fri 21/11/2014

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

Mike Nichols, 1931-2014

Matt Wolf

He was at home with screen newcomers at the time like Dustin Hoffman and Cher and knew how to handle such old pros as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, while his stage work...

Far Cry 4

Simon Munk

When is more too much? Far Cry 4 continues to expand the freedom enshrined in the freeroaming, first-person shooter series, but this time takes things perhaps too far, diluting...

God Bless the Child, Royal Court Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Much of the recent programming of the Royal Court has flaunted a preference for gimmicky gestures rather than the hard work involved in developing new playwrights. So after its...

Winter Sleep

Tom Birchenough

This year’s Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep (Kiş Uykusu) is a monumental film. Not merely in its scale – though at 196 minutes, it...

Vogt, LPO, Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall

Edward Seckerson

Music lovers invariably divide into two factions over the Brahms piano concertos: those who thrill to the elemental D minor and those who prefer to bask in the more reflective...

Confessions of a Copper, Channel 4

Adam Sweeting

This will have brought a nostalgic tear to the eye of fans of The Sweeney (the TV show, not the Ray Winstone movie) or GF Newman's still-shocking 1978 series Law and Order. The...

BBC Singers, BBCSO, Pons, Barbican

David Nice

Had the BBC Symphony Orchestra been at full stretch, rather than in the neoclassical and otherwise selective formations of...

What We Do in the Shadows

Veronica Lee

Clearly the makers of this delightful film from New Zealand have watched a lot of movies, as so many are neatly and...

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, National Theatre

Matt Wolf

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, David Hare's adaptation of Katherine Boo's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, works as both play...

Triptych, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

How long should a dance programme be? Opera and theatre habitués can be surprised by outings to contemporary dance, where...

L'Elisir d'Amore, Royal Opera

Jessica Duchen

“Watch out for the dog!” instructs Covent Garden’s programme for its latest revival of L’elisir d’amore. These creatures do...

Daphnis et Églé/La Naissance d'Osiris, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican

Jenny Gilbert

Were it not for William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, the vocal and instrumental ensemble he started in Paris in the...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One

Emma Dibdin

Fortune, as a rule, does not favour Part Threes. Hollywood history is replete with sequels that outstrip their predecessors...

Snarky Puppy, The Roundhouse

Peter Quinn

It's day five of the EFG London Jazz Festival, and Snarky Puppy's show at the Roundhouse has sold out weeks in advance. And...

Loop, The Garage, London

Barney Harsent

You know that thing? That thing that bands of a certain age do? You know… the thing where they get all misty-eyed about...

Noel Fielding, Eventim Apollo

Veronica Lee

Many of the audience for An Evening with Noel Fielding were still in nappies when the comic first plied his trade as one...

Imagine... Anselm Kiefer, BBC One

Florence Hallett

Anselm Kiefer reminds me a bit of someone I once worked for. Totally unpredictable, and possessed of a formidable...

Accolade, St James Theatre

Marianka Swain

Reclaiming lost plays can be unnecessary indulgence, but Blanche McIntyre’s note-perfect production of Emlyn Williams’ 64-...

24 Hours in Police Custody, Channel 4

Jasper Rees

“Your law is too soft. Make it more strict.” An Albanian illegal immigrant suspected of handling stolen goods was...

The Homesman

Emma Simmonds

Taking inspiration from classic westerns even as it vigorously sets itself apart, The Homesman combines the taciturn and...

The Bad Plus, Village Underground

Matthew Wright

Is it a strength or weakness that The Bad Plus, who bounced the Village Underground into raptures last night, can create a...

Rosemary's Baby, Lifetime

Fisun Güner

Polish director Agnieszka Holland is best known for two Holocaust films, both based on remarkable true stories: the 1990...

Dancing Cheek to Cheek, BBC Four

Hanna Weibye

I am picturing a scene in BBC4’s highly fortified underground headquarters, a conversation between its mastermind-in-chief...

10 Questions for Songwriter Jackson Browne

Adam Sweeting

If there's one commonly-known fact about Jackson Browne, it's that (with a bit of help from Glenn Frey) he wrote "Take It...

 

IMAGINE...ANSELM KIEFER, BBC ONE Entertaining but two-dimensional, Alan Yentob's account glosses over the artist's flaws

L'ELISIR D'AMORE, ROYAL OPERA The sun shines out of Vittorio Grigolo's behind in a strong revival of Laurent Pelly's production

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS Vampire fun from New Zealand

BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS, NATIONAL THEATRE Rufus Norris staging works both on its own terms and as a bold sign of what's to come

TRIPTYCH, RAMBERT, SADLER's WELLS Great dancers in long programme of new work by Baldwin, Jeyasingh and Page

LOOP, THE GARAGE Drone-rock pioneers find new lease of life 22 years after folding

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We Made It

We Made It: Sub Pac Inventor John Alexiou

Meet the Canadian inventor changing the way you experience music

We Made It: Make-up Artist Nina Pratley

The art of faces, from Formula 1 groupies to alien armies

We Made It: Modelmaker Robbie Edwards

The grit behind the magic of some of blockbuster movies

film

Mike Nichols, 1931-2014

A chameleonic talent at home in the worlds of theatre, cinema, and comedy

Winter Sleep

Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes Palme d'Or winner is huge in every sense

What We Do in the Shadows

Vampire fun from New Zealand

tv

Imagine... Anselm Kiefer, BBC One

Entertaining but two-dimensional, Alan Yentob's account glosses over the artist's flaws

24 Hours in Police Custody, Channel 4

Gripping documentary series outstrips crime drama

new music

Snarky Puppy, The Roundhouse

Brooklyn-based collective's stellar musicianship and melodic power wow a capacity crowd

Loop, The Garage, London

Drone-rock pioneers find new lease of life 22 years after folding

classical

Vogt, LPO, Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall

Shapeliness and soul-searching in Brahms, Schubert and Strauss

BBC Singers, BBCSO, Pons, Barbican

Blue skies from Respighi and Strauss, seasonal mystery from Brett Dean

Samuelsen Duo, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Revamped concert hall and new concerto launch a delayed Philharmonic season

opera

L'Elisir d'Amore, Royal Opera

The sun shines out of Vittorio Grigolo's behind in a strong revival of Laurent Pelly's production

Daphnis et Églé/La Naissance d'Osiris, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican

Baroque music and dance illuminate each other in one-off period recreation performance

Glare, Linbury Studio Theatre

An operatic thriller that's as far from perfect as its flawed characters

theatre

God Bless the Child, Royal Court Theatre

New play about education is a gripping satire with a cast of bright eight-year-olds

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, National Theatre

Rufus Norris staging works both on its own terms and as a bold sign of what's to come

Accolade, St James Theatre

Revival of 1950s celebrity scandal drama is a topical triumph

visual arts

Imagine... Anselm Kiefer, BBC One

Entertaining but two-dimensional, Alan Yentob's account glosses over the artist's flaws

Gallery: Honoré Daumier and Paula Rego - a conversation across time

One was driven by a sense of social injustice, the other by a fascination with stories that hint at psychological disturbance

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014, National Portrait Gallery

Affectionate family portraits, subtle references to the history of art, and a worthy winner

dance

Triptych, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Great dancers in long programme of new work by Baldwin, Jeyasingh and Page

Daphnis et Églé/La Naissance d'Osiris, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican

Baroque music and dance illuminate each other in one-off period recreation performance

Dancing Cheek to Cheek, BBC Four

Len Goodman and Lucy Worsley trot gently through dance history

comedy

Noel Fielding, Eventim Apollo

Surreal fun from a delightfully playful comic

John Bishop, Touring

Short on jokes but long on charm

Jim Davidson, Sands Centre, Carlisle

Terrific gagmeister who delights in giving offence

gaming

Far Cry 4

Roam free in the mountain paradise of this first-person shooter. Perhaps too free…

Assassin's Creed: Unity

The French Revolution makes for a stunning backdrop to free-roaming stealth action.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Louder, flasher, bigger, but not better, first-person shooter

latest comments

In a pre-play (foreplay?) discussion between the...

Does anyone know the music that was played on the...

Agree about the curtains masking Christie and the...

Noted with thanks, Anon, and duly changed -...

Fascinating programme. Can someone tell me what...

The caption got the order of the four...

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