thu 04/06/2015

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Strike Back: Legacy, Sky1

Adam Sweeting

The fifth, and supposedly final, series depicting the adventures of the covert-action tough guys of Section 20 won't surprise anyone, but it won't disappoint its devotees either....

Schubert Sonatas 4, Barenboim, RFH

Jessica Duchen

One man and his piano can occasionally fulfil a role more satisfying than the finest orchestra in full sail. The last of Daniel Barenboim's four-recital traversal of Schubert's...

The Syndicate, BBC One

Barney Harsent

A third series for Kay Mellor’s rags-to-riches series can herald few real surprises. We know, roughly speaking, what we’ll be getting: a cautionary tale – be careful what you wish...

Jansen, LSO, Harding, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

How to respond to Mahler? That was the challenge set by the London Symphony Orchestra to Edward Rushton when they commissioned him to write an opener for this programme. Rushton’s...

CD: Slaves - Are You Satisfied?

Guy Oddy

As Britain stares down the barrel of another five years of austerity, it’s disappointing that so few of the country’s musicians have anything to say about the very bad times that...

Sticky Fingers: unzipped

Tim Cumming

Sticky Fingers is the Stones’ defining album, a record that preserves the band in all its ragged, outlaw rock'n'roll glory. It captured them, too, between worlds of their own...

DVD: Whiplash

Graham Rickson

Any parent, or anyone who's ever stood in front of a class needs to watch Whiplash. In a film brimming over with ideas, the...

The Elephant Man, Theatre Royal, Haymarket

Matt Wolf

Beauty transforms itself into a beast but an inner grace shines forth regardless: such is the enduring power of Bernard...

Schubert Sonatas 3, Barenboim, RFH

David Nice

“You don’t love Schubert’s music?” Such, according to the greatest of living Schubert interpreters Elisabeth Leonskaja, was...

CD: Florence + The Machine: How Big How Blue How Beautiful

Lisa-Marie Ferla

That How Big How Blue How Beautiful is as much a mission statement as an album title will come as little surprise to anyone...

The Beach Boys, Royal Albert Hall

Matthew Wright

You might think that the carefree, gleeful melodies of sunny Californian surf-rock giants The Beach Boys would render them...

Fatoumata Diawara and Roberto Fonseca, Barbican

Thomas Rees

Though they may be separated by thousands of miles, Cuba and Mali share a common musical connection. Right at the heart of...

CD: Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard - Django and Jimmie

Tim Cumming

Merle and Willie – these kind of senior country summits can either be a bit of a coaster, all well and good underneath your...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Marvin Gaye

Kieron Tyler

 Marvin Gaye: Marvin Gaye 1961–1965On single, Marvin Gaye’s earliest years were defined by a head-long rush beginning...

The Dream of Gerontius, RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

To close its 2014-15 season the Royal Scottish National Orchestra chose the choral masterpiece that Elgar preferred not to...

Pelléas et Mélisande, Welsh National Opera

Stephen Walsh

Debussy completed only one opera (though he started plenty), but it’s the most perfect work imaginable, not only in sheer...

Robbins/MacMillan Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

Last night at the Royal Ballet was, emphatically, laser-free. The combination of Afternoon of a Faun (1953) and In the Night...

Schubert Sonatas 2, Barenboim, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Personality is essential for Schubert’s piano sonatas. Listen to two recordings of the same one and you could easily think...

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Lisa-Marie Ferla

It seems a peculiar conceit to pack up a full symphony orchestra and choir and take them the length of the UK solely to...

CD: The Darkness - Last of Our Kind

Russ Coffey

The Darkness, despite their current sober lifestyle, claim to be back with music that makes “women weak at the knees and men...

Classical CDs Weekly: Nielsen, Choir of Gonville & Caius College, St Peter's Singers

Graham Rickson

 Nielsen: Symphonies 2 and 6 Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo (BIS)Few composers' music can blow...

When Pop Ruled My Life, BBC Four

Jasper Rees

A long time ago I went out into the field to research a feature about the three ages of obsessive fandom. At the entry level...

We Made It: Jonathan Thomas, Maker

Simon Munk

Jonathan Thomas helped set up Thomas Heatherwick Studios, having met the man behind the Olympic Cauldron, new double-decker...

San Andreas

Matt Wolf

Time gets called on California in San Andreas, a bone-headed disaster movie that sends huge swathes of the West Coast...

 

THE ELEPHANT MAN, THEATRE ROYAL, HAYMARKET Bradley Cooper's star power transfers to the stage

GRAYSON PERRY: PROVINCIAL PUNK, TURNER CONTEMPORARY The overexposed artist with pots, frocks and comforting clichés about Britain

WE MADE IT: JONATHAN THOMAS, MAKER The designer maker on the future of furniture and working with Thomas Heatherwick

DVD: WHIPLASH A thriller about jazz drumming - what's not to like?

PELLEAS ET MELISANDE, WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Debussy's masterpiece finds a brilliant production that he would have approved

STICKY FINGERS: UNZIPPED Reissue with live tracks captures the Rolling Stones at their peak

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: MARVIN GAYE Lack of finesse with repackaging the soul great’s compelling early albums

disc of the day

CD: Slaves - Are You Satisfied?

Kent punk-duo takes on Austerity Britain with gusto

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We Made It

We Made It: Jonathan Thomas, Maker

The designer maker on the future of furniture and working with Thomas Heatherwick

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

tv

Strike Back: Legacy, Sky1

Action man fantasy goes to Thailand

The Syndicate, BBC One

Kay Mellor's latest instalment of her cautionary tale delivers a little differently

When Pop Ruled My Life, BBC Four

Study of obsessive fandom from the Beatles to One Direction is funny but sad

film

DVD: Whiplash

A thriller about jazz drumming - what's not to like?

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson rocks - kinda - in otherwise daft disaster movie

new music

CD: Slaves - Are You Satisfied?

Kent punk-duo takes on Austerity Britain with gusto

Sticky Fingers: unzipped

Reissue with live tracks captures the Rolling Stones at their peak

CD: Florence + The Machine: How Big How Blue How Beautiful

Pop juggernaut retains her flair for the dramatic on third album

classical

Schubert Sonatas 4, Barenboim, RFH

Barenboim and that piano plumb the heart of darkness in Schubert's farewell

Jansen, LSO, Harding, Barbican

Serviceable Mahler, but the violinist's Mendelssohn is sublime

Schubert Sonatas 3, Barenboim, RFH

The composer came first in the happiest concert so far of the revered pianist's series

opera

Pelléas et Mélisande, Welsh National Opera

Debussy's masterpiece finds a brilliant production that he would have approved

Listed: Essential BBC Proms

Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Fresh revival with strong cast and dynamic conducting from Jakub Hrůša

theatre

The Elephant Man, Theatre Royal, Haymarket

Bradley Cooper's star power transfers to the stage

Six of the best: Theatre

A bit of everything in theartsdesk's stage tips

Temple, Donmar Warehouse

New play about the Occupy movement starring Simon Russell Beale is deep but undramatic

visual arts

Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk, Turner Contemporary

The overexposed artist with pots, frocks and comforting clichés about Britain

Perspectives: War Art with Eddie Redmayne, ITV

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

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

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

dance

Robbins/MacMillan Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Company strong, principals less so in tame season finale

Sylvie Guillem, Life in Progress, Sadler's Wells

Ballerina says goodbye with new works from Khan, Maliphant

Dark Arteries, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Brass band the highlight of new triple bill

comedy

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

gaming

Sunset

A story of violent revolution, told without violence, from the sidelines

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

A beautifully detailed fantasy world to lose yourself in

Project CARS

Racing simulation puts choice over personality

Listed

Listed: Essential BBC Proms
Our classical writers choose 12 of the best
Listed: The Very Best of 2015
theartsdesk's writers recommend the one thing above all to look forward to in each art form
Listed: The Facts about Factual TV in 2014
This year's documentaries climbed high and swung low on Britain's social ladder

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