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)

  • 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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  • Malevich, Importance Of Being Earnest, Norte, Silicon Valley, David Flusfeder 19 Jul 14

    Sat, 19 Jul 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    A new exhibition of work by Russian painter Kasimir Malevich follows his career from early representational work through his cubo-futurist phase to his creation of the concept of suprematism and back to figurative art. There's a revival of Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest, with an old aged all-star cast including Nigel Havers and Martin Jarvis. Filipino film Norte: The End of History, is loosely based on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and has been hailed as a masterpiece by many critics. New US TV sitcom Silicon Valley revolves around the lives of a bunch of internet start-up nerds. The work of Mike Judge, it's already been nominated for 5 Emmys. David Flusfeder's John The Pupil is a novel that purports to be the long lost diary of a 13th century monk and his companions as they journey from England to deliver a package from their Friar to The Pope in Viterbo.

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  • Boyhood, Linda Grant, Intimate Apparel, People Just Do Nothing, Sikhs in WW1, 12 Jul 14

    Sat, 12 Jul 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Richard Linklater's film, Boyhood, was filmed over 12 years, so the actors / characters age in real time. When production began, the lead actor was 6 and it follows him as he progresses towards adulthood. Linda Grant's novel Upstairs At The Party is about a group of friends at a northern university in the 1970s and how their lives are changed by a personal catastrophe. Intimate Apparel is a play set in 1905, that tells the story of Esther, an African American seamstress who moved from North Carolina to New York City to seek her fortune. BBC 3's People Just Do Nothing is a comedy set in a London pirate radio station and its cheerfully deluded team of enthusiastic idiots. A new exhibition at SOAS in London chronicles the role of Sikh soldiers in The First World War.

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  • Great Britain, The Beatles, Jimmy McGovern, Liverpool Biennial, The Iceberg, 05 July 14

    Sat, 5 Jul 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Great Britain is written by Richard Bean, directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars Billie Piper as an unscrupulous tabloid newspaper editor who is in the middle of a web of corruption involving phone hacking, politicians, the press and police. It's 50 years since The Beatles made their big screen debut with A Hard Day's Night. Considered a lightweight thing by many when it was released, it has been hailed as one of the best rock and roll films of all time. Jimmy McGovern's reputation as a TV dramatist is second to none; his latest work, Common, addresses what he sees as the injustice of the law of joint enterprise. Marion Coutts' book The Iceberg, is about the diagnosis from cancer and death of her husband Tom Lubbock. July sees the 8th Liverpool Biennial, 'an exhibition about our habits habitats and the objects images relationships and activities that constitute our immediate surroundings'.What does that mean?

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  • Cold in July, Richard Flanagan novel, Dennis Hopper exhibition, Honourable Woman TV, 28 Jun 14

    Sat, 28 Jun 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Cold in July is a film starring Michael C Hall set in 1980s America, telling the story of a man who kills an intruder in his home and then begins to think the local police might not be telling the truth about the victim. Richard Flanagan's novel The Narrow Road To The Deep North is a depiction of the appalling conditions endured by Australasian POWs in Japan during World War 2. Dennis Hopper is best known as a unique edgy film actor - Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, The Last Movie and many more, but an exhibition at The Royal Academy in London looks at his photographic work. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in a TV drama The Honourable Woman, playing a British spy involved in middle east politics. Idomeneus at London's Gate Theatre is a reimagining of the Greek myth about a returning hero who makes a promise to the gods and is then faced with a dreadful ultimatum.

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  • The Fault In Our Stars, The Silkworm, Making Stalin Laugh, and Making Colour 21 Jun 14

    Sat, 21 Jun 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    The Fault In Our Stars is the screen adaptation of John Green's best selling young adult novel about a pair of love struck teenagers both of whom are terminally ill with cancer. A second novel from Robert Galbraith - aka JK Rowling - The Silkworm merges an old fashioned detective story with Jacobean tragedy, whilst providing insight into literary London. David Schneider's new play Making Stalin Laugh - tells the story of the Moscow State Yiddish Theatre which in the 1920s was one of the most respected in the world. Making Colour was developed from the National Gallery's own internationally recognised Scientific Department's work into how artists historically overcame the technical challenges in creating colour. And The Human Factor: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture brings together major works by leading international artists who have fashioned new ways of using the human form in sculpture over the past 25 years.

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  • Mr Burns, Folk Art, Belle, In The Light Of What We Know 14 Jun 14

    Sat, 14 Jun 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Mr Burns is a play about an America without electrical power, the end of everything in contemporary USA - when the TV programme The Simpsons has passed into folklore. Folk art has often been neglected in the story of British art but a new exhibition at Tate Britain attempts to set that right. British film Belle explores racial attitudes in 19th Century aristocratic circles through the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy officer. In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman deals with betrayal, revenge, love, faith, science and war through the relationship between two men across Kabul, New York, Oxford, London and Islamabad. And we look at how the British newspapers are dealing with the World Cup - not the matches and the scores but their depiction of the host country, the preparations, atmosphere, heat and unrest.

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