Saturday Review

Saturday Review


Presenter Tom Sutcliffe and guests offer sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events


The Children, The Wailing, Rillington Place, Penelope Lively, Victor Pasmore  

Young British playwright Lucy Kirkwood's latest play The Children opens at London's Royal Court Theatre: three old friends discussing the future after an unnamed disaster Korean horror drama film The Wailing has been gaining a lot of international attention - combining a ghost story and zombies and a police drama Tim Roth plays the serial murderer John Christie in BBC TV's Rillington Place. A three part series, it looks at the story from the points of view of Christie, his wife and the lodger who was wrongly hanged for the murders. Penelope Lively's latest collection of short stories is called "Purple Swamp Hen" There's a new exhibition in Nottingham of the work of the late Victor Pasmore, British abstract artist and educator Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Blake Morrison, Barb Jungr and Andrea Rose. The producer is Oliver Jones.

RSC's Tempest, Indignation, Divines, Zadie Smith, Design Museum  

The RSC's production latest Tempest features Simon Russell Beale as Prospero and has a holographic Ariel. Does cutting edge technology sit comfortably inside Shakespeare's play which is so full of magic? Philip Roth's novel Indignation, set in 1950's America is now a film. Dealing with social mores, the desire to rebel and how it affects the rebel Zadie Smith's latest novel Swing Time is a story of the long and complicated friendship between two girls whose lives diverge. Divines is a Cannes Award winning French film set in the banlieue where crime seems the only way out of the social structure The Design Museum has reopened at a new site in Kensington in London - formerly The Commonwealth Institute, it has cost £38m to adapt - does it impress? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Tom Holland, Sarah Crompton and Louise Jury. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Glenda Jackson as King Lear, The Innocents, Linda Grant, Elton John's photographs in Radical Eye, Close to the Enemy  

Glenda Jackson returns to the stage after 25 years as an MP to play the title role in King Lear at London's Old Vic Theatre. Is she a frail 80 year old or a commanding presence? French/Polish film The Innocents is based on a true story about a convent in post-war Poland where the nuns were raped by Soviet soldiers. Linda Grant's latest novel The Dark Circle tells the story of Lenny and Miriam, two east-enders convalescing in a TB sanatorium in 1940s Kent The Radical Eye, Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection is the new exhibition at London's Tate Modern. Pinner's favourite son has been purchasing work by the world's leading photographers for more than 2 decades and created one of the leading private collections in the world. Stephen Poliakoff's Close to the Enemy on BBC TV is set in London immediately after WWII as a special British Army unit tries to turn former Nazi scientists to work for 'us' now Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Rosie Boycott, Melissa Harrison and Ryan Gilbey. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Nocturnal Animals, Dead Funny, BBC's Black and British, Naomi Alderman, Emma Hamilton: seduction and celebrity  

Tom Ford's new thriller film Nocturnal Animals stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal A revival of terry Johnson's play Dead Funny opens at London's Vaudeville Theatre; does it live up to its name? David Olusoga presents BBC TV's Black and British part of a season of programmes under that title Naomi Alderman's novel The Power imagines a world in which women can conjure electrical charges from their hands - how does it change the gender power balance? Emma Hamilton - Seduction and Celebrity is a new exhibition in Greenwich looking at the life and career. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Rowan Pelling, Christopher Frayling and Helen Lewis. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Amadeus, Lo and Behold, A Horse Walks Into A Bar, Paul Nash, The Moonstone  

There's a revival of Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus at London's National Theatre. It's the story of Mozart's supposed rivalry with fellow composer Salieri and it has a live orchestra on stage accompanying and acting in the play Werner Herzog's latest film Lo and Behold considers the history and future, the successes and failures of the world wide web Israeli author David Grossman's novel A Horse Walks Into A Bar is a story about an edgy stand-up comedian who's playing strange confessional games with his audience Tate Britain has an exhibition of the work of Paul Nash, from his times as a war artist in both world wars and his surrealist paintings to his less well known assemblages The BBC's new period drama has been in the planning stages for a long time; The Moonstone is based on Wilkie Collins' novel, acknowledged as the first and greatest of English Detective novels. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Abigail Morris, Rajan Datar and Maev Kennedy. The producer is Oliver Jones.

David Hare, Ken Loach, The Young Pope, Sebastian Barry, Yves Klein  

David Hare's latest play The Red Barn is an adaptation of a Georges Simenon thriller now at London's National Theatre Ken Loach's new film I Daniel Blake is a typically hard-hitting reflection on the political state of modern Britain. It won this year's Palme d'Or, will it win over the reviewers? The Young Pope is a new series from Sky Atlantic starring Jude Law as the first American pontiff; new, controversial and unconventional Pope Pius XIII (born Lenny Belardo) Award-winning Irish novelist Sebastian Barry's newest work Days Without End is set in 1850s America following soldiers fighting in the Indian Wars and then in the Civil War. We visit the Yves Klein retrospective at Tate Liverpool. He was a leading member of the Nouveau Realisme movement (and invented his own shade of blue) before dying at the age of 34 Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Shahidha Bari, Demetrios Matheou and Polly Samson.

One Night in Miami, The Mountaintop, Black Mirror, Ali Smith, Beyond Caravaggio  

We're looking at two plays about black America this week: Kemp Powers' One Night In Miami imagines a meeting in 1964 between boxer Cassius Clay, activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke & American Football star Jim Brown as they decide how they can each change the world. Katori Hall's The Mountaintop is set 4 year's later and imagines Rev Martin Luther King's last night alive, in a hotel room in Memphis Charlie Brooker's distopian TV show Black Mirror was a huge success when it began on Channel 4. The new series has moved on to Netflix - a different scale of budget and a different audience. Can it have the same effect? Ali Smith's Autumn is the first in a quartet of seasonal novels. It imagines a contemporary Britain struggling to deal with its identity London's National Gallery's Beyond Caravaggio exhibition explores the influence of Caravaggio on the art of his contemporaries and followers. Razia Iqbal's guests Emma Dabiri, Ekow Eshun and Hardeep Singh Kohli. The producer is Oliver Jones.

The Girl on The Train, Travesties, Picasso Portraits, Nicotine, Divorce  

The Girl on The Train starring British actress Emily Blunt is based on Paula Hawkins's best selling thriller which has sold more than 10 million copies world wide. The film is set in New York, rather than London, and explores the voyeuristic obsessions of its alcoholic central character as she observes her former neighbourhood from a train window on her daily commute. Tom Stoppard wrote Travesties in 1974, inspired by the true story of James Joyce's involvement in a production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest in Zurich in 1917. A revival at the Menier Chocolate Factory is directed by Patrick Marber and stars Tom Hollander as Henry Carr the British consular official who played Algernon and fell out with Joyce during the production. A major exhibition of portraits by Pablo Picasso opens at the National Portrait Gallery, with over 80 portraits by the artist in all media including the Cubist portrait from 1910 of the German art dealer and early champion of Picasso's work Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. In Nicotine by Nell Zing - whose work is admired by Jonathan Franzen - the author sets her third novel in a house in New Jersey inhabited by a group of anarchist smokers, united in defense of their right to smoke. When Penny Baker inherits the house from her father she becomes enmeshed in the political fervor and commitment of her fellow squatters. And in Divorce, a new Sky Atlantic TV drama written by Sharon Horgan, Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Frances, a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and her marriage, and finds that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Kamila Shamsie, Tim Lott and Charlotte Mullins. The producer was Hilary Dunn.

Free State of Jones, Abstract Expressionism, Transit, Crisis in Six Scenes, Villette  

Free State of Jones is an American war film inspired by the life of Newton Knight and his armed rebellion against the Confederacy in Jones County, Mississippi, during the American Civil War. Written and directed by Gary Ross, the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali and Keri Russell. Crisis in Six Scenes is Woody Allen's first television series. Made for Amazon Studios it also stars Miley Cyrus and Elaine May and is set during the turbulent years of the late 1960s in the USA. The Royal Academy of Arts in London presents the first major exhibition of Abstract Expressionism to be held in the UK for six decades and features work by Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still amongst many others. Award winning writer Rachel Cusk's new novel Transit documents a writer and her two young sons moving to London following a family collapse. There are many transitions to negotiate - personal, moral, artistic, practical as the writer endeavours to construct a new reality for herself and her children. Marking the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte's birth, her novel Villette is brought to life in a striking new adaptation for the Courtyard Theatre in Leeds. Yorkshire writer Linda Marshall-Griffiths reimagines Charlotte Brontë's ground-breaking novel whilst remaining true to its unique insights into loneliness, yearning and the redemptive power of love. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Katie Puckrik, Alex Clark and Francis Spufford. The producer was Hilary Dunn.

Robert Harris: Conclave, When Father Comes Home From The Wars, Little Men, Damned, The Infinite Mix  

Robert Harris's latest novel, Conclave is about the appointment of a new pope and all the rivalry and ambition that goes on behind the scenes When Father Comes Home From The Wars at London's Royal Court Theatre is the story of a slave in Texas in 1862 who has to fight alongside those who support slavery Little Men tells the story of 2 boys growing up in New York whose friendship grows as their relationship between their respective parents deteriorates Channel 4's new comedy series (more bitter than sweet) Damned features Jo Brand and Alan Davies as jaded social workers try to cope with circumstances beyond their control London's Hayward Gallery is currently closed for repairs, so they've opened a pop-up gallery nearby, showing ten audiovisual installations in an abandoned office space: The Infinite Mix exhibition Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Jonathan Beckman, Alice Jones and Susannah Clapp. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Hunt for The Wilderpeople, Eimear McBride, Bedlam, National Treasure, Dr Faustus  

New Zealand's most successful home grown film ever reaches the UK: Hunt for The Wilderpeople is a story about identity, intergenerational friendship and loss in the bush Eimear McBride's first published novel won an array of literary prizes. Her follow-up The Lesser Bohemians is told in a similar style - will it attract a similarly delighted critical response? Bedlam: The Asylum and Beyond is a new exhibition at London's Wellcome Collection which looks at how the legacy of Bethlem Hospital has shaped the mental health landscape in this country National Treasure on Channel 4 is a drama that imagines a well-known TV personality coming under suspicion for historical sexual abuse allegations Which actor plays Faustus and which plays Mephistophilis in the RSC's production of Dr Faustus at The Barbican is decided live onstage each night in a unique way. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Louise Doughty, John Mullan and Catherine O'Flynn. The producer is Oliver Jones.

V+A Revolution, Hell or High Water, Jonathan Safran Foer, Inn At Lydda, BBC TV comedy pilots  

Jeff Bridges stars as a Texas Ranger on the hunt for a couple of bank robber brothers in a modern day western Hell or High Water Jonathan Safran Foer's Here I Am combines a domestic breakdown with an international world-shattering incident. London's V+A Museum's new exhibition You Say You Want A Revolution looks at global changes between 1966 -1970 when the world seemed to be be in a state of political upheaval The Globe Theatre's new production, The Inn At Lydda is an imagining of Tiberius Caesar's journey to meet Jesus. But he arrives just after the crucifixion The BBC is celebrating 60 years since Tony Hancock's TV sitcom debut with a clutch of comedy pilots - are they a continuation of a noble tradition or a pale imitation? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Philip Hensher, Kate Williams and Muriel Zhaga. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Ian McEwan, Sausage Party, Reading gaol, The Entertainer, The Collection  

Ian McEwan's latest novel Nutshell tells the story from the point of view of a foetus. Sausage Party is the sweariest, most vulgar cartoon film you will ever have seen. From the imagination of Seth Rogen, it imagines the world of sentient food Artangel's project 'Inside- artists and writers in Reading Prison' is staged at the gaol where Oscar Wilde was incarcerated. It features work by contemporary artists reflecting on the themes of imprisonment and separation. Kenneth Branagh reprises another role associated with Laurence Olivier; playing Archie Rice in John Osbourne's The Entertainer. He can't escape the comparisons but can he live up to expectations? The Collection is a new TV drama series dealing with the not-so-glamorous world of haute couture.

Groundhog Day, Almodovar, The Night Of..., Peter Ho Davies, Oxford Modern Art  

Tim Minchin's latest musical Groundhog Day is his follow-up to the best-selling triumph of Matilda. Based on the hit film, will this also be a hit? Pedro Almodovar's 20th film, Julieta, is based on 3 short stories by Alice Munro. It was intended as his English language debut to star Meryl Streep. HBO's new TV-noir series The Night Of... tells the story of a Pakistani-American who - after a night of drug-fuelled sex - awakes to discover a corpse and is accused of the murder. Peter Ho Davies' novel The Fortunes tells 4 tales of Chinese-Americans through the 20th and 21st centuries Kaleidoscope: It's Me To The World, is the newest exhibition at Modern Art Oxford. Celebrating 50 years of contemporary art, performance and experimental visual culture Tom Sutcliffe's guests are David Hepworth, Kit Davis and Susan Jeffreys. The producer is Oliver Jones.

From the Edinburgh Festivals: The best of theatre, literature, comedy, surrealist artists, Tickled film and Herman Koch  

From the Edinburgh Festivals: Tom Sutcliffe and his guests discuss their selection of what's on offer this year. The National Theatre of Scotland's Anything That Gives off Light and Cheek by Jowl's Russian language Measure for Measure Hermann Koch's new novel Dear Mr M, Surrealist Encounters at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art The documentary film Tickled about the peculiar, secretive world of competitive tickling which has surprising menace lurking beneath the surface. Also the guests present their personal choices from the enormous range of art on offer across the city Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Denise Mina, Louise Welsh and Stuart Kelly. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Wiener-Dog, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, The Summer That Melted Everything, The Hunterian Collection, Ingrid Bergman  

Todd Solondz's latest film Wiener Dog has been described as uniquely misanthropic; will our panellists agree? The National Theatre of Scotland's production: Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour , written by Lee "Billy Elliot" Hall, arrives in London after a national tour and before it heads to Australia. There's plenty of profanity but is there any profundity? Tiffany McDaniel's The Summer That Melted Everything is a first novel about the time The Devil came to visit a small southern US town. The Hunterian Collection at London's Royal College of Surgeons is an unrivalled collections of human and non-human anatomical and pathological specimens, models, instruments, painting and sculptures that reveal the art and science of surgery from the 17th century to the present day. Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words is a new look at the actress whose life scandalised old Hollywood. What does it tell us about fame today. Sarah Crompton's guests are Natalie Haynes, Amanda Craig and Jake Arnott. The producer is Oliver Jones. (Main image: Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. L-R Caroline Deyga (Chell), Kirsty MacLaren (Manda), Melissa Allan (Orla), Frances Mayli McCann (Kylah), Dawn Sievewright (Fionnula), Karen Fishwick (Kay). Photo by Manuel Harlan).

Harry Potter, The Carer, Baz Luhrmann's The Get Down, Clive James, The Knives  

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is London's biggest theatre event of 2016 and probably the decade. J K Rowling revisits her famed creations 19 years after the books ended. Brian Cox plays a revered aging actor at the end of his career and possibly his life in The Carer; a British comedy about fame, mortality, love and incontinence Film director Baz Luhrmann's has a Netflix TV series The Get Down which dramatises the origins of hip hop Clive James' latest book is about the phenomenon of the Box Set. Called Play All, it examines the joys and problems of binge-watching The Knives by Richard T Kelly is a novel set in the corridors of power; following a Home Secretary dealing with matters of domestic terror and family discord Sarah Crompton's guests are Bidisha, Rosie Goldsmith and Benedict Nightingale. The Producer is Oliver Jones.

The Commune, The Plough and the Stars, The Tidal Zone, Britain's Pompeii, Illuminated manuscripts  

Thomas Vinterberg's film The Commune draws on his own communal upbringing in Denmark. How does such intimate living affect close relationships Sean O'Casey's play The Plough and The Stars is revived at London's Lyttleton Theatre, based around Ireland's Easter Uprising of 1916 Sarah Moss's novel The Tidal Zone is a story of parental love BBC4's programme Britain's Pompeii explores a bronze age fenland village, recently unearthed by archeologists, which revealed substantial new information about its inhabitants The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is marking its 200th anniversary with an exhibition of stunning Illuminated manuscripts Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Joe Dunthorne, Stella Duffy and Lisa Appignanesi. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Spielberg's The BFG, Adam Haslett's Imagine Me Gone, Eggleston portraits, LaBute's Some Girls  

The biggest film maker in contemporary Hollywood takes on a much-loved story by a master story teller. Stephen Spielberg directs Roald Dahl's The BFG. Adam Haslett's novel Imagine Me Gone deals with an unhappy family trying to find happiness stability and normality. An new exhibition of photographic portraits by William Eggleston provides an insight into his home life. Previously untitled works have now had the sitters identified, lending a new twist to the pictures Some Girls by Neil LaBute is revived at London's Park Theatre. It's an examination of fragile male psyche with ulterior motives Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Sathnam Sanghera, Alice Rawsthorn and Barb Jungr. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Ghostbusters, Unreachable, Kei Miller, Liverpool Biennial, Secret Agent  

The remaking of Ghostbusters in 2016 has 4 women taking the leading roles and it has caused consternation among devotees of the original film. What on earth is all the fuss about? Is it just a bunch of sexist fanboys determined not to enjoy it because girls are involved? Matt Smith plays a perfectionist film director in Unreachable, a new play at London's Royal Court Theatre. Kei Miller's novel Augustown is set in a lightly-fictionalised version of the real Jamaican town of the same name, involving flying prophets and civil unrest This year's Liverpool Biennial has a typically eclectic selection of artists and venues; what caught the eye of our reviewers? BBC TV has a new adaptation of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, starring Toby Jones and Vicky McClure. Sarah Crompton's guests are Naomi Alderman, Kathryn Hughes and Giles Fraser. The producer is Oliver Jones.

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