tue 12/12/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Mark Kidel
Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Bertrand Tavernier’s trip through French cinema is shot through with the love of someone who has grown up with cinema and knows how to communicate his passion in a way that is...
Ismene Brown
Monday, 11 December 2017
Nureyev, the most notorious new production at the Bolshoi Ballet’s modern history, premiered last night in Moscow to a 15-minute standing ovation and exclamations of official...
David Nice
Monday, 11 December 2017
After Sakari Oramo's dazzling Sibelius rattlebag with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the centenary day of Finnish independence, things weren't looking so good for Esa-Pekka Salonen...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 11 December 2017
The play that famously got away when one of its stars (quite literally) jumped ship is back. In 1995, Stephen Fry abandoned the West End premiere of Simon Gray's espionage drama...
Florence Hallett
Monday, 11 December 2017
Dedicated to a foundation stone of western artistic training, this exhibition attempts a celebratory note as the Royal Academy approaches its 250th anniversary. But if the printed...
Robert Beale
Monday, 11 December 2017
Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto is a big work in every sense: four movements, plus a solo cadenza before the last one that makes it seem almost like five; a soloist’s role...
Katherine Waters
Monday, 11 December 2017
The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 11 December 2017
Pantomime may be a very old art form, but the Lyric Hammersmith has been injecting some freshness into it each year since...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 11 December 2017
French stylist Gaspard Royant has recorded at London’s garage-rock-central studio Toe Rag and been produced by Edwyn Collins...
Katherine Waters
Sunday, 10 December 2017
Utopias have a way of going up in flames. Rachel Hewitt’s new book, A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 10 December 2017
A nineteen-minute adaptation of “Jack Orion” took up the whole of Side Two of Cruel Sister, Pentangle’s fourth album. It's...
Guy Oddy
Sunday, 10 December 2017
It’s been a busy year for veteran power poppers Cheap Trick. Christmas Christmas is their second album in six months, after...
Ralph Moore
Saturday, 09 December 2017
“Back in the Sixties, before I was born…” Robert Plant has always been as amusing a raconteur as he is a deft weaver of...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 09 December 2017
There are many obvious Hollywood responses to someone losing their legs in the Boston Marathon bombing. Director David...
Saskia Baron
Saturday, 09 December 2017
Theatreland is currently awash with pantomimes and rehashes of A Christmas Carol, so all credit to this ambitious new...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 09 December 2017
Bach: Christmas Oratorio Soloists, Gaechinger Cantorey/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Carus)That these performers aren't yet well-...
Barney Harsent
Saturday, 09 December 2017
It’s easy to be cynical about Christmas pop albums. This is, of course, because so many of them are awful, hastily cobbled...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 08 December 2017
Like a bizarro-world echo of Lenny Abrahamson’s Academy-titillating Room, Dave McCary’s endearing indie feature takes a...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 08 December 2017
Beneath the creamy overlay of gowns, crystal chandeliers, palaces, uniformed flunkies and a sumptuous (albeit CGI-enhanced)...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 08 December 2017
Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe is a true prince of darkness here, picking out Leslie Caron’s beautiful eyes and gleaming...

★★★★ STRONGER Jake Gyllenhaal as a Boston Marathon bomb non-victim, in superb romance

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY: CHRISTMAS PART 1 Folk flutes, washboards and killer rabbits

★★★ THE BOX OF DELIGHTS, WILTON'S MUSIC HALL John Masefield's classic children's novel transferred to the stage

★★★★★ THE CROWN, SERIES 2, NETFLIX Private passions and public crises batter the royal household

★★★★ ROBERT PLANT, ROYAL ALBERT HALL No need for a Zeppelin reunion

★★★ CD: CHEAP TRICK - CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS It’s a glammed-up Yuletide with the Illinois power pop veterans

disc of the day

DVD: A Journey Through French Cinema

A film-lover's hymn to French movies: Bertrand Tavernier’s 'Voyage à travers le cinéma français'

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Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

Spectacle and storytelling combine into an urgent plea for our oceans’ health

The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it

The Crown, Series 2, Netflix review - all our yesterdays, cunningly rewritten

Private passions and public crises batter the royal household


Stronger review - Oscar-worthy straight talk and tough love

Jake Gyllenhaal as a Boston Marathon bomb non-victim, in superb romance

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

Brigsby Bear review - the healing power of fantasy

Tale of boy and imaginary bear is unexpectedly upbeat

new music

CD: Gaspard Royant - Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Classy, knowing French entry in the easily maligned field of seasonal albums

Reissue CDs Weekly: Pentangle

Bonus-stuffed complete-works box set dedicated to Britain’s important musical boundary pushers

CD: Cheap Trick - Christmas Christmas

It’s a glammed-up Yuletide with the Illinois power pop veterans


Salonen conducts Sibelius, RFH/Oramo conducts Salonen, Barbican review - Finnish psychedelia

A colouristic master excels as composer and - eventually - as conductor

Capuçon, BBCPO, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - awesome unity

A UK premiere for Shchedrin plus two Shostakovich masterpieces

Johnston, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - sheer adrenalin in early Sibelius

Perfect salute to the Finnish independence centenary includes a vital UK premiere


Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, Royal Opera review - one tenor, two samey brutes

Bryan Hymel's strong-man double-act outshone by Elīna Garanča's Santuzza

I, Object review - this operatic double-bill delivers just a single hit

A bright new talent and a tired old bore make for uneasy bedfellows

theartsdesk in Stockholm - HK Gruber and sacred monsters

Viennese composer, conductor, chansonnier and double-bass player is a force of nature


Cell Mates, Hampstead Theatre review - intriguing yet opaque
Simon Gray play is better served by its cast this time round
The Box of Delights, Wilton's Music Hall review - children's classic novel transferred to stage
Matthew Kelly and Josefina Gabrielle provide double the value in John Masefield classic


Bolshoi's controversial Nureyev ballet opens – to ovations and bans

Creator Kirill Serebrennikov, under house arrest, denied permission to see his own ballet

The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - superb start to the festive dance season

Tchaikovsky's grand and gorgeous classic gets the five-star treatment

Sylvia, Royal Ballet review - Ashton rarity makes a delicious evening

Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov sparkle as arcadian lovers


Star Wars Battlefront II review - an opportunity missed

The force is less strong with this one

Call of Duty: WWII review - war is an unpleasant business

The veteran franchise returns for another bout of epic war games

visual arts

From Life, Royal Academy review - perplexingly aimless

Working from casts and life models has been instrumental in defining Western painting

The Best Exhibitions in London

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

Rose Wylie: Quack Quack, Serpentine Gallery - anarchy at 83

The octogenarian who paints with the fresh eye of a child

latest comments

I was at this gig too and thought there were some...

Excellent review; the concert was just that good...

There is NO "E" in Renbourn, what gaff.

The spelling of the surname is, and was always,...

What an absolute piece of rubbish! Why on earth...


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