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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 10 July 2010

Tom Sutcliffe and his guests writer and filmmaker James Runcie, novelist Dreda Say Mitchell and director of the ICA Ekow Eshun review the week's cultural highlights including Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis and La Bete at the Comedy Theatre, London

Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley star in David Hirson's play La Bete at the Comedy Theatre in London. The intellectual dramatist Elomire is appalled when his royal patron forces him to collaborate with the boorish buffoon Valere.

25 years after his debut novel Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis has written a sequel - Imperial Bedrooms. The book's narrator, Clay, has returned to Los Angeles from New York to find his old friends are involved in some less appealing aspects of the movie business.

Kristin Scott Thomas plays Suzanne, a bourgeois housewife, in Catherine Corsini's film Leaving. Suzanne falls for a Spanish builder but finds that there is no escaping her husband's retribution.

In Grandma's House - a new sitcom on BBC2 - television presenter Simon Amstell plays a television presenter called Simon who wants to make a career change. This news does not go down very well with his family, including his mother played by Rebecca Front.

Before John Singer Sargent became a celebrated society portrait painter, he was drawn to maritime subjects and seascapes. The exhibition Sargent and the Sea at the Royal Academy in London brings together over 70 of these works, from this formative period in the artist's career.

Producer Torquil MacLeod.


    La Bete is at the Comedy Theatre in London until 4th September when it transfers to Broadway.

    Comedy Theatre


    Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis is published by Picador

    Bret Easton Ellis


    Leaving is on selected release, certificate 15.



    Grandma’s House, starring Simon Amstell, will begin next month on BBC Two.



    Sargent and the Sea is at the Royal Academy in London until 26th September. Admission £10 with the usual concessions.

    Royal Academy


Arts & Culture selection

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A selection of highlights from arts and culture programmes.

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    Saturday Review

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

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