wed 30/07/2014

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

WOMAD 2014, Charlton Park

Peter Culshaw

If I had to pick the highlight of this sun-drenched WOMAD it would have to be the fresh, emotionally charged set of Ukrainian band Dakha Brakha. I can’t recall seeing such a...

What Lies Beneath: The Secret Life of Paintings

Florence Hallett

The doctoring of political images became something of a tradition in the last century, with Stalin, Hitler and Mao all airbrushing their enemies from photographs. The latest...

Prom 16: Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, Goetzel/Prom 17: Les Arts Florissants, Christie

David Nice

The sprightly tread of Handel’s Queen of Sheba, attended by two wonderful Turkish oboists, wove the most fragile of gold threads between full orchestral exotica and Rameau motets...

Mood Indigo

Graham Fuller

The magically off-kilter Mood Indigo is based on Boris Vian's posthumously celebrated Surrealist novel L'écume des jours (1947), one translated title of which is "Froth on the...

Romeo and Juliet, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House

Hanna Weibye

One of the reasons I always tell ballet sceptics to give Romeo and Juliet a go is that any production with halfway decent lovers and a vaguely competent rendition of Prokofiev’s...

A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic

Demetrios Matheou

The latest production of Tennessee Williams’s sultry, brutal yet poetic masterpiece is mainstream theatre that dares to go out on a limb. Directed by Benedict Andrews, it may...

Porgy and Bess, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

David Nice

It should work as pure musical theatre. Yet what precisely is Gershwin’s - or rather “The Gershwins’”, as this title frames...

A Bright Room Called Day, Southwark Playhouse

Marianka Swain

The pivotal early 1930s period in which Herr Hitler overcame strong if fractured left-wing opposition should make for meaty...

Hide Your Smiling Faces

Tom Birchenough

Daniel Patrick Carbone is a director who makes his viewers work. That's not meant to sound intimidating at all, because the...

Prom 14: Pahud, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Fischer

Bernard Hughes

Last night's Prom offered an intriguing mixture of French music both sacred and profane, with a British world premiere as...

A Hundred Million Musicians: China's Classical Challenge, BBC Four

Jasper Rees

A few years ago I sat high up in a rapt, sweltering Albert Hall as a lone pianist performed for two hours in the round....

theartsdesk at the Port Eliot Festival

Mark Hudson

Remember when festivals were only about what they were ostensibly about? When, say, Reading offered nothing beyond hard rock...

Red Arrows: Inside the Bubble, BBC Two

Adam Sweeting

The RAF's renowned aerobatics team found itself at the centre of a political mini-storm last week when it was asked to use...

Prom 12: Bach St John Passion, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Norrington

Kimon Daltas

Sir Roger Norrington, 80 this year, produced a masterful St John Passion in the first of his two appearances at this year’s...

Natural Affection, Jermyn Street Theatre

Siobhan Murphy

The work of William Inge doesn't get much of a look-in on British stages, but the American dramatist's depictions of...

theartsdesk in the Faroes: Disco and Dried Fish

Kieron Tyler

“Tonight, in the Faroe Islands, we’re going to find the greatest dancer.” It’s not an exhortation which often rings out. It...

Gallery: CBeebies Prom

theartsdesk

In recent years the BBC Proms have woken up to the idea that an audience for classical music can be captured young. The...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Troubadours - Folk and the Roots of American Music

Kieron Tyler

Various Artists: Troubadours - Folk and the Roots of American Music Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4This is one of the most...

The Secret History of Our Streets, BBC Two

Veronica Lee

Joseph Bullman's first series – about six London streets – won several awards, and deservedly so. Now he has turned his...

Classical CDs Weekly: Dvořák, Haydn, Janáček, Thomas Larcher

Graham Rickson

 Dvořák: Symphony no 8, Janáček: Symphonic Suite from Jenůfa Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck (Reference...

Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Tom Birchenough

The struggle of the migrant journey from Mexico and Central America to el Norte has been much in the news recently, and,...

Minecraft Pocket Edition

Stuart Houghton

Minecraft Pocket Edition has been around on Android and iOS since late 2011 and is still officially an alpha release. After...

The Nether, Royal Court Theatre

Aleks Sierz

There is so much public anxiety about paedophiles on the internet that it’s surprising that so few plays tackle the issue....

Restless Creature, Wendy Whelan, Linbury Studio Theatre

Hanna Weibye

If you’ve reached the top of your profession and then spent twenty years there, retiring is going to be hard. It will be...

 

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, YOUNG VIC, Gillian Anderson seems born to play Blanche DuBois

PROM 14: PAHUD, BBC NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF WALES, FISCHER A striking new flute concerto by Simon Holt between established French masterpieces

ROMEO AND JULIET, MARIINSKY BALLET Dated choreography is redeemed by luminous performances

THE ARTS DESK AT THE PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL Notting Hill meets Cornwall at boho-hippie-rock-literary love-in

HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES Impressive, enigmatic debut from American indie director Daniel Patrick Carbone

disc of the day

CD: Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

California girl's return confounds expectations

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As La finta giardiniera comes to Glyndebourne, we've got the pick of Mozart's lesser-known operas
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Family fun features as strongly as grown-up revels at many summer music festivals
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In which scoring aspires to the condition of culture

six of the best

Six of the best: Theatre

Let the right Mormons in: a bit of everything in theartsdesk's tips

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Six of the best: Art

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top exhibitions

film

Mood Indigo

There's method in the visual madness of Michel Gondry's tale of tragically blighted love

DVD: Venus in Fur

Polanski's play on sex and power in this adaptation of an erotic-classic

Hide Your Smiling Faces

Impressive, enigmatic debut from American indie director Daniel Patrick Carbone

tv

A Hundred Million Musicians: China's Classical Challenge, BBC Four

Will China's army of young instrumentalists conquer the planet?

Red Arrows: Inside the Bubble, BBC Two

On manoeuvres with the world's best-known aerobatics team

The Secret History of Our Streets, BBC Two

Return of enthralling social history series

new music

WOMAD 2014, Charlton Park

Sold-out World Music Festival warms to revolutionary Ukrainians

CD: Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

California girl's return confounds expectations

theartsdesk at the Port Eliot Festival

Notting Hill meets Cornwall at boho-hippie-rock-literary love-in

classical

Prom 16: Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, Goetzel/Prom 17: Les Arts Florissants, Christie

Communication at the highest level in orchestral orientalia and Rameau motets

Prom 14: Pahud, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Fischer

A striking new flute concerto by Simon Holt between established French masterpieces

A Hundred Million Musicians: China's Classical Challenge, BBC Four

Will China's army of young instrumentalists conquer the planet?

opera

Prom 6: Der Rosenkavalier, LPO, Ticciati

The Albert Hall may not be ideal for opera but Glyndebourne's latest visit fizzed with energy

La traviata, Glyndebourne

All musical elements fused to make great, stylish music drama of Verdi's intimate tragedy

theartsdesk Q&A: Tenor Michael Fabiano

American singer on the brink of superstardom talks Verdi, competition and inspiration

theatre

A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic

Gillian Anderson seems born to play Blanche DuBois, in this inventive and intense rendering of the Williams classic

Porgy and Bess, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Production obstacles stop Gershwin's great score and a valiant cast from shining

A Bright Room Called Day, Southwark Playhouse

Tony Kushner’s play chronicling Nazi ascent in Germany lacks punch

visual arts

What Lies Beneath: The Secret Life of Paintings

From mystery men to missing whales, paintings can reveal unexpected secrets

First World War Galleries, Imperial War Museum

An imaginative refit with 14 new galleries to tell the story of The Great War

First Person: Curating Shelagh Wakely

On mounting a show which gives a forgotten artist the recognition she deserves

dance

Romeo and Juliet, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House

Dated choreography is redeemed by luminous performances

Restless Creature, Wendy Whelan, Linbury Studio Theatre

Four collaborators but not much sparkle in former NYCB ballerina's new contemporary show

Coppélia, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Good clean fun from bright young things

comedy

theartsdesk at Latitude: Damon Albarn/Booker T Jones

Booker T Jones' set of Sixties hits wows the crowd - but is Damon Albarn's new solo material a touch too subtle to headline?

Chelsea Handler, London Palladium

Brisk and businesslike debut for US comic

Monty Python, O2 Arena

Reunion of comedy royalty is worth the wait

gaming

Minecraft Pocket Edition

The baby version of the hit PC game is now the real deal

FFFFF2P

A 'free-to-play' game that satirises its own modus operandi

MouseCraft

Cheesily-named puzzle game mixes Tetris and Lemmings…

latest comments

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