sat 03/12/2016

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

Liz Thomson
Saturday, 03 December 2016
The 37th studio album from the man dubbed “the godfather of grunge” is raw, down and dirty-sounding – like many of the problems Neil Young grapples with. Recorded over four days...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 02 December 2016
The pilot and the sniper have a lot in common for Clint Eastwood. In his previous US blockbuster, American Sniper, Chris Kyle’s cool shooting under pressure helped extract his...
Tom Birchenough
Friday, 02 December 2016
For anyone disposed to treat the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as hallowed ground – and such issues have gained much currency at the Globe recently following the announced early...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 02 December 2016
The Dardennes brothers' latest tale from the grim streets of the industrial suburb of Liège in Belgium is another quietly powerful masterpiece; it’s perhaps their best film since...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 02 December 2016
This story drops down the rabbit-hole so fast, you doubt it’ll ever hit bottom. Kiwi TV presenter David Farrier’s human interest items of the That’s Life/One Show sort led him to...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 01 December 2016
Anyone hoping for a few laughs and a nice bit of catharsis after enduring the eight unstintingly miserable episodes of The Missing would have got none of the former and hardly any...
Markie Robsonscott
Thursday, 01 December 2016
“This is an emergency. Homicides in Chicago, Illinois have surpassed the death toll of American special forces in Iraq.”...
Kelly Hunter
Thursday, 01 December 2016
“I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, Were it not that I have bad dreams…” 2016, with...
Robert Beale
Thursday, 01 December 2016
With two of the biggest parts of the tetralogy already behind them, it might have seemed that Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 01 December 2016
A welcome antidote to the mood of a time which seems hell-bent on closing borders and building walls, The Music of Strangers...
Mark Sanderson
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Howard Brenton (Christie in Love) and Ruth Rendell (Thirteen Steps Down) are just two of the many writers inspired by the...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
As an old Sixties lefty brought up on paranoia-infused thrillers like The Parallax View or All the President's Men, Oliver...
Bernard Hughes
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Leonard Bernstein once said that his favourite piece of Stravinsky was whatever one he happened to be listening to. I have a...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Tom Allen may have started life in Bromley, a non-descript south London suburb, but there was always a touch of Oscar Wilde...
Gavin Dixon
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Thomas Søndergård stood in for this concert at a day’s notice – Valery Gergiev is apparently recovering from a knee...
Guy Oddy
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Those with an ear open to loud experimental music of a certain stripe may already be aware of some of the members of Sex...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Coalitions make for drama, and for comedy. We know that from, respectively, Borgen and the final series of The Thick of It....
David Nice
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Having musicalised the madness in the method of Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, what would that wackiest of...
Justin Adams
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
In this cut and paste world, we have become used to a multiplicity of images: screens, words and pictures from across the...
Barney Harsent
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
TV can be a powerful tool of redemption. Take Strictly Come Dancing – anything that can shift perception of Ann Widdecombe...
 

CONCEAL/REVEAL RUSSELL MALIPHANT COMPANY Modern dance finds a serene new home in a 13th-century tithe barn

TOM ALLEN, SOHO THEATRE Intricately constructed tale about suburbia

KINGS OF INFINITE SPACE As her touring Hamlet reaches London, director Kelly Hunter reflects on packing Elsinore into a suitcase

THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS Picaresque musical journey led by cellist Yo-Yo Ma is thoughtfully inspiring

 

THE MISSING, SERIES 2 FINALE, BBC ONE Gloom-drenched odyssey reaches miserable conclusion

disc of the day

CD: Neil Young - Peace Trail

Righteous anger but insufficient effort

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tv

The Missing, Series 2 Finale, BBC One

Gloom-drenched odyssey reaches miserable conclusion

Rillington Place, BBC One

Reginald Christie's Notting Hill murders revisited with horror and black humour

MPs: Behind Closed Doors, Channel 5

Constituents come off best in a fly-on-the-wall documentary about their representatives

film

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks are the right men for an epic of understated heroism

The Unknown Girl

Subtle Belgian noir about a doctor haunted by a young woman's death

DVD: Tickled

The laughter doesn't last in a gripping documentary about fetishes and power

new music

CD: Neil Young - Peace Trail

Righteous anger but insufficient effort

CD: Sex Swing - Sex Swing

Underground noisemongers’ debut is inspired but defiantly uncommercial

CD: The Rolling Stones - Blue & Lonesome

Rolling back the years to the deep Chicago Blues

classical

Uchida, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, RFH

British pianist successfully follows a tried and tested recipe

Douglas, LSO, Søndergård, Barbican

Russian classics energised by clean lines and precise textures

Total Immersion: Richard Rodney Bennett, Barbican

This 'completely natural musician' would have enjoyed this tribute for his 80th year

opera

Das Rheingold, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Consummate 'preliminary evening' of the Ring from a master Wagnerian

Alice's Adventures Under Ground, Barbican

Gerald Barry's crazy velocity berserks both 'Alice' books in rude style

Large, Hudson Shad, BBCSO, Gaffigan, Barbican

Storm-force Brecht and Weill means lumpy Korngold is worth enduring

theatre

The Little Matchgirl, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Hans Christian Andersen made contemporary, infused with Emma Rice's trademark brio
'Hamlet’s actors are kings of infinite space'
As her touring Hamlet reaches London, director Kelly Hunter reflects on packing Elsinore into a suitcase
10 Questions for Playwright James Graham
The author of This House on the arcane world of Parliamentary whips

dance

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, Sadler’s Wells

Agony meets ecstasy in radical Irish take on the ballet

Conceal/Reveal, Russell Maliphant Company, Messums Barn

Modern dance finds a serene new home in a 13th-century tithe barn

The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet

Christmas classic is never disappointing - and these principals always winning

comedy

Tom Allen, Soho Theatre

Intricately constructed tale about suburbia

The Catherine Tate Show Live, Eventim Apollo

Go on, have a guess. Terrific live tour of sketch show favourites

Susan Calman, Soho Theatre

Feelgood stand-up with a political punch

gaming

Time Locker

Is this top-down 2D endless run & gun game a timeless classic?

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Infinite warfare but finite fun

Titanfall 2

Robot Wars goes up a notch

visual arts

'Before punk, there was Rauschenberg'

As a major retrospective opens at Tate Modern, musician and producer Justin Adams reflects on his lifelong love of an American great

Portrait of the Artist, The Queen's Gallery

A rich history of art through painters' eyes

Flaming June, Leighton House Museum

Reunited with the artist's final works, a painting rarely seen but endlessly reproduced

latest comments

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