Saturday Review

Saturday Review


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


Life of Galileo, Colossal, Jimmy McGovern, Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Threshold at Somerset House  

Joe Wright directs Brecht's Life of Galileo at The Young Vic, reimagining it with a Chemical Brothers rave soundtrack... In science fiction black comedy Colossal, Anne Hathaway plays a woman coping with alcoholism whose alter ego just happens to be a giant space monster. It's a kaiju movie Jimmy McGovern's newest TV offering is Broken which stars Sean Bean as an inner city priest coping with escalating personal and parish pressures. Lucy Hughes-Hallett's novel Peculiar Ground deals with the construction and changing nature of the walls of a country estate across the centuries. Thresholds is an exhibition by Matt Collishaw at Somerset House, re-staging one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when William Henry Fox Talbot showed his first prints. Tom Sutcliffe's guests are John Mullan, Laline Paull and Tiffany Jenkins. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Salome, Frantz, Anything's Possible, Giacometti, 3 Girls  

Yaël Farber's Salome at NT tries to retell a biblical story many of us half-know. Has she been misrepresented and misunderstood and is she more than the scheming woman who arranged the decapitation of John The Baptist? Francois Ozon's bilingual film Frantz is a tale of love and lies in France and Germany shortly after the First World War. If telling the truth is too painful, can it be okay to lie? Anything is Possible is a new novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout. Continuing the story of characters from her previous highly-acclaimed work, My Name Is Lucy Barton. Tate Modern's newest exhibition looks at the career and output of sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti BBC TV has dramatised the Rochdale sex abuse scandal. Starring Maxine Peake, it's not easy viewing but what what light can a drama shine upon such a notorious case? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Blake Morrison, Viv Groskop and Barb Jungr. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Angels In America, The Ferryman, Harmonium, Laurent Binet, Eric Gill  

A revival of Tony Kushner's epic play about the US AIDS epidemic Angels In America is being staged at London's National Theatre. It's nearly 8 hours long (in two parts); is it still pertinent and is it worth sitting through? Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem was an enormous theatrical success and his latest The Ferryman has just opened at London's Royal Court Theatre. Set during The Troubles in Northern Ireland it deals with one family's unavoidable and unwilling involvement The family at the heart of Japanese film Harmonium seem to have a functioning but unemotional stability. And then a stranger comes into their lives and slowly things change. For the better or for the worse? Laurent Binet's new novel The Seventh Function of Language is about the death (or was it an assassination?!) of Roland Barthes - the death of the author of "The Death Of The Author" Eric Gill was one of the finest sculptors of the 20th Century. And also a paedophile. A new exhibition in his home village of Ditchling, tries to see if it's possible to appreciate his art as entirely separate from his biography Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Damian Barr, Maria Delgado and Gillian Slovo. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Lady Macbeth, Obsession, See What I Have Done, Whitechapel Gallery, Griefcast  

British film Lady Macbeth has been much praised for the central perfomance by Florence Pugh as the intelligent complicated 19th century woman sold into marriage and realising that her soul is being stifled. Ivo Van Hove's prodiuction of Obsession - an adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice stars Jude Law. It should be theatrical gold... Sarah Schmidt's debut novel See What I Have Done deals with the still-unsolved Lizzie Borden case from 1892: "Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks" London's Whitechapel Gallery has a new exhibition: Iself, bringing together the work of artists exploring their own personal identity Griefcast - In Cariad Lloyd's podcast she talks with fellow comedians about their own experiences of coping with grieving, mourning and death and mortality. How funny can such a grim subject be? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Alex Preston, Andrea Rose and Kit Davies. The producer is Oliver Jones.


Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy star in in Their Finest; a new film about the vital role of movies in Britain during The War. A revival of Christopher Hampton's 1970 play The Philanthropist has opened in London. It features a glittering array of actors best known for their TV work. How well do their skills transfer to the stage? Lisa McInerny won The Bailey's Prize 's for her first novel The Glorious Heresies. Her latest, The Blood Miracles, continues that story with same characters many years older and a little wiser Ashley Bickerton is a painter and sculptor whose work is much admired (and collected) by Damien Hirst, among others. A new exhibition at Hirst's Newport Gallery includes work from throughout Bickertion's career The Hours is a new radio dramatization of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer winning book inspired by Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway. Starring Rosamund Pike it has the tricky job of maintaining three simultaneous plotlines set in different eras Viv Groskop's guests are Emma Jane Unsworth, Ryan Gilbey and Ekow Eshun. The producer is Oliver Jones.

The Handmaiden, White Tears, Guards at the Taj, Born to Kill, Game Changers  

South Korean film director Park Chan-Wook's latest film "The Handmaiden" is based on Welsh writer Sarah Waters' hit 2002 novel Fingersmith about a lesbian love affair in Victorian England transported to 1930s Korea. Award winning British writer Hari Kunzru's fifth novel, White Tears, is a ghost story, a terrifying murder mystery, a timely meditation on race, and a love letter to all the forgotten geniuses of American music and Delta Mississippi Blues. American Pulitzer Prize nominee Rajiv Joseph's new play opens at the newly refurbished Bush Theatre in London and tells the story of two guards at the Taj Mahal, as the magnificent monument nears completion in Agra, India in 1648. Born to Kill is a new four-part drama exploring the mind of Sam, a teenager on the verge of acting out suppressed psychopathic desires. As this chilling coming of age drama unfolds, decades of deceit are revealed and Sam's family's long buried past returns with a vengeance. Starring Romola Garai (The Hour, Suffragette) and Daniel Mays (Line of Duty). And Game Changers, Another Way to Play at Somerset House in London shows how designers and artists continuously adapt the mechanics of familiar games, featuring chess, billiards and mazes.

Consent, A Quiet Passion, Jon McGregor, Tate St Ives, Car Share and Bucket  

Nina Raine's new play Consent at London's National Theatre explores the tricky intertwining of modern relationships and legal niceties The life of American poet Emily Dickinson is dramatised in Terence Davies' new film A Quiet Passion. Does enough happen to make it dramatically interesting? Jon McGregor's newest novel Reservoir 13 looks at a community exploring the loss of one family, as life goes on for everyone else Tate St Ives is reopening after many months of closure for development. The first exhibition is The Studio and The Sea We look at a couple of car-based TV comedies; Peter Kaye in Car Share + Miriam Margolyes in Bucket And in the podcast, our guests reveal what they enjoy in the world of arts when they're not reviewing it for us Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Katie Puckrick, Alex Clark and Kevin Jackson. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Ghost In The Shell, Don Juan in Soho, Les Murray, Comics at Kelvingrove Museum, Harlots on ITV  

Scarlett Johansson plays Major in the manga-based action film Ghost In The Shell. David Tennant leads the cast of Don Juan in Soho. Patrick Marber's play, based on Moliere's original - which debuted a decade ago - reaches London's West End for the first time Australian poet Les Murray's latest collection On Bunyah cogitates on the rural spot in New South Wales where his ancestors settled and lived - Wild Horses Creek, known to the aboriginal Australians as Bunyah The Art of Comics, a new exhibition in Glasgow, looks at the work of comicbook artist Frank Quitely, "from Krypton to Kelvingrove.. from Gotham to Glasgow". Harlots is a TV series starting on ITV Encore - is it too good to be hidden away on a niche channel? Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Miranda Carter, Jim White and Robert hanks. The producer is Oliver Jones.

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.

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