Saturday Review

Saturday Review

Australia

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

Episodes

RSC's Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, The Eyes of my Mother, David Vann, BBC's Decline and Fall  

The RSC is staging Shakepeare's Roman plays, beginning with Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra - how have they made them chime for today's audiences? The debut film from American director Nicolas Pesce The Eyes of my Mother is a black and white gothic tale of murder, home-invasion incest, necrophilia, abduction, imprisonment, involuntary surgery..I could go on, but I think you've probably got the idea by now. Is it any good? David Vann's new novel is Bright Air Black, a poetic prose retelling of the Medea story. BBC TV had adapted Evelyn Waugh's Decline & Fall as a 3 part series starring Jack Whitehall - do our reviewers think a good job has been done with a classic novel? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Christopher Frayling, Kathryn Hughes and Alice Jones. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Griff Rhys Jones in The Miser, Personal Shopper, George Saunders, Michelangelo and Sebastiano, Carnage  

Griff Rhys Jones plays the title rol in a freely adapted production of Moliere's The Miser Personal Shopper stars Kristen Stewart as a young woman trying to communicate with her dead twin brother beyond the veil President Abraham Lincoln never overcame his grief at the death of his son Willie and American novelist George Saunders has written Lincoln In The Bardo which explores how he tried to cope An exhibition of works by Michelangelo & Sebastiano at London's National Gallery explores the two artists mutually supportive and inspiring relationship Simon Amstell has created Carnage, a mockumentary from the future looking at the rise of veganism. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Mark Ravenhill, Rosie Boycott and Melissa Harrison. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Viceroy's House, Hamlet, Jake Arnott, Photography on BBC TV, Serpentine Gallery  

Gurinder Chadha's film Viceroy's House mixes a love story with the history of Indian Partition Andrew Scott plays The Dane in The Almeida Theatre's latest production of Hamlet The Fatal Tree is Jake Arnott's newst novel, set in 18th century London, written in street slang of the time and telling a true story about a married criminal couple of the time BBC TV's Britain In Focus is a series looking at the history of photography in The UK, at the professional and personal level The Serpentine Gallery has an exhibition of work by Zambian-born British conceptual artist John Latham Tom Sutcliffe's guests are John Tusa, Bidisha and Laura Ashe. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Twelfth Night, It's Only the End of the World, America after the Fall at RA, Big Little Lies, Ross Raisin  

Tamsin Greig has been gender-blind cast as Malvolia in The National Theatre's production of Twelfth Night. Does it work or is it an interesting novelty Quebecois film director Xavier Dolan's latest film It's Only The End Of The World was booed when it won The Grand Prix at last year's Cannes Festival and some reviewers have described it as "disappointing" "excruciating" and "deeply unsatisfying". What will our panel make of it? America After The Fall is an exhibition at London's Royal Academy which looks at painting in the USA in the 1930s, responding to social change and economic anxiety. HBO's Big Little Lies is a new TV series with an all star cast and a grubby tale of the dirt that lies beneath modern glamour Ross Raisin's new novel A Natural is about a young footballer whose dreams of reaching the upper leagues are rapidly fading and whose identity is conflicted. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Russell Kane, Abigail Morris and Susan Jeffreys. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Revolution at the RA, Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Moonlight, Idaho by Emily Ruskovich, SS-GB  

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-32 is an exhibition at the Royal Academy where the title tells you what to expect but what surprises and delights lie in wait for visitors? Dan Gillespie Sells - lead songwriter with pop group The Feeling - has written a musical: Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Opening at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, it's about a northern working class lad who decides to escape his humdrum life by adopting a drag persona. A bit like Billy Elliott in a dress? Moonlight is the Oscar-touted film looking at the experience of a gay African American boy growing up to become a man and his struggle with identity fulfilment and happiness Emily Ruskovich's novel Idaho tells the story of how violence within a family wrenches it apart, through multiple perspectives and timeshifts. BBC TV has adapted Len Deighton's novel SS-GB; what would the UK have been like, if we'd lost The Battle Of Britain and Nazis had taken over in 1941? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Helen Lewis, Ellen Jones and Cahal Dallat. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Bruegel, Ang Lee, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Beware of Pity  

Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is the first film to utilise a shooting and projection frame rate of 120 frames per second in 3D at 4K HD resolution. In a drama which tells the story of American war heroes on leave from Iraq, will audiences be won over by what Ang Lee calls a " new immersive cinema?" Vietnamese American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen won the Pullitzer Prize for his debut novel The Sympathizer about the Vietnam war. His new book of short stories, The Refugees, draws heavily on his own experience of arriving in America having fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Bruegel's Defining A Dynasty at The Holburne Museum in Bath is the UK's first exhibition devoted to the Bruegel dynasty and brings together 35 works produced by four different generations of the family. A key work in the exhibition is the Wedding Dance in the Open Air, an oil painting from the Holburne's own collection which, following conservation work and technical examination, can be attributed firmly to the hand of Pieter Bruegel the Younger. The Kettering Incident is a new 8 part series on Sky Atlantic starring Elizabeth Debicki who played opposite Tom Hiddleston in BBC's hit drama The Night Manager. Shot entirely on location in Tasmania, The Kettering Incident follows a doctor (Debicki) who returns to her home town after several years overseas, only to find herself at the centre of a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a young girl. Stefan Zweig's 1938 novel Ungueld des Herzens (Beware of Pity) brings together two of Europe's most boundary-pushing, imaginative theatre companies at the Barbican for the first time. Theatre de Complicite's Simon McBurney directs the outstanding Berlin theatre company Schaubühne in a story of a doomed romance set in the Austro-Hungarian empire just before the first world war.

Sex With Strangers, Toni Erdmann, John Burnside, Keith Tyson, The Moorside  

Sex With Strangers is Laura Eason's 2009 play about a brash blogger (whose blog shares the title of the play) meeting a shy novelist the Hampstead Theatre Toni Erdmann is a German comedy film which has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. is it wunderbar or nicht so gut? John Burnside has a new novel out: Ashland and Vine about friendship, history and memories Turner Prize-winning Keith Tyson's latest exhibition Turn Back Now at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings shows more than 350 of his studio wall drawings where the work itself is the process. Sheridan Smith stars in The Moorside, a BBC TV drama about the kidnapping of Shannon Matthews Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Stig Abel, Dea Birkett, and Linda Grant. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Christine,The Nix, Estorick Collection, Death Takes a Holiday, Zelda Fitzgerald  

The Estorick Collection in London has reopened after a refit with an exhibition 'War In The Sunshine: The British in Italy 1917-1918'; paintings and photographs from that conflict The Nix is the first novel by Nathan Hill, about a son trying to understand his counter-culture mother who has gained notoriety after attacking a right wing politician Rebecca Hall was tipped for an Oscar for playing Christine Chubbuck, a TV newsreader who committed suicide live on air in 1974. Will our reviewers feel Rebecca Hall was cheated out of a nomination The musical Death takes a Holiday opens at London's Charing Cross Theatre. Created by a multi-TONY Award winning team, will London theatre-goers take it to their hearts? Amazon TV's new series 'Z: The Beginning of Everything', stars Christina Ricci as Zelda Fitzgerald, American socialite, novelist and wife of F Scott Fitzgerald who was troubled with psychiatric problems Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Catherine O'Flynn, Sarah Moss and Robert Hanks. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Lion, Raising Martha, Laszlo Krasznahorkai, material/rearranged/to/be - Siobhan Davies, Apple Tree Yard  

Lion is the film about a young Indian orphan adopted by Australian parents who finds his way back to the village where he was born by using the internet. starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. Could it be Oscar-winning material? Raising Martha is a new comedy play at London's Park Theatre - it's farce about frogs, families, dozy policemen and digging up corpses. Hungarian prize-winning novelist Laszlo Krasznahorkai's latest novel The Last Wolf tells a story in one 74 page sentence - does this feat overwhelm the content? Siobhan Davies' dance work material/rearranged/to/be is at London's Barbican BBC TV has a new Sunday night drama: Apple Tree Yard. Adapted from Louise Doughty's best-selling thriller novel, what makes it feel new? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Bridget Minamore, Elizabeth Day and Inua Ellams. The producer is Oliver Jones.

La La Land, Manchester By The Sea, Michael Chabon, Wish List at The Royal Court, Charles Avery  

We can help you to decide between two films touted for Oscars glory: La La Land revives The Hollywood musical and Manchester By The Sea starring Casey Affleck- If you have to choose, which one deserves your custom? Michael Chabon's latest novel Moonglow is sort-of autobiographical - the lies, deception, rumours, legends, confessions and confusions that all families create are explored through a life lived in The American Century. Katherine Soper (a 24-year-old former perfume seller) won The UK's biggest playwriting competition with Wish List; a play informed by what she calls the government's "systematic assault" on disabled and mentally ill people. It's being staged at London's Royal Court Theatre Artist Charles Avery's work is an ongoing evolving depiction of an imaginary island. Through drawings, sculptures and texts. he has created its topology, cosmology and inhabitants. He has a new exhibition of his imaginings. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Kate Williams, Maria Delgado and David Benedict. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, Endless Poetry, Taboo, History of Wolves, On Kosovo Field.  

Tony Harrison's play The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus is revived at London's Finborough Theatre 87 year old Chilean film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's latest film Endless Poetry is the second instalment of a planned five part autobiographical series Tom Hardy stars in BBC TV's new drama Taboo, Emily Fridlund's History of Wolves is the growing-up tale of a lonely Minnesota schoolgirl BBC Radio drama On Kosovo Field is a 5-part fantasy play by Finn Kennedy which includes a score by PJ Harvey, whose notes, photos, poetry and songs helped to inspire it Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Viv Groskop, Ekow Eshun and Louise Doughty The producer is Oliver Jones.

Highlights of 2016  

A look at the highlights of 2016 according to our panel and our listeners. And there are some delightful surprises. Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Kerry Shale, Sarah Crompton, Sarfraz Mansoor and listeners from around the UK with their suggestions. Saturday Review's Picks of The Year Films The Revenant Alejandro Inarritu Spotlight Tom McCarthy I Daniel Blake Ken Loach Queen of Katwe Mira Nair Nocturnal Animals Tom Ford Deadpool starring Ryan Reynolds Snowden starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt Sausage Party Hell or High Water David Mackenzie Arrival Denis Villeneuve Fire At Sea Gianfranco Rosi A United Kingdom Amma Asante Anomalisa Charlie Kaufman Julieta Pedro Almodovar Finding Dory A Bigger Splash Luca Guadagnino Theatre A Streetcar Named Desire Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester King Lear Talawa co-production Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester King Lear starring Glenda Jackson at Old Vic, London Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing Live Theatre Newcastle This Restless House Glasgow Citizens Theatre Any Means Necessary Nottingham Playhouse Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour National Theatre, London Midsummer's Night Dream The Globe Theatre, London Imogen The Globe Theatre, London Shakespeare Trilogy, Donmar Warehouse, London No Man's Land, National Theatre, London (NT live performance) Backstage in Biscuit Land, Soho Theatre, London Groundhog Day (musical) Old Vic, London Flowers for Mrs Harris, Sheffield Crucible Richard III, Almeida Theatre, London Faith Healer, Donmar Warehouse, London Travesties, Menier Chocolate Factory, London Television Stranger Things - Netflix Westworld - HBO The Young Pope - Sky The Crown - Netflix War and Peace - BBC The Night Of - HBO Black Mirror - Netflix Planet Earth II - BBC Happy Valley - BBC Transparent - Amazon Fleabag - BBC The Missing - BBC Flowers - Channel 4 National Treasure - Channel 4 Angie Tribeca - E4 Motherland - BBC Exhibitions Georgia O'Keeffe, Tate Modern, London Picasso Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy, London Hieronymus Bosch, Het Noordbrabants Museum, Holland Towards Night, The Towner Gallery, Eastbourne In Reading Prison, Artangle Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery Inside: Artist and Writers in Reading Prison - Artangel The Infinite Mix, The Store in the Strand, London Stan Douglas, The Secret Agent, Victoria Miro Gallery, London Victor Pasmore, Towards A New Reality, Nottingham Lakeside Gallery Russia and The Arts, National Portrait Gallery, London The Shchukin Collection, Icons of Modern Art, Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris Books Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift Golden Hill by Francis Spufford Swing Time by Zadie Smith Hotels of North America by Rick Moody The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry The Sellout by Paul Beatty The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen The Good Immigrant ed. Nikesh Shukla 1971 - Never a Dull Moment: Rock's Golden Year by David Hepworth Missing Presumed by Susie Steiner Days Without End by Sebastian Barry Also mentioned: Lemonade (album/film) Beyonce We're Here Because We're Here Jeremy Deller Bob Dylan, winner of Nobel Prize for Literature Horace and Pete Louis C.K David Bowie's Art Collection Blackstar David Bowie You Want It Darker Leonard Cohen The producer is Hilary Dunn.

Art at London's Old Vic, Scorsese's Silence, VR gaming, Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing, Alan Bennett  

A revival of Yasmina Reza's Art at London's Old Vic revives the art of the review - is it art? Martin Scorsese's latest film Silence has taken nearly 3 decades to reach the screen. It's the story of two Christian missionaries in 17th century Japan. Is it worth the the long wait? We investigate Virtual Reality gaming - there are many different headsets and games on the market, but which are worth your attention Ghanaian-American novelist Yaa Gyosi's Homegoing is a debut novel that has been garnering a lot of extremely favourable attention from readers and critics alike. It deals with slavery and its intimate weaving into the history of America Alan Bennett's Diaries on Christmas Eve on BBC2 is described as 'a candid look into the mind' of the much-loved author, following him through the year. It includes the revelation that he has always wanted to own a donkey Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Naomi Alderman, Sathnam Sanghera and Emma Woolf. The producer is Oliver Jones Photo credit: Michael Lionstar.

Hedda Gabler, Son of Joseph, Nadeem Aslam, Roger Hiorns, Maigret, Agatha Christie  

Ruth Wilson plays the lead in Ivo van Hove's production of Hedda Gabler at London's National Theatre, Son of Joseph (a French film with religious overtones) takes on the overwhelming might of the latest Star Wars Rogue One. Blockbuster vs indie might not be an equal fight but thank goodness there's something else out this week! How good is it? Nadeem Aslam's latest novel The Golden Harvest is set in modern Pakistan, with the resilience of the human spirit fighting corruption and international interference Roger Hiorns was brought up in Birmingham and his latest exhibition at the city's IKON Gallery looks at his career-long fascinations with human corporeality and its meeting with the mechanical and he proposes a new pathway into how artists can continue to make and behave And we cionsider a couple of the big crime dramas on TV over Christmas - ITV's Maigret (starring Rowan Atkinson) and Agatha Christie's Witness For The Prosecution on the BBC Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Alex Preston, Stephanie Merritt and Jamila Gavin. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Once in a Lifetime, Birth of a Nation, Alice in Space, Mathematics at Science Museum, Walt Disney on BBC2  

A revival of Once in a Lifetime, the 1930s comedy about the movie industry at the beginning of the talkies. A new film with the title "Birth of a Nation" cannot escape the obvious associations with the 1915 DW Griffith silent film of the same name which portrayed The Ku Klux Klan in a heroic light. This production has been dogged by controversy for completely different reasons. Alice In Space by Gillian Beer looks at Lewis Carroll's classic and resets it in the context of its time to shine a fresh reinvigorating light on the work There's an exhibition about Mathematics at London's Science Museum, looking at how it shapes our world BBC2 presents a two part series about Walt Disney - his life and legacy Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Meg Rosoff, Jacqueline Springer and David Benedict. The producer is Oliver Jones.

RSC's Seven Acts of Mercy, Spike Lee's Chi-raq, Robert Rauschenberg, Poets Ben Lerner and Rachael Boast, This Is Us  

The Royal Shakespeare Company presents Anders Lustgarten's new play Seven Acts of Mercy; drawing connections between Caravaggio and modern Liverpool Spike Lee's latest film Chi-raq retells the classic Greek tale of Lysistrata imagining a sex strike organised by the women of Chicago in order to get their menfolk to renounce violence. American painter, sculptor, printmaker, photographer and performance artist Robert Rauschenberg is the subject of a retrospective at Tate Modern; the first since his death in 2008 Two books of poetry, one American, one British - Ben Lerner's No Art and Rachael Boast's Void Studies This Is Us has been enormously successful in the USA and has now been bought by Channel 4 - will it be embraced by British viewers? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Tiffany Jenkins, Damian Barr and Frances Stonor Saunders. The producer is Oliver Jones.

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.

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