thu 29/09/2016

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

David Shrigley: Really Good, Fourth Plinth

Alison Cole

It was inevitable that David Shrigley's breezy new sculpture for Trafalgar Square – part of the popular Fourth Plinth Programme – would be appropriated for political purposes. As...

La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

In a world of terrifyingly serious news, the opening of the Royal Ballet season with Frederick Ashton's pastoral frolic La Fille mal gardée might seem like a wanton disregard for...

Turner Prize 2016, Tate Britain

Florence Hallett

While the Turner Prize shortlist can reasonably be expected to provide some sense of British art now, the extent to which British art can or should attempt to reflect a view of...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Saskia Baron

Tim Burton’s fans always want him to hit the sweet spot again, to give them another Beetlejuice or Edward Scissorhands. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is not quite...

10 Questions for Conductor Thomas Dausgaard

David Kettle

One of two Danish Thomases at the head of BBC bands (compatriot Thomas Søndergård is at the helm of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales), Thomas Dausgaard joins the Glasgow-based...

CD: Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Bernadette McNulty

Justin Vernon hasn’t put an album out under the name Bon Iver for five years but you wouldn’t necessarily have noticed. Falsetto-strained, bearded, lumber-jack shirted folk...

The Libertine, Haymarket Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Restoration theatre has the reputation of being a rake’s paradise – all those randy young aristos in hot pursuit of buxom...

Ana Moura, Barbican

Markie Robson-Scott

“If someone asked me what fado is,” says Ana Moura, in her introduction to “Lilac Wine”, “I would tell them that it means...

Damned, Channel 4/ Morgana Robinson's The Agency, BBC Two

Veronica Lee

Damned (★★★) is the third comedy drama in what could be termed Jo Brand's social/healthcare triptych (after Getting On, set...

Beethoven Ninth, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Glyn Môn Hughes

The new season at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is focusing on revolutionaries. Bach, Beethoven and Berlioz all feature...

Free State of Jones

Adam Sweeting

Given the fractious state of American politics, perhaps it's a suitable moment for a movie taking a look back at the...

CD: Craig David - Following My Intuition

Thomas H Green

Craig David’s comeback has been astonishing. Partly this is due to the reason his career stalled in the first place....

Helaine Blumenfeld: 'Beauty has become synonymous with something banal'

Rachel Halliburton

Helaine Blumenfeld was living in Paris in the 1960s when she received an invitation from the Russian-born sculptor Ossip...

Swiss Army Man

Jasper Rees

Daniel Radcliffe has worked hard to put distance between himself and The Boy Who Lived. Onstage he’s been buck naked and...

Kew's Forgotten Queen, BBC Four

Marina Vaizey

The indefatigable Victorian spinster Marianne North (1830-1890) is the most interesting artist you've never heard of. The...

Mariinsky Orchestra, Gergiev, Cadogan Hall

Sebastian Scotney

This year, Valery Gergiev is marking the Prokofiev 125th anniversary with concerts and projects in no fewer than 17...

DVD: Fire at Sea

Nick Hasted

There’s a doctor on Lampedusa who has nightmares about the corpses the sea brings to his island: the women who give birth on...

Ed Vaizey: 'We must invest more in the arts'

Ed Vaizey

A couple of weeks ago, I held a debate in Parliament in which I called for the government to increase funding for the arts,...

Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 4, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

David Nice

Stravinsky's music, chameleonic yet always itself, offers so many lines of thought. One struck me immediately with the...

First Person: The Juilliard Experiment

Mark Kidel

When the French painter Fabienne Verdier told me she’d been invited to explore the relationship between painting and music...

Tubular Brass play Tubular Bells, Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Graham Rickson

Sandy Smith’s brass band transcription of Tubular Bells is an improbable triumph. He draws heavily on composer David Bedford...

James Acaster, Touring

Veronica Lee

Five nominations for the Edinburgh Comedy Award are surely a recommendation for James Acaster – and with his intelligent,...

CD: Gruff Rhys - Set Fire to the Stars

Barney Harsent

Super Furry Animals front man Gruff Rhys is a quietly prolific talent. Every few years or so, there’ll be another album,...

First Person: Steven Isserlis on Schumann's advice to the young

Steven Isserlis

All musicians have particular musical passions, composers, styles or genres to which they are irresistibly drawn. I have...

 

ANA MOURA, BARBICAN The glamorous fado star shines bright with songs from her new, upbeat album

THE LIBERTINE, HAYMARKET THEATRE 'History Boy' Dominic Cooper triumphs as the Restoration rake Rochester

DAMNED, CHANNEL 4 / MORGANA ROBINSON'S THE AGENCY, BBC TWO Social comedy and sketch impressions

SWISS ARMY MAN Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano go too far in self-indulgent indie two-hander

MARIINSKY ORCHESTRA, GERGIEV, CADOGAN HALL Prokofiev's 125th marked with mostly workaday playing

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: JOHN FOXX Lavish package devoted to the three ‘Cathedral Oceans’ albums

disc of the day

CD: Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Rated singer-songwriter heads in an experimental but beguiling new direction

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tv

Damned, Channel 4/ Morgana Robinson's The Agency, BBC Two

Social comedy and sketch impressions

Kew's Forgotten Queen, BBC Four

How Marianne North mastered the art of capturing nature

Paranoid, ITV

Hectic northern crime drama starring Lesley Sharp and Indira Varma lacks characters

film

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Tim Burton does the time warp again in a wordy but stylish gothic fantasy

Free State of Jones

Remarkable true story of Civil War renegades suffers from shagginess

Swiss Army Man

Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano go too far in self-indulgent indie two-hander

new music

CD: Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Rated singer-songwriter heads in an experimental but beguiling new direction

Ana Moura, Barbican

The glamorous fado star shines bright with songs from her new, upbeat album

CD: Craig David - Following My Intuition

The ultimate re-re-wind for the Miami-fied UK garage behemoth

classical

10 Questions for Conductor Thomas Dausgaard

A Dane in Scotland on wall-to-wall Beethoven and working on a farm in China

Beethoven Ninth, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Standing ovation ends series of all nine Beethoven symphonies

Mariinsky Orchestra, Gergiev, Cadogan Hall

Prokofiev's 125th marked with mostly workaday playing

opera

Così fan tutte, Royal Opera

Conducting, not production, kills pace, singing – and Mozart

La Canterina, Classical Opera, Page, Wigmore Hall

Youthful elixir revives Haydn's sparkling material girl

Norma, Royal Opera

This contemporary religious fantasy of a Norma creates a striking spectacle

theatre

The Libertine, Haymarket Theatre

'History Boy' Dominic Cooper triumphs as the Restoration rake Rochester

Imogen, Shakespeare's Globe

Sound and vision blazon the new regime, but this is vintage Shakespeare

Pilgrims, The Yard Theatre

The metaphor of mountain climbing resonates in new sex-war drama

visual arts

Turner Prize 2016, Tate Britain

Poetic and utterly baffling, this year's shortlist is as eccentric as it is divergent

Helaine Blumenfeld: 'Beauty has become synonymous with something banal'

To coincide with her retrospective 'Hard Beauty', the sculptor talks about philosophy, language and the conflicting roles of artist, mother and wife

Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy

Energy, alcohol and bucketloads of paint: a triumphant reunion for New York's most exciting artists

dance

La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

Young love in yellow tights

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

comedy

James Acaster, Touring

Beautifully crafted show of offbeat observations

Tom Ballard

Australian comic with a pleasingly original take on modern life

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

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

gaming

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

A fun exercise in nostalgia that would benefit from more variety

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

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