thu 18/01/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Richard Bratby
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Say what you like about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – and plenty has already been written – but sometimes the facts...
Howard Male
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Growing up with the music of David Bowie is probably not the best grounding for being a music critic because it raises expectations unreasonably high for every other adventurous...
Katherine Waters
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Art fairs are vaguely promiscuous. So much art, so many galleries, so very many curators. They’re a glut for the eye yet curiously anodyne — the ranks of white cubicles could...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Nobody is more sensitive about the notion of becoming a geriatric action hero than Liam Neeson (“guys, I’m sixty-fucking-five,” as he points out), but he can still punch bad guys...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
The new import is the latest procedural from Scandinavia, this time focusing on Stockholm’s biker gangs. The first episode aired Tuesday night, with the rest of the series...
Marina Vaizey
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Henry VIII had a troubled marital history and Charles I lost his head, but both have also gone down in history as original, innovative and obsessive collectors of art, founders in...
Katie Colombus
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
With the tragic passing of Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, I've been thinking a lot about the importance of the...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Alexander Payne’s best-loved film is Sideways but that title may as well work for everything and anything in his oeuvre. In...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Hounds of Love is the latest in a long line of small-budget Australian horrors “based on true events” – it must be something...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 15 January 2018
In the early 1990s, a group of students at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) staged an end-of-year comedy...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 15 January 2018
Many hard rock aficionados say that Motörhead’s greatest work was all with the “classic” line-up of Lemmy, drummer Phil “...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 14 January 2018
The critic Simon Reynolds characterised Butterfly Child’s debut album Onomatopoeia as the sound of “vitrified everglades in...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Readers familiar with Nick Coleman’s 2012 memoir The Train in the Night will know before embarking on this book that the...
Guy Oddy
Sunday, 14 January 2018
The Limiñanas are considered something of a musical jewel across the Channel but, like many fine mainland European bands...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 13 January 2018
The revival that almost didn't make it into town has got the Royal Court's 2018 mainstage offerings off to a rousing start....
Robert Beale
Saturday, 13 January 2018
Edward Gardner was back on familiar ground when he conducted in Manchester last night – his high-profile career began when...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 13 January 2018
 Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas, Janáček: Sonata (arr. Brill) Shirley Brill, Jonathan Aner (piano) (Hänssler Classic)Brahms's...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 13 January 2018
Dario Argento’s Suspiria was confirmed as one of horror’s great fever dreams on its 40th anniversary re-release last year....
Peter Quantrill
Friday, 12 January 2018
Cheers and huzzahs greeted the arrival of Sir Simon Rattle on the Barbican stage last night before the London Symphony...

★★★★ RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO, ROYAL COURT Andrea Dunbar's Thatcher-era classic is invigorated afresh

★★★ VOICES: HOW A GREAT SINGER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE Nick Coleman explores the songs that linger in his memory

THE BEST MUSICALS IN LONDON From His Bobness to Jamie, we recommend the top shows

THE BEST FILMS OUT NOW We recommend the top movies of the moment

LAST WEEK ★★★★ SOUTINE'S PORTRAITS, COURTAULD GALLERY Superb, unsettling show by French-Russian portraitist

★★★★ DAVID LODGE: WRITER'S LUCK - A MEMOIR 1976-1991 The prolific polymath's quotidian reflections on life and culture

★★★ CD: PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS - THE AGE OF ABSURDITY Motörhead guitarist and progeny strike out on their own with a feisty hard rock brew

disc of the day

CD: Tune-Yards - I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

On which Merrill Garbus goes from deep-sea diving to treading water

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Before We Die, Channel 4 review - underwhelming and unengaging Scandi noir

Swedish crime drama offers dull production and a meandering plot

The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it


The Commuter review - trouble on the main line

The train proves quite a strain for Liam Neeson's lone crusader

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

Downsizing review - little things please little

Alexander Payne's finger-wagging satire should have cut a long story short

new music

CD: Tune-Yards - I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

On which Merrill Garbus goes from deep-sea diving to treading water

CD: First Aid Kit - Ruins

Swedish sisters are a legacy in the making

CD: Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - The Age of Absurdity

Motörhead guitarist and progeny strike out on their own with a feisty hard rock brew


Feng, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - pulling it out of the hat

Ligeti brings the house down, and he wasn't even on the programme

Lortie, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – whipping up a storm

Brisk, brash and exciting music-making blows away the cobwebs

Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Janáček, George Martin, Dmitry Masleev

Autumnal wind sonatas, orchestral music from a celebrated record producer, Russian pianism


The Return of Ulysses, Royal Opera, Roundhouse review - musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft

Monteverdi magic from peerless performers, triumphing over a messy production

Salome, Royal Opera review – lurid staging still packs a punch

Compelling production returns, but with a patchy cast


The Best Musicals in London
We recommend the top shows in musical theatre
The Best Plays in London
From Harry Potter to The Ferryman: theartsdesk's stage tips
Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Royal Court review - iconic 1980s title makes a welcome return
Andrea Dunbar's Thatcher-era classic is invigorated afresh


Song of the Earth/La Sylphide, English National Ballet review - sincerity and charm in a rewarding double bill

An odd-couple programme delivers both exquisite dancing and emotional truth

Best of 2017: Dance

Classical ballet dominates the highlights reel as chosen by theartsdesk's critics

Cinderella, Sadler's Wells review - Matthew Bourne puts Cinderella through the Blitz

Prokofiev's dark glitterball of a ballet score with added air raid sirens


Best of 2017: Games

Quality nearly matches quantity

Star Wars Battlefront II review - an opportunity missed

The force is less strong with this one

visual arts

Art UK, Art of the Nation review - public art in a private space

Digital catalogue of the nation's art distilled by five artists' choices

The Best Exhibitions in London

Soviet art, Cézanne, Harry Potter and more: our favourite shows to see now

latest comments

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Started watching with great excitement and...

Now rectified. Apologies for the omission.

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