tue 26/05/2015

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

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Nick Hasted

Margaret Atwood’s Forties childhood was spent knocking around the Canadian backwoods with her forest entomologist, proto-ecologist dad, and it shows. Interviewed alongside her...

1945: The Savage Peace, BBC Two

Tom Birchenough

“Enjoy the war, for the peace will be savage,” was apparently a macabre joke circulating in the German military towards the end of World War Two. Peter Molloy’s searing...

Perspectives: War Art with Eddie Redmayne, ITV

Marina Vaizey

The country is groaning under the weight of commemorations, exhibitions, publications and programmes all marking significant anniversaries of World War One, but the underlying...

King Lear, Northern Broadsides, Touring

Ismene Brown

Jonathan Miller’s new King Lear is rustic to its core, spoken in broad Northern accents, and the whole production could be packed onto a travelling theatre’s wagon and taken...

Tetzlaff, LSO, Harding, Barbican

Alexandra Coghlan

With Kavakos, Faust, Shaham and Skride already been and gone, and Jansen, Ehnes, Bell and Ibragimova still to come, the LSO’s International Violin Festival has nothing left to...

Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Gavin Dixon

After Calixto Bieito’s radical reimaging of Carmen, which opened at English National Opera this week, David McVicar’s version at Glyndebourne was bound to seem conservative. But...

Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

David Nice

No two symphonic swansongs could be more different than Sibelius’s heart-of-darkness Tapiola and Nielsen’s enigmatically...

Carleen Anderson: A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Nick Hasted

Carleen Anderson’s range of vocal scales and styles is matchless in contemporary pop. Where she aims those enviable...

theartsdesk in Dresden: Fire and Ice

Paul Gent

Dresden is slowly opening up to the world. All but destroyed by British bombing in the Second World War, locked away inside...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Damned

Kieron Tyler

The Damned: Go! 45At the end of 1979, Britain’s first three 1976-born punk bands were in very different situations. The Sex...

Mark Knopfler, O2 Arena

Russ Coffey

For many, Mark Knopfler will forever evoke a golden age of Eighties' soft rock. His headband might have been easy to mock...

10 Questions for Musician Pokey LaFarge

Lydia Perrysmith

Pokey LaFarge (b. 1983) is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and American history enthusiast. Based in St Louis,...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Shostakovich, Henrik Schwarz

Graham Rickson

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Florilegium, dir. Ashley Solomon (Channel Classics)This is a predictably satisfying pair of...

theartsdesk Radio Show 9


Been a while since you checked out the best and latest world music releases? theartsdesk’s global music expert Peter Culshaw...

The New Girlfriend

Nick Hasted

François Ozon’s sly fascination with radical family units takes another, surprisingly gentle twist here. Based on a Ruth...

Poliuto, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Alexandra Coghlan

Fashion is a funny thing, in opera no less than the sartorial trappings that go with it (everything from tight, hipster...

Benjamin Clementine, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Thomas H Green

Benjamin Clementine’s idea of repartee with the audience is producing a clementine orange and smiling shyly. Clad in his...

Cat's Eyes live score for The Duke of Burgundy, Brighton Dome

Bella Todd

There’s an extraordinary moment, in Peter Strickland’s deeply sensual, desperately funny and feverishly powerful S&M...

Peter Pan, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Marianka Swain

“All children, except one, grow up.” So begins J. M. Barrie’s iconic tale of arrested development, given new power and...

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Simon Munk

In short, Game Of Thrones the videogame. The Witcher 3 sees this epic role-playing fantasy series truly rival its key...

Corin Sworn: Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery

Sarah Kent

Glasgow-based Corin Sworn is the fifth winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Every two years a British artist is...

McQueen, St James Theatre

Matt Wolf

"You make clothes that make the darkness in me matter": If such an accolade strikes you as profound, make a beeline for...

Carmen, English National Opera

David Nice

Crotch-grabbing, suggestions of oral and anal sex, stylized punching and kicking and other casual violence offer diminishing...

The Joey Arias Experience, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Matthew Wright

Brighton whooped as if she had never seen risqué entertainment last night, as cabaret veteran Joey Arias brought his Billie...


THEARTSDESK IN DRESDEN: FIRE AND ICE The restored German honeypot looks beyond its musical borders

CARLEEN ANDERSON: A TRIBUTE TO SARAH VAUGHAN, THEATRE ROYAL, BRIGHTON Honouring a jazz icon in sometimes challenging, sometimes thrilling style

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: THE DAMNED Admirably succinct entry point into first five years of Brit-punk pioneers

CARMEN, GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL OPERA Fresh revival with strong cast and dynamic conducting from Jakub Hrůša

MARK KNOPFLER, O2 ARENA Prolific musical craftsman gives a tantalising reminder of his former self

PETER PAN, REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE Eloquent wartime reimagining of Barrie's play is a magical experience

disc of the day

DVD: The Long Good Friday/Mona Lisa

London gangster greatness from Bob Hoskins

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We Made It

We Made It: Rebecca Salter RA

The British artist talks about a life inspired by traditional Japanese crafts

We Made It: Artist Joseph Popper

Drones, space capsules and set-building as fine art

We Made It: Candle Maker Ted Thompson

From Cumbria to the Globe, it's Ted's beeswax


1945: The Savage Peace, BBC Two

The story of the cruel aftermath of war told in bruising documentary

Perspectives: War Art with Eddie Redmayne, ITV

Oscar-winning actor proves that he did learn something as a Cambridge art history student

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, BBC One

An adaptation that feels like a children's drama dressed up in adult clothes


DVD: The Long Good Friday/Mona Lisa

London gangster greatness from Bob Hoskins

The New Girlfriend

A touching transvestite romcom from François Ozon

DVD: Germany Pale Mother

A rediscovered German classic about a mother and child's wartime bond

new music

CD: Man Power – Man Power

The story of a hidden identity and a debut full of personality, wit and invention

Carleen Anderson: A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Honouring a jazz icon in sometimes challenging, sometimes thrilling style

CD: Pokey LaFarge - Something in the Water

The Americana roots phenomenon digs enjoyably into his Midwestern roots


Tetzlaff, LSO, Harding, Barbican

Ecstatic Beethoven dragged back to earth by some workaday Brahms

Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

Kaleidoscope of fascinating scores circa 1925 crowns superlative Nielsen anniversary series

theartsdesk in Dresden: Fire and Ice

The restored German honeypot looks beyond its musical borders


Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Fresh revival with strong cast and dynamic conducting from Jakub Hrůša

Poliuto, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Donizetti gets Glyndebourne's season off to a sober and psychological start

Carmen, English National Opera

Broad brushstrokes and big voices in Calixto Bieito's pacey but half-cooked Bizet


Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Canadian literary great and author husband talk birds, and each other

King Lear, Northern Broadsides, Touring

Jonathan Miller's vivid new production puts Lear in a Yorkshire accent

Peter Pan, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Eloquent wartime reimagining of Barrie's play is a magical experience

visual arts

Corin Sworn: Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery

Impostors and stolen identities explored in an installation inspired by the Commedia dell’Arte

Edmund de Waal: I Placed a Jar, Brighton Festival

The ceramic artist and author talks about pots, words and the burden of memory

Tough & Tender: Sheila Rock's English Seascapes

Best known for her punk portraits, the American photographer introduces a gallery of images from a very different love letter to England


Dark Arteries, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Brass band the highlight of new triple bill

Woolf Works, Wayne McGregor, Royal Ballet

Leaden score and ponderous choreography do an injustice to Bloomsbury author's name

theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Gavin Higgins

Rambert Dance Company's inaugural Music Fellow discusses his new ballet score


Nina Conti, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Wonderfully funny evening with a comedian-ventriloquist at the top of her game

Alex Horne: Monsieur Butterfly, Soho Theatre

Playful show during which the comic builds his own set

Panti: High Heels in Low Places, Soho Theatre

Drag artist tells her charming and funny story


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

A beautifully detailed fantasy world to lose yourself in

Project CARS

Racing simulation puts choice over personality

Westerado: Double Barreled

Manifest destiny... for a few pixels more


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latest comments

I wish to disagree most vehemently with Alexandra...

Workaday? Underpowered? Timid? Where were you?

Many years ago, I sat watching an episode of the...

I watched War Art and I must say I did get...

Er...don't think he really needs a headband!

Liked the Celtic stuff but I agree about the...


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