mon 20/11/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

William Ward
Monday, 20 November 2017
It has long been a mystery why no new production of Semiramide should have been staged at Covent Garden since 1887: un offesa terribile considering that this splendid melodramma...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 20 November 2017
A fair few Edinburgh Fringe shows are just that – things that work perfectly in the “let's do the show right here” spirit that permeates the festival, in a tiny (and often grotty...
Joe Muggs
Sunday, 19 November 2017
At three decades deep in the creative industries, it's fair to say Trevor Jackson is a renaissance man. He is a designer, filmmaker, music producer, radio and club DJ, compilation...
Bernard Hughes
Sunday, 19 November 2017
The great and good of the London music scene were gathered at English National Opera last night for the unveiling of American Wunderkind Nico Muhly’s new opera, Marnie. Although...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 19 November 2017
One of these years, Javier Marías will probably win the Nobel Prize in Literature. If and when that honour happens, critics may well discuss the Spanish writer’s fiction, in all...
Jasper Rees
Sunday, 19 November 2017
So, if you’re reading this you probably trudged all the weary way to the very end of I Know Who You Are. Or you didn’t but still want to find out what the hell happened. After 20-...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 19 November 2017
“Precious to me” is a high-carat gold nugget. A guitar-pop song with cascading, lush Everly Brothers harmonies drawing on...
Markie Robson-Scott
Sunday, 19 November 2017
Tina Brown’s first Christmas issue of Vanity Fair in 1984 had this to say about “the sulky, Elvisy” Donald Trump: “…he’s a...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 19 November 2017
The queen of R&B is no stranger to struggle – the Staples Singers, led by Pops, played a key role in the 1960s civil...
Javi Fedrick
Saturday, 18 November 2017
For a band as big as Depeche Mode, in a venue as big the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, on a tour as big as their current...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Icelandic writer-director Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson has made an impressive feature debut with this story of crossing the...
Peter Quinn
Saturday, 18 November 2017
As moments of transcendence go, Laura Mvula’s guest spot at Robert Glasper’s EFG London Jazz Festival show provided one of...
Marina Vaizey
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Finland is celebrating its centenary this year and the National Gallery's exhibition of four paintings by Akseli Gallen-...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Herbert Howells: Music for Clavichord Julian Perkins (Prima Facie)Herbert Howells was at a low ebb in the 1920s. His...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Over the last few months Paloma Faith has been talking up her fourth album, The Architect. There were self-perpetuated...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 17 November 2017
Screen biographies are tricky things to pull off when the person portrayed has left behind an indelible screen...
Owen Richards
Friday, 17 November 2017
During the 19th century, Tiger Bay in Cardiff was the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution and the most multicultural...
Jasper Rees
Friday, 17 November 2017
Love, Lies & Records (BBC One) is one of those bathetic titles that are very Yorkshire. See also Last Tango in Halifax,...
Javi Fedrick
Friday, 17 November 2017
Four albums in, Detroit’s Protomartyr have built up quite a following over the last five years. From the now-hard-to-find No...
Richard Bratby
Friday, 17 November 2017
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla has such a rapport with her Birmingham public that she can silence a capacity crowd - 2000-plus...

★★★★ LAKE KEITELE: A VISION OF FINLAND Northern lights at the National Gallery

★★★★ TINA BROWN: THE VANITY FAIR DIARIES Fun, frenzy and unexpected honesty

THE MOST EXPENSIVE PAINTINGS EVER SOLD Leonardo tops an exclusive list. Who else is on it?

★★★ I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, BBC FOUR Finale of Spanish drama literally took no prisoners

★★★★ DEPECHE MODE, MANCHESTER ARENA Prettiness, darkness and pomp

★★★★ HEARTSTONE Coming-of-age, coming-out story set in spectacular Icelandic landscapes

★★★★ ROBERT GLASPER, BARBICAN Grammy winner and guests cast warm glow over jazz fest

disc of the day

CD: Dark They Were And Golden Eyed - Design Your Dreams

Underground polymath Trevor Jackson pushes his self-releasing to preposterous levels

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The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it

I Know Who You Are, series 2 finale, BBC Four review - Spanish drama literally took no prisoners

All who got to the end of the draining telenovela deserve a medal. CONTAINS SPOILERS

Love, Lies & Records, BBC One review - Ashley Jensen too good to be true

Kay Mellor's city hall drama tries hard to please all parties


The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

Heartstone review - huge visuals, close-up performances

Sensitive coming-of-age, coming out story set in spectacular Icelandic landscapes

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool review - Annette Bening mesmerises

The story of faded femme fatale Gloria Grahame is coy about her past

new music

CD: Dark They Were And Golden Eyed - Design Your Dreams

Underground polymath Trevor Jackson pushes his self-releasing to preposterous levels

Reissue CDs Weekly: Phil Seymour

Illuminating yet frustrating best-of dedicated to the ‘Prince of Power Pop’

CD: Mavis Staples - If All I Was Was Black

At 78, the queen of R&B marches on


Classical CDs Weekly: Howells, Karayev, Lotichius

Lush orchestral music from Azerbaijan, plus a pair of offbeat keyboard discs

Frang, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - an Elgar tradition renewed

Great Brit goes Nordic Noir, while Beethoven dances for joy

Messiaen & Shostakovich, St John's Smith Square review - Osborne and Gerhardt anchor 1940s masterpieces

Lucidity, violence and transcendence in wartime meditations and combats


Semiramide, Royal Opera review - Rossini's Queen is back

Joyce DiDonato and Antonio Pappano resuscitate the uxoricidal Assyrian ruler

Marnie, English National Opera review – hyped new opera doesn’t hit the heights

Nico Muhly’s world premiere offered musical pleasures but too many flaws to be great

'Singers must act better than ever before'

OperaGlassWorks collaborate with singers from the start. Director Selina Cadell explains


Tiger Bay, Wales Millennium Centre review - ambitious but flawed spectacle
Brand new musical builds high production on a shaky structural base
Network, National Theatre review - Bryan Cranston’s searing London stage debut
Seminal 1976 film resonates anew as Breaking Bad star gets 'mad as hell'
Poison, Orange Tree Theatre review - study of grief is both courageous and subtle
Finely judged two-hander about death and how to survive it


Kenneth MacMillan: A National Celebration, Programmes 2 & 3, Royal Opera House review - abhorrent to sublime

One choreographer, many faces: two works of genius and a torrid muddle

Michael Clark Company, Barbican Theatre review - bad boy of dance comes good

Not what was promised, but ballet's prodigal son delivers


The Elvis Dead, Soho Theatre review - schlock horror told through Elvis songs

Excellent spoof tells the story of Evil Dead 2 through the oeuvre of the King


Call of Duty: WWII review - war is an unpleasant business

The veteran franchise returns for another bout of epic war games

h.Club 100 Awards 2017: The Winners

News from The Hospital Club's annual awards for the creative industries, plus theartsdesk's Young Reviewer of the Year

FIFA 18 review - as polished as football silverware

Slicker and slower, the latest version of the football bestseller takes its time to shine

visual arts

The Best Exhibitions in London

Soviet art, Cézanne, Harry Potter and more: our favourite shows to see now

Lake Keitele: A Vision of Finland review, National Gallery - light-filled northern vistas

One of the National Gallery's most popular postcards comes under the spotlight

Highlights from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 - raw emotion, not always human

One inveterate - and so far unsuccessful - participant sizes up this year's successes


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