thu 30/10/2014

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

La Bohème, English National Opera

David Nice

ENO may not always have matched the Royal Opera in the Great Puccini Voices stakes. But it's served up many of the classiest Mimìs, with Valerie Masterson, Mary Plazas and...

The Fall of the House of Usher, Sound Affairs, Malvern

Stephen Walsh

At least three composers have set about turning The Fall of the House of Usher into operas, including most famously Debussy, whose abortive attempt, completed by Robert Orledge,...

Horns

Adam Sweeting

Adapted from the cult novel by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) and directed by Alexandre Aja, Horns can't keep itself on an even tonal keel for more than a few minutes. Part...

Arcadi Volodos, Royal Festival Hall

Jessica Duchen

Arcadi Volodos is a relatively rare visitor to London these days. Although the Russian pianist, 42, rose early to fame, his development has perhaps taken him in a direction that...

theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Akram Khan

Hanna Weibye

Akram Khan is unexpectedly softly-spoken. Acknowledged as a truly great dancer, he's a master of the classical Indian Kathak form that he trained in, and also supremely gifted at...

Giovanni Battista Moroni, Royal Academy

Florence Hallett

Written in the 16th century, Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists continues to underpin our understanding of the Renaissance, and its author is blamed, often with some...

The Missing, BBC One

Jasper Rees

Given the long shadow cast by the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, it’s sort of surprising that no drama department has...

'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Alexandra Coghlan

So TFL have banned the Globe’s posters for ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore for being too racy. What a gift. They couldn’t have given...

Sunny Afternoon, Harold Pinter Theatre

Adam Sweeting

The bittersweet career of The Kinks is portrayed to surprisingly potent effect in this fast, funny and sometimes poignant...

Leonskaja/ Pires, Dumay, Meneses, Wigmore Hall

Ismene Brown

What a day for piano-lovers and Beethoven-lovers – Elisabeth Leonskaja for lunch, Maria João Pires for supper....

Nightcrawler

Katherine McLaughlin

“If it bleeds it leads”, proclaims crime news reporter Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) as he investigates the bloody remains of a...

Beatson, Scottish Ensemble, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

I declare an interest. In the last 10 years or so the Scottish Ensemble has twice, at my invitation, visited the Borders...

Imagine... The Art That Hitler Hated, BBC One

Marina Vaizey

Alan Yentob’s culture programme, Imagine, returned for its autumn season with a two-part examination of one of the most...

Malala/A Child of Our Time, Crouch End Festival Chorus, Temple, Barbican

Bernard Hughes

James McCarthy’s oratorio Malala is both a heartfelt tribute to the young Nobel Peace laureate, Malala Yousafzai, and...

CD Special: The Basement Tapes Complete

Tim Cumming

Earlier this year, bobdylan.com posted “Full Moon & Empty Arms”, a song associated with Sinatra and the popular music of...

Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, National Portrait Gallery

Marina Vaizey

Can you sense a person's life through a sequence of objects? Not to mention influence and legacy? Biographical exhibitions...

RPO, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Zukerman, Royal Festival Hall

Kimon Daltas

This concert was part of a tour of Canada’s National Arts Centre orchestra to five cities in the UK themed around the...

Intruders, BBC Two

Adam Sweeting

"Baffling paranormal thriller" is your drive-thru soundbite to describe Intruders, but despite a lingering threat of genre-...

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Kieron Tyler

The key lines are “you’re reborn into an untroubled world” – a world “where everyone’s the same.” The 1956 Don Siegel...

The Art of Gothic: Britain's Midnight Hour, BBC Four

Florence Hallett

Andrew Graham-Dixon’s villainous alter ego got a second airing tonight in his exploration of 19th-century Britain’s love of...

theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Wayne McGregor

Hanna Weibye

How do you know Wayne McGregor? Dance-goers with long memories might remember Wayne McGregor as the wunderkind who founded...

First Person: The lure of the lost play

Tom Littler

About a year ago, Alan Brodie, who is the agent for the estate of Terence Rattigan, sent me a handful of his more obscure...

The Overnighters

Tom Birchenough

In The Overnighters documentarist Jesse Moss found his story and pursued it with remarkable empathy, all in the best...

Annie Lennox: The Jazz Singer

Peter Culshaw

Annie Lennox is a far more fascinating artist than she’s often given credit for. Perhaps because she has been around for...

 

'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE, SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE Pints of blood but no real tragedy in this season opener

CD SPECIAL: THE BASEMENT TAPES COMPLETE It's here - the full, final, complete official bootleg edition

ARCADI VOLODOS Sublime sounds from the high peaks of pianism

GIOVANNI BATTISTA MORONI, ROYAL ACADEMY Renaissance Italy's forgotten master of the fleeting moment

AKRAM KHAN Kathak and contemporary dancer talks about flamenco, inspiration and his last performance piece

THE MISSING, BBC ONE James Nesbitt plays the father of an abducted son in a taut but implausible thriller

disc of the day

CD: Simple Minds - Big Music

They're serious and cool again, but is it what we want?

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six of the best

Six of the best: Theatre

Kings, kids and singing despots: a bit of everything in theartsdesk's tips

Six of the best: Art

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top exhibitions

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

film

The Fall of the House of Usher, Sound Affairs, Malvern

Jean Epstein's twenties classic enriched by Cardiff composer's sonorous new score

Horns

Adaptation of Joe Hill's novel is marred by its bizarre clash of styles

Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal turns in a memorable performance in Dan Gilroy's dark thriller

tv

The Missing, BBC One

James Nesbitt plays the father of an abducted son in a taut but implausible thriller

Imagine... The Art That Hitler Hated, BBC One

What happened to the 'degenerate' art that vanished during the Nazi era?

Intruders, BBC Two

Some of it looks familiar, but there's enough weirdness to keep you watching

new music

CD: Simple Minds - Big Music

They're serious and cool again, but is it what we want?

CD: The Flaming Lips 2014 - With a Little Help from My Fwends

Horrible Miley Cyrus-assisted redux of Sgt Pepper’s with one redeeming factor – it benefits charity

CD Special: The Basement Tapes Complete

It's here - the full, final, complete official bootleg edition

classical

The Fall of the House of Usher, Sound Affairs, Malvern

Jean Epstein's twenties classic enriched by Cardiff composer's sonorous new score

Arcadi Volodos, Royal Festival Hall

Sublime sounds from the high peaks of pianism

Leonskaja/ Pires, Dumay, Meneses, Wigmore Hall

Music for lunch and dinner on a great day for pianists and Beethoven

opera

La Bohème, English National Opera

Star-voiced lovers move and soar, but revived Jonathan Miller production does little

The Bartered Bride, Opera North

An ingenious update gets a stylish revival

Wozzeck, BBCSSO, Runnicles, City Halls, Glasgow

Thomas J Mayer heads stellar cast in showy performance of Berg's masterpiece

theatre

'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Pints of blood but no real tragedy in this season opener

Sunny Afternoon, Harold Pinter Theatre

Ray Davies's Kinks saga has heart and soul as well as musical brawn

First Person: The lure of the lost play

As Rattigan's debut is staged after 80 years, its director ponders the rise of the rediscovery

visual arts

Giovanni Battista Moroni, Royal Academy

Renaissance Italy's forgotten master of the fleeting moment

Imagine... The Art That Hitler Hated, BBC One

What happened to the 'degenerate' art that vanished during the Nazi era?

Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, National Portrait Gallery

An affecting look at the life and impact of the arts and crafts designer who ardently championed socialism

dance

theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Akram Khan

Kathak and contemporary dancer talks about flamenco, inspiration, and his last performance piece

theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Wayne McGregor

British dance-maker shares his views on creative practice, cognitive neuroscience, and critics

Ashton Mixed Bill, Royal Ballet

Symphonic Variations is the highlight among fine works by supreme British choreographer

comedy

Lee Mack, Eventim Apollo

Amiable comic races through a disappointing set

Paul Daniels, Touring

Expertly executed magic tricks with old-school humour

Lee Evans, O2 Arena

No amount of fart gags and racing about can hide the cobwebs on these jokes

gaming

Card Dungeon

A clever twist on dungeon adventuring that mostly works

The Swapper

Clone-killing puzzle game asks what your soul looks like…

Hellraid: The Escape

Hellish puzzles with lashings of gore

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