thu 01/09/2016

theartsdesk.com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

CD: Meat Loaf - Braver Than We Are

Thomas H Green

Britain loves Meat Loaf. Never mind that his 1977 breakthrough, Bat Out of Hell, was once inescapable on pub jukeboxes and school sixth form rooms throughout the land. Or that “I’...

Prom 62: Skride, BBCSO, Young

Alexandra Coghlan

Branding, as any marketing manager will tell you, is everything when it comes to selling, and when it comes to selling, classical music is no different from cars, cornflakes or...

Prom 60: Gerhaher, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Jordan

David Nice

There is no reason why young musicians shouldn't make something special out of mature thoughts on mortality. Nor is the Albert Hall problematic when it comes to haloing intimate...

theartsdesk at Shambala Festival 2016

Caspar Gomez

The Short VersionSet in the grounds of elegant Northamptonshire country house Kelmarsh Hall, Shambala has a wild atmosphere wherein psychedelic hippy antics meet spliff-lovin’...

The Entertainer, Garrick Theatre

Aleks Sierz

For the final show in his year-long stay at this West End address, Kenneth Branagh has chosen to revive and star in John Osborne’s 1957 play. By doing so, he finds himself once...

All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge, BBC Four

Graham Rickson

The ingredients should be familiar by now. A plucky range of contestants drawn from across the geographic and social spectrum. A selection of interesting back stories. Demanding...

One of Us, BBC One

Mark Sanderson

“One of us is crying/ One of us is lying/ In her lonely bed/ Staring at the ceiling/ Wishing she was somewhere else instead...

CD: Soundwalk Collective featuring Patti Smith - Killer Road

Kieron Tyler

The full credit is actually Soundwalk Collective and Jesse Paris Smith featuring Patti Smith but as her “resonating acoustic...

theartsdesk at The Green Man Festival

Martin Longley

The Green Man Festival is blessed by the expansive beauty of the Brecon Beacons, but this year, it was not blessed by the...

DVD/Blu-ray: Conversation Piece

David Nice

Luchino Visconti's penultimate film, made entirely in a studio recreation of a two-floor Roman apartment for the benefit of...

Victoria, ITV

Tom Birchenough

From the schoolroom straight to the throne: it was a rapid rise for 18-year-old Victoria, and managing as monarch wasn’t...

Edinburgh Festival 2016: Così fan tutte, Pekka Kuusisto, Gurrelieder

David Kettle

It began with opera – Cecilia Bartoli’s pretty much universally adored Norma from Salzburg. And the Edinburgh International...

theartsdesk Q&A: Musician/DJ Mark Hawkins aka Marquis Hawkes

Joe Muggs

This is not a standard dance music story. Marquis Hawkes is one of the club music success stories of the past couple of...

CD: King Creosote - Astronaut Meets Appleman

Lisa-Marie Ferla

While there will, if there is any justice, be plenty written about King Creosote’s Astronaut Meets Appleman, few will...

Prom 55: Hannigan, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla

Alexandra Coghlan

If ever there was a Prom to put London’s classical crowd in their place, to remind us (as those outside the capital so...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Judy Henske & Jerry Yester

Kieron Tyler

In 1969, a tranche of American musicians looked back to the country’s past for inspiration. Bob Dylan followed John Wesley...

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Shostakovich, Tommy Smith

Graham Rickson

Beethoven: Symphonies 5-8 Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra/Lan Shui (Orchid)Lively speeds which never sound hurried. Sparky...

CD: Britney Spears - Glory

Katie Colombus

On first listen, Queen Britney's new album is nothing more than a glorious booty call. I'm no prude, but listening to her...

Fleabag, BBC Three

Jasper Rees

Have you seen Fleabag yet? If not, here’s the one-word review: brilliant. You need three hours to watch the lot on the...

Prom 53: Stadler, RLPO, Petrenko

Helen Wallace

He still looks every inch the golden boy, but Vasily Petrenko has just turned 40, and next month celebrates a decade with...

Blu-ray: Women in Love

Kieron Tyler

Women in Love was Ken Russell’s first cinema film to directly reflect his work in television. He had directed The Billion...

Julieta

Markie Robson-Scott

Red, the colour of blood, passion, love and hate, is Almodóvar’s trademark and in Julieta, his 20th film (and surely one of...

Soulful Islamic passion: the Najmuddin Saifuddin group

Peter Culshaw

Qawwali music is amongst the most soulful, passionate music in the world. Many people have discovered it through the...

CD: Warhaus - We Fucked a Flame Into Being

Thomas H Green

One of popular music’s mightiest talents, Leonard Cohen, at the age of 82, has a new album out in the Autumn, the fabulously...

 

PROM 53: STADLER, RLPO, PETRENKO Ravishing night of Russian greats and young artists from the Liverpool Phil

THE GREEN MAN FESTIVAL 2016 The Brecons beckon sensitive rock aesthetes

THE ARTS DESK Q&A: MUSICIAN-DJ MARK HAWKINS AKA MARQUIS HAWKES The eye-popping back story of Houndstooth Records' house sensation

THE ENTERTAINER, GARRICK THEATRE Kenneth Branagh’s final show in his West End season is slick but a bit lite

LAST WEEK FOR - PAINTERS' PAINTINGS, NATIONAL GALLERY Insightful glimpse inside artists' collections

ONE OF US, BBC ONE The deaths continue - but new series from 'The Missing' writers frustrates

SIX OF THE BEST: FILM Our recommendations for your viewing pleasure

disc of the day

CD: Meat Loaf - Braver Than We Are

Almost 40 years since Bat Out of Hell, how are things looking for rock's big showman?

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tv

All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge, BBC Four

Another 'Bake Off', with violins and trumpets

One of Us, BBC One

The deaths continue - but new series from 'The Missing' writers frustrates

Victoria, ITV

The young queen's innocence tested by plotting; downstairs antics aplenty

film

DVD/Blu-ray: Conversation Piece

Burt Lancaster is a model of subtlety in Visconti's most candid self-portrait

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top films out now

Blu-ray: Women in Love

Exemplary package celebrating Ken Russell’s compelling DH Lawrence adaptation

new music

CD: Meat Loaf - Braver Than We Are

Almost 40 years since Bat Out of Hell, how are things looking for rock's big showman?

theartsdesk at Shambala Festival 2016

Northamptonshire blow-out defies the elements and hippy-dippy expectations

CD: Soundwalk Collective featuring Patti Smith - Killer Road

Reflection on the final days of former Velvet Underground singer Nico struggles to hold attention

classical

Prom 62: Skride, BBCSO, Young

Heady Zemlinsky soars, but Mozart remains earthbound

Prom 60: Gerhaher, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Jordan

Young Europeans glow, but a usually great baritone disappoints

All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge, BBC Four

Another 'Bake Off', with violins and trumpets

opera

Prom 45: The Makropulos Affair, BBCSO, Bělohlávek

Karita Mattila, in incandescent company, is Janáček's long-lived diva to the life

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Glyndebourne

Peter Hall's magical production continues to weave its spell on Britten's opera

The Exterminating Angel, Die Liebe der Danae, Salzburg Festival

Brilliant ensemble in Adès's new opera trumps a meaningless Strauss staging

theatre

The Entertainer, Garrick Theatre

Kenneth Branagh’s final show in his West End season is slick but a bit lite

Six of the best: Theatre

Lee Hall's miraculous 'Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

They Drink It in the Congo, Almeida Theatre

New drama about the Congo is absorbing, but too long, too messy and too complex

visual arts

Colour, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Treasures jostle with texts to explore the art and science of manuscript illumination

Stubbs and the Wild, Holburne Museum, Bath

Known as a painter of horses, the 18th-century artist captured an entire menagerie

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

The American who made colour photography an art form

dance

The Flames of Paris, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Emotion and politics skilfully combine in Ratmansky's old-new ballet about the French Revolution

The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Unfeminist comedy in Jean-Christophe Maillot's Shakespeare ballet

Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

A peerless Odette almost makes up for production's psychological shortcomings

comedy

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Zoë Coombs Marr/ Randy/ Sarah Callaghan

Latest instalment of comedy from the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Richard Gadd/ Kieran Hodgson/ Nazeem Hussain

Another batch of comedy highlights from the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Bridget Christie/ Adam Kay/ Rachel Parris

Comedy highlights from the world's biggest and best arts festival

gaming

No Man's Sky

The sky is not the limit in this open-universe adventure

Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV

The experimental narrative takes to the water with mixed results

Pokémon Go

Game or viral phenomenon? Who cares - let's go hunting

latest comments

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