sun 31/07/2016

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

What are the arts doing here?

John Martin

The raising of a temporary structure theatre in the middle of the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais (pictured below) has brought the issue of arts in situations of crisis into sharp...

Prom 20: Roméo et Juliette, Monteverdi Choir, NYCoS, ORR, Gardiner

David Nice

Like Prokofiev in his full-length ballet a century later, Berlioz seems to have been inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to bring forth his most compendious score. John...

theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2016

David Nice

Where would you go to hear the most electrifying and collegial orchestral playing in the world? It used to be Lucerne while Claudio Abbado was alive. Now that the Lucerne Festival...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Simple Minds

Kieron Tyler

As the album featuring Simple Minds’ first Top Twenty single, “Promised You a Miracle”, 1982’s New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) was aptly titled. After the success of the next single...

Prom 18: Mahler's Third Symphony, LSO, Haitink

David Nice

Few 87-year-olds would have the stamina to conduct over 100 minutes of Mahler. Bernard Haitink, though, has always kept a steady, unruffled hand on the interpretative tiller, and...

Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Hanna Weibye

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true...

Prom 19: David Bowie Prom

Jasper Rees

“I’m here, I’m here, I’m here,” sang John Cale in the droning voice of Major Tom. Whether the spirit of David Bowie was...

Barry Lyndon

Graham Fuller

Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975), which has been re-released, is one of the most stately costume dramas films ever made...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Graeme Koehne, Schubert

Graham Rickson

Bach: Keyboard Concertos Andrea Bacchetti/Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (Sony)My only niggle with this...

theartsdesk at The Montréal Jazz Festival

Martin Longley

The Montréal International Jazz Festival's 37th edition presented its accustomed surfeit of gigs, covering the complete...

CD: Marsheaux - Ath.Lon

Thomas H Green

Right now we’re at the heart of the silly season. In mid-August no-one releases albums (it’s the same in January). Here at...

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Sam Marlowe

Think of Holly Golightly, and it’s more than likely that the face you’re picturing is Audrey Hepburn’s. And, while this...

Kommilitonen, Welsh National Youth Opera, Barry

Stephen Walsh

What happened was this. I found my way, not without difficulty, to the Barry Memo Arts Centre, got my ticket, had a chat...

Rotterdam, Trafalgar Studios

Aleks Sierz

How many genders are there? The simplistic answer is two, but if you really think that then it’s time to go to the back of...

Masters of the Pacific Coast: The Tribes of the American Northwest, BBC Four

Marina Vaizey

The American northwest is gorgeous: endless lakes, limitless ocean, mountains, forests, overwhelming blue skies in deepest...

DVD: Mapplethorpe - Look at the Pictures

Mark Kidel

America is a country that has always thrived on dramatic battles between "good" and "evil", God and the Devil. Demonising...

The Commune

Nick Hasted

Stretching relations till they snap is Thomas Vinterberg’s abiding theme. In his iconoclastic, Dogme 95-instigating youth,...

Béatrice et Bénédict, Glyndebourne

David Nice

Locations count for little in most of Shakespeare's comedies. Only a literal-minded director would, for instance, insist on...

The Plough and the Stars, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Anniversaries are lotteries. Sometimes they allow us to see the past with fresh eyes; at other times, they simply accentuate...

CD: Sonzeira – Tam Tam Tam Reimagined

Matthew Wright

Little-known Brazilian arranger José Prates created the music recorded on Tam...Tam...Tam...! in the early 1950s to...

Half A Sixpence, Chichester Festival Theatre

Bella Todd

Watching Cameron Mackintosh’s joyful revision of this Sixties musical, it’s possible to believe for a moment that all the...

Prom 15: Chen, BBCSO, BBCSC, Davis

Alexandra Coghlan

Programming a concert is a tricky business. Programming an entire Proms season almost unthinkably difficult. But even...

Detroit: Techno City, Institute of Contemporary Arts

Joe Muggs

Detroit techno music is important. Any student of the club music of the modern age knows this. The sound that fermented...

Jason Bourne

Adam Sweeting

When Matt Damon's Jason Bourne makes his introductory appearance, as a bare-knuckle boxer somewhere in the lawless Greek-...

 

DVD: MAPPLETHORPE - LOOK AT THE PICTURES Definitive account of America's most controversial photographer

KOMMILITONEN, WELSH NATIONAL OPERA, BARRY Student opera triumphs over the confusions of audience promenading

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET Bland taste to this breakfast starring Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly

MASTERS OF THE PACIFIC COAST: THE TRIBES OF THE AMERICAN NORTHWEST, BBC FOUR Fascinating revelations about the rich culture of America's little-known peoples

10 QUESTIONS FOR MUSICIAN JASPER HØIBY Danish bassist on the perils of consumerism, playing without the dots, and why 4/4 isn't a crime

disc of the day

CD: Marsheaux - Ath.Lon

Electro-pop fare to eek out the summer dead zone

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Brighton Festival

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Fuchsia Days

Second from Brighton outfit heads into deliciously cosmic easy listening

theartsdesk at Love Supreme Festival 2016: Kamasi Washington, Esperanza Spalding and Stanley Clarke

Laid back atmosphere, inspiring music at the UK’s only green field jazz festival

Brighton Festival: Brighton – Symphony of a City, Brighton Dome

A cinematic cross-section of life in London-by-Sea

tv

Masters of the Pacific Coast: The Tribes of the American Northwest, BBC Four

Fascinating revelations about the rich culture of America's little-known peoples

Naked Attraction, Channel 4

New dating game in which contestants compete in their birthday suits

Saddam Goes to Hollywood, Channel 4 / Keith Richards: The Origin of the Species, BBC Two

Drunkenness and debauchery with Oliver Reed in Saddam Hussein's Iraq

film

Barry Lyndon

Back in cinemas: Stanley Kubrick's lush but soulless rendering of a rake's progress

DVD: Mapplethorpe - Look at the Pictures

Definitive account of America's most controversial photographer

The Commune

Thomas Vinterberg gently examines free love's cost in 1970s Copenhagen

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Simple Minds

Exhaustive box set dedicated to 1982’s pivotal ‘New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)’

Prom 19: David Bowie Prom

Laura Mvula, John Cale, Marc Almond et al reimagine the starman's inimitable songbook

theartsdesk at The Montréal Jazz Festival

Mainline jazz, roots, and global sounds abound in the planet's biggest jazzfest

classical

Prom 20: Roméo et Juliette, Monteverdi Choir, NYCoS, ORR, Gardiner

The full Berlioz kaleidoscope well served by one of his greatest interpreters

theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2016

A love-letter to the greatest orchestral playing in a perfect Estonian seaside town

Prom 18: Mahler's Third Symphony, LSO, Haitink

Supreme beauty of sound from a measured master conductor

opera

Kommilitonen, Welsh National Youth Opera, Barry

Student opera triumphs over the confusions of audience promenading

Béatrice et Bénédict, Glyndebourne

Vin ordinaire all round in what should be a sparkling caprice

Prom 11: Wilson, Creswell, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Wigglesworth

High artistry and deep heartbreak in Wagner and Tippett

theatre

What are the arts doing here?

The artistic director of Pan Intercultural Arts explains its pioneering work ahead of Southbank's Festival of Love

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Bland taste to this breakfast starring Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly

Rotterdam, Trafalgar Studios

New drama about a transgender lesbian is hugely enjoyable

visual arts

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

The American who made colour photography an art form

Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery

A forgotten Slade alumnus restored to prominence

Ragnar Kjartansson, Barbican Art Gallery

Fact and fiction coalesce in work by an artist born into an acting dynasty

dance

Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

A peerless Odette almost makes up for production's psychological shortcomings

Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

The Russians are back, marking 60 years since they first took London by storm

Strictly goes to the Proms

Canny brand synergy encourages fans to keep Promming

comedy

theartsdesk Q&A: Garrison Keillor

As he hosts 'A Prairie Home Companion' for the last time, its creator looks back

Whose Line Is It Anyway?, London Palladium

Terrific fun from an old favourite

David Baddiel - My Family: Not the Sitcom, Menier Chocolate Factory

Funny and challenging show about the comic's parents

gaming

Pokémon Go

Game or viral phenomenon? Who cares - let's go hunting

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Lego returns to 'Star Wars' and creates a new summer blockbuster

Heroes of Loot 2

This fun take on the dungeon crawler is a blast in short bursts

Listed

Listed: Forget the Force
Star Wars wasn't the only groundbreaking film of 1977. We identify some others
The 11 Best Gigs on Film (after Stop Making Sense)
As Talking Heads' masterpiece is restored on disc, we hail the great screen concerts
Listed: The 100 Funniest Things about Downton Abbey
Julian Fellowes' juggernaut has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in six series. Here's how he did it

latest comments

why aren't you just saying how it was. Abysmal!!...

What a joy and a privilege  to hear this...

It wasn't all snail's pace - Haitink kept the...

You are not alone in finding the final adagio...

However poor your opinion of the choral element...

Loved the film when I saw it (twice) as a kid, in...

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