wed 16/08/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Kettle
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
It was an intriguing, contrast-filled programme that Swiss-born pianist Andreas Haefliger brought to Edinburgh for his Queen’s Hall recital at the International Festival. Two...
Jasper Rees
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
The name will never trip off the public tongue. Millions watch his work - most recently his superb realisation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. But there is no hall of fame for...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
As a live phenomenon Gogol Bordello are unstoppable, a crowd-whipping Balkan-punk storm that sweeps venues away with them. For some years this blinded me to their recorded output...
Aleks Sierz
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
A new plague is sweeping British theatre: audience participation. Instead of just sitting back and enjoying the show, your visit to a venue is now likely to involve voting on the...
David Kettle
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Pike St ★★★★ London-based theatre company Paines Plough’s pop-up touring venue Roundabout has been a regular Edinburgh Fringe fixture for the past four years, nestled in nicely...
Markie Robson-Scott
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Christopher Rainey, aka "Quest" – his hip-hop name – lives with his wife Christine’a and their young daughter PJ in north Philadelphia. Jonathan Olshefski’s restrained,...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
 Tom Allen ★★★★ Tom Allen is celebrating his 10th year at the Fringe, and he appears to be having a ball –...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
There are lots of ideas bubbling away under the surface of The 5000 Fingers of Dr T. There would have been even more had the...
David Nice
Monday, 14 August 2017
So it was Rachmaninov night at the Proms, but with a difference: a trinity of works sacred and profane, the first two...
Christopher Shinn
Monday, 14 August 2017
Plays do not usually come into being in isolation. When I search my gmail archive I see that my first communication with...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 14 August 2017
 Kiri Pritchard-McLean ★★★★Appropriate Adult has an unlikely subject for comedy – Kiri Pritchard-McLean's work with...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 14 August 2017
I hate biopics about artists in which the portrayal of “genius” is hyped to the point where it becomes a ludicrous cliché....
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 14 August 2017
As the title and Seventies-style cover image indicate, Across the Multiverse is knowing. Though the “Across the Universe”...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 13 August 2017
The two haunting series of crime novels by Fred Vargas, the writing pseudonym of a French archaeologist and historian, have...
Jasper Rees
Sunday, 13 August 2017
The first thing to say is that this wasn’t the actual end. BBC Four scheduled I Know Who You Are to run two episodes a night...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 13 August 2017
Last year, the arrival of Close to the Noise Floor compelled theartsdesk’s Reissue CDs Weekly to conclude that it was “...
David Kettle
Sunday, 13 August 2017
A society that segregates men and women, prescribes what women can learn, read, wear, even which words they can say. A...
Barney Harsent
Sunday, 13 August 2017
We are living, I think it’s fair to say, in troubled times. That is, if we’re living at all by the time of publication....
David Nice
Saturday, 12 August 2017
Only one thing could equal the "wow!" factor of seeing and hearing a youngish Hugh Jackman launch into “Oh, What a Beautiful...
Hanna Weibye
Saturday, 12 August 2017
There are half as many performances of La Bayadère in this Mariinsky tour as performances of Swan Lake (four vs eight). The...

★★★★ FRED VARGAS: THE ACCORDIONIST The latest in 'The Three Evangelists' series is as quirky as ever

★★★★ PROM 37 / 38: LATVIAN RADIO CHOIR, GAVRYLYUK, BBCSSO, DAUSGAARD Symphony, concerto, chants and Vespers combine for a vintage night at Royal Albert Hall

EDINBURGH 2017 ROUND-UP theartsdesk recommends the shows to catch

CHRISTOPHER SHINN: 'I did not know if I would be alive and someone wanted me to write a play'

I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, BBC FOUR Gripping cliff-edge finale, but no one to root for

★★★★ TOM OF FINLAND From darkest Helsinki to sunny California, the story of the artist who created a distinctive gay subculture

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: NOISE REDUCTION SYSTEM Essential round-up of mainland Europe’s mid-Seventies to mid-Eighties musical boundary pushers

LA BAYADERE, MARIINSKY BALLET Russians save the best till last in parade of delights

EDINBURGH FRINGE 2017: Kiri Pritchard-McLean / Dad's Army Radio Hour / Elliot Steel

disc of the day

CD: Gogol Bordello - Seekers and Finders

New York's globe-trotting gypsy punks do what they always do - with diminishing results

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director Peter Kosminsky, Part 1

The State, his new drama about Britons joining ISIS, begins on Sunday. But who is the campaigning film-maker?

I Know Who You Are, series finale, BBC Four review - gripping, but no one to root for

The mystery of Juan Elías and Ana Saura is resolved, but there's plenty more to sort out. Contains spoilers

The best TV to watch this week

What to watch and where to find it


Quest review - intimate documentary about a north Philly community

Jonathan Olshefski's film takes us into the heart of an African-American family

DVD/Blu-ray: The 5000 Fingers of Dr T

A welcome return for Dr Seuss's mind-bending fantasy

Final Portrait review - utterly convincing portrayal of an artist at work

Geoffrey Rush is the spitting image of Giacometti in Stanley Tucci's fly-on-the-wall portrait

new music

CD: Gogol Bordello - Seekers and Finders

New York's globe-trotting gypsy punks do what they always do - with diminishing results

CD: Dent May - Across the Multiverse

Directness trumps the calculating on US singer-songwriter’s fourth album

Reissue CDs Weekly: Noise Reduction System

Essential round-up of mainland Europe’s mid-Seventies to mid-Eighties musical boundary pushers


Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: Andreas Haefliger

A recital that was both frustrating and visionary from the Swiss-born pianist

Proms 37 / 38 review: Latvian Radio Choir, Gavrylyuk, BBCSSO, Dausgaard - numinous Rachmaninov triptych

Symphony, concerto, chants and Vespers combine for a vintage night at Royal Albert Hall

Classical CDs Weekly: Sean Shibe, Morten Gunnar Larsen and Leonard Elschenbroich

English guitar repertoire, piano works from the Americas, plus 20th century French cello music


Prom 31 review: La Damnation de Faust, Gardiner - Berlioz tumbles out in rainbow colours

Youth in the choir and a youthful 74-year-old conductor spark a supernatural masterpiece

Prom 29 review: BBCSO, Bychkov - Musorgsky's Khovanshchina sears in concert

Superlative conducting and cast vindicate a drama of political chaos as a total work of art

Michael Volpe on a Requiem for Grenfell: 'one of the most remarkable evenings in our history'

Opera Holland Park's General Director on the company's response to losing a team member in the Grenfell Tower fire


The Majority, National Theatre review – a minority interest
New play about democracy is entertaining, but a bit too tricksy
Edinburgh Festival and Fringe 2017 reviews round-up
theartsdesk recommends the shows to catch this August
Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Pike St / Box Clever / Sugar Baby
Comedy, tragedy and a whole lot more at Paines Plough's pop-up Roundabout


La Bayadère, Mariinsky Ballet review - a parade of delights

Russians save the best till last in lavish display of showmanship and art

Contrasts, Mariinsky Ballet review - company shows off range of its powers

Ekaterina Kondaurova the star as Russians display heritage and contemporary works at Royal Opera House

Swan Lake, Mariinsky Ballet review - Xander Parish lacks the spark of wildfire

Heritage company fail to set stage alight in good, but not great, performance at the Royal Opera House


Edinburgh Festival and Fringe 2017 reviews round-up

theartsdesk recommends the shows to catch this August

Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Tom Allen / Cally Beaton / Lauren Pattison / Trumpageddon

A happy anniversary, neural pathways, an assured debut, and a deflated Trump

Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Kiri Pritchard-McLean / Dad's Army Radio Hour / Elliot Steel

Unlikely subject matter for gags, an old favourite revived, and one for the millennials


h.Club 100 Awards: Video games - you've come a long way, baby

From hit shows on Classic FM to bestselling novels, the influence of videogames stretches far beyond the confines of the screen

Enter theartsdesk's Young Reviewer of the Year Award

In association with The Hospital Club's h.Club 100 Awards, we're launching a new competition to find a brilliant young critic

Get Even review – good idea ineptly handled

The odds are stacked against you in this ambitious psychological thriller

visual arts

James Hamilton: Gainsborough - A Portrait review - an artistic life told with verve and enthusiasm

An original, chatty but scholarly biography of the great English artist

Matisse in the Studio, Royal Academy review - a fascinating compilation

Intriguing insight into the artist's relationship with his possessions

The Best Exhibitions in London

Giacometti, Picasso, Pink Floyd and more: our favourite shows to see now


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