Tom Sutcliffe and his guests novelist Lionel Shriver and writers Ekow Eshun and Misha Glenny review the week's cultural highlights including Collaborators by John Hodge.
John Hodge's new play Collaborators at the National Theatre stars Simon Russell Beale as Stalin and Alex Jennings as Bulgakov. It's 1938 and Bulgakov has agreed to write a play about Stalin's youth in order to increase the likelihood of his play about Moliere being performed, but it turns out to be a Faustian pact.
Miranda July's film The Future begins with a voice-over from an injured cat in a rescue centre. This is the cat that Sophie (July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) have decided to adopt and which precipitates a crisis in their relationship when they struggle to adapt to this new responsibility. The film also features a talking moon and a self-propelling T shirt.
The Beautiful Indifference is novelist and poet Sarah Hall's first collection of short stories. All feature female protagonists who are experiencing some sense of loss and several are firmly rooted in the language and landscape of Hall's native Cumbria.
Ghosts of Gone Birds is an exhibition organised by the film-maker Ceri Levy with the intention of raising awareness about the threat to endangered bird species and to raise funds for a campaign to prevent future extinctions. It contains work by the wide range of artists and writers that Levy approached including a roomful of birds - some imaginary, some real - by Ralph Steadman and a Great Auk knitted by Margaret Atwood.
Life's Too Short is Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's new comedy on BBC2, starring Warwick Davis as the subject of a reality soap following the day to day life of a dwarf actor. It also features cameos from Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp, Sting and Helena Bonham Carter.
Producer: Torquil MacLeod.