sun 24/07/2016

theartsdesk.com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Saddam Goes to Hollywood, Channel 4 / Keith Richards: The Origin of the Species, BBC Two

Adam Sweeting

Incredible but true, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein really did hire a largely-British film crew to come to his country and make a movie called Clash of Loyalties, about how Iraq...

Prom 11: Wilson, Creswell, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Wigglesworth

David Nice

It's not often you think you detect a future Brünnhilde in a soprano performing a great Verdi role, but that was the case when American Tamara Wilson made her UK debut last autumn...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bitori, Space Echo

Kieron Tyler

Since achieving international success in the final years of the 1980s, the late Cesária Évora has dominated much of globe’s perception of music from the Cape Verde (officially...

theartsdesk in The Faroe Islands: G! Festival 2016

Kieron Tyler

Familiar words pepper the lead item on the 9am radio news: "Brexit", "Theresa May", "Boris Johnson". Yet the bulletin is delivered in the first language of the 49,000-population...

CD: Viola Beach - Viola Beach

Lisa-Marie Ferla

It was somewhere around the third posthumous Jeff Buckley compilation that I realised that my love for an artist, and my completist nature, would never quite compensate for the...

Prom 9: Feola, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, Rhorer

David Nice

It's never easy readjusting to the weird and sometimes wonderful acoustics of Albert's colosseum at Proms time, least of all when the first thing you hear there comes from a...

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

Sarah Kent

American photographer William Eggleston is famous for dedicating himself to colour photography at a time when it was still...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Mahler, Nielsen, Schnittke

Graham Rickson

Bruckner: Mass No. 3 in F minor Soloists, Bavarian Radio Choir, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Robin Ticciati (Tudor)Good...

DVD: Around China With a Movie Camera

Graham Fuller

It’s comforting to reflect that some of the anonymous young people seen in Around China With a Movie Camera – a...

The BFG

Matt Wolf

Two cultural giants from different spheres align to occasionally sublime results in The BFG. Steven Spielberg's film locates...

Strictly goes to the Proms

Marianka Swain

The glitterball has landed. After loaning out Proms queen Katie Derham to Strictly Come Dancing last series, where...

Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

London’s West End may be the envy of the world, but when it comes to musicals the big-hitting theatres might have to up...

Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Marina Vaizey

Winifred Knights (1899-1947) was an impeccable draughtsman: her portrait drawings are compelling. She deployed fine webs of...

DVD: The Witch

Nick Hasted

New England in the 17th century is the primordial soup of American horror: where Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Hettie Prynne...

Pet Shop Boys, Royal Opera House

Thomas H Green

Anyone remember the Boobahs? They were the less successful cousins of the Teletubbies, from the same production house. They...

Cinderella, Ratmansky/Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Hanna Weibye

Does Alexei Ratmansky, former Bolshoi director and current world-leading classical choreographer, really love Prokofiev's...

Star Trek Beyond

Adam Sweeting

This is the third of the rebooted new generation Star Treks, and ultimately leaves you with the feeling that the intrepid...

CD: Ben Chatwin - Heat & Entropy

Joe Muggs

Ben Chatwin's music speaks loudly of solitude. He lives and records on the coast of the Firth of Forth, just outside...

Prom 5: Missa Solemnis, BBCPO, Noseda

Peter Quantrill

Even in a performance as well-organised as this one, masterminded by Gianandrea Noseda, there is still something of the...

Becca Stevens Band, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Matthew Wright

Becca Stevens’ limpid, luscious and artful fusion of Appalachian folk, jazz and indie rock found a perfectly empathetic...

Imagine... Danger! Cornelia Parker, BBC One

Marina Vaizey

Squash! Bulldoze! Blow-Up! Tie Up! Break-Up! Re-Build! There is practically nothing the artist Cornelia Parker won’t and can...

Some Girl(s), Park Theatre

Marianka Swain

Neil LaBute’s exercise in self-flagellation, first seen in 2005 and adapted for film in 2013, offers his familiar...

CD: Jim Causley & Luke Thompson - The Clay Hymnal

Tim Cumming

Devonian singer and accordionist Jim Causley released Cyprus Well, settings of his relative Charles Causley's poems, in 2013...

Pokémon Go

Stuart Houghton

If you've been outside in the past week or so, you will have seen someone playing Pokémon Go even if you didn’t realise it...

 

CINDERELLA, RATMANSKY/AUSTRALIAN BALLET, LONDON COLISEUM Serious choreography and lush design make this Surrealist fairytale a visual treat

PET SHOP BOYS, ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 30 years on, the electro-pop duo still joyously push the show to new places

PROM 9: FEOLA, LE CERCLE DE L'HARMONIE, RHORER Vivacious Italian soprano and first clarinet excel in Mozart and Mendelssohn

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE A classic musical reborn for a contemporary audience

SIX OF THE BEST: FILM Our recommendations for your viewing pleasure

WINIFRED KNIGHTS, DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY A forgotten Slade alumnus restored to prominence

disc of the day

CD: Viola Beach - Viola Beach

Young band's posthumous release is a fitting epitaph

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Brighton Festival

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Fuchsia Days

Second from Brighton outfit heads into deliciously cosmic easy listening

theartsdesk at Love Supreme Festival 2016: Kamasi Washington, Esperanza Spalding and Stanley Clarke

Laid back atmosphere, inspiring music at the UK’s only green field jazz festival

Brighton Festival: Brighton – Symphony of a City, Brighton Dome

A cinematic cross-section of life in London-by-Sea

tv

Saddam Goes to Hollywood, Channel 4 / Keith Richards: The Origin of the Species, BBC Two

Drunkenness and debauchery with Oliver Reed in Saddam Hussein's Iraq

Imagine... Danger! Cornelia Parker, BBC One

The artist who destroys things in order to create new ones

The Secret Agent, BBC One

Joseph Conrad swamped in melodrama and turgid music

film

DVD: Around China With a Movie Camera

Long-lost republic come stunningly alive again

The BFG

Mark Rylance lends moments of the sublime to standard issue Spielberg

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bitori, Space Echo

An eye-opening look at the Cape Verde’s fusion of West African and Brazilian musical styles

theartsdesk in The Faroe Islands: G! Festival 2016

A sense of communion at the North Atlantic festival where rain never stops play

CD: Viola Beach - Viola Beach

Young band's posthumous release is a fitting epitaph

classical

Prom 11: Wilson, Creswell, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Wigglesworth

High artistry and deep heartbreak in Wagner and Tippett

Prom 9: Feola, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, Rhorer

Vivacious Italian soprano and first clarinet excel in Mozart and Mendelssohn

Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Mahler, Nielsen, Schnittke

Austrian sacred music, a memorable live concert from Manchester and Russian violin sonatas

opera

Prom 11: Wilson, Creswell, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Wigglesworth

High artistry and deep heartbreak in Wagner and Tippett

The Golden Dragon, Music Theatre Wales, Buxton Festival

Peter Eötvös's new opera finds a world in a grain of egg fried rice

Jenůfa, Longborough Festival Opera

Janáček's happy-ending tragedy is powerfully moving despite untidy details

theatre

Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

A classic musical reborn for a contemporary audience

Some Girl(s), Park Theatre

Neil LaBute's masochistic odyssey is sporadically thought-provoking

Into the Woods, Menier Chocolate Factory

Off Broadway transfer illuminates Sondheim's fairy tales anew

visual arts

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

The American who made colour photography an art form

Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery

A forgotten Slade alumnus restored to prominence

Ragnar Kjartansson, Barbican Art Gallery

Fact and fiction coalesce in work by an artist born into an acting dynasty

dance

Strictly goes to the Proms

Canny brand synergy encourages fans to keep Promming

Cinderella, Ratmansky/Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Serious choreography and lush design make this Surrealist fairytale a visual treat

Swan Lake, Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Visiting Aussies are engaging in lush production, but the plot's not all that

comedy

theartsdesk Q&A: Garrison Keillor

As he hosts 'A Prairie Home Companion' for the last time, its creator looks back

Whose Line Is It Anyway?, London Palladium

Terrific fun from an old favourite

David Baddiel - My Family: Not the Sitcom, Menier Chocolate Factory

Funny and challenging show about the comic's parents

gaming

Pokémon Go

Game or viral phenomenon? Who cares - let's go hunting

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Lego returns to 'Star Wars' and creates a new summer blockbuster

Heroes of Loot 2

This fun take on the dungeon crawler is a blast in short bursts

Listed

Listed: Forget the Force
Star Wars wasn't the only groundbreaking film of 1977. We identify some others
The 11 Best Gigs on Film (after Stop Making Sense)
As Talking Heads' masterpiece is restored on disc, we hail the great screen concerts
Listed: The 100 Funniest Things about Downton Abbey
Julian Fellowes' juggernaut has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in six series. Here's how he did it

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