mon 11/12/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

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 2009, and this year's production, written by Joel Horwood...
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. Both fit a worldview which encompasses collaborating...
Ismene Brown
Sunday, 10 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...
Katherine Waters
Sunday, 10 December 2017
The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five...
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 Modern Mind, charts the revolutionary fervour and...
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 the highlight of the smart but blandly titled 115-track...
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...
David Nice
Thursday, 07 December 2017
As the Parliament of the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire declared independence on 6 December...
Laura De Lisle
Thursday, 07 December 2017
La Soirée is on the up-and-up. Beginning life as an after-hours show at the fringes of the Fringe in 2004, it won an Olivier...
Saskia Baron
Thursday, 07 December 2017
On paper this film sounds so worthy: a widowed Orthodox Jewish father struggles to convince the Hassidic community elders...
Katherine Waters
Thursday, 07 December 2017
Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play The Melting Pot characterises Europe as an old and worn-out continent racked by violence...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 07 December 2017
Sia is a 21st century pop behemoth, an unstoppable figure who, despite no longer wishing to take part in the increasingly...

★★★★ DEAR BRUTUS, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE Barrie’s grown-up fantasy gets a welcome centenary revival

★★★★ BARNUM, MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY A big, blowsy spectacle

★★★★★ MENASHE Yiddish-language film with a heart of gold


★★★★★ JOHNSTON, BBCSO, ORAMO, BARBICAN Sheer adrenalin in early Sibelius

THE ARTS DESK ON VINYL 34 Trent Reznor, Shpongle, Roni Size, Willie Nelson and more

disc of the day

CD: Gaspard Royant - Wishing You a Merry Christmas

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

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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


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

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

Christian Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt, Wigmore Hall review - lyrical Brahms from veteran duo

The great German's three violin sonatas shine in elegant and songful readings

Classical CDs Weekly: Sollazzo Ensemble, Barbara Hannigan, Zoltán Kocsis

Songs from the 14th century and a new disc from a versatile soprano. Plus a great Hungarian pianist's last recording


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


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
The Best Plays in London
From Harry Potter to The Ferryman: theartsdesk's stage tips


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

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

Modigliani, Tate Modern review - the pitfalls of excess

Blockbuster show of the bad boy of the Paris scene succumbs to surface

latest comments

A production in Nazi Germany in 1932? The Nazis...

He has a melodious voice. I liked his ghazals too.

Many thanks for your comments. A first, I think,...

The unfunniest new play I've seen this year.


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