fri 19/01/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Thomas H Green
Friday, 19 January 2018
The third album from Thomas White under his Fiction Aisle moniker is a match for its delicious, under-heard predecessors. White remains best known for his output with The Electric...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Is modernism dead and buried? Anyone considering the long haul of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party from resounding flop in 1958 to West End crowd-pleasing classic today might be...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 18 January 2018
What did the Romans do for us? On this evidence, they pillaged, murdered and tortured, but also found themselves mesmerised by the psychedelic Druid magic that hovered over our...
Jasper Rees
Thursday, 18 January 2018
It beggars belief that, from the moment Steven Spielberg took delivery of the script by first-timer Liz Hannah, it took a mere 10 months to get The Post in the can. Its subject...
David Nice
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Living-museum recitals on a variety of historic instruments pose logistical problems. Telling The Arts Desk about his award-nominated CD of mostly 19th-century works for horns and...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 18 January 2018
It's the people who are problematic, not the play. That's one take-away sentiment afforded by Caroline Byrne's sparky and provocative take on All's Well That Ends Well, that ever-...
Mark Sheerin
Thursday, 18 January 2018
In the dark days of January, white cube galleries are luminous spaces. This is especially true of Pi Artworks right now: the...
Richard Bratby
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Say what you like about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – and plenty...
Howard Male
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Growing up with the music of David Bowie is probably not the best grounding for being a music critic because it raises...
Katherine Waters
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Art fairs are vaguely promiscuous. So much art, so many galleries, so very many curators. They’re a glut for the eye yet...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Nobody is more sensitive about the notion of becoming a geriatric action hero than Liam Neeson (“guys, I’m sixty-fucking-...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
The new import is the latest procedural from Scandinavia, this time focusing on Stockholm’s biker gangs. The first episode...
Marina Vaizey
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Henry VIII had a troubled marital history and Charles I lost his head, but both have also gone down in history as original,...
Katie Colombus
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
With the tragic passing of Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, I've been thinking a lot about the importance of the...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Alexander Payne’s best-loved film is Sideways but that title may as well work for everything and anything in his oeuvre. In...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Hounds of Love is the latest in a long line of small-budget Australian horrors “based on true events” – it must be something...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 15 January 2018
In the early 1990s, a group of students at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) staged an end-of-year comedy...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 15 January 2018
Many hard rock aficionados say that Motörhead’s greatest work was all with the “classic” line-up of Lemmy, drummer Phil “...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 14 January 2018
The critic Simon Reynolds characterised Butterfly Child’s debut album Onomatopoeia as the sound of “vitrified everglades in...
 

★★★ THE COMMUTER Liam Neeson's in another spot of bother

★★★★ RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO, ROYAL COURT Andrea Dunbar's Thatcher-era classic is invigorated afresh

★★ BEFORE WE DIE, C4 Unengaging Nordic noir could do better

★★★ ART, PASSION AND POWER, BBC FOUR Royal Collection explored by Andrew Graham-Dixon

THE BEST FILMS OUT NOW We recommend the top movies of the moment

★★★ VOICES: HOW A GREAT SINGER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE Nick Coleman explores the songs that linger in his memory

★★★★ ART OF THE NATION Catch publicly owned art while you can at London Art Fair

THE BEST MUSICALS IN LONDON From His Bobness to Jamie, we recommend the top shows

disc of the day

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Jupiter, Florida

Third from Electric Soft Parader's newish band maintains a high quality songwriting threshold

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tv

Britannia, Sky Atlantic review - Druids, sex and sorcery

Roman legions versus warring tribes and hippie squatters

The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it

Before We Die, Channel 4 review - underwhelming and unengaging Scandi noir

Swedish crime drama offers dull production and a meandering plot

film

The Post review - Spielberg's glorious paean to print

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks weigh in as press freedom - and female empowerment - come under attack

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

The Commuter review - trouble on the main line

The train proves quite a strain for Liam Neeson's lone crusader

new music

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Jupiter, Florida

Third from Electric Soft Parader's newish band maintains a high quality songwriting threshold

CD: Tune-Yards - I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

On which Merrill Garbus goes from deep-sea diving to treading water

CD: First Aid Kit - Ruins

Swedish sisters are a legacy in the making

classical

Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - three pianos, four monsterworks

Crazy programme taxes even this Russian master of orchestral pianism

Feng, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - pulling it out of the hat

Ligeti brings the house down, and he wasn't even on the programme

Lortie, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – whipping up a storm

Brisk, brash and exciting music-making blows away the cobwebs

opera

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

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
All's Well That Ends Well, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - feisty, prickly and topical, as well
Shakespeare problem play gets a spirited reading that chimes with our #metoo times
The Best Plays in London
From Harry Potter to The Ferryman: theartsdesk's stage tips

dance

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

Cinderella, Sadler's Wells review - Matthew Bourne puts Cinderella through the Blitz

Prokofiev's dark glitterball of a ballet score with added air raid sirens

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

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

The Best Exhibitions in London

Soviet art, Cézanne, Harry Potter and more: our favourite shows to see now

latest comments

Is this supposed to be a review about the BBC...

Maybe the performances have improved during the...

Am a mad 85 year old plantswoman. Mother Nature...

Bring back Mike n Damien,these X soap people r...

Started watching with great excitement and...

Now rectified. Apologies for the omission.

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