thu 24/07/2014

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

Shakespeare in Love, Noël Coward Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

“Comedy, and a bit with a dog”. That’s what audiences really want according to the hapless would-be-impresario Mr Henslowe, and that’s certainly what they get in Lee Hall’s new...

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, BBC One

Jasper Rees

What is an opening ceremony for? For the taste gendarmerie on Twitter, it’s a juicy chance to fall on the festivities like a pack of wolves and tear the thing to shreds. For...

Holy Warriors, Shakespeare’s Globe

Aleks Sierz

While it is something of a cliché to be reminded that forgetting the past is a sure way of repeating it, the problems of the Middle East are so acute that this thought might be...

Hercules

Jasper Rees

Scene: a Grecian palace on a studio lot. Gods wander about among the plywood and polystyrene looking deific. As a child is raised to the heavens a voice(over) is heard to intone...

Prom 6: Der Rosenkavalier, LPO, Ticciati

Kimon Daltas

If last year’s Ring cycle triumphantly proved that world-class opera can be done at the Albert Hall, this Rosenkavalier suggests that the less epic end of the repertoire isn’t...

The Purge: Anarchy

Nick Hasted

The Purge is the night each year when the US government turns off the law and lets mayhem rule, allowing crimes including murder and rape. Just let it all out of your system,...

Medea, National Theatre

Heather Neill

We know how the story ends, but then so did Euripides' first audience in Athens in 431 BC. Medea was already a familiar...

First World War Galleries, Imperial War Museum

Marina Vaizey

The Imperial War Museum is one of the most extraordinary museums in the world. Its contents and presentation triumph over...

theartsdesk at Latitude: Lily Allen/Haim

Katie Colombus

The only bad thing about Latitude is a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Some proper planning is advised - or a...

theartsdesk at Latitude: Damon Albarn/Booker T Jones

Matthew Wright

Booker T Jones seduced, his delivery a river of molasses, his beaming smile so suave it was difficult to believe he was,...

Man Overboard, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, LSO St Luke's

Heidi Goldsmith

If the 15-word limit of a succinct listings blurb ever taught you a lesson let it be immediate suspicion of any performer or...

Prom 4: World Orchestra for Peace, Gergiev

Sebastian Scotney

This was a rare outing by the World Orchestra for Peace, which has performed fewer than 20 concerts since the death of its...

Joe

Emma Simmonds

David Gordon Green is a director who's certainly not afraid to confound. His CV includes indie gems George Washington, All...

The Mill, Series 2, Channel 4 / The Lancaster: Britain's Flying Past, BBC Two

Adam Sweeting

Supposedly, The Mill [*] was Channel 4's highest-rating drama of 2013, and the viewers' reward is this second series....

Simon Trpčeski, Wigmore Hall

Jessica Duchen

No man is a prophet in his own land – except possibly the Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski. In the UK he shot to fame upon...

theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival: Littoral Schubertiad

David Nice

Schubert played and sung through a long summer day by the water: what could be more enchanting? The prospect did not take...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Ruthann Friedman

Kieron Tyler

 Ruthann Friedman: The Complete Constant Companion SessionsRuthann Friedman’s debut album ought to have clicked. Issued...

First Night of the Proms, BBCSO, Davis, Royal Albert Hall

David Nice

“And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were...

Some Like It Hot

David Benedict

In what is undoubtedly one of the earlier recorded examples of the single entendre, the original ad campaign for Some Like...

The Joy of the Guitar Riff, BBC Four

Andy Plaice

We all love a good guitar riff and so a whole hour devoted to this one simple pleasure sounds like a surefire hit. BBC Four...

I Am Divine

Karen Krizanovich

Divine is a lot more than dog poop. The minute you mention Divine – born Glenn Milstead in Baltimore, star of John Waters’...

Classical CDs Weekly: Hartmann, Mahler, Vaughan Williams

Graham Rickson

 Hartmann – Symphonies 1-8 Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, cond...

La traviata, Glyndebourne

David Nice

Some of us have witnessed Traviatas where single stars were born: Angela Gheorghiu for Solti at the Royal Opera nearly 20...

'Gimme a vodka and a floorplan': Elaine Stritch remembered

David Benedict

My (very) small haul of autographs collected as a schoolboy ran the gamut from Peter Pears to Linda McCartney but even back...

 

JOE David Gordon Green's latest marks a return to form for the mighty Nicolas Cage

PROM 4: WORLD ORCHESTRA FOR PEACE, GERGIEV  International orchestra brings the light of hope in a very dark week

THE MILL, SERIES 2, CHANNEL 4 Return of 19th century industrial saga is dingy, drab and didactic

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

THE ARTS DESK AT THE EAST NEUK FESTIVAL All-day Schubert by the sea and a Sibelius symphony in a working potato barn

disc of the day

CD: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

American institution returns to the ‘70s again

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Listed

Listed: 10 Mozart Operas You've Never Heard (of)
As La finta giardiniera comes to Glyndebourne, we've got the pick of Mozart's lesser-known operas
Listed: The Best UK Summer Music Festivals For Families
Family fun features as strongly as grown-up revels at many summer music festivals
Listed: The World Cup's Most Beautiful Goals
In which scoring aspires to the condition of culture

six of the best

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

Six of the best: Theatre

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

film

Hercules

3D reboot of the myth is hard labour

The Purge: Anarchy

Sequel to thoughtful action-horror hit deepens the dystopia

DVD: Too Late Blues

Jazz-world rollercoaster ride from John Cassavetes

tv

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, BBC One

Twitter votes no but Scotland puts out a cheerful welcome mat

The Mill, Series 2, Channel 4 / The Lancaster: Britain's Flying Past, BBC Two

Return of 19th-century industrial saga is dingy, drab and didactic

The Joy of the Guitar Riff, BBC Four

Beethoven, Berry and Black Sabbath: cracking the rock'n'roll code

new music

CD: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

American institution returns to the ‘70s again

CD: Black Top - # One

A powerful, genre-defying debut album from the shape-shifting ensemble

theartsdesk at Latitude: Lily Allen/Haim

Kid-friendly festival has an audience as eclectic as the line-up

classical

Man Overboard, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, LSO St Luke's

London's cross-collaborating ensemble wears its USP on its sleeve

Prom 4: World Orchestra for Peace, Gergiev

International orchestra brings the light of hope in a very dark week

Simon Trpčeski, Wigmore Hall

A Macedonian magician whose still waters run deep

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

Shakespeare in Love, Noël Coward Theatre

A joyous, ebullient adaptation whose real romance is with theatre itself

Holy Warriors, Shakespeare’s Globe

New play about the Crusades fails to really communicate the lessons of history

Medea, National Theatre

An updating of Euripides which retains its mythical power

visual arts

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

Malevich, Tate Modern

An exhilarating exhibition following the arc of the Russian modernist's career

dance

theartsdesk in Paris: San Francisco Ballet 2

New work by Liam Scarlett stands above offerings from Wheeldon, Morris and Liang

Opinion: Too Strictly? Battle in the ballroom

An ill-conceived new ruling could have disastrous effects on the dance community

theartsdesk in Paris: San Francisco Ballet 1

The Americans on tour in pieces by Tomasson, Balanchine and Robbins

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

FFFFF2P

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

MouseCraft

Cheesily-named puzzle game mixes Tetris and Lemmings…

Fluid SE

A finely tuned test of skill that will draw you back for just one more try

latest comments

Went last night. Two seats in the stalls @ £50...

Interesting perspective. For me, the audacious...

A truly remarkable film. The first 30 minutes in...

David you raise very good questions indeed, as...

Fair review, I'm sure, Sebastian, but the...

Yes, one or two minor false notes, certainly;...

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