tue 23/05/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Peter Quinn
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Almost 50 years since he started working on it, and following its world premiere in New York in February, it was a huge thrill to hear Jon Hendricks' lyricisation of the classic...
James Woodall
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
This is the most frustrating film. It’s probably no fault of the makers, but it’s rare to have to assess a documentary for what it doesn’t have. Over nearly two hours of...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
An Australian who emigrated to New Zealand in 1965, Roger Donaldson cut his teeth in documentaries and TV before launching into a career in feature films. His first feature,...
Steve O'Rourke
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
In 2013, NetherRealm Studios, the creative force behind the multi-million-selling Mortal Kombat franchise, got their hands on the DC Comics character roster and created a highly...
Nick Hasted
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
The subtitle of Richard Nelson’s new trilogy suggests an anti-Trump polemic. Instead, its miraculous, almost invisible craft fulfils the President’s most hollow promise. It...
Kieron Tyler
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Initially, Madame de… feels as if it might wear out its welcome. What seems a wearisome exposition on how privileged people with too much time on their hands fill their hours with...
Ismene Brown
Monday, 22 May 2017
 A Saudi princess in her white wedding dress digs her own grave as men pile up stones to hurl at her head — next, an...
Javi Fedrick
Monday, 22 May 2017
Old, young, or somewhere in the middle - people of all ages fill the seats around me and noisily wait for the evening to...
Bella Todd
Monday, 22 May 2017
Dream palace, cesspit and church; celebrated, mopped (by Marlene Dietrich, no less) and fucked: Brighton’s Theatre Royal has...
Russ Coffey
Monday, 22 May 2017
On its release, Linkin Park's recent single, "Heavy", with its lightweight, warbling vocals, caused serious distress among...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 21 May 2017
The news that Colm Tóibín has written a novel about Orestes, Clytemnestra, Electra and the whole accursed House of Atreus...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 May 2017
As the producer of the early Kinks and Who, Shel Talmy’s status as one of British pop’s most important figures is assured....
Guy Oddy
Sunday, 21 May 2017
Notwithstanding the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays’ underwhelming reunions, it comes as something of a shock to realise that...
Bill Knight
Saturday, 20 May 2017
At heart, Photo London is a selling fair for expensive photographic prints. You wander through the steamy labyrinth of...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 20 May 2017
There may never have been a time when Shakespeare’s Richard III did not have contemporary relevance, but surely never more...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 20 May 2017
Inversion may not be the catchiest of titles, but in the case of Iranian director Behnam Behzadi’s film its associations are...
Stephen Walsh
Saturday, 20 May 2017
Until yesterday my only experience of the Welsh language in the opera house was a few isolated passages in Iain Bell’s In...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 20 May 2017
Watching tango dancers Gisela Galeassi and Nikito Cornejo own the apron of the stage during the second half of m¡longa, the...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 20 May 2017
John Joubert: Jane Eyre April Frederick, David Stout, English Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Woods (Somm)This is the second...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 20 May 2017
Finally, a new band that lives up to a fine name and great cover art. Then again, Shitkid do a whole lot more than that....

★★★ RICHARD III, ARCOLA THEATRE Arch machination and misogyny in its hero lift an otherwise under-nuanced production

★★★★ SYMPHONIC DANCES, ROYAL BALLET New Scarlett creation shines in a musical mixed bill

★★★★★ COLM TÓIBÍN: HOUSE OF NAMES A daring, and triumphant, return to the Oresteia

★★★ HIGHLIGHTS FROM PHOTO LONDON 2017 Our resident photographer rummages through a mixed bag

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: SHEL TALMY There's more to the producer than his work with The Kinks and The Who

★★★★ YASMINE HAMDAN, SCALA Lebanese indie star dreamily balances Orient and Occident

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Madame de…

Unexpected passions win out in Max Ophüls’ landmark drama of the heart

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Three Girls, BBC One review - drama as shattering public enquiry

Truthful acting earns audience trust for a story of catastrophic institutional failure

Kat and Alfie: Redwater, BBC One review – 'EastEnders' spinoff suffers from no fixed identity

Can the 'EastEnders' couple survive without the Albert Square life support system?

A Time to Live, BBC Two review - an exquisite legacy

Sue Bourne's remarkable documentary produces laughter as well as tears


It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! review - without a little help from their friends

Absence of original music undermines Sgt. Pepper and Beyond documentary

10 Questions for film director Roger Donaldson – 'motor racing in the 1960s was incredibly dangerous'

The story of his new documentary about racing driver Bruce McLaren, who was killed 47 years ago

DVD/Blu-ray: Madame de…

Unexpected passions win out in Max Ophüls’ landmark drama of the heart

new music

London Vocal Project, Jon Hendricks review - towering homage to a Miles Davis classic

Kings Place hosts European premiere of vocalese master's magnum opus

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! review - without a little help from their friends

Absence of original music undermines Sgt. Pepper and Beyond documentary

CD: Linkin Park - One More Light

Erstwhile nu-metallers' new direction falls flat


Classical CDs Weekly: Joubert, Mahler, Simon Thacker & Justyna Jablonska

A very English opera, an iconic song cycle, and a meeting between guitar and cello

Kempf, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Simonov, Cadogan Hall

Rachmaninov war horse becomes prize thoroughbred in a riveting interpretation

Monteverdi Vespers, Vox Luminis, FBC, St John's Smith Square

Where was the vocal drama and the joy in Monteverdi's greatest sacred work?


Hipermestra / La Traviata, Glyndebourne

Baroque opera debuts in Isis imagery - how does that work? Plus Verdi revival

Y Tŵr, MTW, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Fine new chamber opera in Welsh proves singing not dead in the land of song

Ariodante, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican

The orchestra was the real hero in this superb concert performance of Handel's opera


Meow Meow's Souvenir, Brighton Festival review – subversive but evocative new song-cycle
Post-modern cabaret star plays mischief with the ghosts of Brighton’s historic Theatre Royal
Richard III review - Greg Hicks gruesomely impressive as power-crazed ruler
Arch machination and misogyny in its hero lift an otherwise under-nuanced production


m¡longa, Brighton Festival review - sensual tango explosion

Sidi Larbi Charkaoui's tribute to the Argentine dance exudes vibrancy and dexterity

Symphonic Dances, Royal Ballet review - a truly interesting creation

New Scarlett creation shines in a musical mixed bill

Ghost Dances: Rambert, Sadler's Wells review - vital and joyfully precise dancing

This South American triple bill is highly entertaining, but should it be?


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

Highlights from Photo London 2017 - virtual reality meets vintage treasure

Our resident photographer rummages through a mixed bag

57th Venice Biennale review - riveting and bewildering

Extreme art trek provides enough high points to justify the foot sores

latest comments

Alfano's original completion of the opera is far...

Serious critics who are far more knowledgeable...

Beautifully written, I too watched in admiration...

Your dismissal of Kaufmann's solo version of Das...

A thought provoking documentary on difficult...

Thank you, Jasper! At least I can credit this...

The production was riddled with errors and...


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