tue 24/10/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Barney Harsent
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Repetition can help clarity. It emphasises significance, and shines a light more directly onto something hidden. It can guide us gently into an area we might have otherwise...
Javi Fedrick
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Sleaford Mods are not just those two sweary guys with a laptop from Nottingham. Their unique mix of acerbic, politically conscious lyrics and lo-fi earworm loops have rightfully...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
The streets around Grenfell Tower on the morning after it was consumed by fire heaved with people. A stream of donors brought food, clothes and toiletries, while news crews and...
Aleks Sierz
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Some site-specific theatre feels like a really good fit. You could say, in this case, that it seems like poetic justice. Agatha Christie’s 1953 play, Witness for the Prosecution,...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Danish director Martin Zandvliet brilliantly explores a little-known episode in 1945 when more than 2,000 German POWS were forced to clear almost two million land mines that had...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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

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

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

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

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

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

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray review: Land of Mine

Extraordinarily tense ensemble drama about bomb disposal in the aftermath of WWII

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W1A, Series 3 Finale, BBC Two review - the satire gets to the end of its joke

Funny but flat, the BBC mockumentary struggled with engagement

Newnight: Grenfell Tower - The 21st Floor, BBC Two review - a simple, moving reconstruction

A powerful Newsnight special keeps the dead and the survivors in the public eye

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


DVD/Blu-ray review: Land of Mine

Extraordinarily tense ensemble drama about bomb disposal in the aftermath of WWII

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

new music

Sleaford Mods, Manchester Academy review - laptop punks still have it

Socially conscious ire at the heart of the music pushes this gig to fever pitch

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


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


Witness for the Prosecution, London County Hall review - favourable verdict on Agatha Christie classic
This site-specific revival of 1953 courtroom drama works like a treat
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


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

latest comments

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Catholic priests, if caught, were always deemed...

Zen was utterly stylish, classy, beautifully...

A good point well made, Andrew. I must admit I...

The quotation attributed to James I was actually...

What a lot of old miseries you all are. I...


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