sat 21/10/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 21 October 2017
A new baby is like an alien invasion: it blows your mind and it colonises your world. For any couple, parenthood can be both exalting and devastating, with the stress hugging the...
Katie Colombus
Saturday, 21 October 2017
I have a confession to make. The first time I heard "This Town" – the debut release for Niall Horan's new album – I thought it was Ed Sheeran.Which gives an indication of the...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 20 October 2017
Like Steptoe and Son with ideological denouncements, Stalin’s Politburo have known each other too long. They’re not only trapped but terrified, a situation whose dark comedy is...
Hanna Weibye
Friday, 20 October 2017
There are different ways of celebrating a great artist’s legacy, and I suppose they have to coexist. One approach is raptly to admire his or her acknowledged masterpieces, the...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 20 October 2017
British singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey’s new album, Wake Up Now, is one of the year’s finest. However, there’s a moment on the single “Myela”, a heartfelt Afro-Latin stomper...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 20 October 2017
Kerry Godliman is such an affable and down-to-earth onstage presence that when she talks about whether she should move now that her area has upped and come – you can tell by the...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 20 October 2017
For those who are unsure of Bootsy Collins’ place in the funk pantheon, he is the bassman who put the One into James Brown’s...
Jasper Rees
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Harry Potter has a track record of trickery. He miraculously persuaded a generation of screen addicts to get stuck into...
David Nice
Thursday, 19 October 2017
What a profoundly beautiful play is Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. It stands in relation to the earlier, relatively confined...
Bernard Hughes
Thursday, 19 October 2017
On paper this was a fairly austere piece of programming. No variety in composer, genre or style, just four Bach Partitas in...
Katherine Waters
Thursday, 19 October 2017
In David Ireland's new hour-long two-hander – a co-production between Soho Theatre and west London's Orange Tree...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 19 October 2017
It’s a long time since The The were bothering the charts with songs that, while often witty and thought provoking,...
Marianka Swain
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
A hit on Broadway, David Ives’s steamy two-hander now boasts Natalie Dormer and David Oakes, well-known for their screen...
Sarah Kent
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
The Kabakovs' exhibition made me thank my lucky stars I was not born in the Soviet Union. A recurring theme of their work is...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Prolific writer Mike Bartlett is the most impressive penman to have emerged in British theatre in the past decade. The...
Marina Vaizey
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Chris Packham, who devises and presents programmes about nature and animals, has described himself as "a little bit weird"....
Aaron Wright
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Since its inception in 1997 Fierce, Birmingham’s International Festival of Live Art & Performance, has championed the...
Kieron Tyler
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Super Besse are from the Republic of Belarus, Europe’s sole dictatorship – a country where freedom of expression and...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
In a rather clever wheeze, Dominic Dromgoole, former artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe – who therefore knows a thing...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
You might expect a posthumous 90-minute documentary – and that’s before you insert the ad breaks – about one of the biggest...

★★ CD: THE THE - RADIO CINEOLA: TRILOGY Matt Johnson returns to the fray

★★★★ ALBION, ALMEIDA THEATRE Victoria Hamilton’s epic performance

INTERVIEW - DAVID OAKES 'I haven’t done anything as bad as my characters'

FIERCE The Birmingham festival which reaches out to Europe and beyond

★★★★ CHRIS PACKHAM: ASPERGER'S AND ME, BBC TWO How the nature broadcaster copes with life on the spectrum 

★★★★ ANGELA HEWITT, WIGMORE HALL Bach Partitas shine and sing

★★★★ ILYA AND EMILIA KABAKOV, TATE MODERN The artist who came in from the cold and met his soulmate

disc of the day

CD: Bootsy Collins - World Wide Funk

Bootsy’s back and he’s still funky

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it

Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me, BBC Two review - 'like an alien from another planet'

How the nature broadcaster copes with life on the spectrum

George Michael: Freedom, Channel 4 review - just a supersized commercial?

Much-anticipated official documentary fails to deliver


The Death of Stalin review - dictatorship as high farce

Armando Iannucci finds a reign of terror's funny side

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

Dina review - a poignant treat

Sundance documentary winner is a rewarding study of love and the human spirit

new music

CD: Niall Horan - Flicker

Despite the fact that the 'li' in his album title looks a bit like a 'u', there is no foul play here

Nick Mulvey, De La Warr Pavilion review - a band chasing the ecstatic

A singer-songwriter with a difference holds this seaside venue in thrall

CD: Bootsy Collins - World Wide Funk

Bootsy’s back and he’s still funky


Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – Bach Partitas shine and sing

Piano recital of unassuming mastery speaks deep musical truths

Ensemble InterContemporain, Pintscher, RFH review - a visit from the gentle ghost of Boulez

Two modernist masterpieces suspend the rules of time and space

Jonas Kaufmann: Tenor for the Ages, BBC Four review - a musical megastar with sword and shortbread

John Bridcut's portrait is beautifully made, but gives little away beyond the public laughter


Lucy Worsley's Nights at the Opera, BBC Two review - there's anti-elitism, and there's infantilism

The poshies' art form explained by use of the dressing-up box and the toy box

Osud/Trouble in Tahiti, Opera North - swings and roundabouts in a surprising double-bill

Janáček sold short, Bernstein in a top-notch production with a star performance


Of Kith and Kin, Bush Theatre, review - comic but confused gay surrogacy drama
New play about gay parenthood suffers from an identity crisis
The Best Plays in London
From Harry Potter to The Ferryman: theartsdesk's stage tips
The Lady from the Sea, Donmar Warehouse review - Nikki Amuka-Bird luminous in a sympathetic ensemble
Ibsen's great human comedy weathers a sea-change from fjord to Caribbean island


Kenneth MacMillan, Royal Opera House review - a sprite proves merciless

Celebration opener recovers MacMillan's uneasy 1960 Stravinsky collaboration

Fierce: the Birmingham festival which reaches out to Europe and beyond

The new artistic director of the international showcase of live art and performance says what's coming

A Celebration of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Northern Ballet review - a brave and worthy tribute

An ambitious triple bill honouring great British choreographer


h.Club 100 Awards 2017: The Winners

News from The Hospital Club's annual awards for the creative industries, plus theartsdesk's Young Reviewer of the Year

FIFA 18 review - as polished as football silverware

Slicker and slower, the latest version of the football bestseller takes its time to shine

Destiny 2 review - a worthy follow-up to the biggest game of a generation

Bigger means better for this online sci-fi shooter

visual arts

The Best Exhibitions in London

Whiteread, Basquiat, Harry Potter and more: our favourite shows to see now

Harry Potter: A History of Magic, British Library review - weirdly wonderful

Loans from JK Rowling sit comfortably alongside ancient books and objects

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Tate Modern review – funny, moving and revelatory

Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future: the artist who came in from the cold and met his soulmate

latest comments

This last series has been crap from start to...

I haven't seen the exhibition but your comment...

Fantastic review of a superb album. I think this...

Angry with myself for enduring all 8 episodes....


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters