fri 06/03/2015

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

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

Simon Munk

Skateboarding, in games and movies, has always been presented as quite a laidback sport. This couldn't be further from that idea – it's a "twitch" arcade stick-and-button mangler...

Chappie

Emma Simmonds

An innocent is corrupted in South African director Neill's Blomkamp's third feature (co-written with his wife Terri Tatchell), but the kid in question is far from what you'd...

White Bird in a Blizzard

Demetrios Matheou

Adolescence, youth culture and rebellion – often luridly and violently expressed – are the stocks in trade of American director Gregg Araki, who has one of the most distinctive...

First Person: The Meaning of Mermaids

Polly Teale

As a child I was bewitched by the tale of The Little Mermaid. I had it on a record and would play it and sit and sob on the settee, much to the bewilderment of my brothers. It...

Banished, BBC Two

Jasper Rees

Another tough night in with Jimmy McGovern. Banished may have taken ship to 18th-century New South Wales, whither the first British convicts have been expelled to a penal colony...

Dreamcatcher

Tom Birchenough

We get the big city views of Chicago, the bright lights and the skyscrapers, a few times in Kim Longinotto’s Dreamcatcher, but for the most part we’re planted firmly down at...

Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Kings Place

Heidi Goldsmith

Mari Kvien Brunvoll - Norwegian improviser, singer and composer - enters the Kings Place stage more like a pianist's page-...

Game, Almeida Theatre

Aleks Sierz

This venue is one of the coolest in London — and its regular audience is both trendy and well-heeled. In the foyer, you get...

Spectres, The Lexington

Barney Harsent

I first saw Spectres last October at the 10th birthday celebrations for their label, Sonic Cathedral. That night, they...

Inventing Impressionism, National Gallery

Marina Vaizey

Here is an exhibition that tells us how something we now take totally for granted actually came about: how our love affair...

Still Alice

Matt Wolf

Oscar winner Julianne Moore: the phrase has been a long time coming but it finally came true 10 days ago when the actress,...

Super-Powered Owls: Natural World, BBC Two

Marina Vaizey

The owl – symbol of wisdom, harbinger of death – is a powerful if disparate symbol in human mythology worldwide. But...

Rattle for the LSO: great or just good news?

David Nice

Having manoeuvred to get a new concert hall for London earmarked in principle, Simon Rattle has finally agreed, as we...

Arthur and George, ITV

Matthew Wright

“Something strident and stirring – play to us now, please!” demands Martin Clunes’ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the piano-...

Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, King's Head Theatre

David Nice

How can a feisty village dame duetting “lackaday”s with the mounted head of a long-lost, nay, long-dead love be so deuced...

10 Questions for Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan

Demetrios Matheou

New filmmakers often suffer an unhelpful onslaught of comparisons and labels. Yet Desiree Akhavan offers so many options as...

The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre

Marianka Swain

The quest for liberation is popular dramatic terrain, but the Gate Theatre’s "Freedom Burning" season shifts focus to the...

We Made It: Fashion Designer Anna Skodbo

Simon Munk

Anna Skodbo's route to designing her ethical, environmental and "crosstown" fashion brand Phannatiq has hardly been ordinary...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress MyAnna Buring

Adam Sweeting

There came a moment, around three years ago, when MyAnna Buring suddenly seemed to be in everything. "I'm so sorry!" she...

Le Roi de Lahore, Chelsea Opera Group, QEH

David Nice

Now that opera houses mostly lack either the will or the funds to stage the more fantastical/exotic pageants among 19th...

Nómada, Compañía Manuel Liñán, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

"Sprung from pure flamenco, Manuel Liñán exudes purity from himself and his dance - he is life, freshness and passion."...

Pompidou, BBC Two

Veronica Lee

Judging by its early-evening slot and diddly-dee theme tune, Matt Lucas's latest project is aimed at family audiences – far...

Appropriate Behaviour

Tom Birchenough

There’s an engaging, indie sense of emotional flux in writer-director Desiree Akhavan’s feature debut Appropriate Behaviour...

BBCSO, Segerstam, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

The BBC Radio 3 announcer came on stage to introduce the concert and promised us "the 100 minutes" of Bruckner’s Eighth...

 

10 QUESTIONS FOR FILMMAKER DESIREE AKHAVAN New York's latest multi-hyphenate on making sense of her place in the world

STILL ALICE Julianne Moore's Oscar-winning turn lifts largely pedestrian film

CD: JIMMY SOMMERVILLE - HOMAGE Infectious disco tribute from a man who knows the genre inside out

SUPER-POWERED OWLS: NATURAL WORLD, BBC TWO Incredible secrets of the airborne nocturnal predators

INVENTING IMPRESSIONISM, NATIONAL GALLERY A fresh take: the commercial story behind the success of an avant-garde movement

RATTLE FOR THE LSO: GREAT OR JUST GOOD NEWS? Sir Simon finally committed to London post in 2017

disc of the day

CD: Fairport Convention - Myths & Heroes

Old school folk-rockers prove they can withstand the test of time

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 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 theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

We Made It

We Made It: Fashion Designer Anna Skodbo

The east London fashion designer on crowd-sourcing, sustainable fabrics and dressing MPs

We Made It: Furniture Designer & Maker Laszlo Beckett

The South London furniture maker talks lasers, skate-ramps and Coltrane

We Made It: Set and Costume Designer Lise Marker

A multidisciplinary artist and Matthew Barney collaborator explains her craft

tv

Banished, BBC Two

Jimmy McGovern's colonial convict drama grips from the off

Super-Powered Owls: Natural World, BBC Two

Incredible secrets of the airborne nocturnal predators

Arthur and George, ITV

Conan Doyle is a bluff, romantic Holmes in ITV's splendidly thrilling three-parter

film

Chappie

Neill Blomkamp's latest sci-fi actioner is a well-intentioned misadventure

White Bird in a Blizzard

Rising star Shailene Woodley is at the centre of a disappointing teen drama

Dreamcatcher

Kim Longinotto's latest is a lacerating documentary of Chicago's mean street lives

new music

Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Kings Place

Norwegian improvising vocalist travels through hit songs via the subconscious

CD: Fairport Convention - Myths & Heroes

Old school folk-rockers prove they can withstand the test of time

Spectres, The Lexington

Unhinged assault on the eardrums from the Bristol four-piece

classical

Rattle for the LSO: great or just good news?

Sir Simon finally committed to London post in 2017

BBCSO, Segerstam, Barbican

Stonehenge in sound: conductor-composer of 285 symphonies tackles Bruckner's Eighth

Benedetti, La Cetra, Saffron Hall

The violinist's Vivaldi charms an appreciative audience in a bold new hall

opera

Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, King's Head Theatre

They can sing, dance and make you laugh until you cry: portmanteau G&S at its very best

Le Roi de Lahore, Chelsea Opera Group, QEH

Top quality operatic voices in first London performance of Massenet exotica since 1880

Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera

Young lovers, a comic turn and paternal priest triumphant in Covent Garden staple

theatre

First Person: The Meaning of Mermaids

The Shared Experience director discovers a fresh path into the underwater world of Hans Christian Andersen

Game, Almeida Theatre

Mike Bartlett’s new play about the housing crisis shoots from the hip

Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, King's Head Theatre

They can sing, dance and make you laugh until you cry: portmanteau G&S at its very best

visual arts

Inventing Impressionism, National Gallery

A fresh take: the commercial story behind the success of an avant-garde movement

theartsdesk in Calais: Simon Faithfull – To the Bottom of the World and Back

Online messages sent from elsewhere by an artist who loves the sea

Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album, Courtauld Gallery

Enigmatic works on paper, reunited for the first time since the Spanish artist's death

dance

Nómada, Compañía Manuel Liñán, Sadler's Wells

Style and showmanship aplenty from one of flamenco's innovators

Eva Yerbabuena/Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, Sadler's Wells

Grimly majestic femininity steals the show at annual Spanish showcase

Swan Lake, Royal Ballet

Marianela Nuñez's dream Odette/Odile distracts from hideous designs and score butchery

comedy

Dracula! (Mr Swallow - the Musical), Soho Theatre

Nick Mohammed's daft but entertaining spoof musical

Kim Noble, Soho Theatre

Tender and playful show about love and loneliness

Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, Manchester Arena

Live stage version of the hit sitcom is great fun

gaming

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

Twitchy skating game gets under your skin like road rash

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 1

Action-oriented horror series gets snipped into formulaic episodes

Sunless Sea

Nautical misadventures abound in this cruel strategy game

Listed

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
Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames
Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical

latest comments

I agree with you the biggest load of crap I'd...

SOTW already done Oriental-style in 2007 by...

Having watched Spiral, this in comparison is poor...

Having not seen this play, and extrapolating from...

In depends on the specific traditions of that...

That may well be so in this case, Mr Robb (I...

newsletter

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