Saturday Review - 30/05/2009

Tom Sutcliffe is joined by historian Tristram Hunt, writer Kathryn Hughes and director of the ICA Ekow Eshun to discuss the cultural highlights of the week - featuring a haunted house, a shrinking room and some intimate animation. The Little Stranger is a new novel by Sarah Waters and takes us back to the austere world of late 1940s Britain. A crumbling stately home in Warwickshire and the family which lives in straightened circumstances there become objects of increasing fascination for a local doctor. But his belief in the rational, scientific world is shaken by some strange goings on at the old house. Four mathematicians in a room may sound like the set-up for a geeky gag, but it's also the starting point for the Spanish thriller Fermat's Room, written and directed by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopena. The four boffins have been brought together by the mysterious Fermat, but soon discover that their host plans to crush them in an ever-shrinking room unless they can solve a succession of puzzles. Apart from his work as an actor, Wallace Shawn is also a distinguished playwright. A current season of his plays at the Royal Court includes a revival of Aunt Dan and Lemon, a play which was originally premiered there in 1985. Lemon is a reclusive young woman who reminisces about the powerful influence that family friend Aunt Dan had on her as child. A charismatic academic, Dan's legacy may not be what Lemon's liberal parents would have wished for. Tracey Emin's first show of new work for four years is called Those who suffer Love. The show is intimate both in the revealing nature of pages from Emin's diaries and also in the content of her drawings. Although she describes it as 'essentially a drawings show', the exhibition also features animation, neon and sewn work. Hope Springs is a family drama on BBC1. Alex Kingston's Ellie persuades her gang of four female ex-cons to lie low with their swag in a picturesque Highland village until they can leave for a life of ill-gotten leisure in Barbados. Inevitably nothing goes quite to plan and the village isn't quite as sleepy as it seems.


  • 2009-05-30 19:15:00 - 2009-05-30 20:00:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,