sun 23/04/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Liz Thomson
Sunday, 23 April 2017
It’s 25 years this year since Donna Leon introduced us to Commissario Guido Brunetti, a man who in his way has done as much for Venice as Byron and Ruskin or, in our own time,...
Julian Curry
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Much of the brilliance of Shakespeare lies in the openness, or ambiguity, of his texts. Whereas a novelist will often describe a character, an action or a scene in the most minute...
Nick Hasted
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Any More was Ellen Burstyn’s baby. Determined to use her clout after The Exorcist to make a film from a woman’s viewpoint, she offered Robert Getchell’s...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 23 April 2017
In the second week of September 1979, Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to be Kind” entered the Top 40. A month later, it peaked at number 12. The commercial success was belated validation for a...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 22 April 2017
Text can sometimes be a prison. At its best, post-war British theatre is a writer’s theatre, with the great pensmiths – from Samuel Beckett, John Osborne and Harold Pinter to...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 22 April 2017
Harald Genzmer: Music for Trautonium Peter Pichler (mixture trautonium) (Paladino Music)The trautonium is described here as “the instrument of a lone man”. In this case, one Oskar...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 22 April 2017
For some of us Blur were an irritant during the 1990s rather than one of the decade’s premier bands. However, once Gorillaz...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 21 April 2017
Eddie Otchere is best known for the plethora of photographs he’s taken of artists from hip hop’s golden age, circa the late-...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 21 April 2017
Christopher Hampton's witty comedy, first performed in 1970, ingeniously inverts Molière's The Misanthrope, centring as it...
Demetrios Matheou
Friday, 21 April 2017
Within seconds – literally seconds – of Unforgettable it becomes apparent that this is the kind of film that in the late...
Robert Beale
Friday, 21 April 2017
The world premiere of a symphony by a British composer – Huw Watkins – was the chief attraction in the latest Hallé...
Howard Male
Friday, 21 April 2017
This is a bit of a curiosity. Kasai Allstars were bought to our attention by producer Vincent Kenis almost a decade ago,...
David Nice
Thursday, 20 April 2017
"Good for the history of music, but not for music," one of Prokofiev's professors at the St Petersburg Conservatoire used to...
Jenny Gilbert
Thursday, 20 April 2017
It used to be said that the devil had all the best music. But the devil seems to have lost his touch in this ghost-story...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 20 April 2017
What a day to open your political stand-up show, entitled State of the Nation, a few hours after Theresa May had announced a...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 20 April 2017
This Saturday, April 22, is Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent record shops. Thus, everyone from the...
Matthew Wright
Thursday, 20 April 2017
Known to his mum as Troy Andrews, singer and instrumental virtuoso Trombone Shorty has been steadily accumulating rave...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
An Egyptian/French co-production directed by Egyptian film-maker Mohamed Diab, Clash is a fevered, chaotic attempt to...
Liz Thomson
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
From Muswell Hillbilly to Beverly Hillbilly, Ray Davies – Sir Ray – has long been infatuated with America and it must have...
David Benedict
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
“Take your pick. Who shall we talk to first?” DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Miller (Olivia Colman) had their three...

10 QUESTIONS FOR PHOTOGRAPHER EDDIE OTCHERE A master at capturing rap's giants on camera talks grime, digitisation and his herbal remedy for hip hop time

★★★★ KIM, HALLE, ELDER, BRIDGEWATER HALL, MANCHESTER A new British symphony is born, surrounded by lashings of romantic style

★ UNFORGETTABLE Sadly only the women are to blame for a risible thriller

★★ THE PHILANTHROPIST, TRAFALGAR STUDIOS Revival of Christopher Hampton's academic satire lacks energy

★★★★ QUEER BRITISH ART 1861-1967, TATE BRITAIN A vital selective history in images, but is much of it great art - and does it matter?

★★★★ SUNDAY BOOK: JO NESBO - THE THIRST The 11th case for Harry Hole is well worth sinking your teeth into

disc of the day

DVD: Martin Scorsese - Two Early Films

An Oscar-winning detour into feminism, and a first bulletin from Little Italy

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Broadchurch review - the final reckoning

Farewell to the nation's favourite hinges on surprise

Homeland review - 'worryingly prescient'

Something is rotten in the State of the Union

Maigret's Night at the Crossroads review - 'more straight faces from Rowan Atkinson'

A quiet rural instalment for Simenon's psychological sleuth


DVD: Martin Scorsese - Two Early Films

An Oscar-winning detour into feminism, and a first bulletin from Little Italy

Unforgettable review - forgettable film

Sadly only the women are to blame for a risible thriller

Clash review - 'a nation in crisis'

Inside view of the aftermath of Egypt's Arab Spring

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Brinsley Schwarz

Last gasp album by the pub rock legends shows how Nick Lowe leapfrogged punk

CD: Gorillaz - Humanz

Damon Albarn's latest adventure is ripe with ear-wakening inventiveness

CD: Kasai Allstars & Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste - Around Félicité

A film soundtrack of extreme contrasts from the Congolese collective and company


Classical CDs Weekly: Harald Genzmer, Mendelssohn, Nicholas Phan

Early German electronica, teenage chamber music and stories told through song

Kim, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

A new British symphony is born, surrounded by lashings of romantic style

theartsdesk Q&A: Horn-player Alec Frank-Gemmill

Four horns, four pianos, one CD; an original among musicians tells us why, and more


Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, EBS, Gardiner, Colston Hall, Bristol

Monteverdi Odyssey begins, aptly and superbly, with the last masterpiece

Patience/Tosca, English Touring Opera

G&S wave a lily and Puccini gets down to basics on ETO's spring tour

Bluebeard's Castle & The 8th Door, Scottish Opera

A provocative premiere shines revealing new light on Bartók's dark opera masterpiece


'What did you do?' Actors reveal their Shakespearean secrets
On the 401st anniversary of the Bard's death, actor-author Julian Curry introduces his new book of interviews, Shakespeare On Stage Vol 2
Nuclear War, Royal Court review - ‘deeply felt and haunting’
New play about loss offers an unusually experimental and immersive experience
The Philanthropist, Trafalgar Studios review - 'Simon Callow's direction is underpowered'
Revival of Christopher Hampton's academic satire lacks energy


Betroffenheit, Crystal Pite & Jonathon Young, Sadler's Wells

Astonishing, unclassifiable work of dance theatre about an unrepresentable subject

Brighton Festival 2017: 12 Free Events

Brighton Festival CEO Andrew Comben's guide to this year's best free stuff

Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures, Sadler's Wells

Choreographer's young works make up in sparkle what they lack in depth


Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - 'politics is her patch'

Former Labour adviser finds the funny in politics

Our Friend Victoria review – ‘Victoria Wood’s genius is irreplaceable’

Julie Walters presents the first part of BBC One's series celebrating a comedian without equal


Mass Effect: Andromeda review - 'dialogue trumps visual presentation'

Is the final frontier one step too far for this sci-fi epic?

Horizon Zero Dawn

The sun shines brightly on this benchmark action RPG

Sniper Elite 4

Life through a long-range lens

visual arts

10 Questions for Photographer Eddie Otchere

A master at capturing rap's giants on camera talks grime, digitisation and his herbal remedy for hip hop time

Queer British Art 1861-1967, Tate Britain

A vital selective history in images, but is much of it great art - and does it matter?

Michelangelo's Madonna and Child

Why the Taddei Tondo, on loan to the National Gallery's Michelangelo & Sebastiano exhibition, makes the perfect Easter image

latest comments

An excellent trio of reviews. I had read about...

Thanks for the review! Just one thing I'd like...

Thank you very much Graham! If anybody would like...

The clips in this documentary do make it worth...

Is that near-buried irony re Kenny Doughty's...

I was a teenager when Mario hit the top of the...

Januszczak and most others ignore ( or are...

The story at the time, if memory serves, was the...


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