thu 18/01/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Jasper Rees
Thursday, 18 January 2018
It beggars belief that from the moment Steven Spielberg took delivery of the script by first-timer Liz Hannah, it took 10 months to get The Post in the can. As its subject is the...
David Nice
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Living-museum recitals on a variety of historic instruments pose logistical problems. Telling The Arts Desk about his award-nominated CD of mostly 19th-century works for horns and...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 18 January 2018
It's the people who are problematic, not the play. That's one take-away sentiment afforded by Caroline Byrne's sparky and provocative take on All's Well That Ends Well, that ever-...
Mark Sheerin
Thursday, 18 January 2018
In the dark days of January, white cube galleries are luminous spaces. This is especially true of Pi Artworks right now: the Fitzrovia gallery is showing an incandescent array of...
Richard Bratby
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Say what you like about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – and plenty has already been written – but sometimes the facts...
Howard Male
Thursday, 18 January 2018
Growing up with the music of David Bowie is probably not the best grounding for being a music critic because it raises expectations unreasonably high for every other adventurous...
Katherine Waters
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Art fairs are vaguely promiscuous. So much art, so many galleries, so very many curators. They’re a glut for the eye yet...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Nobody is more sensitive about the notion of becoming a geriatric action hero than Liam Neeson (“guys, I’m sixty-fucking-...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
The new import is the latest procedural from Scandinavia, this time focusing on Stockholm’s biker gangs. The first episode...
Marina Vaizey
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Henry VIII had a troubled marital history and Charles I lost his head, but both have also gone down in history as original,...
Katie Colombus
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
With the tragic passing of Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, I've been thinking a lot about the importance of the...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Alexander Payne’s best-loved film is Sideways but that title may as well work for everything and anything in his oeuvre. In...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Hounds of Love is the latest in a long line of small-budget Australian horrors “based on true events” – it must be something...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 15 January 2018
In the early 1990s, a group of students at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) staged an end-of-year comedy...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 15 January 2018
Many hard rock aficionados say that Motörhead’s greatest work was all with the “classic” line-up of Lemmy, drummer Phil “...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 14 January 2018
The critic Simon Reynolds characterised Butterfly Child’s debut album Onomatopoeia as the sound of “vitrified everglades in...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Readers familiar with Nick Coleman’s 2012 memoir The Train in the Night will know before embarking on this book that the...
Guy Oddy
Sunday, 14 January 2018
The Limiñanas are considered something of a musical jewel across the Channel but, like many fine mainland European bands...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 13 January 2018
The revival that almost didn't make it into town has got the Royal Court's 2018 mainstage offerings off to a rousing start....

★★★ THE COMMUTER Liam Neeson's is another spot of bother

★★★★ RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO, ROYAL COURT Andrea Dunbar's Thatcher-era classic is invigorated afresh

★★★ ART, PASSION AND POWER, BBC FOUR Royal Collection explored by Andrew Graham-Dixon

THE BEST MUSICALS IN LONDON From His Bobness to Jamie, we recommend the top shows

★★ BEFORE WE DIE, C4 Unengaging Nordic noir could do better

★★★ VOICES: HOW A GREAT SINGER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE Nick Coleman explores the songs that linger in his memory

★★★★ ART OF THE NATION Catch publicly owned art while you can at London Art Fair

THE BEST FILMS OUT NOW We recommend the top movies of the moment

disc of the day

CD: Tune-Yards - I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

On which Merrill Garbus goes from deep-sea diving to treading water

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The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it

Before We Die, Channel 4 review - underwhelming and unengaging Scandi noir

Swedish crime drama offers dull production and a meandering plot


The Post review - Spielberg's glorious paean to print

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks weigh in as press freedom - and female empowerment - come under attack

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

The Commuter review - trouble on the main line

The train proves quite a strain for Liam Neeson's lone crusader

new music

CD: Tune-Yards - I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

On which Merrill Garbus goes from deep-sea diving to treading water

CD: First Aid Kit - Ruins

Swedish sisters are a legacy in the making

CD: Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - The Age of Absurdity

Motörhead guitarist and progeny strike out on their own with a feisty hard rock brew


Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - three pianos, four monsterworks

Crazy programme taxes even this Russian master of orchestral pianism

Feng, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - pulling it out of the hat

Ligeti brings the house down, and he wasn't even on the programme

Lortie, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – whipping up a storm

Brisk, brash and exciting music-making blows away the cobwebs


The Return of Ulysses, Royal Opera, Roundhouse review - musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft

Monteverdi magic from peerless performers, triumphing over a messy production

Salome, Royal Opera review – lurid staging still packs a punch

Compelling production returns, but with a patchy cast


All's Well That Ends Well, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - feisty, prickly and topical, as well
Shakespeare problem play gets a spirited reading that chimes with our #metoo times
The Best Plays in London
From Harry Potter to The Ferryman: theartsdesk's stage tips
The Best Musicals in London
We recommend the top shows in musical theatre


Song of the Earth/La Sylphide, English National Ballet review - sincerity and charm in a rewarding double bill

An odd-couple programme delivers both exquisite dancing and emotional truth

Best of 2017: Dance

Classical ballet dominates the highlights reel as chosen by theartsdesk's critics

Cinderella, Sadler's Wells review - Matthew Bourne puts Cinderella through the Blitz

Prokofiev's dark glitterball of a ballet score with added air raid sirens


Best of 2017: Games

Quality nearly matches quantity

Star Wars Battlefront II review - an opportunity missed

The force is less strong with this one

visual arts

Selma Parlour: Upright Animal, Pi Artworks review - incandescent colours

Opaque paintings evoke Renaissance perspective, classical architecture and satellite landscapes

Art UK, Art of the Nation review - public art in a private space

Digital catalogue of the nation's art distilled by five artists' choices

The Best Exhibitions in London

Soviet art, Cézanne, Harry Potter and more: our favourite shows to see now

latest comments

Maybe the performances have improved during the...

Am a mad 85 year old plantswoman. Mother Nature...

Bring back Mike n Damien,these X soap people r...

Started watching with great excitement and...

Now rectified. Apologies for the omission.

This image of Oasis is © Matthew R Lewis....


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