Saturday Review

Saturday Review


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


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.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Maggie's Plan, Robert lePage, The Association of Small Bombs, Brexit metaphors  

A major retrospective exhibition of the work of Georgia O'Keeffe at Tate Modern brings together a wide range of her work from the floral paintings to her landscapes and urban paintings A complicated web of marital intrigue unfolds in Rebecca Miller's film Maggie's Plan - is it more than Woody Allen lite? Needles and Opium is Canadian performer Robert lePage's latest work to reach the UK - a revival of a work debuted in 1991 and based on the New York experiences of Jean Cocteau and Miles Davis Karan Mahajan's novel The Association of Small Bombs is set in Delhi, which follows the consequences and web of influences of a terrorist attack When politics seems wobbly, commentators in the press reach for the solid base of a good metaphor; Shakespeare, Game of Thrones and The Thick of It and Game of Cards have all been invoked to try and describe the consequences of the Brexit vote and Tory and Labour parties disarray. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Alex Preston, Rosie Boycott and Simon Evans. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Hisham Matar, Faith Healer, The Colony, David Hockney, Brief Encounters  

Emma Watson plays an air stewardess who gets caught up in the Chilean politics of early era Pinochet. The Colony explores a little-known side of the regime Faith Healer is Brian Friel's play about the fallibility of remembering, revived at London's Donmar Warehouse Libyan writer Hisham Matar tells the story of how the disappearance of his father led his own exile from his homeland and political awakening during Ghadafi's dictatorship David Hockney's work created on iPad and a collection of 82 portraits are on show in 2 new exhibitions ITV's Brief Encounters is a drama about the founding of the Ann Summers' retail outlets Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Stephanie Merritt, Dreda Say Mitchell and Pat Kane. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Henry V, Elvis and Nixon, The Girls, Sculpture in the City, The Border  

Liza Johnson's directs Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey in the title roles of Elvis and Nixon a film which dramatises the unlikely 1970 meeting between the two men . The title role in a production of Shakespeare's Henry V at the Regent's Park Open Air theatre is taken by the actress Michelle Terry. Debut novel The Girls by Emma Cline looks at relationships and their consequences in a Charles Manson-like cult in California. The City of London has placed 15 sculptures by leading artists among architectural landmarks such as the Gherkin and the Cheesegrater - an opportunity to see engaging works in unusual settings. Polish television drama serial The Border dealing with the highly topical subject of immigration control starts downloads on All Four this week. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Ellah Allfrey, Linda Grant and Nikesh Shukla. The producer is Harry Parker.

Tale of Tales, Richard III, Barkskins, Tate Modern Switch House, The Living and The Dead  

Matteo Garrone's fantasy film Tale of Tales is a modern interpretation of a 17th century fairytale collection filled with dark gothic strangeness. Ralph Fiennes plays Richard III in a new production at London's Almeida Theatre. He's a very cynical psychopath as well as a ruthless monarch Annie Proulx's Barkskins is a large novel dealing with an enormous subject - the irreversible catastrophe of deforestation Tate Modern has opened a new extension: Switch House. It improves the gender balance of artists on display and broaden the geographical reach of works BBC TV is launching a new horror drama The Living and The Dead - early last century a country doctor begins to experience eerie goings-on Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Meg Rosoff, Adam Mars Jones and Cahal Dallat. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Deep Blue Sea, Fire At Sea, Edmund White, Winifred Knights, Outcast/Preacher  

Terrence Rattigan's post-war classic Deep Blue Sea opens in a new production at London's NationalTheatre; dealing with need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. Directed by Carrie Cracknell with Helen McRory as Hester Fire At Sea is the Italian documentary which won The Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film festival. Set on the Sicilian Island of Lampedusa, it examines the lives of the locals and the migrants who land there. Edmund White's novel Our Young Man is a work of gay fiction set in the world of modelling in 1980s New York, with an apparently-ageless central character and the spectre of AIDS on the horizon. Dulwich Picture Gallery is staging an exhibition of the works of early 20th century painter British Winifred Knights We consider a couple of recent supernatural/horror TV dramas - Outcast and Preacher. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Bidisha, Shahidha Bari and David Benedict. The producer is Oliver Jones.

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