tue 23/08/2016

theartsdesk.com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

theartsdesk at the Rosendal Festival: Schubert above a fjord

David Nice

More than just a great and serious pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes is a Mensch. His special gift in recent years has been to bring young musicians just establishing their careers...

Ripper Street, Series 4, BBC Two

Mark Sanderson

H Division has a new home in Whitechapel that basks in the white heat of the technological revolution. The police station not only has a telephone but a “microreader” that allows...

Prom 49: Quincy Jones Prom, Royal Albert Hall

Andrew Cartmel

As I waited outside the entrance to the Royal Albert Hall, someone leaned over to me and said: “My cocaine is to your left.” I glanced in that direction and realised they’d...

Edinburgh 2016: Angel by Henry Naylor/ Horse in Careful/ Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat

Veronica Lee

Angel by Henry Naylor, Gilded Balloon ★★★★Rehana tells us what her hometown Kobane, in Syria, is like – “A small border town where nothing happens … like Berwick-on-Tweed” –...

DVD/Blu-ray: Sid & Nancy

Kieron Tyler

As this year has been designated the 40th anniversary of punk rock hitting the UK, there’s no surprise that Alex Cox’s Sid & Nancy is up for another home cinema release. It’s...

Prom 48: Weilerstein, BBC Scottish SO, Pintscher

Peter Quantrill

If you go down to the woods today, to be sure of a big surprise is a contradiction in terms, but this pair of sylvan adventures by Matthias Pintscher and Mendelssohn was another...

Edinburgh Festival 2016: Alan Cumming/ The Glass Menagerie/ Mark Thomas

David Kettle

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs ★★★★★Is this even theatre? Hardly – cabaret, more like, as Scottish actor-author-provocateur...

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Zoë Coombs Marr/ Randy/ Sarah Callaghan

Veronica Lee

Zoë Coombs Marr, Underbelly Cowgate ★★★Zoë Coombs Marr's debut show last year, Dave, gained a lot of attention, and rightly...

CD: De La Soul - and the Anonymous Nobody

Joe Muggs

De La Soul are the posterboys for creative longevity in hip hop. While some contemporaries have maintained a presence by...

Proms at...Roundhouse: London Sinfonietta, Gourlay

Helen Wallace

Some enchanted afternoon in Camden Town… the Proms returned to the Roundhouse after four decades with a dreamlike fusion of...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Betty Davis, Jeanette Jones

Kieron Tyler

Despite their different paths in the Seventies, the final years of the Sixties saw parallels between Betty Davis and...

There's Something about Romcoms, Channel 4

Marina Vaizey

Ever since Britain shipped Cary Grant across the Atlantic, the romcom has been a transatlantic English-language staple. This...

CD: Divine Comedy - Foreverland

Matthew Wright

With ten albums over a quarter-century, Neil Hannon and Divine Comedy don’t have too many surprises left. Most fans will...

Prom 45: The Makropulos Affair, BBCSO, Bělohlávek

David Nice

Karel Čapek, the great Czech writer who pioneered some of the most prophetic dramatic fantasies of the early 20th century,...

Classical CDs Weekly: Strauss, Weinberg, Rolf Lislevand

Graham Rickson

 Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Four Symphonic Interludes from Intermezzo Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis (ABC...

CD: New Model Army - Winter

Russ Coffey

Casual fans of New Model Army may be surprised at how doggedly the band has plied its trade – aside from a couple of brief...

Edinburgh Festival: Boulez celebration, Andreas Ottensamer, Stephen Hough

David Kettle

Remarkably, Pierre Boulez made his first appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival way back in 1948, at only the...

Almost Holy

Tom Birchenough

Tough love doesn’t get much tougher. Ukrainian priest Gennadiy Mokhnenko has spent two decades trying to keep children off...

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Richard Gadd/ Kieran Hodgson/ Nazeem Hussain

Veronica Lee

Richard Gadd, The Banshee Labyrinth ★★★★★Richard Gadd wryly tells us at the end of Monkey See Monkey Do that he thought it...

DVD: The Killing$ of Tony Blair

Nick Hasted

Much like Margaret Thatcher’s tearful tumble from Downing Street, the haggard, hoarse Tony Blair who materialised after...

Prom 43: Argerich, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim

David Nice

It's not so long since Daniel Barenboim sat around a table with Israeli officials telling him that Wagner couldn't be played...

The Childhood of a Leader

Markie Robson-Scott

A tousled-haired child wearing wings is framed in a candlelit casement window. It’s a beautiful, Georges de La Tour-like...

Lights Out

Nick Hasted

A woman cowers beneath her bedclothes, building a useless barrier against the thing she hears creeping and scraping across...

CD: Bitch 'n' Monk - we are peering over

Matthew Wright

Bitch ‘n’ Monk is a duo of London singer and guitarist Heidi Heidelberg and Colombian flautist Mauricio Velasierra. They...

 

CD: DIVINE COMEDY - FOREVERLAND Veteran orchestral balladeers play on the boundaries of the tuneful and twee

ALMOST HOLY Charisma battles desolation in visceral documentary of Ukraine's lower depths

EDINBURGH FRINGE 2016: ZOË COOMBS MARR/ RANDY/ SARAH CALLAGHAN Latest instalment of comedy from the world's biggest and best arts festival

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT ROMCOMS, CHANNEL 4 Thirty years of the romantic comedy remembered with wit by leading players

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: BETTY DAVIS, JEANETTE JONES Intriguing Sixties soul from the woman who married Miles Davis and a lost San Francisco belter

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL: BOULEZ CELEBRATION, ANDREAS OTTENSAMER, STEPHEN HOUGH An affectionate homage to the great composer-conductor and bracing chamber recitals

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Sid & Nancy

Alex Cox’s account of punk rock’s ill-fated duo takes a ride to the heart of darkness

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tv

Ripper Street, Series 4, BBC Two

A slow start back in Whitechapel: London busy before Jubilee

There's Something about Romcoms, Channel 4

Thirty years of the romantic comedy remembered with wit by leading players

Kate Humble: My Sheepdog & Me, BBC Two

Charming investigation into canine identity

film

DVD/Blu-ray: Sid & Nancy

Alex Cox’s account of punk rock’s ill-fated duo takes a ride to the heart of darkness

Almost Holy

Charisma battles desolation in moving documentary of Ukraine's lower depths

DVD: The Killing$ of Tony Blair

A reputation's tatters are shredded in convincing detail

new music

Prom 49: Quincy Jones Prom, Royal Albert Hall

A towering career is celebrated in style

CD: De La Soul - and the Anonymous Nobody

Almost three decades into their career, the Long Island trio invite all their friends to their party

Reissue CDs Weekly: Betty Davis, Jeanette Jones

Intriguing Sixties soul from the woman who married Miles Davis and a lost San Francisco belter

classical

Prom 48: Weilerstein, BBC Scottish SO, Pintscher

Orchestral walks on the wild side - shame about the Shakespeare

Proms at...Roundhouse: London Sinfonietta, Gourlay

An enchanted fusion of microtonal magic and luminous projection

Classical CDs Weekly: Strauss, Weinberg, Rolf Lislevand

The ripest of tone poems, intense solo violin sonatas and music from the court of Louis XIV

opera

Prom 45: The Makropulos Affair, BBCSO, Bělohlávek

Karita Mattila, in incandescent company, is Janáček's long-lived diva to the life

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Glyndebourne

Peter Hall's magical production continues to weave its spell on Britten's opera

The Exterminating Angel, Die Liebe der Danae, Salzburg Festival

Brilliant ensemble in Adès's new opera trumps a meaningless Strauss staging

theatre

Edinburgh 2016: Angel by Henry Naylor/ Horse in Careful/ Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat

Theatre highlights from the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Festival 2016: Alan Cumming/ The Glass Menagerie/ Mark Thomas

Theatre highlights from the second week of the world's biggest arts festival

Six of the best: Theatre

Lee Hall's miraculous 'Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

visual arts

Colour, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Treasures jostle with texts to explore the art and science of manuscript illumination

Stubbs and the Wild, Holburne Museum, Bath

Known as a painter of horses, the 18th-century artist captured an entire menagerie

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

The American who made colour photography an art form

dance

The Flames of Paris, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Emotion and politics skilfully combine in Ratmansky's old-new ballet about the French Revolution

The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Unfeminist comedy in Jean-Christophe Maillot's Shakespeare ballet

Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

A peerless Odette almost makes up for production's psychological shortcomings

comedy

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Zoë Coombs Marr/ Randy/ Sarah Callaghan

Latest instalment of comedy from the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Richard Gadd/ Kieran Hodgson/ Nazeem Hussain

Another batch of comedy highlights from the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Bridget Christie/ Adam Kay/ Rachel Parris

Comedy highlights from the world's biggest and best arts festival

gaming

No Man's Sky

The sky is not the limit in this open-universe adventure

Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV

The experimental narrative takes to the water with mixed results

Pokémon Go

Game or viral phenomenon? Who cares - let's go hunting

latest comments

No mention of Jacob Collier? Seriously!?

Thanks for a well written and descriptive review...

Earring clue seems to be a mistake. ALso, in...

Kate Humble self-indulgent? *Irony* This TV...

Kate would have saved herself a lot of time and...

Another writer who doesn't know who they are...

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