thu 28/08/2014

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

Steen Raskopoulos, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Steen Raskopoulos has hit the ground running with his debut show; it was nominated for a Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award (best newcomer) at the Fringe earlier this month, after he...

Million Dollar Arm

Emma Simmonds

Disney's latest is a film which must have itself represented a hell of a pitch. Based on a true story, it's basically Slumdog Millionaire meets Jerry Maguire - two films that...

Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets, Channel 4

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Mid-week at 9pm has always struck me as the perfect televisual sweet spot. It’s not so close to the weekend that you’re likely to want to go out, but enough of the week is done...

Prom 53: Brahms Symphonies, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Jessica Duchen

About 10 minutes into the Brahms Third Symphony I wanted to check a name in the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s programme. I dared to turn a page. Bad idea. Such preternatural...

Worst Place To Be A Pilot, Channel 4

Matthew Wright

Since Big Brother, Channel 4 has become expert at selecting naively self-promoting members of the public, and rubbing their unsuspecting apple cheeks into choice and unsavoury...

Guglielmo Tell, Teatro Regio Torino, Noseda, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Hanna Weibye

First, confessions. I’m the dance critic here at theartsdesk. Yes, this is a review of a concert performance of an opera, and no, I haven’t picked up a detailed knowledge of...

Mystery Road

Kieron Tyler

Returning to the small town you grew up in after a spell in the big city can often be problematic. Old friends now think you...

Prom 52: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Sebastian Scotney

The first of this year's two Proms by the Budapest Festival Orchestra had looked like a rather strange confection, on paper...

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Katherine McLaughlin

There’s no rest for the wicked and corrupt in Frank Miller’s sequel to Sin City which sees him team up once again with...

John Kearns/ Alex Edelman/ This Is Ceilidh

Veronica Lee

John Kearns: Shtick, Voodoo Rooms ****London comic John Kearns made history at the weekend, when he became the first comic...

Al Murray's Great British War Films, BBC Four

Andy Plaice

Fifty-seven minutes into this hour-long programme entitled "Al Murray’s Great British War Films", our host put panellist Dan...

Richard Attenborough, 1923-2014

Nick Hasted

Richard Attenborough made himself known to the British public as a shark-eyed, snivelling psychopath. Pinkie, the teen...

Prom 50: Weilerstein, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohlávek

Edward Seckerson

Even as orchestras began to sound more and more alike, there was the Czech Philharmonic. And many of its notable...

Crystal Springs, Park Theatre / Little Stitches, Theatre503

Naima Khan

Here's a fun fact: this year the Merriam-Webster dictionary added a new definition for the noun "catfish". As well as the...

If I Stay

Matt Wolf

Beethoven went deaf at 26, we're helpfully informed near the start of If I Stay in a bit of information that pales next to...

The Honourable Woman, Series Finale, BBC Two

Lisa-Marie Ferla

In the current political climate, it would have been grotesquely inappropriate to conclude even the most fictionalised...

Doctor Who: Deep Breath, BBC One

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Imagine that you were a TV executive producer, and that you had managed to cast one of the country’s finest actors in the...

Sweet Mambo, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Edinburgh Playhouse

Hanna Weibye

The Edinburgh Playhouse is the largest UK theatre regularly used for dance. The stalls alone seat more than the total...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Popcorn Girls

Kieron Tyler

Various Artists: Popcorn GirlsAlthough the sole single by troubled American televison and film star Tuesday Weld seems an...

The Kate Bush Story: Running Up that Hill, BBC Four

Matthew Wright

Kate Bush’s return to live performance next week, after 35 years’ absence, has been one of the defining features of this...

The Lion, St James Theatre Studio

Matt Wolf

This has been a busy season for Off Broadway musicals crossing the pond to London, from Dessa Rose and Dogfight to Forbidden...

Classical CDs Weekly: Copland, Henry Mancini, Schumann

Graham Rickson

 Copland: Appalachian Spring, Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson Emma Matthews (soprano), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/...

Match of the Day at 50, BBC One

Matthew Wright

For most of us, reaching the age of 50 prompts a mature recognition of faded aspirations, balanced by some degree of respect...

Prom 47: Britten War Requiem, CBSO, BBC Proms Youth Choir, Nelsons

Edward Seckerson

Nothing has resonated through the unfolding First World War commemorations more than the poetry of Wilfred Owen; and in...

 

DVD: FRAU IM MOND Fritz Lang's lunar epic shines in a gleaming new print

RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, 1923-2014 As filmmaker and man, Attenborough had a tireless energy for useful work

PROM 52: BUDAPEST FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, FISCHER Whole string sections with the ability to phrase cleverly and subtly as one

AL MURRAY'S GREAT BRITISH WAR FILMS, BBC FOUR Military intervention might have helped spark some life into this panel chat

WINNING SHOWS AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE A last line-up features John Kearns, Alex Edelman and This Is Ceilidh

CD: ANDY MILNE & DAPP THEORY - FORWARD IN ALL DIRECTIONS Engrossingly multi-faceted experimental pieces reveal an unexpected degree of lyrical charm

disc of the day

CD: Simian Mobile Disco - Whorl

Electronic duo take us on a spaced out - but dynamic - analogue adventure

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Listed

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From Mork to mawkish, the clips that define a brilliant career
Listed: 10 Mozart Operas You've Never Heard (of)
As La finta giardiniera comes to Glyndebourne, we've got the pick of Mozart's lesser-known operas
Listed: The Best UK Summer Music Festivals For Families
Family fun features as strongly as grown-up revels at many summer music festivals

six of the best

Six of the best: Theatre

Let the right Mormons in: a bit of everything in theartsdesk's tips

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Six of the best: Art

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top exhibitions

film

Million Dollar Arm

Jon Hamm makes his bid for movie stardom in a semi-winning baseball drama

Mystery Road

A raw take on Australia in potent outback crime drama

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Frank Miller's 3D return to the world of Basin City proves a grotty and flat experience

tv

Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets, Channel 4

Flimsy documentary is one for the feline-minded

Worst Place To Be A Pilot, Channel 4

Fascinating and original concept only partially ruined by condescending direction

Al Murray's Great British War Films, BBC Four

Military intervention might have helped spark some life into this panel chat

new music

CD: Simian Mobile Disco - Whorl

Electronic duo take us on a spaced out - but dynamic - analogue adventure

CD: Andy Milne & Dapp Theory - Forward In All Directions

Engrossingly multi-faceted experimental pieces reveal an unexpected degree of lyrical charm

Reissue CDs Weekly: Popcorn Girls

Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley opens a window on Belgium’s open-minded dance scene

classical

Prom 53: Brahms Symphonies, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Exceptional control and finesse allow Brahms’s masterpieces to shine supreme

Prom 52: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Whole string sections with the ability to phrase cleverly and subtly as one

Prom 50: Weilerstein, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohlávek

An overly impulsive Dvořák, and a disappointing Beethoven from distinguished visitors

opera

Guglielmo Tell, Teatro Regio Torino, Noseda, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Wildly thrilling Festival performance enough to convert anyone to Rossini

Rinaldo, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Schoolboy humour transforms Handel's opera into a deliciously adult drama

Alright on the Night: at Glyndebourne with the OAE

The view from the pit as Handel's 'Rinaldo' returns to leafiest East Sussex

theatre

Crystal Springs, Park Theatre / Little Stitches, Theatre503

Cyberspace goings on and reports from the frontline of FGM

The Lion, St James Theatre Studio

Benjamin Scheuer's stirring solo show has both heart and heft

See Rock City & Other Destinations, Union Theatre

The emotional voyage takes literal form in this heartfelt if generic new musical

visual arts

Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale of Three Cities, BBC Four

Does James Fox have anything interesting to say? Judging from this series, no

Edinburgh Art Festival: Scotland to outer space

Anticipating the independence referendum, questions of Scottish identity fill the air

The Beauty of Anatomy, BBC Four

Adam Rutherford's exploration of Leonardo and the dark art of human dissection

dance

Sweet Mambo, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Edinburgh Playhouse

German choreographer's late work delights Edinburgh Festival audience

Edinburgh Fringe 2014: MurleyDance

Independent ballet company gives engaging performance of mixed-quality material

Gnosis, Akram Khan, King's Theatre, Edinburgh

Gorgeous rhythm from Kathak legend

comedy

Steen Raskopoulos, Soho Theatre

Superb character comedy from Australian debutant

John Kearns/ Alex Edelman/ This Is Ceilidh

Winning shows at the Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Chris Turner/ BEASTS/ Angela Barnes/ Show Pony

More from the world's biggest and best arts festival

gaming

Road Not Taken

It looks cute, but this puzzle game has a chilling heart…

Duet

A challenge that combines fast reactions with graceful movement

Wayward Souls

A fast-moving RPG with plenty of replay value

latest comments

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