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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 12 March 2011

Tom Sutcliffe and his guests creative director of the Royal Opera House Deborah Bull, poet Cahal Dallat and writer Miranda Sawyer review the cultural highlights of the week including Doug Liman's film Fair Game.

Doug Liman's film Fair Game is based on the true story of Valerie Plame (played by Naomi Watts) - a CIA agent whose cover was blown by White House insiders after her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), questioned the evidence that the Bush administration had used as justification for invading Iraq.

Blithe Spirit was one of Noel Coward's greatest successes. In Thea Sharrock's production of the play at the Apollo Theatre in London, Alison Steadman plays Madame Arcati - the medium who brings chaos to Charles Condomine's life when she summons up the spirit of his first wife.

Sean O'Brien's last collection of poetry - The Drowned Book - won both the Forward and TS Eliot prizes when it was published in 2007. His new collection is called November and the voice remains nostalgic, elegiac and distinctively northern.

Jean Antoine Watteau is celebrated as a painter, but his drawings are even more remarkable, demonstrating his mastery of the three crayon technique. Watteau: The Drawings at the Royal Academy in London is the first major exhibition of his drawings to be held in the UK.

Michael Faber's best-selling novel The Crimson Petal and The White was billed as the first great 19th century novel of the 21st century. Now adapted for television by Lucinda Coxon, the four part series on BBC2 stars Romola Garai as the ambitious and erudite prostitute Sugar.


  • Blithe Spirit

    Blithe Spirit is at the Apollo Theatre in London until June 18th.

    Photograph by Manual Harlan

    The Apollo Theatre website
  • Fair Game

    Fair Game is on general release, certificate 12A.

  • November by Sean O'Brien

    November by Sean O'Brien is published by Picador.

  • Watteau: The Drawings

    Watteau: The Drawings is at the Royal Academy in London until 5th June.

    More details from the Royal Academy website
  • The Crimson Petal and the White

    The Crimson Petal and the White begins on BBC Two next month.


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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