King Lear, Llewyn Davis, Jonathan Lethem
The role of King Lear is famously difficult - by the time an actor reaches an age where he has the gravitas, he may be too old to cope with the physical and emotional demands. Simon Russell Beale plays Shakespeare's monarch in the latest production at The National Theatre in London, but - at 52 years old - is he too young to be playing an old, deranged king?
Inside Llewyn Davis is The Coen Brothers look at the folk music scene in New York's Greenwich Village, just before Bob Dylan came along and the world took notice. Following the eponymous fictional singer songwriter (and a cat - or is it two cats?) as he tries unsuccessfully to work within the music scene of the time, the film has been much-praised, but is that good or just reviewers afraid to stand against the general opinion?
Jonathan Lethem's latest novel - Dissident Gardens - chronicles a similar period and location; three generations of a New York migrant family steeped in radical politics. How do the actions of each generation affect those that follow?
Programmes on television about food are an increasingly popular genre - there's even a whole network dedicated to it. Two new programmes; Restaurant Man and My Kitchen Rules - are hoping they can create a show with enough of a new twist to grab the attention of gastronomic couch potatoes. Will these two hit the spot?
And a new exhibition at London's Design Museum takes a look at work in progress. In The Making considers items that are on their way to completion - have you ever wondered what an unwound French Horn looks like? or an incomplete lightbulb, or a football boot? or even a brick? or a £2 coin? Will this exhibition fully satisfy our reviewers?
Inside Llewyn Davis
Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem is published by Jonathan Cape, part of Vintage Publishing, on 16 January 2014.