sun 26/03/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Sarah Kent
Sunday, 26 March 2017
“My mother has always been a bit of a mystery to me not only as an artist but also as a mum,” declares Nick Willing by way of introduction to his film for BBC Two on the painter...
Peter Forbes
Sunday, 26 March 2017
Two pernicious practices dominate Christian Madsbjerg's Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm: algorithm addiction and fake philosophy. The author...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 26 March 2017
Over 1972 to 1975, Finland staged a small-scale invasion of Britain. A friendly one, it was confined to music. First, the progressive rock band Tasavallan Presidentti came to...
Thomas H Green
Sunday, 26 March 2017
There’s nowhere to go with this one, is there? Like any music writer, I want to come at James Blunt afresh. I’d love to say, “No, put your prejudices away, this album is actually...
Alison Cole
Saturday, 25 March 2017
I have heard countless speeches advocating the importance of arts education, and making bold cross-curricular claims – from England’s cultural ministers and arts leaders, to the...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Politics certainly caught up with Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius. The Brazilian director and his cast appeared at their Cannes competition premiere last year with placards...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Eyvind Alnæs: Piano Concerto & Symphony Håvard Gimse (piano), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Eivind Aadland (Lawo Classics)...
Mark Sheerin
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Artist and curator Tyler Mallison has chosen the world’s most generic title for his current exhibition. It's called New...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 25 March 2017
One tries not to conflate the man and the music too much. Getting overly tangled up in questions of authenticity is a fool's...
Hanna Weibye
Friday, 24 March 2017
Is English National Ballet's current predilection for acquiring European repertoire some kind of anti-Brexit statement, or...
David Nice
Friday, 24 March 2017
It's a rare concert when nothing need be questioned about the orchestral playing. The usual nagging doubts – about whether...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 24 March 2017
The beauty of fiction is that its stories have both compelling shape and deep meaning – they are dramas where things feel...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 24 March 2017
Craig David’s two-hour show, in two parts, receives an ecstatic response in Brighton. The audience, dominated by women in...
Jasper Rees
Friday, 24 March 2017
“The following images are extremely graphic.” The words appeared in white lettering against a black background, two-thirds...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 24 March 2017
This is the Italian cinema Berlusconi suppressed. Elio Petri directed broadsides between the crossfire of the Sixties and...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 23 March 2017
In space, no-one can hear you say “hang on, haven’t I seen this before?” The sprawling, labyrinthine space ship full of...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 23 March 2017
Silver Eye is Goldfrapp’s seventh long-player in an 18-year career that has taken in electronica sounds of all stripes. It...
Jenny Gilbert
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
What’s in a yellow dress? Hope over experience? Reckless confidence? This is a legitimate question when the second big cross...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Tommy Sissons is a 21-year-old poet, originally from Brighton, now based in London. He has won a number of poetry slam...
Peter Quantrill
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Isn’t it funny? You wait ages for an opera by an eleven-year-old and then two turn up at once. The world’s feature...
 

★★★★ THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, ST JOHN'S SMITH SQUARE The miraculous maturity of the 11-year-old Mozart

★★ THE KIDS STAY IN THE PICTURE, ROYAL COURT Cut! Simon McBurney muddles the story of Hollywood mogul Robert Evans

CD: GOLDFRAPP - SILVER EYE Hipster electro-poppers fall between two stools

FOURTH PLINTH: How London created the smallest sculpture park in the world

★★★ DVD/BLU-RAY: PROPERTY IS NO LONGER A THEFT Elio Petri's grotesque thriller dissects Seventies Italy's rotten heart

★★★★ PINA BAUSCH'S RITE OF SPRING, ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET Dancers wow in iconic Stravinsky piece, but Forsythe and van Manen need more work

★★★★★ SYRIA'S DISAPPEARED Channel 4 documentary makes the case against Assad with indelible images and testimony

disc of the day

CD: James Blunt - The Afterlove

A 336 word struggle to find constructive things to say about James Blunt's fifth album

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tv

Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories review - 'in pictures you can let all your rage out'

The artist who talks freely about her marriage, but not the following 30 years

Syria’s Disappeared review - 'must-watch can't-look record of Assad's atrocities'

Channel 4 documentary makes the case against Assad with indelible images and testimony

Puerto Rico: Island of Enchantment – Natural World, BBC Two

Caribbean conservationists fight back against man-made mayhem

film

Aquarius review - 'the unease of contemporary Brazil'

Brazilian star Sonia Braga shines in unsettling portrayal of her country today

DVD/Blu-ray: Property Is No Longer a Theft

Elio Petri's grotesque thriller dissects Seventies Italy's rotten heart

Life review - 'knuckle-gnawing moments of panic'

Is there life on Mars? It would appear so

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Wigwam

Finland’s progressive rock titans caught in their live splendour

CD: James Blunt - The Afterlove

A 336 word struggle to find constructive things to say about James Blunt's fifth album

CD: Take That - Wonderland

As middle age really kicks in, can pop's great survivors still cut it?

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Alnæs, Granados, Kelly, Mompou

Rediscoveries from Norway and Australia, plus a pair of poetic Spaniards

Buchbinder, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

Ideal orchestral Brahms under an already great young Czech conductor

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Sibelius, Temple University Wind Symphony

Baroque violin music, rare Finnish songs, and a set of wind and brass concertos

opera

The First Commandment, Classical Opera, St John’s Smith Square

The teenage Mozart's miraculous maturity

Partenope, English National Opera

Everyone in this Handel revival makes froth seem stylish and effortless

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Royal Opera

No joy or lightness in Kasper Holten's messy Wagner, despite high musical values

theatre

The Kid Stays in the Picture, Royal Court, review – ‘sad, bad and sprawling’
Cut! Simon McBurney muddles the story of Hollywood mogul Robert Evans
An American in Paris review - 'stagecraft couldn't be slicker'
Christopher Wheeldon's staging at the Dominion is the most glamorous escape in town
The Best Musicals in London
We recommend the top shows in musical theatre

dance

Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Dancers wow in iconic Stravinsky piece, but Forsythe and van Manen need more work

Crystal Pite, Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet

Extraordinary première by Canadian choreographer explores refugee experience through dance

Project Polunin, Sadler's Wells

Can ballet's bad boy live up to the hype?

comedy

Peter Kay's Dance for Life, Ricoh Arena Coventry

School disco with lots of laughs

Miles Jupp, London Palladium

A gentle meander through life's vicissitudes

The UK Pun Championships, Leicester Comedy Festival

Wordplay galore as jokesmiths battle for title

gaming

Horizon Zero Dawn

The sun shines brightly on this benchmark action RPG

Sniper Elite 4

Life through a long-range lens

The Best Games of 2016

theartsdesk's gamers choose their personal highlights of the year

visual arts

Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories review - 'in pictures you can let all your rage out'

The artist who talks freely about her marriage, but not the following 30 years

Artist Tyler Mallison: 'I don’t think about materials as being merely visible objects or things'

Technology as material, Madonna as muse: the artist talks about the themes shaping his current exhibition

Fourth Plinth: How London Created the Smallest Sculpture Park in the World

Celebrating Trafalgar Square's infamous empty plinth, and its role in changing attitudes to contemporary art

latest comments

Wow aren't you a little behind the times? You don...

I have now seen this production five times and...

This review smells of a man struggling to create...

The trouble with his dreadful production is that...

I actually took the final scene ('Kill him, smash...

Is it pop or experimental? Does it really matter...

The village used was near Henley-on-Thames.

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