mon 19/03/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Alexandra Coghlan
Monday, 19 March 2018
Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: A Reimagining – it’s not a title that trips off the tongue. Nor one, frankly, that inspires much excitement, with its clunky functionality and on-trend...
Jasper Rees
Sunday, 18 March 2018
To Belgium for the latest continental instalment of murder really rather unpleasant. 13 Commandments, yet another crime drama brought to Channel 4 under the auspices of Walter...
Adam Sweeting
Sunday, 18 March 2018
When ITV scheduled this new series of The Durrells for mid-March, they probably didn’t imagine it would coincide with the return of the Beast from the East, with its blizzards and...
Mark Kidel
Sunday, 18 March 2018
All the great sociologists, in the tradition of Georg Simmel, Max Weber and others, are on a mission. They cannot help wishing to change the world. Science should be value-free,...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 18 March 2018
This column last encountered Cocteau Twins in 2015 when the compilation The Pink Opaque and the Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in a Shallow Bay album, which collected two EPs, were reissued...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 18 March 2018
Although its opening minute suggests one of Can’s Ethnological Forgery Series tracks, Jungle? Quelle Jungle? quickly sets its stall with gentle whacka-whacka guitar, a Cerrone-...
David Nice
Saturday, 17 March 2018
You don't have to be a good director to manage the artistic side of an opera house. Daniel Kramer arrived at ENO and boosted...
Katherine Waters
Saturday, 17 March 2018
Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day come three monologues written, directed and produced by women showing at...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 17 March 2018
Mary Magdalene’s story hasn’t suddenly become the second greatest ever told, despite its radical expansion here. Garth Davis...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 17 March 2018
 Visions of Prokofiev Lisa Batiashvili (violin), Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Yannick Nézet-Seguin (DG)Buried beneath...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 17 March 2018
Oh dear. After a bumpy couple of years which included an all-too-public arrest for domestic violence assault to which he...
Hanna Weibye
Friday, 16 March 2018
The Royal Ballet last night presented an evening of Bernstein-scored ballets, two of them premieres by Wayne McGregor and...
Sarah Kent
Friday, 16 March 2018
Sometimes you come across an artwork that changes the way you see the world. Tacita Dean’s film portrait of the American...
David Nice
Friday, 16 March 2018
When a great musician pulls out of a concerto appearance, you're usually lucky if a relative unknown creates a replacement...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 16 March 2018
One of the oldest pleasures of cinema is the opportunity it gives us to look at beautiful people in beautiful places,...
Mark Kidel
Friday, 16 March 2018
Henri-Georges Clouzot is one of the giants of French cinema history, such a versatile master of entertainment that his...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Mild controversy hovers over the new film by Alex Garland, the novelist-turned-screenwriter-turned-director. Garland’s 2015...
Richard Bratby
Thursday, 15 March 2018
“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham...
Marina Vaizey
Thursday, 15 March 2018
It is a very human crowd at Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography. There are the slightly melancholic portraits of...
Katie Colombus
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Full disclosure: I have never quite gotten over Alexandra Burke's rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I'm not sure I...


★★★★★ FAUST, LSO, GARDINER, BARBICAN Schumann as never before

ANTONY SHER: YEAR OF THE MAD KING The actor's Lear Diaries tell of his preparation to clamber up theatre's tallest peak for the RSC

★★★★ THE SQUARE Ruben Östlund's Oscar-nominated assault on polite Swedish society


★★★ BERNSTEIN TRIPLE BILL, ROYAL BALLET Epic ambitions unfulfilled

★★★★ WAKE, BIRMINGHAM OPERA COMPANY Giorgio Battistelli's ambitious operatic parable

★★★★★ BEING BLACKER, BBC TWO Absorbing film about family, culture and society

disc of the day

CD: Bon Voyage Organization - Jungle? Quelle Jungle?

Clever but detached Gallic tribute to Seventies glossiness

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13 Commandments, Channel 4 review - murder most Flemish

Belgian crime drama from Walter Presents borrows the plot of 'Seven'

The Durrells, Series 3, ITV review - a winter warmer from Corfu

Take a load off with some Mediterranean escapism

Annihilation, Netflix review - not quite a sci-fi masterpiece

Girl-power cast can't send Alex Garland's Earth-in-peril saga into orbit


Mary Magdalene review - potent, feminist revisionism

Stripped-back, rigorously human reimagining of Jesus and his female disciple

The Square review - stylish, brilliantly acted satire

Ruben Östlund's Oscar-nominated assault on polite Swedish society

Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Le Corbeau, Quai des Orfèvres, La Prisonnière

Striking trio from the French master of eroticism and violence

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Cocteau Twins

Spiffy upgrades of the sonic sorcerers' 'Head Over Heels' and 'Treasure'

CD: Bon Voyage Organization - Jungle? Quelle Jungle?

Clever but detached Gallic tribute to Seventies glossiness

CD: Don McLean - Botanical Gardens

A most unstarry night


Classical CDs Weekly: Prokofiev, Philip Sawyers, Andrew Matthews-Owen

Russian violin concertos, plus two discs of contemporary music

Faust, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - Schumann as never before

An elusive violin concerto reassessed in victory for a misunderstood orchestral master

Ruthless Jabiru, King's College London / Arditti Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - delicate, dedicated modernism

Australians in refugee-themed concert, radical new sounds from avant-garde veterans


La traviata, English National Opera review - into a vortex of ineptitude

Daniel Kramer digs a grave for musical-theatre possibilities

Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

The chorus is the real star in Giorgio Battistelli's ambitious operatic parable

Rinaldo, The English Concert, Barbican review - Bicket's band steals the spotlight

Handel's London opera still serves up the sensations 300 years later


Female Parts: Shorts, Hoxton Hall review - women speak out
Adulteress, mother and immigrant tell their stories in three monologues
The Best Plays in London
From the Ides of March to modern monologues: theartsdesk's stage tips


Bernstein triple bill, Royal Ballet review - epic ambitions unfulfilled

Composer outshines McGregor, Scarlett and Wheeldon in centenary tribute

Macbeth, Wilton's Music Hall review - incisive and thrilling dance theatre

Mark Bruce Company's wordless take on the Scottish Play is stunning

Giselle, Royal Ballet review - beautiful dancing in a production of classic good taste

Perfect storytelling through dance from Marianela Nuñez and excellent supporting cast


Metal Gear Survive review - staying alive shouldn't be such a slog

Bring out your wild side in this strange survivalist simulation

EA Sports UFC 3 review - the art of fighting has never looked so good

Why bob and weave when you can ground and pound?

Best of 2017: Games

Quality nearly matches quantity

visual arts

Victorian Giants, National Portrait Gallery review - pioneers of photography

Artistic searches, technical advances fuel the discoveries of the Victorian age

Murillo: The Self-Portraits, National Gallery review - edged with darkness

Exquisite exhibition prompted by Murillo's two self-portraits considers what can survive time's wreckage

latest comments

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