sat 25/04/2015

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

Fitzwilliam Quartet, Hay Chamber Music Festival

Stephen Walsh

If the thought of the annual trek to Hay-on-Wye for the literary festival in May fills you with as much gloom as it does me (and I don’t have to go as far as most artsdesk readers...

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Brahms, Bruch, Hartmann

Graham Rickson

 Malcolm Arnold: Symphonies 1-9 London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox, BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba (Chandos)Malcolm Arnold's lasting reputation as a chameleonic comedian...

We Made It: Candle Maker Ted Thompson

Heather Neill

The arts will always rely on craft - and that goes a hundredfold when period detail is important. The atmosphere of Sam Wannamaker's recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in...

Tales From the Tour Bus: Rock 'n' Roll on the Road, BBC Four

Barney Harsent

This latest Friday night vehicle for archive footage and pop performances was the tour bus, as BBC4 invited us to hop into the back of the van for a quick spin through the ‘golden...

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Nick Hasted

Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel loses much of the original’s exhilarating freshness. It begins in the middle, doesn’t really end, and regularly makes you wonder just how long the...

LSO, Eötvös, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Time was when a Boulez concert with the LSO would have been directed by the man himself, but that is no longer possible. In Peter Eötvös they have the next best thing, a conductor...

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

The trouble with the general election is that while everybody talks about money, nobody talks about ideas. We know the price...

10 Questions for Human Rights Campaigner Shami Chakrabarti

Thomas H Green

Shami Chakrabarti (b. 1969) is the director of the civil liberties organisation Liberty, a position she famously and, some...

W1A, Series 2, BBC Two

Jasper Rees

Should the BBC take the piss out of itself? Of course we must all laugh at our own failings, but the function of satire is...

ATTHIS, Linbury Studio Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

I do wish that arts institutions would stop using the word “immersive” when they simply mean “staged”. Just to be clear,...

Panti: High Heels in Low Places, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Panti Bliss is not a name on many people's lips outside Ireland, but over the past year she has gone from little-known club...

The Quest Keeper

Stuart Houghton

Normally if you throw together three genres of videogame, the result is a mess. The Quest Keeper however, is a curious...

Clarion, Arcola Theatre

Marianka Swain

“Fury Over Sharia Law For Toddlers!” No, not a prime example of spoof headline generator Daily Mail-o-matic, but the latest...

Public Service Broadcasting, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Thomas H Green

A band are doing well if they have their audience laughing and cheering before they’ve even hit the stage. Such is the case...

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Kieron Tyler

If A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence induces reflections on the nature of existence, the resultant mood...

Three Tales, Ensemble BPM, IMAX Science Museum

David Nice

Poised vibrantly enough between the buried-alive monotony of Philip Glass and the dynamic flights of John Adams, Steve Reich...

This World: World’s Richest Terror Army, BBC Two

Tom Birchenough

You haven’t had to actually watch the brutal executions staged by Islamic State (IS, or ISIS or ISIL, as it’s also known) to...

Batiashvili, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Gasps of surprise were heard across the country last month, when Richard Morrison on BBC Radio 3's "Building a Library"...

Laura Marling, QEH

Fisun Güner

There’s no doubting the precocious talent of Laura Marling. At just 25 she recently released her fifth album, Short Movie,...

The Falling

Kieron Tyler

The pupils at a girl’s school are afflicted by fainting. It’s spreading. A teacher is affected too. The epidemic began after...

Ah, Wilderness!, Young Vic

Marianka Swain

Coming-of-age comedy, moonlit romance and a gentle folk soul: can this really be Eugene O’Neill? The master of darkness...

theartsdesk Q&A Special: The Falling

Kieron Tyler

The Falling, released in cinemas this week, charts the events surrounding an epidemic of fainting among pupils of a girls'...

Argerich, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim, RFH

David Nice

It looked like a potential misalliance between performers used to looking at the stars and a programme of earthly, ideally...

Who Cares, Royal Court Theatre

Aleks Sierz

The NHS is us. Early in this new verbatim play about the National Health Service, one of the characters says that when a...

 

Q&A SPECIAL: THE FALLING Director Carol Morley and actress Florence Pugh on a major new British film about mass schoolgirl hysteria

ATTHIS, LINBURY STUDIO THEATRE A gorgeous play of music and emotion based on the erotic love poetry of Sappho

A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE Lessons in how we treat each other from Roy Andersson, Sweden’s master of the absurd

WIA, SERIES 2, BBC TWO It's still sharp, but should the BBC be flagellating itself a second time?

10 QUESTIONS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER SHAMI CHAKRABARTI The leading civil rights advocate talks Brighton, Billy Bragg, the war on drugs and more

THIS WORLD: WORLD'S RICHEST TERROR ARMY, BBC TWO Untangling the structure of Islamic State reveals the scale of the enemy

CLARION, ARCOLA THEATRE Insider tabloid takedown has real pre-election heft

disc of the day

CD: Blur - The Magic Whip

Their eight album - and first in over a decade - could be one of their best.

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We Made It

We Made It: Candle Maker Ted Thompson

From Cumbria to the Globe, it's Ted's beeswax

We Made It: Digital Knitters Knyttan

Digital technology and craft principles creating one-off designs

We Made It: Art & Makers Collective Garudio Studiage

Meet the makers of objets de pop art in the heart of London

tv

Tales From the Tour Bus: Rock 'n' Roll on the Road, BBC Four

A tale of bands in vans that, for the most part, stuck to familiar routes

W1A, Series 2, BBC Two

It's still sharp, but should the BBC be flagellating itself a second time?

This World: World’s Richest Terror Army, BBC Two

Untangling the structure of Islamic State reveals the scale of the enemy

film

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Inferior but lively superhero sequel

DVD: Model for Murder

Knives fly in Mayfair, in a British Fifties curio

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Lessons in how we treat each other from Roy Andersson, Sweden’s master of the absurd

new music

CD: Blur - The Magic Whip

Their eight album - and first in over a decade - could be one of their best.

Public Service Broadcasting, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Pathé News rock'n'rave from an eccentric, independent and very English success story

Three Tales, Ensemble BPM, IMAX Science Museum

Reich and Korot's dynamic reflections on 'progress' get new life from a young ensemble

classical

Fitzwilliam Quartet, Hay Chamber Music Festival

New chamber festival a refreshing antidote to second-hand books

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Brahms, Bruch, Hartmann

British symphonies, German violin concertos and a dark 20th century opera

LSO, Eötvös, Barbican

Rituals of savagery and grief from Stravinsky and Boulez

opera

ATTHIS, Linbury Studio Theatre

A gorgeous play of music and emotion based on the erotic love poetry of Sappho

Jenůfa, Scottish Opera

A powerful account of Janáček's disquieting drama

The Pirates of Penzance, Touring

Where the maidens are men and every gag's a winner

theatre

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre

Revival of Caryl Churchill’s 1976 play about radicals in the English Civil War is an acquired taste

Clarion, Arcola Theatre

Insider tabloid takedown has real pre-election heft

Ah, Wilderness!, Young Vic

Rarely revived O'Neill comedy is charming, but insubstantial

visual arts

Sonia Delaunay, Tate Modern

Eclipsed by her painter husband, the artist is finally receiving full recognition

YZ Kami, Gagosian Gallery

Hypnotically arresting portrait and abstract paintings that play with variation and repetition

Jo Baer, Camden Arts Centre

The Minimalist who rejected abstraction for figurative painting. Or did she?

dance

BBC Young Dancer 2015, BBC Four

Impressive talents in remarkably gimmick-free Beeb competition

La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

Ashton's pastoral comedy of love among the haystacks continues to thrill and delight

Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört, Tanztheater Wuppertal, Sadler's Wells

1984 work by German choreographic genius Pina Bausch receives UK première

comedy

Panti: High Heels in Low Places, Soho Theatre

Drag artist tells her charming and funny story

James Freedman: Man of Steal, Menier Chocolate Factory

The art of pickpocketing explained, plus some corny patter

The Pub Landlord, Touring

Al Murray on terrific form with his appalling creation

gaming

The Quest Keeper

Keep on movin' in this endless runner, roguelike and more mash-up

Mortal Kombat X

Blood, gore and violence – fun beat 'em up action, but not for the faint-hearted

The Trace: Murder Mystery Game

Sleuthing on the go with this detective adventure game

Listed

Listed: The Very Best of 2015
theartsdesk's writers recommend the one thing above all to look forward to in each art form
Listed: The Facts about Factual TV in 2014
This year's documentaries climbed high and swung low on Britain's social ladder
Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames
Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical

latest comments

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