tue 07/07/2015

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

A Number, Young Vic Theatre

Aleks Sierz

The reason that Caryl Churchill is Britain’s best living playwright is that her work is endlessly enquiring and peerlessly intelligent. When she wrote this play about the subject...

theartsdesk in Aix-en-Provence: Let's make a Euro-opera

David Nice

It’s a brilliantly sunny January afternoon amidst a general drama of rain at an industrial park outside Aix-en-Provence, and members of a production team are gathering for the...

Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock, Barbican

Thomas Rees

There was a buzz at the Barbican last night, the kind that makes you feel like a child again, a ripple of electric energy that only comes with seeing the true greats. And they don...

Falstaff, Royal Opera

David Nice

It may only be a revival, but this is what the Royal Opera does best, above all in fielding a living legend of a Falstaff for Verdi's last masterpiece who’d probably be beyond the...

Dear White People

Ellin Stein

US films about and aimed at African Americans broadly fall into two categories: gangsta life in the ‘hood action flicks and broad comedies, the latter niche dominated by Tyler...

Vet School, ITV

Marina Vaizey

The clinically white buildings of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine, nickname Dick Vet, are just outside Edinburgh, with departments for wildlife, exotic animals,...

Orson's Shadow, Southwark Playhouse

Marianka Swain

The latest transatlantic transfer is curiously esoteric, concerning as it does an obscure period in the lives of two great...

DVD: Story of My Death

Tom Birchenough

Since his debut Honour of the Knights back in 2006 Catalan director Albert Serra has carved out a niche for himself,...

The Rape of Lucretia, Glyndebourne

Stephen Walsh

Britten’s first chamber opera is very much a Glyndebourne piece; its world premiere in the old festival theatre in July 1946...

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Michael Longhurst

Jasper Rees

Is there more than one Michael Longhurst? As sometimes happens in theatre, a rising young director seems to be everywhere at...

A Song for Jenny, BBC One

Matthew Wright

Rev Julie Nicholson, bereaved by her daughter’s death in the 7/7 bombings, became known as the vicar who can’t forgive. Her...

CD: Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion People

Kieron Tyler

“I’m having too much fun, my arms around the toilet like a long-lost chum, I’m kneeling at the throne…I’m learning what it...

theartsdesk in Moscow: Free thought vs cultural politics

Tom Birchenough

Last year’s Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) played out in the shadow of conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Sex Pistols

Kieron Tyler

Sex Pistols: SpunkFor an album that was never meant to be widely available, what’s become known as Spunk has had a...

CD: Xaos - Chaos

Mark Kidel

The Xaos project arises out of a lineage that goes back to the early days of the world music phenomenon, at the start of the...

theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Richard Thompson

Russ Coffey

On paper, Richard Thompson's career seems every bit as exotic as one of his songs. At the age of 18 he helped found folk-...

Rock 'n' Roll America, BBC Four

Barney Harsent

One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock… For those who orchestrated the swing from blues to rock ‘n’ roll, it’s getting...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, James Horner, Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic

Graham Rickson

Bach to Moog: A Realisation for Electronics and Orchestra Craig Leon (Moog synthesizers and conductor), Jennifer Pike (...

Terminator Genisys

Jasper Rees

Oh Arnie. For two terms Arnold Schwarzenegger retooled himself as the Governator who could save California from debt,...

Measure for Measure, Shakespeare's Globe

Alexandra Coghlan

If Simon McBurney’s Measure for Measure for the National Theatre and Declan Donnellan’s recent Cheek By Jowl production...

Zimerman, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Over the past decade Krystian Zimerman and Sir Simon Rattle have created and evolved a performing idea of Brahms’s D minor...

Albert Herring, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

Alexandra Coghlan

Some of the best nights of opera to be had in London come courtesy of students. It’s not something we talk enough about,...

CD: Alternative TV - Opposing Forces

Thomas H Green

Apart from Simon Reynolds paying tribute in Rip It Up And Start Again, his definitive history of post-punk – notably to the...

NYCC, NYJO, Southwark Cathedral

David Nice

Cleopatra in her barge gliding down the nave of Southwark Cathedral? Only figuratively, in the hypnotic “Half the Fun”...

 

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE Sophisticated, witty look at identity politics on fictional US Ivy League campus

FALSTAFF, ROYAL OPERA The greatest of fat knights and stagecraft triumphant in Verdi's swansong

ORSON'S SHADOW, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE Dramatisation of Welles and Olivier’s backstage feud is one for the superfans

VET SCHOOL, ITV Exploring the latest frontiers of veterinary medicine with the staff and students of 'Dick Vet'

CD: ALTERNATIVE TV - OPPOSING FORCES First for 14 years from punk original Mark Perry and band

CHICK COREA & HERBIE HANCOCK, BARBICAN Moments of brilliance ensure rare collaboration from two jazz legends lives up to the hype

disc of the day

DVD: Story of My Death

Elliptical Catalan film illuminates hypnotic encounter of sensuality and darkness

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We Made It

We Made It: Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Gallery director Alice Workman on housing contemporary art in the threshing barn

We Made It: Jonathan Thomas, Maker

The designer maker on the future of furniture and working with Thomas Heatherwick

We Made It: Rebecca Salter RA

The British artist talks about a life inspired by traditional Japanese crafts

tv

Vet School, ITV

Exploring the latest frontiers of veterinary medicine with the staff and students of 'Dick Vet'

A Song for Jenny, BBC One

Frank McGuinness's adaptation of bereaved vicar's memoir says a lot about bereavement and nothing about faith

Rock 'n' Roll America, BBC Four

The story of popular music's ground zero had Little Richard and a big impact

film

Dear White People

Sophisticated, witty look at identity politics on fictional US Ivy League campus

DVD: Story of My Death

Elliptical Catalan film illuminates hypnotic encounter of sensuality and darkness

theartsdesk in Moscow: Free thought vs cultural politics

How heavy is the official hand bearing down on Russian culture today?

new music

Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock, Barbican

Moments of brilliance ensure rare collaboration from two jazz legends lives up to the hype

CD: Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion People

Doo-wop and honking sax on the musical eccentric’s calling card to a mass audience

Reissue CDs Weekly: Sex Pistols

Another outing for the seminal ‘Spunk’ bootleg

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, James Horner, Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic

Baroque electronics, concert music from a film composer and a multinational youth orchestra

Zimerman, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Young Brahms and old Dvořák in tragic vein

NYCC, NYJO, Southwark Cathedral

Best of Britain's young choristers and jazz musicians in fabulous Shakespeare homage

opera

theartsdesk in Aix-en-Provence: Let's make a Euro-opera

Bright young team gathers for a unique project connecting Europeans

Falstaff, Royal Opera

The greatest of fat knights and stagecraft triumphant in Verdi's swansong

The Rape of Lucretia, Glyndebourne

Britten chamber opera survives high-sounding libretto thanks to its music

theatre

A Number, Young Vic Theatre

Powerful revival of Caryl Churchill’s 2002 play is both well acted and thrillingly contemporary

Orson's Shadow, Southwark Playhouse

Dramatisation of Welles and Olivier’s backstage feud is one for the superfans

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Michael Longhurst

The stellar young theatremaker who is suddenly everywhere

visual arts

Linneaus Tripe, Victoria & Albert Museum

Pioneer photographer who had an empathetic understanding of the Indian subcontinent

Imagine... Jeff Koons: Diary of a Seducer, BBC One

Just what is it that makes the kitsch-meister American artist so different, so appealing?

Gallery: Philip Jones Griffiths' Vietnam

The reportage of the Welsh photojournalist is being celebrated in a new exhibition

dance

Flamencura, Paco Peña Company, Sadler's Wells

Top-quality showcase from some of the best in the business

Alston at Home, The Place

New work outshines old in company showcase

Robbins/MacMillan Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Company strong, principals less so in tame season finale

comedy

Rob Delaney, QEH

Filthy but funny hour from the US comic

Tommy Tiernan, Soho Theatre

Delightful devilment from the Irishman

Nina Conti, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Wonderfully funny evening with a comedian-ventriloquist at the top of her game

gaming

Desktop Dungeons

A tough challenge that rewards strategic play

Batman: Arkham Knight

The finale of this action-adventure trilogy throws the kitchen sink in

Kholat/Neon Struct

Terrifying orienteering and synth-box sneaking await you in these two polished pebbles...

Listed

Listed: Essential BBC Proms
Our classical writers choose 12 of the best
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

latest comments

A Great Compilation. Just like a wonderful 'trip...

"Titanic and Avatar aren't great films" - WHAT...

Haha nice read!! The monkey mask/top hat guy is...

It was an excellent evening. If this is anything...

I also watched the live screened performance and...

well said. it was appaulling

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