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A Life of Galileo at Stratford; Maggie O'Farrell's latest novel

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 16 February 2013

A Life of Galileo is Mark Ravenhill's adaptation for the RSC of Brecht's play which has just opened at the Swan at Stratford, directed by Roxana Silbert. The news of the Pope's resignation has given the play an extraordinary timeliness.

Maggie O'Farrell won the Costa Novel Award for The Hand that First Held Mine. Her latest novel, Instructions for a Heatwave, is set in the intense temperatures of summer 1976. The Riordan family, of Irish origin, find themselves torn apart when their father Robert goes out one day to buy a paper and doesn't come back.

The Bride and the Bachelors is the title of an exhibition at the Barbican which combines visual arts, live and recorded performance. It's an exploration of the interaction between Marcel Duchamp and some of those he influenced in America: John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.

V, Tony Harrison's powerful and expletive-heavy poem published in 1985, was inspired by the graffiti he discovered on his parents' gravestones in Beeston, Leeds. It is about to be read by the author on Radio 4. When it was televised on Channel 4 it triggered an early day motion in the House of Commons. What will the reaction be nearly 30 years on?

And Keanu Reeves takes on the role of interviewer in a new documentary about the future of film as it moves from celluloid to digital: Side by Side. Will celluloid survive? And what are the possibilities opened up by the move to digital?

Presenter Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Kit Davis, Kevin Jackson and Bidisha to review. Producer: Sarah Johnson.

  • The Bride and the Bachelors

    The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns continues at the Barbican in London until 9th June 2013

    Image Above: Visitor looks at the work Fountain (1950 replica of 1917 original) by Marcel Duchamp. Installation shot © Felix Clay 2013.  Courtesy of Barbican Art Gallery

    The Bride and the Bachelors
  • A Life of Galileo

    A Life of Galileo continues at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon until the 30th of March 2013

    A Life of Galileo

  • Instructions for a Heatwave

    Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell is published by Tinder Press.

    Instructions for a Heatwave

  • Side by Side

    Side by Side is in cinemas in key cities, certificate 15

    Side by Side

  • V

    Restless is on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 18th  February at 11pm.



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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