thu 29/06/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Marina Vaizey
Thursday, 29 June 2017
This sparkling display of some four score watercolours from the first decade of the last century throw an unfamiliar light on the artistry of John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), the...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 29 June 2017
“The northern white rhinos are just a symbol of what we do to the natural world,” as one of the contributors to this haunting documentary put it. “We witness them disappearing in...
Jenny Gilbert
Thursday, 29 June 2017
Labels have their uses but they can also be a blight. The works of the Scottish playwright James Bridie – with their regional accents and domestic settings – bear many of the...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Broadway so frequently fetes its visiting Brits that it's nice when the honour is repaid. That said, it's difficult to imagine audiences anywhere remaining unmoved by Audra...
Nick Hasted
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Julian Assange’s white hair marks his public persona. To some he’s an unmistakably branded outsider, or a lone white wolf hunting global injustice. Hollywood would cast him as the...
Jasper Rees
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
George Stiles and Anthony Drewe – Stiles and Drewe, as the songwriting partnership is universally known – are responsible for one of theatre’s most memorable acceptance speeches....
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
The recent general election result proves that the power of the rightwing press has diminished considerably in the digital...
Kieron Tyler
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Hug of Thunder makes its case with “Victim Lover”, its ninth track. For the first time on Broken Social Scene’s follow-up to...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Is meat murder? Will people eat anything if it’s cheap? Is the taste of bacon really what stops us half the western world...
Peter Quantrill
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
It’s often said that Ariadne auf Naxos is all about The Composer – not only Richard Strauss but an affectionate parody of...
David Nice
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Why stage a stiff opera about half-frozen royals by a not-yet-divine Mozartino? The best Mitridate really deserves is one of...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
All the accolades heaped onto this documentary in the near 50 years since it was made are wholly deserved. Over 251 minutes...
David Nice
Monday, 26 June 2017
Perfect comedies for the country-house opera scene? Mozart's Figaro and Così, Strauss's Ariadne - and Britten's Albert...
Stephen Walsh
Monday, 26 June 2017
Opera directors must, I suppose, direct. But one could wish that they kept their mouths shut, at least outside the rehearsal...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 26 June 2017
Portraying a Nation juxtaposes photographs by August Sander with paintings by Otto Dix. It's an inspired idea as both...
Joe Muggs
Monday, 26 June 2017
Imagine that The Ramones were not only still playing into the mid 2000s, but were still writing new songs as good as “Sheena...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Reading the Rocks has a provocative subtitle, “How Victorian Geologists Discovered the Secret of Life”, indicating the role...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Considering Shelleyan Orphan, Melody Maker said “someone’s been smearing themselves in art…were they artists or did they...
Mark Kidel
Sunday, 25 June 2017
As Wonder Woman hits screens worldwide, the publication of a book that explores the myth and reality of the Amazon seems...
Barney Harsent
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Those coming to Lifetime of Love expecting something – anything – approaching Moses Archuleta’s day job in Deerhunter will...

★★★★ OKJA, NETFLIX Tilda Swinton is the villain in a glorious South Korean fable about a big pig

★★★★ BRENDA MADDOX: READING THE ROCKS Unearthing the fundamental: the engrossing story of a 19th-century phenomenon

★★★★★ CD: LORY D - STRANGE DAYS From Rome via Glasgow, techno boiled down to its most potent essence

PORTRAYING A NATION, TATE LIVERPOOL Two artists hounded by the Nazis for their unflinching portrayal of the German people

★★★★★ ALBERT HERRING, THE GRANGE FESTIVAL  A true ensemble has a focused ball under veterans John Copley and Steuart Bedford

disc of the day

CD: Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder

Force-grown fifth album from Canada’s purveyors of fidgety anthems

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Sudan: The Last of the Rhinos, BBC Two review - requiem for disappearing wildlife

Scientists fight a rearguard action against animal extinction

The best TV to watch this week

What to watch and where to find it

Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop on the First Great Immigration Row, review – how history repeats itself

The Private Eye editor's eye-opening examination of our attitudes to immigration, past and present


Risk review - Assange unravels

Fantastic access, fumbled story in the latest Assange doc

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

Okja, Netflix review - joyous assault on the meat industry

Tilda Swinton is the villain in a glorious South Korean fable about a big pig

new music

CD: Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder

Force-grown fifth album from Canada’s purveyors of fidgety anthems

CD: Lory D - Strange Days

From Rome via Glasgow, techno boiled down to its most potent essence

The Best Albums of 2017

theartsdesk's music critics pick their favourites of the year


Classical CDs Weekly: Falla, Ravel, Antoine Tamestit, The American Brass Quintet

French and Spanish piano music, plus seductive viola sounds and phenomenal brass playing

Ensemble InterContemporain, Wigmore Hall

Eccentricity inspires colour, nuance and slapstick from young composer Matteo Franceschini

Classical CDs Weekly: Antheil, Debussy, Hosokawa, Schmidt

Symphonies from a self-styled 'bad boy', plus music from Austria, France and Japan


Ariadne auf Naxos, Glyndebourne review – seriously compelling revival

Notable debuts bring fresh energy to Strauss's opera about opera

Mitridate, Re di Ponto, Royal Opera review - Crowe and costumes light up pointless revival

Good singing not enough to justify the return of Graham Vick's 1991 production

Albert Herring, The Grange Festival review - playing it straight yields classic comedy gold

A true ensemble has a focused ball under veterans John Copley and Steuart Bedford


Mr Gillie, Finborough Theatre review - theatrical buried treasure
Scottish rediscovery: James Bridie's 1950 play rings true
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Wyndham's Theatre review – searing stuff
Audra McDonald's long-awaited West End debut deserves to take the town
10 Questions for George Stiles and Anthony Drewe: 'we are optimistic people'
The makers of quintessentially English musicals on heading back to the Edwardian era for 'The Wind in the Willows' at the Palladium


Scottish Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - striking and memorable dance

Crystal Pite's 'Emergence' is a smart pick for the company

Sergei Vikharev, master ballet-reconstructor, 1962-2017

Sudden death at 55 of bold seeker after 'authentic' classical ballet

Ashton triple bill, Royal Ballet review – fond farewell to Zenaida Yanowsky

The prima ballerina bows out in 'Marguerite and Armand' as Akane Takada makes a lovely debut in 'The Dream'


Jeremy Hardy, Brighton Festival review - expert raconteur shows political bite

Radio 4 regular's conversational style masks a passionate pin-sharp topicality

Ricky Gervais, Touring review - chatty and relaxed riffing

Some very personal material among the edgy content

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

Former Labour adviser finds the funny in politics


Injustice 2 review - the even better sequel

A superhero soap opera with more twists and turns than a Netflix 12-parter

Prey review - environmental puzzles steal the show

In space no one can hear you... ponder a puzzle

theartsdesk at The Hospital Club

Announcing a new partnership with the most creative club in London

visual arts

Sargent, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - wonders in watercolour

The great portraitist lets his hair down

Portraying a Nation, Tate Liverpool review – an inspired juxtaposition

Two artists hounded by the Nazis for their unflinching portrayal of the German people

National Gallery of Ireland review - bigger and better

Dublin celebrates the reopening of its refurbished art gallery with Vermeer

latest comments

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