fri 19/09/2014

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

Night Will Fall

Tom Birchenough

More than once in André Singer’s documentary Night Will Fall, his interviewees describe their experience as “looking into hell”. We hear phrases like “world of nightmare”, “...

Legends, Sky 1 / The Strain, Watch

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Let's face it, there are so many big-budget, densely plotted US TV imports around now that it seems a little hackneyed to compare them to buses - but even by those standards,...

Joan Baez, Royal Festival Hall

Heidi Goldsmith

The next revolution of civil disobedience is unlikely to be a ticketed event, with a sedentary congregation of grey-haired, nostalgic former hippies. And the Royal Festival Hall (...

Romeo and Juliet, Victoria Baths, Manchester

Philip Radcliffe

Instead of that small well-worn stone balcony in that courtyard in Verona, picture an extended well-worn cast-iron balcony in the Victoria Baths in Manchester. The young lovers...

This World: Ireland's Lost Babies, BBC Two

Jasper Rees

We think we know the story. As recounted in Philomena, in the 1950s and ‘60s the Irish state and Catholic Church colluded in putting children born out of wedlock up for adoption....

Jasper Johns: Regrets, Courtauld Gallery

Fisun Güner

In your ninth decade it may not come as a surprise to find death staring you in the face. But it might be unnerving if you’re an artist and a menacing “death's head” skull emerges...

Doctor Scroggy’s War, Shakespeare’s Globe

Aleks Sierz

The number of plays commemorating the outbreak of the First World War continues to grow, with some already falling casualty...

The Murmuring/ Metheus/ Mesmerics, BalletBoyz, Linbury Studio Theatre

Hanna Weibye

The fabulous dancers known as BalletBoyz The Talent 2014 looked so at home in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre...

First Person: From Insolence to Defiance

Paul Simmonds

Not that long ago, certainly when I was old enough to know better, I managed to get myself mugged by a gang of teenage...

Ballyturk, National Theatre

Heather Neill

In his masterly essay in the programme for Enda Walsh's latest play, Colm Tóibín warns against attempting to pin his work to...

Hamlet, Royal Exchange, Manchester

Veronica Lee

One of the oddities about theatre is that there can be a gripping performance at the heart of an underwhelming production –...

Magic in the Moonlight

Katherine McLaughlin

An ageing misanthrope is given a new lease of life and a fresh outlook by a pretty, young woman. Woody Allen wheels out this...

Ghost from a Perfect Place, Arcola Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Few contemporary playwrights have enjoyed as many revivals as polymath Philip Ridley. The first two of his 1990s gothic East...

Xerxes, English National Opera

Alexandra Coghlan

Nicholas Hytner’s 1988 Magic Flute may have trilled its last at English National Opera, but judging by the wit, the joy and...

Forbidden Broadway, Vaudeville Theatre

David Nice

“It takes a star to parody one,” wrote theartsdesk’s Edward Seckerson, nailing the essence of this immortal spoof-fest’s...

Glue, E4

Veronica Lee

Jack Thorne's new eight-part drama is set in a fictional but recognisable small English village, Overton, where life is...

Opinion: What's the point of short film?

Debbi Lander

The emergence of digital both as a technology and a culture has fundamentally changed the world in which short film now...

Cilla, ITV

Adam Sweeting

With Cilla Black still fighting fit and eminently telly-worthy at 71, it feels a bit odd to find a three-part dramatisation...

Maestri: Conductors at the 2014 Proms

theartsdesk

Chris Christodoulou is the official Proms photographer, writes David Nice. From his uniquely privileged position behind a...

Francesca Woodman: Zigzag, Victoria Miro

Marina Vaizey

Francesca Woodman killed herself at the age of 22, the biographical fact that colours her work and which it is de riguer to...

The Village, Series 2 Finale, BBC One

Tom Birchenough

You may have had to search for his name in the closing credits of this final episode of series two of The Village, but all...

20,000 Days On Earth

Nick Hasted

This excellent documentary considerably deepens the Nick Cave we know. If there is a Cave other than the spiritually and...

Foo Fighters, Olympic Park

Matthew Wright

“There goes my hero,” sang the Foo Fighters at the end of the Invictus Games last night. True to form, the Foo Fighters’...

British Art at War: Bomberg, Sickert and Nash, BBC Four

Marina Vaizey

At the end of this absorbing documentary about the art – and life – of Paul Nash we visited his tombstone in a...

 

GLUE, E4 Jack Thorne's latest is a gripping whodunit set in the English countryside

XERXES, ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA Alice Coote shines in pretty and witty vintage Handel

BALLETBOYZ TRIPLE BILL, LINBURY STUDIO THEATRE New works show all-male company on top form

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT AT THE PROMS Badly-miked mumbling and a disgraceful travesty of R&H with diva Deborah Voigt holding her poise

BALLYTURK, NATIONAL GALLERY Enda Walsh's unsettling comedy triumphs at the Lyttelton

FRANCESCA WOODMAN: ZIGZAG, VICTORIA MIRO An exhibition that lends new insights and depth to the late photographer's work

disc of the day

DVD: Only Lovers Left Alive

A love story, cool vampire tale and wry comedy in one

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six of the best

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Six of the best: Theatre

Let the right Mormons in: a bit of everything in theartsdesk's tips

Six of the best: Art

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top exhibitions

film

Night Will Fall

Reflections on the Holocaust, and Alfred Hitchcock's attempts to sum up its visual testimony

DVD: Only Lovers Left Alive

A love story, cool vampire tale and wry comedy in one

DVD: Otway the Movie – Rock and Roll's Greatest Failure

Fans-only tribute to a tenacious musical eccentric

tv

Legends, Sky 1 / The Strain, Watch

Sean Bean joins the FBI and Guillermo del Toro does vampires: latest US drama

This World: Ireland's Lost Babies, BBC Two

Martin Sixsmith pursues the harrowing story of Catholic children born out of wedlock

Glue, E4

Jack Thorne's latest is a gripping whodunit set in the English countryside

new music

Joan Baez, Royal Festival Hall

Veteran folk-protest singer seduces audience with delicacy

DVD: Otway the Movie – Rock and Roll's Greatest Failure

Fans-only tribute to a tenacious musical eccentric

First Person: From Insolence to Defiance

Lyrical country meets rollicking cowpunk: Paul Simmonds on writing songs for two very different new albums

classical

Maestri: Conductors at the 2014 Proms

Chris Christodoulou's sensational shots of baton-wielders in action

Last Night of the Proms, Jansen, Williams, BBCSO, Oramo

Other agendas have swirled furiously around this year's Last Night

Prom 75: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gilbert

A monumental season's close to the 2014 Proms from a great orchestra

opera

Xerxes, English National Opera

This vintage Handel is pretty, witty and more youthful than ever

Otello, English National Opera

A dark and potent version of Verdi is David Alden at his best

William Tell, Welsh National Opera

Rossini's last opera is finely done but has rather too many longueurs

theatre

Romeo and Juliet, Victoria Baths, Manchester

Designer rises to challenge of spectacular new venue

Doctor Scroggy’s War, Shakespeare’s Globe

Howard Brenton’s First World War play is interesting, but not always convincing

Ballyturk, National Theatre

Enda Walsh's unsettling comedy triumphs at the Lyttelton

visual arts

Jasper Johns: Regrets, Courtauld Gallery

A rich and multifaceted body of work that offers a modern twist on the memento mori

Francesca Woodman: Zigzag, Victoria Miro

An exhibition that lends new insights and depth to the late photographer's work

British Art at War: Bomberg, Sickert and Nash, BBC Four

Andrew Graham-Dixon begins an excellent trilogy about World War One artists with Paul Nash

dance

The Murmuring/ Metheus/ Mesmerics, BalletBoyz, Linbury Studio Theatre

New works show all-male company on top form

KnowBody, Sadler's Wells

Older performers show dance is not just a young person's game

Sampling the Myth, Royal Ballet

Mixture of old and new makes for a colourful journey through mythology

comedy

Forbidden Broadway, Vaudeville Theatre

Fearless foursome spoofs the poker-faced and the overblown in magnificent Menier transfer

Joan Rivers, 1933-2014

The first lady of comedy whose biggest dread was an empty diary

Steen Raskopoulos, Soho Theatre

Superb character comedy from Australian debutant

gaming

Destiny

The biggest game of a generation leaves an empty hole in space

Appointment with F.E.A.R.

Nostalgic superheroics updated for the smartphone era

CounterSpy

Visually striking stealth-action game leaves one stirred, but not very shaken…

latest comments

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