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

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


London, United Kingdom




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




The Nest, The Truth, The Bass Rock, Cranach at Compton Verney and Home Entertainment Recommendations

The Nest is the new Sunday night drama on BBC1 that raises questions around the ethics of surrogacy as a wealthy couple invite a young woman whose past is not known to them into their lives. The Truth is a French/Japanese production directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda who won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2018 for his film Shoplifters. It stars Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche in the story of an ageing actress who publishes her memoirs and is confronted by her daughter. Evie Wyld was named as...


Misbehaviour, On Blueberry Hill, Abi Dare, Warhol, Breeders and Kate+Koji

Misbehaviour is a new film about the 1970 Miss World pageant which saw the first black Miss World and was also disrupted by the nascent Women's Liberation movement who threw flour bombs at host Bob Hope Sebastian Barry's play On Blueberry Hill is set in a prison cell where two men's stories of how they got there become intertwined. Abi Daré's novel The Girl With The Louding Voice is the tale of Adunni, a fourteen year old Nigerian girl who has to go into domestic service in Lagos but is...


Hilary Mantel, The Mikvah Project, Sulphur and White, Among The Trees

Hilary Mantel's new novel - The Mirror and The Light - is the final part of her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. The previous two parts have sold millions of copies worldwide and garned prizes from all quarters. Can this one compare? The Mikvah Project is a new play at The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond. Two Jewish men meet every Friday for ritual cleansing and a close friendship develops. Sulphur and White is a new British film which tells the true story of a highly successful banker who suffered...


Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, Women Beware Women, Christos Tsiolkas, Leon Spilliaert, Noughts and Crosses

The newest film by French director Céline Sciamma (Tomboy, Girlhood) is Portrait Of A Lady On Fire. An 18th century painter is commissioned to paint a bride-to-be's wedding portrait and falls in love with her subject Women Beware Women is a play by Middleton just opened at The Globe Theatre in London. How do you navigate a society in which women are consciously and unconsciously commodified, coerced and controlled? Australian author Christos Tsiolkas came to international attention with his...


Midnight Family, Masculinities exhibition, Actress by Anne Enright, Far Away by Caryl Churchill, I Am Not Okay With This

Mexican documentary Midnight Family follows a family-run private ambulance in Mexico City racing to the scenes of accidents in order to earn a living Masculinities:Liberation Through Photography, is a new exhibition at The Barbican in London, about how masculinity is experienced, perfomed, coded and socially constructed. Actress is the latest novel from Irish author by Anne Enright. A daughter looks back at her sometimes fractious relationship with her famous mother A revival of Caryl...


Stoppard -Leopoldstadt, Emma, Philip Hensher, Steve McQueen - Tate Modern, The End

Tom Stoppard has a new play - Leopoldstadt - a slightly autobiographical telling of the story of several generations of a wealthy Jewish family in Europe over 6 decades, from 1899 How many different cinematic versions of Jane Austen novels does the world need? What does The latest Emma - directed by a former photographer/ pop video director - bring that's new? A Small Revolution in Germany is the latest novel from Philip hensher. It follows the diverging paths of a group of young politically...


Mr Jones, Death of England, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, British Baroque, This Life

Director Agnieszka Holland assembles a cast including James Norton and Vanessa Kirby to tell the story of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones who in 1933 travelled to Soviet Russia and told the truth about the famine in Ukraine. At the National Theatre, Clint Dyer directs the play he has co-written with Roy Williams, Death of England, starring Rafe Spall as a white working-class man whose father has died and who has to face up to his conflicted feelings about his country and the people who live in...


Ingmar Bergman, The Lighthouse, William Gibson, The Art, Design and future of Fungi, Art on the BBC

Ingmar Bergman's 1966 film Persona has been adapted into a stage play and it is the opening production at the newly revamped Riverside Studios in London The Lighthouse, starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson is a black and white film set in a claustrophobic remote isolated lighthouse where the two keepers begin to rub each other up the wrong way William Gibson is a sci-fi writer whose latest novel Agency imagines a dystopian future world where time travel is possible but only virtually...


David Copperfield, Welkin, Motherwell, Pregnancy exhibition, Windermere Children

Armando Iannucci has taken on Dickens' David Copperfield with Dev Patel in the lead role A new play by Lucy Kirkwood, Welkin, has opened at London's National Theatre. The Welkin is set in Norfolk in 1759, when a jury of matrons is called to try a female murder suspect who is 'pleading the belly' in order to avoid execution Motherwell is the memoir of journalist, the late Deborah Orr recounting her childhood and growing up in Scotland and trying to break from her family Portraying Pregnancy:...


Beckett triple bill, Bombshell, Avenue 5, American Dirt, Tullio Crali

A triple bill of Samuel Beckett plays has just started at London's Jermyn Street Theatre. Directed by Trevor Nunn, it's a chance to see Krapp's Last Tape as well as two lesser-known works - Eh Joe and The Old Tune. Bombshell has been Oscar nominated. It's the story of Roger Ailes' reign at Fox News and the sexual harrasment cases that were brought against him. It stars Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie Armando Iannucci has a new...


1917, London International Mime Festival, King Gary, Ismail Kadare, Saad Qureshi,

Sam Mendes' film 1917 is set during the First World War and based on his Grandfather's experiences during the conflict. It's already won a Golden Globe and is touted for more awards glory. What do our reviewers make of it? This Time is a show by the group Ockham's Razor and part of The London International Mime Festival 2020. It tells an inter-generational story through circus skills with a 4 person troupe whose member range from 13 to 60 Albanian author Ismail Kadare was the inaugural...


Little Women, War Of The Worlds Immersive Experience, Untitled Goose Game, Graphic novels, podcasts

There's a new all-star Little Women on the big screen. The cast includes Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emily Watson, Laura Dern, Timothee Chalamet and Meryl Streep. Louisa May Alcott's novel has been a popular text for film makers since the first silent version in 1912 - is there anything new which director Greta Gerwig can bring to this version? HG Wells' novel The War Of The Worlds is probably best known to many people as the Jeff Wayne musical version, it's the UK's 32nd best-selling...


Listeners' cultural highlights of 2019

Find out what Saturday Review listeners chose as their cultural highlights of 2019. We asked what you'd enjoyed this year and you told us about things we'd missed, disagreed about some cultural events we'd reviewed, and let us know about which ones had delighted you too. We'll discuss all the regular genres: films, theatre, exhibitions, books and television. And lots of items which we didn't get a chance to review from the past 12 months. Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Tiffany Jenkins and...


Cats, Susan Hill's Ghost Story, Martin's Close, Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck, Gypsy

The much-anticipated film of Cats with its stellar and fur-enhanced cast including Judi Dench and Taylor Swift finally reaches the big screen. Catnip or catastrophe? Spooky offerings in the Christmas TV schedule this year include Martin's Close by Mark Gatiss on BBC 4 and Susan Hill's Ghost Story on Channel 5. How shiver-inducing are they? Nora Ephron's collection of essays on ageing and much else - I Feel Bad About My Neck - is being reissued with a new introduction by Dolly Alderton. It's...


Aquarela, Swive, Robert Musil, Theaster Gates, Sticks and Stones

Aquarela is a movie about water...filmed at 96 frames per second- four times faster than normal and there are fewer than a handful of cinemas in then world with equipment to show it properly. What's them point? Swive (Elizabeth) at The Sam Wannamaker Playhouse imagines Elizabeth I from teenager to monarch and the wiles and strength ways she needed to keep on top Robert Musil's most famous book The Man Without Qualities was published in 1943 and a follow-up Agathe has just been published....


Fairview at Young Vic, So Long My Son, Annette Hess, John Walker, A Very Scandi Scandal

Fairview is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play just opened at the Young Vic in London. It starts out like a conventional US African American dramedy and then begins to mess with the audience's expectations. How will our reviewers feel about it? Chinese film So Long My Son has won awards at international film festivals. It tells the story of a family over 30 years of turbulent Chinese history Annette Hess' prize-winning novel The German House is the story of a Polish translator at the 1963...


The Nightingale, My Brilliant Friend, Lee Child, Troy: myth and reality, Upright

The Nightingale is a film set in Tasmania in the brutal days of convict settlers and soldiers. A young wife faces violence as she tries to track down a man who has violated her family The National Theatre's adaptation of Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend condenses the four wildly-successful novels into 2 three-hour plays at The Olivier. The creator of Jack Reacher - Lee Child- has written a short book about The Hero. It's the first of two publications in the new Times Literary Supplement...


Dear Evan Hansen, Feast & Fast, Greener Grass, Irenosen Okojie, Ken Burns' Country series

Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen has been an enormous success and has now transferred to London's West End. It's the story of a socially awkward young man who accidentally becomes a hero Feast & Fast: The art of food in Europe, 1500 – 1800 is the latest exhibition at The Fitzwilliam in Cambridge Greener Grass is a peculiar take on the American suburban comedy British Nigerian author Irenosen Okojie's collection of short stories; Nudibranch American documentary series maker Ken Burns has...


The Gangster The Cop The Devil, Touching the Void, Romesh Gunesekera, Gold Digger, George IV : Art and Spectacle

The Gangster The Cop The Devil is an award-winning Korean action thriller about an unlikely alliance between a maverick police detective and a ruthless mobster who have to work together to catch a serial killer Touching the Void began life as a book by Joe Simpson, about a climbing accident which nearly killed him. It has since been turned into a film and now a stage play. How can you show vertiginous dangers and a lot of internal thought processes in the theatre? Sri Lankan writer Romesh...


The Report, Shook, The Topeka School, 24/7 exhibition, The Morning Show

The Report is a docu-drama starring Adam Driver telling the story of Senate staffer Daniel Jones and the Senate Intelligence Committee as they investigate the CIA's use of torture following the September 11 attacks. Shook is a debut play at The Southwark Playhouse which won the Papatango New Writing Prize. How will our reviewers receive this brand new work at a fringe theatre by an unknown writer? The Topeka School by Ben Lerner is the third part of his trilogy featuring a central character...