tue 25/10/2016

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

Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
Aiming for the trippy qualities of The Matrix and Inception, Doctor Strange is possibly the most enjoyable Marvel foundation story since the first Iron Man, mixing wit with visual...
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
What’s incest got to do with a town in North Yorkshire? At first this seems a reasonable question to ask of Al Smith’s brilliantly written, if a little bit tricksy, play, which...
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
Handel’s Alcina is about sex, certainly. But unlike Olivia Fuchs’s new production for the Royal Academy of Music, it’s about an awful lot of other things as well. Power, illusion...
Monday, 24 October 2016
In the end, what makes a good drama series? It’s probably that you want more of it. This is the end of Cold Feet until a next time which has already been promised, and more is...
Monday, 24 October 2016
Television is not a medium we much associate with any sense of the "sacred". It grapples with "momentous" frequently enough, in snatches of news tragically reported; it rings in,...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 23 October 2016
To settle down on a darkening evening with a new volume of Alan Bennett is to be in the company of an old friend. Someone you don’t see as often as you’d like but with whom you...
Harriet Walter
Sunday, 23 October 2016
A part we have played is like a person we once met, grew to know, became intimately enmeshed with and finally moved away...
Sunday, 23 October 2016
Although the reformed Undertones, with Paul McLoone replacing original singer Feargal Sharkey, have been a popular live draw...
Tim Cumming
Saturday, 22 October 2016
It was first released on 23 November 1979, comprising three 45rpm, 12in records housed in 16mm metal film cans, and then...
Saturday, 22 October 2016
Loudon Wainwright III, a going concern as a singer-songwriter since the start of the Seventies, has long since been occluded...
Marina Vaizey
Saturday, 22 October 2016
Compiled by an anonymous panel, the 15th edition of ArtReview magazine’s annual list of the most powerful and influential...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 22 October 2016
Leonardo Leo: Sacred Works Ensemble &cetera/Ulrike Hofbauer (soprano and direction) (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)Leonardo...
Friday, 21 October 2016
No-one can easily replace Mark Wigglesworth as Music Director of English National Opera: ask any of the musicians working...
Friday, 21 October 2016
Most of the crime Ken Loach investigates with compassion and humour happens off-screen right at the start. As the opening...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 21 October 2016
Some have responded to the very notion of a musical about cancer as if the idea itself were breaking some unwritten code of...
Friday, 21 October 2016
Even that most unpredictable of fantasists Nikolay Gogol might have been surprised to find his Nose, wandering far from the...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 21 October 2016
A prequel to Ouija (2014), Ouija: Origin of Evil zooms back to a mid-Sixties Los Angeles that's all miniskirts, white PVC...
Steve O'Rourke
Friday, 21 October 2016
Mafia III starts strong, really strong. You find yourself in the blood-stained boots of Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran,...
Alison Cole
Thursday, 20 October 2016
This is an inspired and beautifully curated exhibition. It is subtitled The Essence of Movement, but it could equally be...
Marcus Davey
Thursday, 20 October 2016
We've got a lot to celebrate in 2016: 50 years since the Roundhouse became an arts centre and 10 years of transforming young...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Four years on from Tom Cruise's debut as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher, here he is doing it again. Not a lot has changed....
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
"That cursed mist" may hide the French from the crew of the HMS Indomitable and cause far more deadly damage to moral...
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
The concept is somewhere between single drama and series: to stay in one place while shifting focus from one character to...
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Q: How do you review a show that includes lines that ask “can my mouth swallow my mouth”? A: With difficulty, but I should...

HALF A CENTURY OF THE ROUNDHOUSE The director of the charismatic venue celebrates its history and its work transforming young lives

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY Neapolitan Baroque music, a witty Czech opera and a pair of piano trios

THE NOSE, ROYAL OPERA Not quite as sharp as a pen, Kosky's Shostakovich has its funny moments

RODIN AND DANCE: THE ESSENCE OF MOVEMENT, COURTAULD GALLERY Inspiring show highlights the sculptor's experimental studies of the female form in motion

I, DANIEL BLAKE Ken Loach dramatises a nation's shame at the Department of Work and Pensions

HARRIET WALTER ON 'BRUTUS AND OTHER HEROINES' The great actress introduces her new book

THEARTSDESK Q&A: JOHN LYDON PiL singer lifts the lid on 'Metal Box'

disc of the day

DVD/ Blu-ray: Pioneers of African-American Cinema

A revelatory box-set of indie cinema between the wars

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Cold Feet, Series Finale, ITV

Midlife crisis comedy drama is moreish to the end

Aberfan: The Green Hollow, BBC Four

If British television makes anything better this year, it will be a surprise

Ordinary Lies, Series 2, BBC One

Cardiff is a new setting for dark stories of office workers' secrets


Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch makes a promising debut on the Marvel production line

DVD/ Blu-ray: Pioneers of African-American Cinema

A revelatory box-set of indie cinema between the wars

I, Daniel Blake

Ken Loach dramatises a nation's shame at the Department of Work and Pensions

new music

CD: LeAnn Rimes - Remnants

Country star switches genres with impressive results

CD: TOY - Clear Shot

A dive back into an under-appreciated phase of British psychedelia

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Undertones

The early history of the pop-punk wonders gets rewritten


Classical CDs Weekly: Leo, Martinů, Schubert

Neapolitan Baroque music, a witty Czech opera and a pair of piano trios

Zehetmair, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

A trio of modernist magpies sing in strident harmony

MacMillan's Stabat Mater, The Sixteen, Britten Sinfonia, Barbican Hall

Perfect world premiere of a spiritual masterpiece for choir and strings


Alcina, RAM, Round Chapel, Hackney

Strong singing gets lost in this missed opportunity of a production

Martyn Brabbins: a safe pair of hands at ENO

Noble choice for new Music Director under difficult circumstances

The Nose, Royal Opera

Not quite as sharp as a pen, Kosky's Shostakovich has its funny moments


Harrogate, Royal Court Theatre
Al Smith's play about love, perversion and memory is electrifying
Harriet Walter on Brutus and Other Heroines
The great actress introduces her new book about playing Shakespeare
A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer, National Theatre
Musical about 'the big C' soars after the interval

visual arts

Opinion: ArtReview Power 100

Hans Ulrich Obrist tops a list dominated by globetrotting gallerists, curators and museum directors

Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement, Courtauld Gallery

Inspiring show highlights the sculptor's experimental studies of the female form in motion

The Vulgar, Barbican Art Gallery

The most vulgar thing about haute couture is the price tag


Shakespeare triple bill, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Creative renditions of the Bard's works in dance

The Sleeping Beauty, Australian Ballet, cinema broadcast

A sparky, faithful rendition of a classic

Carlos Acosta, The Classical Farewell, Royal Albert Hall

Serious quality in ballet star's last goodbye


Al Murray, Royal Albert Hall

Pub Landlord fails to capitalise on Brexit

James Acaster, Touring

Beautifully crafted show of offbeat observations

Tom Ballard

Australian comic with a pleasingly original take on modern life


Mafia III

An offer you can refuse

Mafia III

An offer you can refuse


A game of two halves in this reimagined annual instalment

latest comments

I will concede that's one of his better ones.

Sixth-form poetry? It is astonishing that one who...

awful. inaccurate. full of cgi also inaccurate....

Whatever year he was born.  Whatever is the...

What a lot of outrage, Mr Whitham. If only I...

I too was at Friday's concert and thought it was...

Seems that this column has not raised many...

 wot a Bravura review...mille grazie !


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