wed 23/04/2014

First with arts reviews, news & interviews

Privacy, Donmar Warehouse

Aleks Sierz

How careless are we about the details of our private life? Well, unsurprisingly the answer is “very”. To make this point, playwright James Graham explores the subject not only by...

Jamaica Inn, BBC One

Adam Sweeting

"Oi felt a darrrkness creepin' overrr me," said Mary Yellan's voice-over as we launched into the second night of the BBC's festival of contraband, squalor and smuggling. Mary,...

10 Questions for Artist Yinka Shonibare MBE

Mark Sheerin

Yinka Shonibare MBE makes work from a less entrenched position than his many decorations suggest. This Member of the British Empire (he adopted the initials as part of his name...

Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This, ITV

Veronica Lee

Comedians offer rich pickings to dramatists – whether they fall into the crying clown category, or the nice bloke on stage and complete arse off it, or the side-splittingly funny...

Exhibition

Emma Simmonds

Home is truly where the heart is in writer-director Joanna Hogg's extraordinarily astute and artistically alive third film, which takes in the minutiae of a marriage. Exhibition...

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker

Tom Birchenough

We see the harshness of everyday life in Danis Tanović’s An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker first in its snowy, subsistence landscapes, as hero Nazif goes out to the forest...

The School for Scheming, Orange Tree Theatre

Caroline Crampton

Usually, to describe a play as "of its time" is a criticism. It is suggestive of drama that hasn't aged well, that doesn't...

Fargo, Channel 4

Adam Sweeting

There's always room on top for another TV anti-hero. After Tony Soprano, Breaking Bad's Walter White and Mad Men's fatally...

Chris Marker: A Grin Without A Cat, Whitechapel Gallery

Fisun Güner

If you’re not already familiar with at least some aspects of Chris Marker’s work, this exhibition will feel overwhelming, if...

The Men They Couldn't Hang, Shepherd's Bush Empire

Jasper Rees

From the balcony overlooking the mosh pit you get a good idea of how long a band has been going. Last night at the Shepherd’...

La Traviata, Royal Opera

Sebastian Scotney

The German soprano Diana Damrau has had the role of Violetta Valéry in La Traviata in her sights for a very long time. As...

theartsdesk in Basel: More than Minimalism

David Nice

In a near-perfect, outward-looking Swiss city sharing borders with France and Germany, on a series of cloudless April days...

Messiah at the Foundling Hospital, BBC Two

Jasper Rees

The last time the BBC dramatised the creation of a great musical work, it didn’t quite hit the spot. Eroica starred Ian Hart...

Reissue CDs Weekly: John Tavener

Kieron Tyler

 John Tavener: The Protecting VeilIn its tribute to John Tavener which followed his death last November, theartsdesk...

The Love Punch

Matt Wolf

Even Emma Thompson's finely honed deadpan delivery can go only so far in The Love Punch, a caper movie (remember those?)...

theartsdesk Q&A: The Hilliard Ensemble

Matthew Wright

The sophisticated and exquisitely crafted sound of The Hilliard Ensemble has, over the past four decades, become one of the...

Classical CDs Weekly: Britten, Poulenc, Peter Whelan

Graham Rickson

 Britten to America – music for radio and theatre Hallé/Sir Mark Elder, Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore Samuel West (...

Christy Moore, Royal Festival Hall

Jasper Rees

“You’re great listeners. You have surrendered your ears.” The reverent hush that descended for two hours on the Festival...

A View From the Bridge, Young Vic

Matt Wolf

What is it with the London theatre and this particular Arthur Miller play? In 1987, Michael Gambon reached a career-best...

 

THEARTSDESK IN BASEL: MORE THAN MINIMALISM In a beautiful and cultured city, 20th-century music and art shine (Glass excepted)

AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER Taut Bosnian drama of survival, from documentary roots

CD: IGGY AZALEA  – THE NEW CLASSIC Aussie rapper writes her origin story on long-awaited debut

MESSIAH AT THE FOUNDLING HOSPITAL, BBC TWO The story of Handel's oratorio and Coram's charity seductively told

CHRIS MARKER: A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY A survey of the influential French filmmaker proves a difficult introduction to his work

LA TRAVIATA, ROYAL OPERA Opera lovers will not want to miss Damrau's authoritative, vocally triumphant Violetta

FARGO, CHANNEL 4 Brilliant start to tellyfication of the Coen brothers classic

disc of the day

CD: Pixies - Indie Cindy

A solid return from US alt-rock heroes

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Listed

Listed: Top 10 Children's Theatre Shows
Looking for a spot of cultural activity for your family this Easter hols?
Listed: Hauschka's Abandoned Cities
Experimental musician describes the abandoned cities that inspired his elegiac new album
Listed: Celebrating Dylan Thomas
As the great Welsh poet turns 100, theartsdesk lists 10 must-see centenary events

six of the best

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Six of the best: Theatre

Emil and the Mormons: a bit of everything in theartsdesk's tips

Six of the best: Art

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top exhibitions

film

DVD: Kill Your Darlings

Daniel Radcliffe delivers in this candid relaying of the definitive moment of a genre

Exhibition

Joanna Hogg's third film is a triumphant marriage of style and substance

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker

Taut Bosnian drama of survival, from documentary roots

tv

Jamaica Inn, BBC One

Cornish scenery steals the show in adaption of du Maurier smuggling yarn

Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This, ITV

Entertaining if unilluminating biopic about the comedian

Fargo, Channel 4

Brilliant start to tellyfication of the Coen brothers classic

new music

CD: Pixies - Indie Cindy

A solid return from US alt-rock heroes

CD: Iggy Azalea - The New Classic

Aussie rapper writes her origin story on long-awaited debut

The Men They Couldn't Hang, Shepherd's Bush Empire

Fiery anniversary gig for indestructible folk punk rebels

classical

theartsdesk in Basel: More than Minimalism

In a beautiful and cultured city, 20th-century music and art shine (Glass excepted)

Messiah at the Foundling Hospital, BBC Two

The story of Handel's oratorio and Coram's charity seductively told

theartsdesk Q&A: The Hilliard Ensemble

Early music ensemble that splashed with Jan Garbarek's saxophone-infused spirituality retires after 40 years

opera

La Traviata, Royal Opera

Opera lovers will not want to miss Damrau's authoritative, vocally triumphant Violetta

theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Nicole Cabell

The outstanding American singer on winning Cardiff, crying in performance and Kate Bush

Powder Her Face, English National Opera, Ambika P3

Stylish performances and a classic contemporary opera are lost in this awkward space

theatre

Privacy, Donmar Warehouse

James Graham’s new play about the internet is very entertaining but lacks drama

The School for Scheming, Orange Tree Theatre

A 19th-century comedy full of witty observations, sly mimicry and sarcastic asides

A View From the Bridge, Young Vic

Arthur Miller classic returns to the stage stripped back and stirred up

visual arts

10 Questions for Artist Yinka Shonibare MBE

The artist talks about his ambitious new work and tells us why he could never belong to a political party

Chris Marker: A Grin Without A Cat, Whitechapel Gallery

A survey of the influential French filmmaker proves a difficult introduction to his work

theartsdesk in Basel: More than Minimalism

In a beautiful and cultured city, 20th-century music and art shine (Glass excepted)

dance

Rodin, Eifman Ballet, London Coliseum

A ballet to offend lovers, geniuses, muses, sculptors, mental patients and women everywhere

theartsdesk Q&A: Lighting Designer Michael Hulls

Olivier Award-winning genius with light and dance explains his art

The Rite of Spring & Petrushka, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, Sadler's Wells

Dance theatre at full throttle in two contemporary takes on Ballets Russes classics

comedy

Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Udderbelly

Popular science show with a few whizz-bangs

10 Questions for Ventriloquist Nina Conti

What makes a postmodern vent act tick?

David Sedaris, Cadogan Hall

Essayist and raconteur tells richly comic tales

gaming

Noir Syndrome

A flawed but interesting attempt at a detective game

Kinect Sports Rivals

Motion-capture technology showcase without a soul

changeType/Ditto

Two ingenious platform games for free

latest comments

Would a blue coat under yellow lamplight really...

The interpretation of the greek remnants on the...

Great write up of what was a fantastic show. I'm...

Just finished all three Zen episodes for the...

I posted this in the discussion forum on the...

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