thu 27/08/2015

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

Our Country's Good, National Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

The political wheel has turned full-circle. When Our Country’s Good was premiered in 1988, it was a barely-veiled protest against Thatcher’s slash-and-burn approach to the arts in...

Prom 55: SWR SO Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Roth

Peter Quantrill

The only reasonable explanation for the all too belated arrival at the Proms of the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Orchestra is that the festival’s house band, the BBC Symphony, is...

En Équilibre

Kieron Tyler

En Équilibre addresses the impact of disabling and irreparable injury, thwarted ambitions, the questionable practices of insurers, and the connection between two dissimilar, yet...

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Nish Kumar/ Adam Hess/ Dial Medicine for Murder/ Larry Dean

Veronica Lee

Nish Kumar, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★There's been so little out-and-out political comedy at this year's Fringe that it's a real joy to find a stand-up so engaged with politics...

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Simon Munk

A tidy, English village. Swings hang in the breeze, a bicycle's discarded by a phone box, smoke curls over an ashtray in the pub garden. But no one's here. No one's ever coming...

CD: Owiny Sigoma Band - Nyanza

Matthew Wright

Nyanza is the province of western Kenya where this intriguing Anglo-Kenyan, inter-generational five-piece recorded their third album, exploring the region in which the Luo people...

Hamlet, Barbican

Matt Wolf

The set turns out to be the thing now that Benedict Cumberbatch's star turn in Hamlet has finally arrived, trailing in its...

theartsdesk at Green Man 2015

Barney Harsent

Sunday. Brecon Beacons. Very early in the morning. I am woken, as I have been every 20 minutes or so since falling asleep,...

A Day in the Life of Andy Warhol, BBC Four

Florence Hallett

It was suggested more than once during this adventure in Warhol-world that Andy Warhol himself was the artist’s greatest...

CD: Hills - Frid

Guy Oddy

In a way that is reminiscent of fellow Swedes and label mates Goat, Hills play a primal psychedelia that draws from a far...

Prom Chamber Music 6: Jeremy Denk/ Prom 53: Fray, Philharmonia, Salonen

David Nice

There were two reasons why I didn’t return to the Albert Hall late on Friday night to hear Andras Schiff play Bach’s...

Soup Cans and Superstars, BBC Four

Marina Vaizey

Pop went the easel, and more, as we were offered a worldwide tour – New York, LA, London, Paris, Shanghai – of the art...

Bach Hours: The Orgelbüchlein Project, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

When Bach set out in 1713 to write his Orgelbüchlein, or “little organ book”, he listed the titles of the 164 chorales that...

DVD: Around the World with Orson Welles

Graham Rickson

Orson Welles was commissioned by ITV in 1955 to make a 26-part series of travelogues. Always in search of money to fund his...

Prom 51: Boston SO, Nelsons

Gavin Dixon

Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra have made the Shostakovich Tenth their calling card. Their recent recording...

10 Questions for Actor Jason Hughes

Jasper Rees

Jason Hughes belongs to an influential generation of actors who emerged from South Wales in the 1990s. A promising rugby...

CD: Beach House – Depression Cherry

Kieron Tyler

Though beautiful, Depression Cherry is hard to love. The fifth album from Beach House – Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally –...

Prom 49: Hardenberger, Boston SO, Nelsons

David Nice

So here he was in town with his top American team, the already great conductor whose premature departure from Birmingham has...

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Diane Chorley/ LetLuce/ Lazy Susan

Veronica Lee

Diane Chorley, Underbelly Potterrow ★★★Diane Chorley is the former owner of The Flick nightclub in Canvey Island, Essex....

Colin Currie and Friends, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

David Kettle

Two percussionists, two pianists, Adams, Reich and Bartók: Colin Currie and friends’ bracing morning recital at the...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Julian Cope

Kieron Tyler

Julian Cope: World Shut Your Mouth, FriedIt’s a fair assumption Julian Cope’s record label Phonogram was committed to the...

Grande Messe des Morts, Philharmonia, Salonen, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

It's fitting that for its 50th anniversary the Edinburgh Festival Chorus should perform Berlioz’s gigantic Grande Messe des...

CD: Trappist Afterland – Afterlander

Barney Harsent

Now, I don’t know about you, but if someone holding some tiny cymbals invited me into a room on the promise of hearing some...

Prom 47 : BBCSO, Oramo/ Prom 48: AAM, Hill

Alexandra Coghlan

It’s been glorious to hear so much Bach at this year’s Proms – most of it after dark, and still more of it for the most...

 

HAMLET, BARBICAN Visuals threaten to swamp Shakespeare - and, yes, Sherlock

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANDY WARHOL, BBC FOUR 24 hours in the king of Pop Art's shoes

CD: HILLS - FRID Psychedelic Swedes lay down some mind-blowing pagan ritual music

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY: PROKOFIEV, SMETANA, VIVALDI 20th century orchestral music, Czech quartets and Baroque strangeness

THE ARTS DESK AT GREEN MAN 2015 A wild time was had by all until rain stopped play…

BACH HOURS: THE ORGELBUCHLEIN PROJECT, ST GILES CATHEDRAL, EDINBURGH Immersive Bach experience on the Edinburgh Fringe

disc of the day

CD: Owiny Sigoma Band - Nyanza

Anglo-Kenyan collaboration proves captivating

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We Made It

We Made It: Artist Grande Dame

Day-Glo Southern Gothic with artist and craftswoman Tiff McGinnis

We Made It: Coracle Maker Malcolm Rees

We Made It heads to South Wales to discover a living craft tradition

We Made It: Stage Technician Tom Robinson

Peek behind the scenes with the set builder of the Young Vic's amazing mirrored box for Caryl Churchill's A Number

tv

A Day in the Life of Andy Warhol, BBC Four

24 hours in the king of Pop Art's shoes

Soup Cans and Superstars, BBC Four

Panorama of Pop art from Alastair Sooke ahead of the Tate Modern show

Building the Ancient City: Athens, BBC Two

Cogent narrative of the pioneering achievements of ancient Athens

film

En Équilibre

Finely formed tale of battling the odds from the director of 'The Page Turner'

DVD: Around the World with Orson Welles

Uneven TV travelogue from the maverick director

Good People

James Franco nears rock bottom in London-set thriller

new music

CD: Owiny Sigoma Band - Nyanza

Anglo-Kenyan collaboration proves captivating

theartsdesk at Green Man 2015

A wild time was had by all until rain stopped play…

CD: Hills - Frid

Psychedelic Swedes lay down some mind-blowing pagan ritual music

classical

Prom 55: SWR SO Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Roth

An emotional hail-and-farewell to the Proms from a superb German orchestra

Prom Chamber Music 6: Jeremy Denk/ Prom 53: Fray, Philharmonia, Salonen

Blocks of Bartók hit hard, but an orchestrated slab of earlyish Shostakovich falls flat

Bach Hours: The Orgelbüchlein Project, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Immersive Bach experience on the Edinburgh Fringe

opera

Prom Chamber Music 6: Jeremy Denk/ Prom 53: Fray, Philharmonia, Salonen

Blocks of Bartók hit hard, but an orchestrated slab of earlyish Shostakovich falls flat

The Last Hotel, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

Provocative new opera on assisted suicide from Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy

HMS Pinafore, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company

Fresh and funny G&S, with operatic weight

theatre

Our Country's Good, National Theatre

Moments of poignancy and humour don't quite add up to this play's full dramatic weight

Hamlet, Barbican

Visuals threaten to swamp Shakespeare - and, yes, Sherlock

10 Questions for Actor Jason Hughes

Theatre is once more the lure for the Welsh star of Midsomer Murders

visual arts

Soup Cans and Superstars, BBC Four

Panorama of Pop art from Alastair Sooke ahead of the Tate Modern show

An Open Book: Bruce McCall

The distinguished writer and illustrator talks compensatory learning and the lure of Atlantic liners

An Open Book: Conrad Shawcross

The sculptor talks about his fascination with Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace and about the big ideas that inform his work

dance

Seven, Ballett am Rhein/RSNO, Edinburgh Playhouse

Danced Mahler symphony is tour de force of energy and invention

Lo Real, Israel Galván, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Uncompromising look at gypsies under fascism is hard going, but rewarding

Swan Lake, St Petersburg Ballet Theatre, London Coliseum

Irina Kolesnikova dominates but doesn't enchant in this mediocre production

comedy

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Nish Kumar/ Adam Hess/ Dial Medicine for Murder/ Larry Dean

Counting down at the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Diane Chorley/ LetLuce/ Lazy Susan

A bogus duchess and talking fish at the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The Kinsey Sicks/ Minor Delays/ Rhys James

More from the world's biggest and best arts festival

gaming

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

When is a game not a game? When it's better than that

Volume

Purist stealth puzzles with too glossy a sheen?

A Day In The Woods

A simple but challenging puzzle with terrific good looks

Listed

Listed: Songs of Summer
From seaside nostalgia to a consumerist jihadi paradise, we list the sounds of summer
Listed: Precocious Writers
As the Royal Court introduces some very young playwrights, we celebrate the great child authors
Listed: Essential BBC Proms
Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

latest comments

Meaningless. To paraphrase Sairey Gamp's fellow...

Why does the actor playing the jolly redcoat get...

the world's best orchestra

"That said, this was not..." This new usage in...

Mr. Oramo is definitely going to show You what...

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