thu 29/01/2015, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios

Demetrios Matheou

Now that the national self-delusion of the classless society has been laid to rest by the double whammy of economic crisis and the Cameron-Osborne-Johnson era of Bullingdon Club...

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Veronica Lee

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the saying goes - and Kingsman: The Secret Service is a cracking part-homage-part-pastiche of the James Bond franchise (and other...

Inherent Vice

Nick Hasted

Thomas Pynchon and PT Anderson: too good to be true? News that the director of There Will Be Blood and The Master was adapting America’s greatest and most hiply profound living...

Dara, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

The history play has roots that go deep into our culture. We love to see stories that are kitted out in fancy dress, and long to savour a past that resonates with our present. In...

Touched by Auschwitz, BBC Two

Tom Birchenough

There’s been a pronounced sense of finality at this year’s 70th anniversary commemoration of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz. No closure, of course, but an awareness that the...

Hello/Goodbye, Hampstead Theatre

Marianka Swain

If the London property boom continues post-election, the fight for living space may well develop into all-out war. But what begins as skirmish in Peter Souter’s 2013 play,...

Richard Alston Dance Company 20th Anniversary Performances, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Testament to the work of Richard Alston Dance Company (RADC) over the 20 years since its foundation was not just the...

Taken at Midnight, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Heather Neill

The mother, so often a sentimental figure in art, can be as tenacious and bold as any animal when protecting her young. Mark...

Ghostpoet, Village Underground

Katie Colombus

Ghostpoet – aka Obaro Ejimiwe – released his first album Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam in 2010. He has since been...

Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2015 launch

Veronica Lee

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival was launched last night (the day after Burns Night) at the Leicester Square...

Big Hero 6

Emma Simmonds

Following the critical and commercial hits Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen, Disney's latest is a film which will win you over with...

Blind Date, Jermyn Street Theatre

Marianka Swain

Dating in the internet age is rife with complications, and yet Dave Simpson’s amiable romcom manages to eschew nearly all of...

Mr Selfridge, Series 3, ITV

Adam Sweeting

Mercifully not preceded by a Broadchurch-style hype-tsunami, the new series of Mr Selfridge has slipped neatly back into the...

Julian Cope, Glee Club, Birmingham

Guy Oddy

While Julian Cope’s albums are usually fairly expansive affairs which employ a vast array of instruments, an audience with...

Jan Garbarek Group, Stormen, Bodø

Kieron Tyler

Norway’s celebrated jazz colossus Jan Garbarek hadn’t played the north Norwegian city of Bodø for 15 years. Moreover, he and...

Rubens and His Legacy, Royal Academy

Florence Hallett

What does it mean to be a great artist? Is it enough for your work to be admired, studied, emulated and quoted by...

Holocaust: Night Will Fall, Channel 4

Tom Birchenough

 More than once in André Singer’s documentary Holocaust: Night Will Fall – marking in advance the 70th...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Tyrannosaurus Rex

Kieron Tyler

 Tyrannosaurus Rex: My People Were Fair and had Sky in Their Hair, Prophets, Seers & Sages: Angels of the Ages,...

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, October Gallery

Tim Cumming

There have been Throbbing Gristle reunions at Tate Modern, and Psychic TV last played in London at the now-demolished...

Beyond Clueless

Ellin Stein

Charlie Lyne’s Beyond Clueless, a Kickstarter-funded film essay about the deeper meaning of post-1990 coming-of-age movies,...

Classical CDs Weekly: Henry Mancini, Georg Breinschmid, Beethoven

Graham Rickson

 Henry Mancini: The Classic Soundtrack Collection (Sony)You get a good sense of any composer's strengths and...

PJ Harvey: Recording in Progress, Artangel at Somerset House

Mark Kidel

Artangel continues to instigate extraordinary events in extraordinary places. Over the past two decades and more, directors...

Ex Machina

Nick Hasted

Alex Garland’s directorial debut is spare, clever s.f. Ever since he began his now abandoned novelist’s career with The...

Bear Winter

Stuart Houghton

As a genre, the "Match 3" puzzle game seems like a sort of evolutionary dead end. You can gussy it up with dramatic sound...


MR SELFRIDGE, SERIES 3, ITV Despite the ravages of the Great War, the retailing saga bounces back looking fighting fit

BIG HERO 6  Charming Disney animation gives way to superhero spectacle

RICHARD ALSTON DANCE COMPANY, 20TH ANNIVERSARY PERFORMANCES, SADLER'S WELLS Two gems and two duds in celebratory mixed bill with live music

JULIAN COPE, GLEE CLUB, BIRMINGHAM An intimate evening with the Arch Drude and cheerleader for 'the psychedelicised'

TAKEN AT MIDNIGHT, THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET Penelope Wilton triumphs as a mother who defies the Nazis in fighting for her lawyer son

disc of the day

CD: Zun Zun Egui - Shackles Gift

Bristol-born indie still not delivering the punch they promise

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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
Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames
Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical

We Made It

We Made It: Factum Arte

Recreating a facsimile of Tutankhamun’s tomb and a painting by Veronese is all part of revolutionising our experience of art

We Made It: Publisher and Curator Amelia Gregory

Gold leaf and alchemical processes feed into a unique view of publishing

We Made It: Bex Burch, Dagaare Xylophone-Maker

Percussionist explains how the unique craft and culture of a north-Ghanaian people shapes her music


Kingsman: The Secret Service

Action-packed James Bond pastiche by Matthew Vaughn

Inherent Vice

Paul Thomas Anderson films unfilmable Thomas Pynchon, in a stoner noir

DVD: Boyhood

Richard Linklater's life-enhancing epic gets a frills-free DVD release


Touched by Auschwitz, BBC Two

Powerful documentary by Laurence Rees allows Auschwitz survivors full reflection

Mr Selfridge, Series 3, ITV

Despite the ravages of the Great War, the retailing saga bounces back looking fighting fit

Surviving the Holocaust - Freddie Knoller's War, BBC Two

Testament of character and endurance told with disarming modesty

new music

CD: Zun Zun Egui - Shackles Gift

Bristol-born indie still not delivering the punch they promise

CD: Steve Rothery - The Ghosts of Pripyat

Marillion guitar man with an evocative, slow-burning solo

Ghostpoet, Village Underground

New album sees this rap artist moving forward both lyrically and with his crossover sound


Classical CDs Weekly: Henry Mancini, Georg Breinschmid, Beethoven

A giant among film composers, virtuoso bass playing and rousing romantic overtures

James Dillon's Stabat Mater, London Sinfonietta, Volkov, QEH

Grand scale, fresh approach to a familiar Latin hymn

10 Questions for Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor

The young British pianist talks about rare repertoire and his suspicion of major competitions


Leiferkus, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Jurowski’s high-concept operatic pairing flickers brilliantly

Andrea Chénier, Royal Opera

An exceptional cast make this revolutionary romance a must-see

Orfeo, Royal Opera, Roundhouse

Austerely beautiful retelling of mythic Orpheus's grief and trials, with sounds to match


The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios

James McAvoy gives 2015 its first stellar performance, as the mad earl who thinks he's Jesus, in a revival that nevertheless falls short of heavenly

Dara, National Theatre

Meandering adaptation of a Pakistani history play about Islam in Mughal India loses the plot

Hello/Goodbye, Hampstead Theatre

Cupid takes the form of a property dispute in this satisfyingly soulful romcom

visual arts

Rubens and His Legacy, Royal Academy

Study of the Old Master's reputation visits a neglected corner of artistic practice

PJ Harvey: Recording in Progress, Artangel at Somerset House

The musician in full creative swing: a voyeur’s delight

Quick! Win tickets for the London Art Fair

For great British art under one roof


Richard Alston Dance Company 20th Anniversary Performances, Sadler's Wells

Two gems and two duds in celebratory mixed bill with live music

Young Men, BalletBoyz, Sadler's Wells

Fine dancers in well-designed, interesting war piece

Royal Danish Ballet Soloists and Principals, Peacock Theatre, London

The Scandinavian stylists give a tantalising glimpse of their Royal jewels


Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2015 launch

Starry line-up for Europe's biggest festival of its kind

Best of 2014: Comedy

A reunion, reliability and star quality were the highlights

Dara Ó Bríain, Touring

Irish comic is on cracking form on home turf


Bear Winter

If you go down to the woods today... tomorrow... and the day after

Lumino City

Mechanical conundrums and clambering feats in this witty gem from State of Play games

Videogames: Best of 2015

theartsdesk's videogames writers pick the most exciting games coming this year

latest comments

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