarah Waters' new novel The Paying Guests is set in 1920s London when a mother and daughter in reduced circumstances, take in tenants leading to complicated repercussions.

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  • Joseph O'Neill, Robin Wright, Jezebel, Match of The Day, Andrew Marr's Great Scots 16 Aug 14

    Sat, 16 Aug 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Joseph O'Neill's new book The Dog is a story of a New York Lawyer who accepts a job working for a rich college friend in Dubai, but he realises it's a very complicated role he's expected to play. Robin Wright plays a version of herself in The Congress; a live action/cartoon crossover movie directed by Ari Folman. Jezebel is a comedy by the Dublin-based Rough Magic Theatre Company in which a couple try to spice up their sex-lives with an awkward threesome which has unforeseen consequences. Match Of The Day is celebrating its 50th birthday and we've been watching a TV programme marking this anniversary. Andrew Marr's Great Scots - Writers Who Shaped a Nation is his tribute to three writers who helped to create the modern Scottish identity through their work and lives.

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  • My Night With Reg, Wakolda, Home Front, Kevin Eldon, The Art and Science of Exploration, 09 Aug 14

    Sat, 9 Aug 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    My Night With Reg was originally staged in 1994 and was the first British gay play to win a wide West End audience. It's now being revived at London's Donmar Warehouse. Wakolda is a film which tells the story of an Argentinian family who unwittingly shared their house with the Nazi war criminal Joseph Mengele without realising who he was. As part of Radio 4's commemorations of the centenary of World War 1, their biggest ever drama commission Home Front has just hit the airwaves. Kevin Eldon has written a mock-biography of his 'cousin', Paul Hamilton, a rather deluded uninspiring poet who doesn't let his own inadequacies stop his ambition and self-belief. The Art and Science of Exploration is an exhibition of work created by artists who accompanied Captain James Cook on his voyages around the globe in 18th Century.

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  • Secret Cinema, Gillian Anderson, Mood Indigo, Philip Hensher, Gomorrah, 02 Aug 14

    Sat, 2 Aug 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Gillian Anderson returns to London's West End playing Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo is one of his typically fantastical films, starring Audrey Tautou as a young woman who discovers a flower is growing inside her lungs. Secret Cinema is the new immersive form of cinema. Their latest production is the 1985 classic Back To The Future. Philip Hensher's new novel The Emperor Waltz threads several stories together, dealing with how an idea gains a hold in wider society. A new TV drama series - Gomorrah - looks at the Italian mafia. It's been an enormous hit in Italy but has the previously-toxic subject matter become less controversial nowadays?

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  • Medea, Joe, Our World War, DBC Pierre, Imperial War Museum, 26 Jul 14

    Sat, 26 Jul 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Helen McCrory plays Medea at London's National Theatre; a new take on the Greek tragedy. Nicolas Cage's new film Joe is a gritty blue collar tale of poverty and misery in rural Mississippi. The TV series Our World War imagines what our view of it would be like if the soldiers had modern recording technology like headcams. DBC Pierre's novel Breakfast With The Borgias is the story of a man isolated in a rather shabby guesthouse desperately trying to contact his girlfriend, who vividly discovers the truth behind Sartre's maxim that "Hell is other people". The Imperial War Museum in London has just reopened after a multi-million pound refit - making major structural changes and opening a new WW1 gallery.

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