mon 23/10/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Alison Cole
Monday, 23 October 2017
This is the latest in a line of beautifully curated, closely focused exhibitions that the Courtauld Gallery does so well. Its subject is the great Russian-French painter Chaim...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 23 October 2017
Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols was issued on 28 October 1977. It’s an anniversary worth marking. Forty years is a long time and the decades between then and now...
Bernard Hughes
Monday, 23 October 2017
Julian Anderson’s 50th birthday this year was the prompt for the latest of the BBC’s Total Immersion days, devoted to the work of a single contemporary composer. I have long been...
Peter Quantrill
Monday, 23 October 2017
Hyperbole be damned. The most iconic English classical recording was made on 19 August 1965 in Kingsway Hall, London. Like Maria Callas singing Tosca, Jacqueline du Pré simply was...
Guy Oddy
Monday, 23 October 2017
It’s now thirty years since Courtney Pine stepped out from underneath the shadow of the Jazz Warriors with his debut solo album, Journey To The Urge Within, and his unforgettable...
Adam Sweeting
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Much is being made of the fact that Kit Harington is not only playing the Gunpowder Plot mastermind Robert Catesby, but is genuinely descended from him (and his middle name is...
Katherine Waters
Sunday, 22 October 2017
La Belle Sauvage, the first instalment of Philip Pullman’s eagerly-awaited new trilogy The Book of Dust, opens in the Trout...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Seeger. A name to strike sparks with almost anyone, whether or not they have an interest in folk music, a catch-all term...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Committed fans of Emerson, Lake & Palmer are spoiled for choice when they need to feed their passion for prog rock’s...
Alexandra Coghlan
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Beautiful though Katie Mitchell’s original production of Written on Skin is, George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s opera has...
Javi Fedrick
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Both Rhode Island’s Downtown Boys, and Washington D.C.’s Priests sit at the centre of today’s feminist punk scene. As stated...
Tom Birchenough
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Pere Portabella’s remarkable Vampir Cuadecuc is almost impossible to classify. It may have been filmed on the set of ...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 21 October 2017
If there were an arts award for loyalty, the Barbican Theatre would surely win it for having kept faith with Michael Clark....
Katherine Waters
Saturday, 21 October 2017
During his time at the Slade David Bomberg — the subject of a major new retrospective at Pallant House Gallery — was...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 21 October 2017
A new baby is like an alien invasion: it blows your mind and it colonises your world. For any couple, parenthood can be both...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 21 October 2017
Beethoven: Symphony No 9 Park Avenue Chamber Symphony/David Bernard (Recursive Classics)My favourite recent Beethoven cycle...
Katie Colombus
Saturday, 21 October 2017
I have a confession to make. The first time I heard "This Town" – the debut release for Niall Horan's new album – I thought...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 20 October 2017
Like Steptoe and Son with ideological denouncements, Stalin’s Politburo have known each other too long. They’re not only...
Hanna Weibye
Friday, 20 October 2017
There are different ways of celebrating a great artist’s legacy, and I suppose they have to coexist. One approach is raptly...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 20 October 2017
British singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey’s new album, Wake Up Now, is one of the year’s finest. However, there’s a moment on...

★★★ PHILIP PULLMAN: LA BELLE SAUVAGE Volume one of 'The Book of Dust' trilogy is a slow start but worth the wait

★★★★ WRITTEN ON SKIN, LSO ST LUKE'S A taut telling of this timeless musical fable

★★★★ GUNPOWDER, BBC ONE Dark and Gothicky treatment of the plot to blow up Parliament 

★★★★ THE DEATH OF STALIN Armando Iannucci finds a reign of terror's funny side

★★★ OF KITH AND KIN, BUSH THEATRE New play about gay parenthood suffers from an identity crisis

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY: BEETHOVEN, PROKOFIEV, SCRIABIN Edge-of-the-seat playing from a New York orchestra, and Russian music via Merseyside and Oslo

disc of the day

CD: Courtney Pine - Black Notes from the Deep

30 years solo and Courtney Pine is still British Jazzman Number One

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Jacqueline du Pré: A Gift Beyond Words, BBC Four review - ode to joyful cellist

More gush than grit in a greatest-hits compilation from the filmmaker who knew her best

Gunpowder, BBC One review – death, horror, treason and a hint of farce

Dark and Gothicky treatment of the plot to blow up Parliament

The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it


DVD/Blu-ray: Vampir Cuadecuc

Experimental filmmaking with a bite: Christopher Lee in a 'Dracula' like none you've seen before

The Death of Stalin review - dictatorship as high farce

Armando Iannucci finds a reign of terror's funny side

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

new music

Listed: 20 Punk Moments that Shook the World

A miscellany of disruptiveness to mark the 40th anniversary of ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’

CD: Courtney Pine - Black Notes from the Deep

30 years solo and Courtney Pine is still British Jazzman Number One

Peggy Seeger: First Time Ever - A Memoir, review - a remarkable life

Folk clubs and abortions: the American singer tells of life with Ewan MacColl


Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Prokofiev, Scriabin

Edge-of-the-seat playing from a New York orchestra, and Russian music via Merseyside and Oslo

Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – Bach Partitas shine and sing

Piano recital of unassuming mastery speaks deep musical truths


Of Kith and Kin, Bush Theatre, review - comic but confused gay surrogacy drama
New play about gay parenthood suffers from an identity crisis
The Best Plays in London
From Harry Potter to The Ferryman: theartsdesk's stage tips
The Lady from the Sea, Donmar Warehouse review - Nikki Amuka-Bird luminous in a sympathetic ensemble
Ibsen's great human comedy weathers a sea-change from fjord to Caribbean island


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

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

Kenneth MacMillan, Royal Opera House review - a sprite proves merciless

Celebration opener recovers MacMillan's uneasy 1960 Stravinsky collaboration

Fierce: the Birmingham festival which reaches out to Europe and beyond

The new artistic director of the international showcase of live art and performance says what's coming


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

Destiny 2 review - a worthy follow-up to the biggest game of a generation

Bigger means better for this online sci-fi shooter

visual arts

Soutine's Portraits, Courtauld Gallery review - a superb, unsettling show

Humanity writ large in cooks, waiters and bellboys by French-Russian portraitist

The Best Exhibitions in London

Whiteread, Basquiat, Harry Potter and more: our favourite shows to see now

David Bomberg, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester review - a reputation restored

Light shed on neglected British artist by a timely touring exhibition

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