thu 27/04/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Playwright Duncan Macmillan has had a good couple of years. In 2015, his play People, Places and Things was a big hit at the National Theatre, winning awards and transferring to...
Gavin Dixon
Thursday, 27 April 2017
You wouldn’t guess it from her name, but Janina Fialkowska isn’t actually Polish. You wouldn’t guess from her Chopin either, which is sensitive and supple, always emotive and...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 27 April 2017
The Scottish play’s traces are faint in this bloody, steamy tale of feminist psychosis. Based on Nikolai Leskov’s Dostoevsky-commissioned novel Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, its...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Shirley Collins was one of the Sixties British folk music revival’s central figures. Having built a reputation as a highly rated innovator and interpreter during the course of the...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Three teenage boys meet at dawn. One of them, blonde and beautiful Simon (Gabin Verdet), jumps out of his girlfriend’s window and rides his bike through the dark Lyon streets to...
Peter Quinn
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Hosted by Jazz FM presenter, Jez Nelson, an impressively varied mix of UK and international artists from the worlds of jazz, blues and soul were honoured at the fourth Jazz FM...
Tim Cumming
Thursday, 27 April 2017
He’s in his ninth decade, but with no signs of slowing down on stage or in studio, and the good news is that, while God...
Jenny Gilbert
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
There is a distinctive look, feel, even sound to a stage production directed by Ivo van Hove, which is becoming rather...
David Nice
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Bomb-dropping is the new black again in Trump's dysfunctional America. Awareness of that contributed to the crackling cloud...
Florence Hallett
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Flashes of intense colour pulse rhythmically across the piece, contrasting with delicate washes and pools of watery pigment...
Liz Thomson
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
The 23rd studio album from the artist formerly known as John Cougar was originally destined to be a religious album, but the...
Peter Quantrill
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
"But is any of this normal?," asks poor Beatriz at the end of Act One. Of course not. She and 14 other grand creatures are...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Turning the real-life murder of an 11-year-old boy into a four-part TV drama carries obvious risks (might it be exploitative...
Peter Culshaw
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Caetano Veloso is a unique figure in world popular music. As bright as the likes of David Byrne and Brian Eno, but also a...
Matthew Wright
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Decade Zero is a new commission from acclaimed contemporary classical composer Dave Maric, receiving its world premiere this...
Jenny Gilbert
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
For decades, but especially since the turn of the millennium, the arts have fretted over how to appeal to a younger audience...
Robert Beale
Monday, 24 April 2017
The opening of a new concert hall offers two options for opinionizing: the venue itself – or the performances in it? Review...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 24 April 2017
François-Xavier Roth is a distinctive presence at the podium. He is short and immaculately attired, and first appearances...
Russ Coffey
Monday, 24 April 2017
Best Troubadour is Bonnie Prince Billy's musical tribute to his "forever hero", country singer Merle Haggard...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 23 April 2017
It’s 25 years this year since Donna Leon introduced us to Commissario Guido Brunetti, a man who in his way has done as much...

★★★ OBSESSION, BARBICAN Cultish staging of the Visconti film disappoints

★★★★ DOCTOR ATOMIC, BBCSO, ADAMS, BARBICAN Gerald Finley reprises his tormented nuclear scientist in electrifying company

★★★★ LITTLE BOY BLUE Skilful ITV dramatisation of real-life murder story

★★★★★ CHRIS OFILI, NATIONAL GALLERY Weaving with water: a tribute to Trinidad, the Old Masters and Mario Balotelli

★★★★ DVD: DANCER Steven Cantor’s film tracks the making and breaking of ballet superstar Sergei Polunin

★★★★ CAETANO VELOSO AND TERESA CRISTINA, BARBICAN Veteran Brazilian idol and new samba star warm up the Barbica

disc of the day

CD: Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child

God may have a problem, but Willie's cool

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Little Boy Blue review – 'the sum of all fears'

Skilful ITV dramatisation of real-life murder story

The best TV to watch this week

theartsdesk picks the dramas, sitcoms and documentaries you shouldn't miss

Broadchurch review - the final reckoning

Farewell to the nation's favourite hinges on surprise


Lady Macbeth review - 'memorably nasty'

Feminist psychosis in 19th century Northumberland

Heal the Living review - 'lots of emotion, not enough life'

A heart transplant goes horribly right in Katell Quillévéré’s third feature

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

new music

CD: Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child

God may have a problem, but Willie's cool

Jazz FM Awards 2017

UK and international stars from jazz, blues, soul and film honoured in London


Janina Fialkowska, Wigmore Hall

Sensitive and supple readings get to the heart of Chopin

Stoller Hall Opening, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester

New performance venue christened with a high-spirited weekend

Tamestit, LSO, Roth, Barbican

Gently radical readings, elevated by spellbinding viola virtuosity


Doctor Atomic, BBCSO, Adams, Barbican

Gerald Finley reprises his tormented nuclear scientist in electrifying company

The Exterminating Angel, Royal Opera

A savage new conversation piece lives up to its distinguished source

Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, EBS, Gardiner, Colston Hall, Bristol

Monteverdi Odyssey begins, aptly and superbly, with the last masterpiece


City of Glass, Lyric Hammersmith review - ‘thrilling and enthralling Paul Auster adaptation’
Masterpiece of writer's 'New York Trilogy' is visually amazing, intellectually satisfying on stage
The Best Plays in London
Shakespeare, Stoppard, wizards and more: theartsdesk's stage tips


DVD: Dancer

Steven Cantor’s film tracks the making and breaking of ballet superstar Sergei Polunin

Betroffenheit, Crystal Pite & Jonathon Young, Sadler's Wells

Astonishing, unclassifiable work of dance theatre about an unrepresentable subject

Brighton Festival 2017: 12 Free Events

Brighton Festival CEO Andrew Comben's guide to this year's best free stuff


Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - 'politics is her patch'

Former Labour adviser finds the funny in politics

Our Friend Victoria review – ‘Victoria Wood’s genius is irreplaceable’

Julie Walters presents the first part of BBC One's series celebrating a comedian without equal


Mass Effect: Andromeda review - 'dialogue trumps visual presentation'

Is the final frontier one step too far for this sci-fi epic?

Horizon Zero Dawn

The sun shines brightly on this benchmark action RPG

Sniper Elite 4

Life through a long-range lens

visual arts

Chris Ofili, National Gallery

Weaving with water: a tribute to Trinidad, the Old Masters and Mario Balotelli

Queer British Art 1861-1967, Tate Britain

A vital selective history in images, but is much of it great art - and does it matter?

Michelangelo's Madonna and Child

Why the Taddei Tondo, on loan to the National Gallery's Michelangelo & Sebastiano exhibition, makes the perfect Easter image

latest comments

Exactly. I was horrified that the BBC allowed...

I wasn't there, but it can't be true that Roth...

A fan since '84 (aged 12) I'm now 44. Depeche...

Good news, and something you'd have thought the...

It was recorded in the studio with the same...

I can talk from first hand exp I am grateful to...

I wholeheartedly agree. The one grainy filming I...

I see maybe Chris broke it to the evidence room...


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