Tom Sutcliffe and guests Boyd Tonkin, Kevin Jackson and Monique Roffey discuss the cultural highlights of the week including The Effect by Lucy Prebble which opens at London's National Theatre with Billie Piper in the leading role. Lucy Prebble is the award winning writer of Enron,which explored financial malpractice in one of America's largest corporations. In "The Effect" Prebble takes on more major themes: how society treats the mentally ill, what we understand about the brain and what are the effect of drugs upon our emotions, particularly on love.

Amour - or Love - is the title of Austrian director Michael Haneke's new film and won him his second Palme D'Or at Cannes this year, the first being for "The White Ribbon" in 2008. Starring octogenarians Jean-Louis Trintignant, for whom the film was written, and Emmanuelle Riva, the film explores the effect on the couple's relationship when Anne, played by Riva, suffers a series of incapacitating strokes. Isabelle Hupert plays their daughter Eva.

Internationally renowned author of "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" Oliver Sack's new book "Hallucinations" explores a phenomenon many people assume are only suffered by the insane. Sack's account reveals that hallucinations are linked to a variety of causes in people with no mental illness, including sensory deprivation, intoxication, fever, injury and migraine. Dr Sacks weaves together the stories of his patients and his own mind altering experiences to tell us more about the structure and organisation of our brains.

The Richard Harris Collection "Death A Self Portrait" opens at the Wellcome Institute in London and includes over 300 treasures from a unique collection devoted to our complex and contradictory attitudes towards death. Rare artists' prints are displayed together with anatomical illustrations and sentimental postcards, human remains join Renaissance vanitas paintings and Mexican papier-mache sculptures celebrating the Day of the Dead showing that death remains a source of powerful inspiration for many artists today.

And BBC Storyville, working with more than 70 broadcasters round the world, is hosting a debate about contemporary poverty with Why Poverty? A series of 8 ground breaking international documentaries screened in 180 countries to explore why, in the 21st century, a billion people still live in poverty.

Producer: Hilary Dunn.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Sat 17 Nov 2012 19:15

The Effect

The Effect continues at the National Theatre in London until February 23rd 2012.

Image above: Billie Piper as Connie in The Effect. Photo by Ellie Kurtz.

National Theatre: The Effect


Michael Haneke's film Amour is on release in selected cinemas nationwide, certificate 12A.


Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks is published by Picador.


Death A Self Portrait

The Richard Harris Collection. Death: A Self-Portrait continues at the Wellcome Collection until February 24th 2012. Entry is free.

Death: A Self-Portrait

Why Poverty?

In a series of films, BBC Four asks what it means to live in poverty in the 21st Century.

Why Poverty?

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