Saturday Review

Saturday Review

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

  • Updated:
    Weekly
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Recent episodes (10)

  • 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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  • Whiplash, Foxcatcher, Daniel Kitson's Tree, Cucumber Banana Tofu, Lucy Wood's Weathering 10 Jan 2015

    Sat, 10 Jan 15

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Two films about tyrannical mentors, being talked of as Oscar-worthy. Foxcatcher has comedian Steve Carrel playing a straight role as a millionaire wrestling coach and Whiplash, about a young drummer who wants to be the best. Comic performer and writer Daniel Kitson has a unique approach to fame and publicity: basically avoiding it when possible. His new play Tree, is a double hander with Tim Key, will it bring him unwanted attention? Russell T Davies wrote Queer as Folk and then took Dr Who to its current golden era. His latest project Cucumber Banana Tofu is a TV series about sex. A mix of dramas about modern gay relationships, short narratives about love and sex and factual programmes about sex. Award-winning author Lucy Wood's novel Weathering is a story about a grandmother, mother and daughter of the same family coping with growing up, together, and apart. Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Adam Mars-Jones, Susan Jeffreys & Louise Doughty. Produced by Oliver Jones

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  • Birdman, 10:04 by Ben Lerner; Golem at The Young Vic; Crisis TV drama; Kentucky Route Zero computer game 3 Jan 15

    Sat, 3 Jan 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Birdman starring Michael Keaton is director Alejandro G Inarritu's first comedy and hotly tipped for Academy Awards: does it live up to the hype? 10:04 by Ben Lerner is the poet and novelist’s 2nd work of fiction which probes the reality of his own life and so raises questions about the nature of fiction itself. Golem - on at the Young Vic and staged by the 1927 theatre company. It combines performance and live music with handcrafted animation and film. Inspired by Meyrink's The Golem published in 1915 - the play challenges our current obsession with technological gadgets. Crisis is a new drama on UKTV Watch channel starring Gillian Anderson and revolves around a mass kidnapping of teenagers on a school bus – the children of America's rich and powerful elite. And Kentucky Route Zero, an innovative point and click computer game in 5 acts which employs storytelling and graphics to involve the player in the character's choices - how entertaining and different is it?

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  • V+A Cast Court, Big Eyes, City of Angels, Kureishi/Murakami/AN Wilson, Mapp and Lucia 20 Dec 14

    Sat, 20 Dec 14

    Duration:
    42 mins

    London's V+A Museum has reopened the Weston Cast Court,housing lifesize casts of statuary & artefacts from around Europe. It includes the museum's largest items, can it draw their largest crowds? Larry Gelbart's City of Angels is revived at London's Donmar Warehouse. A musical which garnered awards galore 25 years ago in its original run, will this production be a winner? Tim Burton's new film Big Eyes is about 1960s housewife Margaret Keane whose paintings of waifs with enormous dark eyes were wildly commercially successful. Small Books: We look at 3 very short works. Hanif Kureishi, Haruki Murakami and AN Wilson all have stories to tell, that they feel are best-suited to new diminutive formats. The BBC has remade EF Benson's Mapp and Lucia in sumptuous style; is it a new classic? Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Meg Rosoff, Deborah Moggach and John Carey. The producer is Oliver Jones

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