tue 23/01/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Benedict
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Imagine, if you will, discovering a ninth-rate old melodrama about upper-class nonsense, hiring a bunch of actors including a couple of starry friends big in comedy and putting it...
Marina Vaizey
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Michael Portillo has barely been off a train since leaving politics, taking journeys blending scenery and history: it must be a relief receiving plaudits for edutainment instead...
Robert Beale
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
You can’t help liking Joshua Bell. The Peter Pan violin soloist of the classical world has been in the business for more than 30 years and still has his boyish looks and, more...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
Adapted by Raymond Briggs from his best-selling graphic novel, When the Wind Blows was released in 1986 and stands up so well that you’re inclined to forgive its flaws: namely...
Jasper Rees
Monday, 22 January 2018
In 2016 the Bristol Old Vic turned 250. To blow out the candles, England’s oldest continually running theatre summoned home one of its most splendid alumni. Jeremy Irons – Charles...
Alexandra Coghlan
Monday, 22 January 2018
Rapture, ecstasy, ardour, and a few cheeky fumbles in the bushes – Louise Alder and James Baillieu’s Wigmore recital promised “Chants d’amour” and delivered amply, giving us love...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 22 January 2018
Colin Currie is increasingly coming to be seen as Steve Reich’s representative on Earth. His Colin Currie Group was founded...
Russ Coffey
Monday, 22 January 2018
The Time is Now sees Craig David's career well into its Indian summer. The story of how he got here is well known: back...
Katherine Waters
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Part travelogue and part broad analysis of the current and future challenges facing the EU, the premise of Bruno Maçães’s...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 January 2018
How much of someone else’s despair is it possible to take? What are the limits on putting a sense of desolation or isolation...
Guy Oddy
Sunday, 21 January 2018
If sunny tunes that put a spring in your step and a positive spin on the day are what you are looking for to blast away the...
Katherine Waters
Saturday, 20 January 2018
It seems they’re having trouble with the lights. Thirty-five past five and they’re not yet on. “Typical,” laughs a woman,...
Hanna Weibye
Saturday, 20 January 2018
The run of Giselle that opened at the Royal Opera House last night was completely sold out before it even started, and no...
Jasper Rees
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Sara Lund and Saga Norén have a lot to answer for. Their adventures in the murk of murder as they grapple with their own...
David Nice
Saturday, 20 January 2018
This was an evening of Iberian highways re-travelled, but with a difference. At the beginning of 2016, the centenary of...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 20 January 2018
 Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel (Sony)This set’s arrival sent me...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature premiered at last year’s Directors' Fortnight in Cannes, and immediately marked the...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 19 January 2018
Is modernism dead and buried? Anyone considering the long haul of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party from resounding flop in...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 19 January 2018
What did the Romans do for us? On the evidence of new drama Britannia, they pillaged, murdered and tortured, but also found...
Robert Beale
Friday, 19 January 2018
Alisa Weilerstein is making two visits to Manchester in just over three weeks. Last night it was with the Hallé, next time...
 

★★★ THE FINAL YEAR Greg Barker documents Obama's last year in office

★★★★ BBCSO, PONS, BARBICAN Love hurts in vivid Spanish double bill

★★★★ GISELLE, ROYAL BALLET Marianela Nuñez and Federico Bonelli in a production of classic good taste

★★★★ THE POST Spielberg's glorious paean to print

JEREMY IRONS INTERVIEW In his 70th year the actor looks back on Olivier and Gielgud, on the Oscars and his start at Bristol Old Vic

★★★★★ THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, HAROLD PINTER THEATRE Toby Jones, Zoë Wanamaker and co breathe vibrant new life into classic Pinter comedy of menace

★★★ REBECKA MARTINSSON: ARCTIC MURDERS, MORE4 Crime drama from the far north looks good but doesn't quite grip

★★★ CD: HOLLOW COOK - VESSEL OF LOVE Ex-Slit turns up the sunshine with some mellow lovers rock

★★★★ DVD/BLU-RAY: I AM NOT A WITCH Rungano Nyoni’s strong and intriguing debut feature is a challenging African fable-satire  

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: When the Wind Blows

Chilling, animated vision of nuclear war, based on Raymond Briggs' graphic novel

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tv

Great American Railway Journeys, Series 3, BBC Two review - edutainment despite shortage of trains

The train buff journey continues: Michael Portillo embarks on his East Coast route

Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders, More4 review - Swedish sleuth is a cold case

Crime drama from the far north looks good but doesn't quite grip

Britannia, Sky Atlantic review - Druids, sex and sorcery

Roman legions versus warring tribes and hippie squatters

film

DVD/Blu-ray: When the Wind Blows

Chilling, animated vision of nuclear war, based on Raymond Briggs' graphic novel

Jeremy Irons: 'I was never very beautiful' - interview

In his 70th year the actor looks back on Olivier and Gielgud, on the Oscars and his start at Bristol Old Vic

DVD/Blu-ray: I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni’s strong and intriguing debut feature is a challenging African fable-satire

new music

CD: Craig David - The Time is Now

The singer's re-rewind continues. But are the songs still as good?

Reissue CDs Weekly: Television Personalities

‘Beautiful Despair’, a collection of previously unreleased demos, is an uncomfortable listen

CD: Hollie Cook - Vessel of Love

Ex-Slit turns up the sunshine with some mellow lovers rock

classical

Bell, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - life and imagination

Peter Pan soloist has kept his enthusiasm, enjoyment, humour and musicality

Louise Alder, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall review - sensual heat thaws a winter's evening

Superb young lyric soprano's voice only grows in breadth and beauty

Colin Currie Group, Kings Place review - dynamism and detail in Steve Reich

All-Reich programme offers intensity and focus, but surprising nuance too

opera

BBCSO, Pons, Barbican review - love hurts in vivid Spanish double bill

Flamenco singer in Falla and dramatic mezzo as Granados's heroine cue vibrant passion

The Return of Ulysses, Royal Opera, Roundhouse review - musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft

Monteverdi magic from peerless performers, triumphing over a messy production

Salome, Royal Opera review – lurid staging still packs a punch

Compelling production returns, but with a patchy cast

theatre

Lady Windermere's Fan, Vaudeville Theatre review - Wilde abandoned
Jennifer Saunders gets laughs, but Kathy Burke's lamentable production misses the point
Jeremy Irons: 'I was never very beautiful' - interview
In his 70th year the actor looks back on Olivier and Gielgud, on the Oscars and his start at Bristol Old Vic
The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter Theatre review - starry cast create a stunning masterpiece
Toby Jones, Zoë Wanamaker and co breathe vibrant new life into classic Pinter comedy of menace

dance

Giselle, Royal Ballet review - beautiful dancing in a production of classic good taste

Perfect storytelling through dance from Marianela Nuñez and excellent supporting cast

Song of the Earth/La Sylphide, English National Ballet review - sincerity and charm in a rewarding double bill

An odd-couple programme delivers both exquisite dancing and emotional truth

Best of 2017: Dance

Classical ballet dominates the highlights reel as chosen by theartsdesk's critics

gaming

Best of 2017: Games

Quality nearly matches quantity

Star Wars Battlefront II review - an opportunity missed

The force is less strong with this one

visual arts

Lumiere London review - London in a different light

Artichoke curate luminous installations and projections round the capital

Selma Parlour: Upright Animal, Pi Artworks review - incandescent colours

Opaque paintings evoke Renaissance perspective, classical architecture and satellite landscapes

Art UK, Art of the Nation review - public art in a private space

Digital catalogue of the nation's art distilled by five artists' choices

latest comments

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