24/03/2012

Tom Sutcliffe and his guests actress Fiona Shaw, playwright Mark Ravenhill and writer Susan Jeffreys review the week's cultural highlights including The Master and Margarita.

The Master and Margarita is Simon McBurney's theatrical adaptation of the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. The ambitious Complicite production at the Barbican stars Paul Rhys as both The Master - a writer driven mad by the opposition to his unpublished novel - and Satan, who visits 1930s Moscow with his demonic retinue.

In Greg Baxter's debut novel The Apartment the narrator is an American veteran of the Iraqi War who has moved to an unnamed northern European city. Over the course of a freezing winter day he and Saskia - who may or may not be his girlfriend - cross the city, trying to find him an apartment. As the day progresses his memories of his time in Iraq begin to indicate why he has moved to an unfamiliar city where he can find anonymity.

Jean- Pierre and Luc Dardenne's film The Kid With A Bike won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes last year. It stars Thomas Doret as an 11 year old who is abandoned in a children's home by his father, but is befriended by a hairdresser ( Cecile de France) who he runs into by chance. He is single-minded in his desire to track down both his father and his bike.

Kensington Palace in London is a royal residence which has just reopened its public areas following a £12 million renovation programme. Among the improvements is a permanent exhibition - Victoria Revealed - which traces the monarch's life in her own words from her childhood in the house, to her first meeting with her Privy Council as monarch in the Red Saloon and her first sight of Prince Albert on the staircase. There have also been major changes to the exhibits in the King's and Queen's State Apartments.

The Syndicate is a new 5 part drama for BBC1 by Kay Mellor. It focuses on a group of five supermarket workers in Leeds who win £18 million on the lottery. It stars Timothy Spall and each of the five episodes is from the viewpoint of one of the winners.

Producer: Torquil MacLeod.

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45 minutes

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Sat 24 Mar 2012 19:15