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David Tennant as Richard II; The Goldfinch; Enough Said
Tom Sutcliffe and guests discuss David Tennant's starring role in Richard II at the RSC.
Tom Sutcliffe discusses David Tennant's starring role in Richard II, in Gregory Doran's first production as Artistic Director at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford.
Tom Sutcliffe and guests Sarfraz Manzoor, Natalie Haynes and Peter Kemp discuss David Tennant's starring role in Richard II, in Gregory Doran's first production as Artistic Director at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, following on from David Tennant's successful performance as Hamlet in 2008. Richard II is the first in a cycle of Shakespeare's history plays which will be performed over subsequent seasons.
Donna Tartt's long awaited third novel is The Goldfinch, published 11 years after The Little Friend and 21 years after her memorable debut The Secret History. The entire book revolves around a stolen painting, Dutch artist Carel Fabritius's The Goldfinch, which in reality hangs in The Hague's Royal Picture Gallery. Starting like her previous two novels with a gripping account of a death, will it live up to the hype?
The Ey Exhibition Paul Klee - Making Visible opens at Tate Modern Bankside, and focuses on the decade Klee spent teaching and working at the Bauhaus, the hotbed of modernist design. The abstract canvases Klee produced there, such as the rhythmical composition Fire in the Evening 1929, took his reputation to new international heights.
James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus star in Nicole Holofcener's new film, a rom com Enough Said. Gandolfini starred in the hit television series The Sopranos and died suddenly of a heart attack earlier this year.
And in a new BBC Two comedy drama, David Mitchell and Robert Webb star as the British ambassador and his Mission deputy who are busy in Tazbekistan, trying to secure a 2 billion pound helicopter deal for the British government.
Producer: Sarah Johnson.
Simon Armitage on Greek Tragedy
Anne McElvoy with Simon Armitage, Frank McGuinness, Natalie Haynes and Kenan Malik.
Anne McElvoy discusses the legacy of Greek myth with poets Simon Armitage and Frank McGuinness, classicist Natalie Haynes and writer Kenan Malik.
Anne McElvoy talks to the poet Simon Armitage about his dramatisation of The Last Days of Troy. His play, based on Homer's epic, reveals how cycles of conflict and revenge, pride and self-deception continue throughout history. Greek myth is at the heart of a new opera, Thebans, in which the playwright and poet Frank McGuinness draws on the tragedy of the mythical monarch Oedipus and his daughter Antigone. Natalie Haynes explores what happens when troubled teenagers become enthralled by Greek tales of cruel fate and bloody revenge in her debut novel, while Kenan Malik goes on a quest for a moral compass.
Producer: Katy Hickman.
BrandStart the Week
Ken Loach's film, Joshua Ferris's novel, The Normal Heart on TV, Bakersfield Mist and The Whitstable Biennale
Ken Loach, Joshua Ferris, The Normal Heart, Bakersfield Mist and The Whitstable Biennale.
Tom Sutcliffe and guests discuss Ken Loach's film, Jimmy's Hall, Joshua Ferris's novel, The Normal Heart on TV, Bakersfield Mist and The Whitstable Biennale.
Bakersfield Mist at London's Duchess Theatre stars Hollywood actress Kathleen Turner in a play about a woman who's convinced she's turned up a Jackson Pollock original in a junk shop.
Ken Loach's new film Jimmy's Hall tells the story of the only Irishman ever to be deported from his own country as an illegal alien. As the Irish Republic was struggling to be born, Jimmy Gralton ran up against the Church and State too many times and their solution was to send him to America. Irish history is familiar territory for Loach; what does this story tell us about today?
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is Joshua Ferris's novel about dentistry and the meaning of life. What can a man do when his analog life is hijacked and put on the internet?
Whitstable Biennale is a festival of contemporary British art on the south coast of England. It grew out of the developing artists' community in the town and focuses on moving image and performance, with a range of new commissions and specially curated programs.
The Normal Heart was Larry Kramer's play about the AIDS epidemic in 1980s America. He's adapted it into a TV drama for HBO and it's been warmly received in the USA. What will Saturday Review make of it?
Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Jim White, Maria Delgado and Natalie Haynes. The producer is Oliver Jones.
Paul Smith; The Counsellor; Johnny Cash
John Wilson interviews designer Paul Smith, on the eve of a retrospective exhibition.
Arts news with John Wilson, including an interview with designer Paul Smith, on the eve of a major exhibition of his work and influences at the Design Museum, London.
John Wilson talks to the fashion designer Paul Smith, on the eve of a major exhibition of his work and influences at the Design Museum, London.
Natalie Haynes reviews The Counsellor, a film about drug dealers on the US / Mexico border, starring Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Penelope Cruz, with an original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy.
As the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Richard II, starring David Tennant, is streamed live to cinemas across the UK tonight, Lorne Campbell, artistic director of Northern Stage in Newcastle and Tom Morris from Bristol Old Vic debate the effect that live screening has on regional theatre.
Johnny Cash biographer Robert Hilburn was the only journalist to witness the Folsom Prison Concert in 1968. He talks to John Wilson about Cash's troubled life and career.
Producer Timothy Prosser.
Fleming; Her; Richard Hamilton
Tom Sutcliffe and guests discuss the week's cultural events, including the film Her.
Tom Sutcliffle and guests review Fleming, the new drama series about the creator of James Bond, plus Spike Jonze's film Her and the new exhibition of Richard Hamilton's work.
Tom Sutcliffe and guests - David Aaronovitch, Natalie Haynes and Dreda Say Mitchell, review the Spike Jonze's film Her. Released in time for Valentine's Day, it's a romantic tale of loneliness, desire and boy meets artificial intelligence set in the not too distant future. So will love blossom?
Tate Modern presents the first major retrospective of the work of Richard Hamilton. A founding figure of pop art he continued to work into his eighties, exploring different media and engaging with contemporary politics throughout his career. How well does such a diverse body of work sit together?
Tim Pears' eighth novel 'In the Light of Morning' was inspired by his father who was parachuted into German occupied Yugoslavia at the end of the Second World War. He has called it the novel he has "always been going to write" - so does his impulse to write this Balkan story translate well to the page?
'Fleming' is the new TV drama series about Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. It focuses on his wartime career in Naval Intelligence replete with glamorous locations, luxurious interior sets, dashing period costumes and a cast which includes Dominic Cooper, Lara Pulver and Sam West. But what light does it shed on the writer and his iconic creation?
Tennessee Williams spent much of his life living in hotels, dying in one in 1983 - and he set a number of plays in them. Three of his one act 'Hotel Plays' are now showing at the Langham Hotel in London, we checked in on them this week.
Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe
Producer: Ruth Watts.
Guy Garvey; Sir David Frost's memorial; 300 - Rise of an Empire
Arts news. John Wilson talks to Elbow lead singer Guy Garvey about the band's latest album
Arts news. John Wilson talks to Elbow lead singer Guy Garvey about the band's new album; Sir David Frost's memorial in Westminster Abbey; war epic 300: Rise of an Empire reviewed.
With John Wilson.
Guy Garvey, Elbow's lead singer and guitarist, talks about the band's sixth studio album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything. Written during a period of change for the band, the lyrics cover the break-up of a long term relationship. Guy Garvey discusses how recent events inspired the band's song writing.
300: Rise Of An Empire is the sequel to 2007's 300, and - like the original - inspired by the work of graphic novelist Frank Miller, and with the same stylised, blood-spattered storyline. The sequel focusses on Themistokles, the Athenian general who - during the same three days as Thermopylae - led the Greek navy against the Persian navy, commanded by a brutal woman named Artemisia. Natalie Haynes reviews.
The broadcaster Sir David Frost is to have a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey. The Dean of the Abbey gives John a tour of the site and David Frost's new neighbours, and explains how decisions about these memorials are reached.
Producer: Olivia Skinner.
Mark Gatiss; Richard Lester on The Beatles; Hercules
Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss, Richard Lester on The Beatles and Hercules labours again.
Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss lines up one of his favourite screen detectives, Richard Lester reveals which of The Beatles was the best actor and Hercules labours again.
With Matthew Sweet.
Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss reveals the identity of one of his favourite screen detectives in another instalment of his series.
Hercules labours again in the form of ex-wrestler Dwayne Johnson, the latest in the long line of body builders who have played the son of Zeus. Christopher Frayling and Natalie Haynes trace the mythology from Italian cinema of the 50s and 60s, where he starred in twenty sword and sandal epics, including Hercules And The Moon Men and Hercules And The Amazon Women
Director Richard Lester reveals which of The Beatles was his favourite actor as A Hard Day's Night is released on DVD to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Antonia Quirke considers why driving and cinema were made for each other.
BrandThe Film Programme
Gillian Anderson Streetcar, Mood Indigo film, Secret Cinema, Philip Hensher, Gomorrah on TV
Gillian Anderson Streetcar, Mood Indigo, Secret Cinema, Philip Hensher, Gomorrah on TV.
Gillian Anderson in Tennessee Williams's Streetcar Named Desire, Michel Gondry's film Mood Indigo, Secret Cinema: Back to the Future, Philip Hensher's Emperor Waltz, Gomorrah on TV.
Gillian Anderson returns to London's West End theatre, playing Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams' 1948 play A Streetcar Named Desire.
Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo is one of his typically fantastical films, starring Audrey Tatou as a young woman who discovers a flower is growing inside her lungs. Packed full of extraordinary images, is it a collection of moments or a good film?
Secret Cinema is the new immersive form of cinema, staged in unconventional settings, encouraging the audience to dress up in clothing appropriate to the movie, their latest production is the 1985 classic Back To The Future. It can be expensive to stage and attend, but is it worth it?
Philip Hensher's new novel The Emperor Waltz threads together several stories from different times and locations, dealing with how an idea gains a hold in wider society.
A new Italian TV drama series - Gomorrah - looks at the mafia. It's been an enormous hit in Italy but has this once-toxic subject matter become less controversial nowadays or does it still shock viewers?
Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Natalie Haynes, Susannah Clapp and Patrick Gale. the producer is Oliver Jones.
Ishiguro, Man and Superman, It Follows, Matt Lucas - Pompidou, Sculpture Victorious
Kazuo Ishiguro, Man and Superman, It Follows, Matt Lucas - Pompidou, Sculpture Victorious.
Kazuo Ishiguro's novel The Buried Giant, Man and Superman at the National, horror film It Follows, Matt Lucas' wordless TV series Pompidou and Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain.
The Buried Giant is Kazuo Ishiguro's first new novel for 10 years, set in Arthurian England
George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman at The National's Lyttleton Theatre starring Ralph Fiennes
New horror film It Follows has been a success in the US and could be a new teen creepy classic
Matt Lucas' is best known for Little Britain; his new TV show is entirely devoid of catchphrases - it's a wordless series called Pompidou
Sculpture Victorious at Tate Britain looks at sculpture created during Queen Victoria's reign - the innovations in style and technique
Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Natalie Haynes, Jim White and Rebecca Stott. The producer is Oliver Jones.
2 Guns; Chimerica; What Remains
New film 2 Guns, new drama Chimerica, and the latest BBC1 drama What Remains.
The week's top cultural offerings, including the film 2 Guns, new stage play Chimerica, and the latest BBC1 drama, What Remains.
2 Guns, Baltasar Kormakur's new film, stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as a DEA agent and a naval intelligence officer who find themselves on the run after a botched attempt to infiltrate a drug cartel. While fleeing, they learn the secret of their shaky alliance: neither knew that the other was an undercover agent.
Lucy Kirkwood's latest play Chimerica was sparked by the Tiananmen square protests in China 1989. As tanks roll through Beijing and soldiers hammer on his hotel door, Joe Moore, a young American photojournalist, captures a piece of history. When a cryptic message is left in a Beijing newspaper more than 20 years later, Joe is driven to discover the truth behind the unknown hero he captured on film.
In What Remains, a major BBC1 drama series, a young couple move into a flat and discover a leak in the loft, which leads them to the remains of Melissa Young hidden in the eaves. She has not been seen for over two years. No one has raised an alarm or even noticed that she was gone. D.I. Len Harper played by David Threlfall investigates.
The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer's latest novel, is set during the summer that President Nixon resigns. Six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but much has changed. Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.
And all this month we focus on some of the treasures available in Britain all year round and free of charge. We asked our guests - this week it's Natalie Haynes, Giles Fraser and Cahal Dallat - to select a favourite object from The V&A's permanent collection of art and design.
Producer: Anne-Marie Cole.
Hieronymus Bosch, OJ Simpson, North Water, A Bigger Splash, Battlefield
A look at the biggest Hieronymus Bosch exhibition ever and OJ Simpson's trial as a drama.
The week's cultural highlights, including the biggest Hieronymus Bosch exhibition ever, OJ Simpson's trial as a TV drama and Ian McGuire's North Water.
The biggest Hieronymus Bosch exhibition ever has just opened in Holland. 500 years after his death, Noordbrabants Museum has gathered together the largest collection of his bizarre, extraordinary work
OJ Simpson's 1994 trial has been turned into a US TV drama. Does it have something new to show or say?
Ian McGuire's North Water has garnered positive reviews from the likes of Hilary Mantel and Martin Amis. It's a whodunnit set on board an 18th century whaling ship. "A version of Captain Ahab (if you squint a little) meets a version of Sherlock Holmes"
Ralph Fiennes stars in A Bigger Splash, a tale of louche life set around a swimming pool in a baking hot Italian villa. Also starring Tilda Swinton, Matthius Schoenaerts and Dakota Johnson
Battlefield at The Young Vic is Peter Brook's distillation of his magnum opus Mahabarata. A few short tales which deal with life an immense canvas in miniature
Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Amanda Vickery, Natalie Haynes and Jim White. The producer is Oliver Jones.
Yann Martel, Love, Delacroix, Mark Wallinger
Mark Wallinger shows John Wilson his art studio, and Yann Martel discusses his new novel.
Mark Wallinger shows John Wilson his studio, and Yann Martel discusses his new novel. Plus reviews of Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art, and Judd Apatow's comedy Love.
Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger is perhaps best known for his Christ-like figure which became the first artwork to stand on the empty Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London. His latest work involved him driving repeatedly round an Essex roundabout. He talks about that and his other new works that make up his new solo exhibition.
Yann Martel won the Man Booker Prize in 2002 with Life of Pi which has now sold 13m copies worldwide making it the highest-selling winning book in the prize's history. He talks about his latest novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, another magic realist fable this time spanning the 20th Century.
Love is a new comedy created by Judd Apatow which follows a romance between two Los Angeles singletons. Natalie Haynes reviews.
Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art focuses on how the artist Eugène Delacroix transformed French painting in the 19th century. Richard Cork reviews the new exhibition at the National Gallery in London.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Angie Nehring.
David Greig and Natalie Haynes
Natalie Haynes and David Greig join Harriett Gilbert to discuss favourite books.
Natalie Haynes and David Greig join Harriett Gilbert to discuss favourite books, including titles by Patricia Highsmith, David Foster Wallace and Zachary Mason.
Natalie Haynes and David Greig join Harriett Gilbert to discuss favourite books.
Writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes reveals her love of the Classics through her choice of 'The Lost Books of the Odyssey' by Zachary Mason, which describes itself as 'forty-four variations on the story of Odysseus'. The eponymous hero, liar and storyteller has familiar and repeated encounters with the Cylops and the Sirens; he travels to Troy and back to Ithaca, but there's always a twist in the telling in this magical first book written by a computer scientist Mason.
David Greig is a playwright and the recently-appointed Artistic Director at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. He recommends 'A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again' by David Foster Wallace, a series of dazzling, clever and funny 'essays and arguments' about American life and culture.
BrandA Good Read
Ewan McGregor, Upstart Crow, Katie Paterson, Frankenstein ballet
Kirsty Lang talks to Ewan McGregor, and Ben Elton writes a TV a comedy about Shakespeare.
Arts news, interviews and reviews. Kirsty Lang talks to Ewan McGregor about Our Kind of Traitor, and Ben Elton returns to TV with a comedy starring David Mitchell as Shakespeare.
Ewan McGregor stars in Our Kind of Traitor, based on a John Le Carré novel. The plot follows a couple on holiday in Marrakech who strike up a friendship with a Russian man who turns out to be a mafia kingpin. Ewan McGregor describes how the author visited the set and gave his blessing to play his character as a Scot.
Upstart Crow sees the comedic quill of Blackadder writer Ben Elton return to the Elizabethan era. Starring David Mitchell this new BBC comedy follows William Shakespeare as he tries in vain to write some of his most famous works. Natalie Haynes reviews.
Artist Katie Paterson is busy right now with work showing at The Lowry and Somerset House, and a new public artwork called Hollow, made from 10,000 tree samples from across the world, about to be unveiled at the University of Bristol. She discusses her fascination with capturing time, distance, and space.
Liam Scarlett is Artist in Residence at The Royal Ballet, and his latest work is a brand new ballet based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. He discusses what drew him to the gothic novel, and reveals how he choreographed such a complex emotional story to a brand new score by Lowell Liebermann.
Presenter: Kirsty Lang
Producer: Angie Nehring.
Liverpool Art Biennial
Matthew Sweet and critic Natalie Haynes report from the Liverpool Biennial.
Matthew Sweet and Natalie Haynes report from the Liverpool Biennial. With artists Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Betty Woodman and Krzysztof Wodiczko, plus poet Sandeep Parmar.
Matthew Sweet and the critic, Natalie Haynes report from Liverpool where art has taken over the city. They talk to the artists, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Betty Woodman and Krzysztof Wodiczko as well as the Biennial director, Sally Tallant and the poet and 2015 New Generation Thinker Sandeep Parmar, who is curating a literary programme for the festival.
The Liverpool Biennial runs until October 16th
Sandeep Parmar is the author of two poetry books: The Marble Orchard and Eidolon (a rewriting of Helen of Troy in modern America).
Producer: Zahid Warley
(Image: Momentary Monument - The Stone by Lara Favaretto / Credit: Joel Fildes).
Ballet dancers and pregnancy
Two professional ballet dancers on combining pregnancy and pas de deux.
The challenges and pleasures of combining pregnancy and dance, and how 'returnships' are helping women rejoin the workforce. Presented by Jenni Murray.
For a ballet dancer, controlling your body and maintaining the perfect physique must be a constant preoccupation. So what happens when you decide you'd like to have a baby and how do you cope with the way pregnancy changes your body and affects your ability to dance?
Why are rock-hard abs and perfectly toned triceps seen as the perfect body shape? In a news series for BBC-4 writer and classicist Natalie Haynes explores the British Museum's exhibition on the Greek preoccupation with the human form and explores how these sculptures capture and enforce the Ancient Greeks ideals of body shape.
Official statistics show a drop in life expectancy for female pensioners - we look at the reasons why.
Plus returnships are a way of getting qualified individuals back to work after a long career break. They are like internships, but for the older, more qualified individual. But do businesses want to hire someone who has been out of work for more than six months?
Presenter Jenni Murray
Producer Beverley Purcell.
Weekend Woman's Hour: Clare Balding on the Boat Race; End of a Relationship; Body Beautiful
Clare Balding on the Women's Boat Race making sporting history. Presented by Jane Garvey.
Clare Balding on the Women's Boat Race making sporting history. And mourning the end of a relationship: how long is too long? Presented by Jane Garvey.
For the first time the Women's Boat Race will be rowed on the same day and place as the men's. Clare Balding will be discussing what it means for women's sport. Why are rock hard abs and perfectly toned triceps seen as the perfect body shape? Writer and classicist Natalie Haynes on why the ancient Greeks were just as obsessed with the body beautiful as we are today. How Jennifer Teege discovered by chance that her grandfather was the Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth and how she's come to terms with her inheritance. Two ballet dancers tell us what it's like to cope with how pregnancy changes their bodies and their ability to dance. Virginia Ironside on the role of the 21st century grandmother and how it's changed. When a relationship breaks down, how long is it acceptable to mourn its end?
Presenter: Jane Garvey
Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed
Editor: Anne Peacock.
Melissa McCarthy, Giorgio Moroder
John Wilson talks to Melissa McCarthy, star of Bridesmaids and new film Spy.
Arts news, interviews and reviews. John Wilson talks to Melissa McCarthy, star of Bridesmaids and new film Spy. Plus the legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder.
John Wilson talks to Melissa McCarthy, star of Bridesmaids, the upcoming Ghostbusters, and new film Spy, about a backroom CIA analyst who goes undercover.
Giorgio Moroder, who pioneered disco music with hits including Donna Summer's Love to Love you Baby and I Feel Love, discusses his first album in 30 years, Deja Vu.
Natalie Haynes reviews Birthday, Sky's new drama by Joe Penhall, in which Stephen Mangan plays a pregnant man.
Hanya Yanagihara, No Escape, Site-specific theatre, Boy Meets Girl
Hanya Yanagihara discusses her new novel A Little Life. Samira Ahmed presents.
Arts news, including Hanya Yanagihara discussing her novel A Little Life and Mark Eccleston reviewing the film No Escape. Plus Samira Ahmed takes a tour of site-specific theatre.
Hanya Yanagihara discusses her new novel A Little Life, which is on the Man-Booker Prize longlist. An exploration of friendship, the lifelong effects of abuse and the limits of human endurance.
Mark Eccleston reviews the American action film No Escape staring Owen Wilson, Lake Bell and Pierce Brosnan.
The challenges of putting on site-specific theatre, featuring new play Absent at Shoreditch Town Hall, which has been transformed into a hotel, and the creators of cult hit You Me Bum Bum train.
Boy Meets Girl is the UK's first transgender sitcom set to air on BBC2 next week. Writer and comedian Natalie Haynes reviews.
Presenter: Samira Ahmed
Producer: Anna Bailey.
Raised by Wolves, The Staves, Compton Verney, 1990 Boston art heist
Arts news with John Wilson, including a review of Caitlin Moran's series Raised by Wolves.
Caitlin Moran's TV series Raised by Wolves reviewed, plus The Staves on their new album If I Was, country mansion Compton Verney reopens, and the 1990 Boston art heist revisited.
Raised by Wolves is a new sitcom written by author Caitlin Moran and her sister Catherine. Based in Wolverhampton and set in a large, home-schooled family led by matriarch Stella, the series is loosely based on Moran's own upbringing. Natalie Haynes reviews
As The Staves prepare to release their second album If I Was, the singing Stavely-Taylor sisters - Jessica, Emily and Camilla - discuss recording in Wisconsin with Bon Iver, and how they create their three-part harmonies.
Compton Verney re-opens to the public this weekend. John Wilson visits the country mansion and art gallery and previews two new exhibitions: Canaletto: Celebrating Britain, and The Non-Conformists: Photographs by Martin Parr.
Boston journalist Stephen Kurkjian, and Antony Amore, head of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, look back at the world's largest private property theft there 25 years ago when artworks by Rembrandt and Vermeer were stolen and never seen again.
Presenter John Wilson
Producer Jerome Weatherald.