wed 29/03/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Alexandra Coghlan
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
The annual London Handel Festival is dutifully working its way through every one of Handel’s operas in a cycle that will eventually take us from Alcina to Xerxes before,...
Heather Neill
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
She was Lyra in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials at the National, she has shared the stage with Eileen Atkins (in Honour and The Female of the Species), played Isabella in...
David Nice
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
"Late Style", the theme and title of pianist Jonathan Biss's three-concert miniseries, need not be synonymous with terminal thoughts of death. This recital ranged from...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
We like to think of Georgian England as a wellspring of elegance: the Chippendale chair and the Wedgwood teapot, the landscaped vista and the neoclassical townhouse. But, as...
Graham Fuller
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Two Rode Together (1961) depicts the humanising of Guthrie McCabe (James Stewart), a corrupt, mercenary border town marshal, as it builds to a denunciation of white racism. John...
Jasper Rees
Monday, 27 March 2017
David Storey, who has died at the age of 83, was the last of the Angry Young Men who, in fiction and drama, made a hero of the working-class Northerner. His father spent his life...
Jasper Rees
Monday, 27 March 2017
In Radcliffe, an early novel by David Storey, one character murders another with a telling blow from a hammer. The author...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 27 March 2017
Now promoted to the exhilarating landscapes of BBC One as a reward for previous good behaviour, Line of Duty set off at a...
Javi Fedrick
Monday, 27 March 2017
Seattle-based rockers Car Seat Headrest finally burst their cult bubble with their 13th album, last year’s Teens of Denial,...
Javi Fedrick
Monday, 27 March 2017
Although Wire have regularly fired out albums, ever since their inimitable strain of angular punk first exploded into the...
Sarah Kent
Sunday, 26 March 2017
“My mother has always been a bit of a mystery to me not only as an artist but also as a mum,” declares Nick Willing by way...
Peter Forbes
Sunday, 26 March 2017
Two pernicious practices dominate Christian Madsbjerg's Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 26 March 2017
Over 1972 to 1975, Finland staged a small-scale invasion of Britain. A friendly one, it was confined to music. First, the...
Thomas H Green
Sunday, 26 March 2017
There’s nowhere to go with this one, is there? Like any music writer, I want to come at James Blunt afresh. I’d love to say...
Alison Cole
Saturday, 25 March 2017
I have heard countless speeches advocating the importance of arts education, and making bold cross-curricular claims – from...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Politics certainly caught up with Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius. The Brazilian director and his cast appeared at their...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Eyvind Alnæs: Piano Concerto & Symphony Håvard Gimse (piano), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Eivind Aadland (Lawo Classics)...
Mark Sheerin
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Artist and curator Tyler Mallison has chosen the world’s most generic title for his current exhibition. It's called New...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 25 March 2017
One tries not to conflate the man and the music too much. Getting overly tangled up in questions of authenticity is a fool's...
Hanna Weibye
Friday, 24 March 2017
Is English National Ballet's current predilection for acquiring European repertoire some kind of anti-Brexit statement, or...

THE BEST FILMS OUT NOW We recommends the top movies of the moment

CAR SEAT HEADREST, ELECTRIC BALLROOM Will Toledo’s lo-fi indie goes live

★★★★  LINE OF DUTY: 'BRAIN-JANGLING TENSION' Back to murky police corruption with Jed Mercurio

THE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON Shakespeare, Stoppard, wizards and more: theartsdesk's stage tips

★ TAKE THAT: WONDERLAND As middle age kicks in, can pop's great survivors still cut it? (No)

THE BEST TV TO WATCH THIS WEEK We pick the dramas, sitcoms and documentaries you shouldn't miss

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Two Rode Together

John Ford's transitional Western denounces white racism

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Anna Maxwell Martin: 'I like playing baddies' - interview

She's been Sally Bowles, Lady Macbeth and Elizabeth Darcy. Now for a gritty courtroom drama about rape

Harlots review - 'fun quasi-feminist costume romp'

Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville go head to head as Georgian madams

Line of Duty, Series 4 review – 'the tension rocketed to brain-jangling red alert'

Jed Mercurio takes us back to the murky shadowland of police corruption


The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

DVD/Blu-ray: Two Rode Together

John Ford's transitional Western denounces white racism

theartsdesk Q&A: Writer David Storey, pt 1

The playwright on rugby league, Lucian Freud's dog and bashing Billington

new music

Car Seat Headrest, Electric Ballroom

Will Toledo’s lo-fi indie initially struggles to find itself live

Reissue CDs Weekly: Wigwam

Finland’s progressive rock titans caught in their live splendour

CD: James Blunt - The Afterlove

A 336 word struggle to find constructive things to say about James Blunt's fifth album


Jonathan Biss, Milton Court

Intellectual rigour guides a range of last thoughts, but the hall is forbidding

Classical CDs Weekly: Alnæs, Granados, Kelly, Mompou

Rediscoveries from Norway and Australia, plus a pair of poetic Spaniards

Buchbinder, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

Ideal orchestral Brahms under an already great young Czech conductor


Ormisda, St George's Hanover Square

This collection of baroque best bits was a feast of melody

The First Commandment, Classical Opera, St John’s Smith Square

The teenage Mozart's miraculous maturity

Partenope, English National Opera

Everyone in this Handel revival makes froth seem stylish and effortless


Anna Maxwell Martin: 'I like playing baddies' - interview
She's been Sally Bowles, Lady Macbeth and Elizabeth Darcy. Now for a gritty courtroom drama about rape
The Best Plays in London
Shakespeare, Stoppard, wizards and more: theartsdesk's stage tips
theartsdesk Q&A: Writer David Storey, pt 1
The playwright on rugby league, Lucian Freud's dog and bashing Billington


Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Dancers wow in iconic Stravinsky piece, but Forsythe and van Manen need more work

Crystal Pite, Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet

Extraordinary première by Canadian choreographer explores refugee experience through dance

Project Polunin, Sadler's Wells

Can ballet's bad boy live up to the hype?


Peter Kay's Dance for Life, Ricoh Arena Coventry

School disco with lots of laughs

Miles Jupp, London Palladium

A gentle meander through life's vicissitudes

The UK Pun Championships, Leicester Comedy Festival

Wordplay galore as jokesmiths battle for title


Horizon Zero Dawn

The sun shines brightly on this benchmark action RPG

Sniper Elite 4

Life through a long-range lens

The Best Games of 2016

theartsdesk's gamers choose their personal highlights of the year

visual arts

Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories review - 'in pictures you can let all your rage out'

The artist who talks freely about her marriage, but not the following 30 years

Artist Tyler Mallison: 'I don’t think about materials as being merely visible objects or things'

Technology as material, Madonna as muse: the artist talks about the themes shaping his current exhibition

Fourth Plinth: How London Created the Smallest Sculpture Park in the World

Celebrating Trafalgar Square's infamous empty plinth, and its role in changing attitudes to contemporary art

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