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20181222

Mary Poppins returns to the silver screen with Emily Blunt in the title role and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the lamplighter. It's a sequel not a remake with all new songs very much in the style of The Sherman Brothers' originals. Is it unfair to compare it with the much-loved Disney original? or is it impossible not to?
The screenwriter of Black Panther, Danai Gurira's play The Convert at London's Young Vic stars Letitia Wright and Paapa Essiedu. Set in late 19th century Africa, a young woman is working for a devout Catholic priest who wants to spiritually mould her.
John Lanchester's novel The Wall is about why the young are correct to distrust the old
Dead Poets Live is about putting poetry on the stage, drawing together the most exciting performers to bring our greatest poets to new audiences, creating theatre out of poems and poets
BBC1 has some BIG Christmas drama offerings. And it includes a 3 part adaptation of Andrea Levy's award-winning novel The Long Song, set in Jamaica during the final years of slavery and the transition to freedom.

Tom Sutcliffe is joined by Andrew O'Hagan, Rowan Pelling and Stephanie Merritt. The producer is Oliver Jones.

Main image: Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns. Credit: Disney Pictures.

Podcast Extra

Andrew recommends The Life of Saul Bellow, Vol II - Love and Strife, 1965-2005 by Zachary Leader.
Rowan recommends Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.
Stephanie recommends The Affair, ITV.
Tom recommends James Joyce's Letters to Nora.

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events.

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

20181229

Find out what Saturday Review listeners chose as their cultural highlights of 2018. 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 Ekow Eshun and lots of listeners on the phone from around the country, who tell us what particularly impressed them last year.
The producer is Oliver Jones
Podcast extra recommendations:
Ekow: Strange days exhibition
Tiffany: pre-sale auction houses
Tom; Bill Viola

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events.

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

20190202

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events.

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

Doctor Faustus, The Image Book, Care, Hazards of Time Travel, Darren Almond20181208

Christopher Marlow's Doctor Faustus at Shakespeare's Globe in London stars Jocelyn Jee Esian as Faustus and Pauline McLynn as Mephistopheles and is directed by Paulette Randall.
Jean Luc Godard's The Image Book is described as an avant-garde horror movie, a vast mosaic of image and sound exploring the modern Arabic world. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Although it did not win the official prize, the jury awarded it the first "Special Palme d'Or" in the festival's history
Sheridan Smith, Alison Steadman and Sinead Keenan star in Care, a new 90-minute drama on BBC One, by Jimmy McGovern, co-written with Gillian Juckes whose real life experiences of how the NHS responds to patients with dementia formed the inspiration for the story.
Joyce Carol Oates’s Hazards of Time Travel is her 46th novel and its published alongside a reissue of her bestselling novel Blonde, a fictionalised account of Marilyn Munro’s life. At 80 Oates is a five times Pullitzer prize finalist. Hazards of Time Travel is a dystopian narrative sets 20 years from now in a totalitarian North American States, or NAS where the punishment for speaking out is "deletion."
Darren Almond's new work includes Time Will Tell and 9 x 9 x 9 at White Cube Bermondsey and focuses on the idea of time and how it is articulated through the language of numbers.
Tom Sutcliffe's guests are David Benedict, Helen Lewis and Meg Rosoff. The producer is Hilary Dunn
Podcast Extra:
Helen Lewis's choice - Normal People by Sally Rooney
Meg Rosoff's choice - Fiddler On The Roof at the Menier Chocolate Factory
David Benedict's choice - Radio 3's Remembering World War 1: Vaughan WIlliams and Beyond including Cheryl Frances-Hoad's new work Last Man Standing

Doctor Faustus, Godard's The Image Book, Care, Hazards of Time Travel and Darren Almond

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

Dumbo, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, Van Gogh and Britain, Ewan Morrison, Sean Scully20190330

Disney's latest live action remake of one of their classic cartoons is Dumbo, reimagined by Tim Burton.
Grief Is The Thing With Feathers was a novel by Max Porter and has now been adapted for the stage by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy. It has just opened at the Barbican in London.
Vincent Van Gogh lived in London for a few years and Tate Britain is staging an Exhibition Van Gogh and and Britain looking at the artists who influenced him, his own work and the artists he has influenced.
Ewan Morrison's novel Nina X is a kidnap story about a young girl who was brainwashed by a Maoist cult before eventually being rescued and rehabilitated.
British artist Sean Scully is one of Britain's richest artists and BBC2's Arena has followed him for a year, painting and creating and opening exhibitions of his work around the world.
Tom Sutcliffe's guests are John Tusa, Deborah Moggach and Alex Preston. The producer is Oliver Jones

Podcast Extra recommendations

Deborah: Judges Lodgings in Presteigne
John: The Way We Live Now by Trollope
Alex: Standing At The Sky's Edge at The Crucible in Sheffield
Tom: Wild Swans by Jung Chang

Dumbo, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, Van Gogh and Britain, Ewan Morrison, Sean Scully.

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

Mary Queen of Scots, Approaching Empty, Leila Slimani, Fausto Melotti, Ride Upon The Storm20190119

A new film telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots and her relationship with Elizabeth I, stars Saiorse Ronan and Margot Robbie as the 2 queens
Approaching Empty is a new play by Ishy Din just opened at The Kiln Theatre in London. Set in a run-down minicab office in the north of England, it deals with how far you can trust your oldest friends
Prix Goncourt-winning Leila Slimani's latest novel Adele is about a woman who - bored with her apparently idyllic married life - decides to plunge into a world of illegal drugs, anonymous rampant sex, excessive alcohol and she has to lie to her disabled husband.
Fausto Melotti was an Italian Futurist sculptor. Revered in Italy, he is less known beyond its borders but an exhibition at The Estorick Collection hopes to increase awareness of his harmonious and delicately-poised work
Ride Upon The Storm is part of Channel 4's Walter Presents strand of international dramas. A Danish series by BAFTA award winning writer Adam Price, who previously created Borgen. Starring Lars Mikkelsen, it's about a family of priests with an ungodly father and all-too-human sons

Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Luke Jennings, Deborah Bull and Patrice Lawrence. The producer is Oliver Jones

Podcast Extra recommendations

Luke: Mr Robot TV series
Patrice: audiobook of The Rivers of London, read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Deborah: Until The Lions by Akram Khan
Tom: the book A Long Way To Shilo by Lionel Davidson and the film Free Solo

Mary Queen of Scots, Approaching Empty, Leila Slimani, Fausto Melotti, Ride Upon The Storm

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

MK Gallery, Benjamin, Northern Ballet's Victoria, Sadie Jones, Memes and Selfies on BBC420190316

Simon Amstell directs his first cinema release - Benjamin. The title character is a thinly-disguised version of himself with nervous lack of self esteem who is directing a film about himself. It's all very meta but is it marvellous?
Milton Keynes has just reopened its art gallery. Much enlarged and architecturally improved, the first exhibition there is The Lie Of The Land, charting how the British landscape was transformed by changes in free time and leisure
The bicentenary of Queen Victoria's birth has seen lots of artistic projects to mark the moment. Norther Ballet has commissioned a work by choreographer Cathy Marston which looks at the Queen's life through her relationship with her youngest daughter.
Sadie Jones won the Costa First Novel award for her book The Outcast and her latest The Snakes is set in contemporary London and Burgundy.
BBC4 marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web with programmes including Me My Selfie and I presented by Ryan Gander and How To Go Viral: The Art of the Meme With Richard Clay

Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Ellen E Jones, Jen Harvie and Toby Lichtig . The producer is Oliver Jones

PodcastExtra recommendations

Jen: Carolee Schneemann and Katherine Araniello
Ellen: The Dropout podcast
Toby: Max Cooper and Country by Michael Hughes
Tom: James Mays' BBC documentary on Hornby Trains

MK Gallery, Benjamin, Northern Ballet's Victoria, Sadie Jones, Memes and Selfies on BBC4

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

Pinter at The Pinter, Stan and Ollie, Eric Vuillard, Whistler and Nature, Guitar Drum and Bass20190112

The staging of all Harold Pinter's one act plays at The Pinter Theatre in London continues - We've been to see Party Time and Celebration
Stan and Ollie is a film that examines the relationship between the two film comedy pioneers Laurel and Hardy as they toured the UK in their twilight years. Starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly it deals with their occasional disputes and deep love and respect for each other
Eric Vuillard's novel The Order Of The Day won 2017's Prix Goncourt. It's about Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland, imagining the processes and machinations that made it possible and not quite the triumph it was portrayed
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has an exhibition of "Whistler and Nature". exploring how J.M. Whistler's relationship towards the natural world evolved throughout his life
Guitar Drum and Bass is a new series on BBC4, exploring the role that these instruments have played in the development of popular music - what makes a great drummer/bassist/guitarist?

Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Mark Billingham, Alice Jones and Susannah Clapp. The producer is Oliver Jones

Podcast extra
Alice recommends Daniel Kitson at Battersea Arts Centre
Mark recommends the Twitter poetry exchange between Richard Osman and Piers Morgan. Also the reissue of The Beatles' White Album, Willie Vlautin
Susannah recommends Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies
Tom recommends the podcast Broken Hearts

Pinter, Stan and Ollie, Eric Vuillard, Whistler and Nature, Guitar Drum and Bass

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

Pose on BBC Two; Us; Jews, Money, Myth; Pepperland; The Parade20190323

Jordan Peele’s debut feature film, Get Out, won him an Oscar for best original screenplay. His new film Us is also a horror film, features a score by Michael Abels and stars Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide Wilson whose childhood obsession with the Hands Across America commercial reverberates through the film.

American tv drama Pose on BBC 2 features the largest transgender cast of any commercial, scripted TV show and trans writers Janet Mock and Our Lady J worked on the script alongside the show’s creators, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals. Ryan Murphy’s previous TV credits include Glee, Nip/Tuck and American Horror Story. Pose is set in 1987–88 and looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the African-American and Latino ball culture world, the downtown social and literary scene, and the rise of the yuppie Trump milieu.

Dave Eggers is an American writer, editor, and publisher. He has written 14 books, including A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What Is the What, The Circle and Heroes of the Frontier. His new novel The Parade tell the story of two foreign contracters who are sent to finish a highway in an unnamed country which is emerging from decades of war into a fragile peace.

Jews, Money, Myth at the Jewish Museum in London is a major exhibition exploring the role of money in Jewish life. Art work included Rembrandt's first masterpiece Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver and new commissions by Jeremy Deller and Doug Fishbone.

American choreographer Mark Morris's Pepperland premiered at Liverpool’s Sgt Pepper at 50 festival in 2017 and is a collaboration between Morris and composer Ethan Iverson inspired by the Beatles iconic album. It is described as an "exuberant new dance work, visually on the cusp of Carnaby Street and Woodstock, it teases out the album’s colourfully avant-garde heart and eccentric charm, and resounds with all the ingenuity, musicality and wit for which the Mark Morris Dance Group is known.” Ethan Iverson composes a score featuring six idiosyncratic, jazzy reinventions of the original Beatle songs, including A Day in the Life, When I’m Sixty-Four, Penny Lane (originally meant to be on album, With a Little Help From My Friends and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club, and is performed live by a seven-piece band.

Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Kate Bassett, Kit Davis and Don Guttenplan . The producer is Hilary Dunn

Jordan Peele's Us, Pose on BBC 2, Jews Money Myth, Mark Morris's Pepperland and The Parade

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

Snowflake, Mowgli, Emiliano Monge, Rachel Maclean, Springsteen on Broadway20181215

Mike Bartlett's play Snowflake is at The Old Fire Station in Oxford. It centres around a father who is awaiting the return of his daughter who walked out of his life 2 years before. Will she return? Why did she leave? Who is the young woman who arrives while he's waiting? It's a play for Christmas with warmth at its heart
Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle is the latest version of The Jungle Book just released on Netflix. Directed by Andy Serkis and starring motion-capture animals with famous voice actors, what USP makes it different from the previous versions.
Prize winning Mexican author Emiliano Monge's novel Among The Lost is a grim tale of 24 hours in the lives of 2 human traffickers in Latin America. How can an author breathe life into and make us care for two merciless criminals
Rachel Maclean's show at London's National Gallery is The Lion and The Unicorn a video work based around the Scottish Independence referendum of 2014.
If you are a fan of Bruce Springsteen, you will LOVE Springsteen on Broadway, a recording of his solo Broadway solo concert series which ran for 236 shows. If you're not, is it possible that you might be won over? Our reviewers were; find out why.
Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Natalie Haynes, Linda Grant and Nikesh Shukla. The producer is Oliver Jones

Podcast Extra

Natalie recommends Company at The Gielgud Theatre in London, Hadestown at London's National Theatre, Good Grief Charlie Brown at Somerset House and the TV series Community
Nikesh recommends The Good Place and Go Ahead In The Rain by Hanif Abdurraqib
Linda recommends Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Tom recommends going to see Monarch OF The Glen at London's National Gallery

Snowflake, Mowgli, Emiliano Monge, Rachel Maclean, Springsteen on Broadway

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

The Maids, Roma, David Szalay, Mantegna and Bellini, Gun No 620181201

Jean Genet's play The Maids has been adapted for an all-male cast at HOME in Manchester
Alfonso Cuaron's latest film Roma won the top prize at this year's Venice Film Festival. Made with funding from Netflix it is getting a limited cinema release before it is available online in order to be eligible for Oscar consideration.
Turbulence is the newest book from David Szalay; a collection of 12 interconnected short stories all of which revolve around international flights
London's National Gallery has an exhibition of work by two astounding artists who happened to be and brothers-in-law: Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini. It tells a story of art, family, rivalry, and personality.
Gun No.6 is a documentary which tells the story of each crime carried out over a decade, using Britain's most deadly, illegal gun.
Tom Sutcliffe's guests are Deborah Moggach, Catherine O'Flynn and Cahal Dallat. The producer is Oliver Jones
Podcast Extra:
Deborah recommends the Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy in London
Catherine recommends Stan's Cafe and The Commentators
Cahal recommends Conrad Shawcross: Psychogeometries
Tom recommends People Just Do Nothing on BBC3

Genet's The Maids, Cuaron's Roma, David Szalay: Turbulence, Mantegna and Bellini, Gun No 6

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

The Return of the Obra Dinn, Fashioned from Nature, The Horror of Dolores Roach and escape rooms20190105

Is 2019 the year to try something new? In this alternative edition of Saturday Review presented by Jordan Erica Webber, the panel review a fashion exhibition, a horror podcast, a murder mystery video game, two coming of age graphic novels and try to get out of a World War Two themed escape room.

The Return of the Obra Dinn, a video game set in the 1807 in which you take on the role of an insurance adjuster, tasked with investigating a ship that has drifted into harbour after five years lost at sea, and determining the fates of the 60 people aboard.

Fashioned from Nature, an exhibition in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum looking at the natural origins to the clothes we wear as well as the fashion industry’s toll on nature.

The Horror of Dolores Roach, is a gory podcast drama which updates Sweeney Todd into a contemporary gentrified New York neighbourhood, starring Daphne Rubin-Vega and Bobby Cannavale.

Two coming of age graphic novels, Grafity’s Wall by Ram V and My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies from Ed Brubaker. The former is about four young people living in Mumbai, the latter is a pulp-fiction tale about a American teenage girl in a rehabilitation centre.

Plus the panel visit an escape room, a physical game which asks players to solves puzzle in order to win their escape from a room within a set time. The Adventure Begins in London, is themed around a World War Two prisoner of war camp, will our panelist make it out in time?

Jordan’s guests are Shahidha Bari, Amber Butchart, and Rajan Data.

Produced by Kate Bullivant.

An alternative edition looking at fashion, podcasts, video games and escape rooms.

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, Kafka's Last Trial20190126

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events.

Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events, with Tom Sutcliffe and guests