sat 20/01/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Katherine Waters
Saturday, 20 January 2018
It seems they’re having trouble with the lights. Thirty-five past five and they’re not yet on. “Typical,” laughs a woman, surveying the huddle of hi-vis chaperones. Palm fronds...
Hanna Weibye
Saturday, 20 January 2018
The run of Giselle that opened at the Royal Opera House last night was completely sold out before it even started, and no wonder. Pair Sir Peter Wright's eerie production with...
Jasper Rees
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Sara Lund and Saga Norén have a lot to answer for. Their adventures in the murk of murder as they grapple with their own dysfunctional psychology entranced audiences who don’t...
David Nice
Saturday, 20 January 2018
This was an evening of Iberian highways re-travelled, but with a difference. At the beginning of 2016, the centenary of Spanish master Enrique Granados's untimely death, two young...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 20 January 2018
 Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel (Sony)This set’s arrival sent me scurrying back to listen again to Reinhard Goebel's 1985 DG...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature premiered at last year’s Directors' Fortnight in Cannes, and immediately marked the Lusaka-born, Wales-raised director down as a figure to watch...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 19 January 2018
Is modernism dead and buried? Anyone considering the long haul of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party from resounding flop in...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 19 January 2018
What did the Romans do for us? On the evidence of new drama Britannia, they pillaged, murdered and tortured, but also found...
Robert Beale
Friday, 19 January 2018
Alisa Weilerstein is making two visits to Manchester in just over three weeks. Last night it was with the Hallé, next time...
Markie Robson-Scott
Friday, 19 January 2018
"The Times They Are A-Changin'" has never sounded so menacing. The Brothers & Sisters’ gospel version accompanies the...
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....
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...
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-...
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...
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...

★★★ ALEXANDER MELNIKOV, WIGMORE HALL Three pianos, four monsterworks

★★★ CD: TUNE-YARDS - I CAN FEEL YOU CREEP INTO MY PRIVATE LIFE On which Merrill Garbus goes from deep-sea diving to treading water

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

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

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

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

★★★ BRITANNIA, SKY ATLANTIC Druids, sex and sorcery

★★★★ THE POST Spielberg's glorious paean to print

★★★★★ THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, HAROLD PINTER THEATRE Toby Jones, Zoë Wanamaker and co breathe vibrant new life into classic Pinter comedy of menace

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni’s strong and intriguing debut feature is a challenging African fable-satire

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Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders, More4 review - Swedish sleuth is a cold case

Crime drama from the far north looks good but doesn't quite grip

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


DVD/Blu-ray: I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni’s strong and intriguing debut feature is a challenging African fable-satire

The Final Year review - Greg Barker documents Obama's last year in office

Making the world a better place: the foreign policy team and what happened next

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

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


BBCSO, Pons, Barbican review - love hurts in vivid Spanish double bill

Flamenco singer in Falla and dramatic mezzo as Granados's heroine cue vibrant passion

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Bennett, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

High-octane baroque concertos and music from a versatile British composer, plus a pair of banjos

Weilerstein, Platt, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - insight and passion

Special light shed on a great symphony and a noble concerto by Shostakovich


BBCSO, Pons, Barbican review - love hurts in vivid Spanish double bill

Flamenco singer in Falla and dramatic mezzo as Granados's heroine cue vibrant passion

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


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


Giselle, Royal Ballet review - beautiful dancing in a production of classic good taste

Perfect storytelling through dance from Marianela Nuñez and excellent supporting cast

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


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

Lumiere London review - London in a different light

Artichoke curate luminous installations and projections round the capital

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

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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