fri 28/11/2014

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

Lily Allen, Brighton Centre

Thomas H Green

There is an odd moment about halfway through Lily Allen’s set. Clad in a shaggy white mini dress akin to a Puli dog’s coat, she announces the next song will divide the audience...

J-Sonics, The Hideaway, Streatham

Matthew Wright

Last night Latin jazzers J-Sonics confirmed their reputation as one of the most compelling proponents of the delicate art of fusion with a deeply grooving, deeply addictive...

Pelléas et Mélisande, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Alexandra Coghlan

In an operatic world in which the director is an increasingly despotic king, it’s good to be reminded that, sometimes, not staging an opera is the most radical reading of all. No...

We Made It: Salmon Smoker Ole Martin-Hansen

Joe Muggs

Food, of course, is one of the places where the principles of our We Made It series are often best expressed. And in a culture where value is increasingly put on hand-...

Hockney

Marina Vaizey

David Hockney was continually rejuvenated by his transatlantic commuting. The painter, printmaker, draughtsman, photographer, and stage designer, was also a writer...

LittleBigPlanet 3

Simon Munk

Before Minecraft there was LittleBigPlanet. This series lets you jump around cute homespun platform levels, then go in and edit them and create your own. The latest adds all sorts...

Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty, Channel 5

Marina Vaizey

Dan Jones has turned up to narrate the dramatised story of the Plantagenets in history lite mode, perhaps aimed at capturing...

Kasabian, Brighton Centre

Thomas H Green

It has become a staunch tradition that Kasabian gigs end with their fourth single, 2004’s “L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)”. By...

The National, O2 Arena

Matthew Wright

Until recently, The National were a band for the knowing connoisseur, best known for their wry wit and tasteful guitar...

Sci-Fi Week: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Graham Fuller

No Gravity or Interstellar has challenged the might and influence of 2001: A Space Odyssey: its re-release this week is one...

The Legacy, Sky Arts 1

Jasper Rees

It’s a dark and Danish so of course there is a body. But it’s not that sort of body. The Legacy parts company from what we...

Olga Chernysheva, Pace Gallery

Sarah Kent

Printed large in glorious colour is a row of photographs of Russian women wearing bobble hats (main picture and pictured...

Sci-Fi Week: Scoring the Impossible

Graham Rickson

Classical composers have always enjoyed depicting the implausible. Operas based on mythological subjects abound, creating...

Sacred Monsters, Khan/Guillem, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

There is a special poignancy to these performances of Sacred Monsters, Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan's terrific 2006 joint...

OAE, Tognetti, Queen Elizabeth Hall

David Nice

As I sat, engaged and occasionally charmed but not always as impressed as I’d been told I would be, through violinist-...

Don Quixote, Royal Ballet

Jenny Gilbert

The 1871 ballet that goes by the name of Don Quixote has always been a challenge to stage. Barely a tenth of its two hours-...

Stations of the Cross

Tom Birchenough

There is ice at the heart of German director’s Dietrich Brueggemann’s Stations of the Cross (Kreuzweg). Winner of this year’...

Dara Ó Bríain, Touring

Veronica Lee

It's always an education to see a comic – now a part of the British comedy establishment – performing a gig in his...

Posh People: Inside Tatler, BBC Two

Fisun Güner

It won’t come as much of a surprise to find that the staff at Tatler are a bit on the posh side – who’d have thought? – but...

Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames

Simon Munk

By far the majority of interactive art, entertainment and fiction – videogames for want of a better rubric – could be...

Saxon Court, Southwark Playhouse

Marianka Swain

Saxon Court joins the growing list of new plays tackling the economic collapse, and while lacking the creative innovation of...

Miloš Karadaglić, 'the guitar player of the people'

Adam Sweeting

Compared to grand divas, virtuoso pianists or stupendous fiddlers, legends of the classical guitar have been few in number....

Piranha Heights, Old Red Lion Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Like good wine, some plays improve with age. The first taste is sharp, and tickles the palate; further sips stimulate and...

Charles Lloyd / Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas, Barbican

Thomas Rees

It’s not easy to write about a gig when you’re still shaking with adrenaline, still less so when that gig is the grand...

 

SACRED MONSTERS, KHAN/GUILLEM, SADLER'S WELLS Dance approaches religious experience in the hands of two truly magnificent artists

SCI-FI WEEK: SCORING THE IMPOSSIBLE How can music express the unimaginable? 

THE NATIONAL, O2 ARENA Newer songs have their subtleties quashed by the demands of rock's big tent

THE LEGACY, SKY ARTS 1 Danish family saga promises heavy weather. Don't miss it

OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, PACE GALLERY A Russian artist who casts an affectionate eye over people going about their business 

disc of the day

CD: Trish Clowes – Pocket Compass

Clowes' third album condenses and refines her exquisite control of instrumental colour

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Listed

Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames
Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical
Listed: The World and Beyond - London Jazz Festival 2014
This year's festival promises further encounters with the strange and new
Listed: Wall Flowers - The Best of Berlin
It divided a city, but the Wall produced great stories and songs, dramas and films. We pick our favourites

We Made It

We Made It: Salmon Smoker Ole Martin-Hansen

Bringing the taste of the midnight sun to Stoke Newington

We Made It: Beardyman's Beardytron_5000mkIV

Ground-breaking improviser on the live composing kit he's had built from scratch

We Made It: Sub Pac Inventor John Alexiou

Meet the Canadian inventor changing the way you experience music

film

Hockney

Randall Wright's documentary reveals the sadness in Bradford's iconic blond

Sci-Fi Week: 2001: A Space Odyssey

The unassailable mother ship of science fiction movies is a sacred cow

DVD: Diary of a Lost Girl

Louise Brooks lights up Pabst's melodrama of a young girl's road to ruin and redemption

tv

Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty, Channel 5

Horrible history and medieval mayhem as the Plantaganets get the soap treatment

The Legacy, Sky Arts 1

Danish family saga promises heavy weather. Don't miss it

Posh People: Inside Tatler, BBC Two

Entertaining enough, but this three-parter is about as vapid as its subject

new music

Lily Allen, Brighton Centre

The pithy princess of femme-pop on affable rather than thrilling form

J-Sonics, The Hideaway, Streatham

Rocket-fuelled groove-jazzers take off into sonic space

CD: Trish Clowes – Pocket Compass

Clowes' third album condenses and refines her exquisite control of instrumental colour

classical

Sci-Fi Week: Scoring the Impossible

How can music express the unimaginable?

OAE, Tognetti, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Australian live-wire violinist leads classical and romantic string music with varying success

Miloš Karadaglić, 'the guitar player of the people'

How the man from Montenegro put the classical guitar in the spotlight

opera

Pelléas et Mélisande, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

A Pelléas of echoes and allusions, a dramatic revelation

The Gospel According to the Other Mary, English National Opera

Grace and pain stunningly interwoven in Adams's rich score and Sellars's luminous staging

L'Elisir d'Amore, Royal Opera

The sun shines out of Vittorio Grigolo's behind in a strong revival of Laurent Pelly's production

theatre

Saxon Court, Southwark Playhouse

Brassy office comedy recalls the early days of financial crisis

Piranha Heights, Old Red Lion Theatre

Excitingly relevant revival of Philip Ridley’s 2008 play about sibling rivalry and feral teenagers

God Bless the Child, Royal Court Theatre

New play about education is a gripping satire with a cast of bright eight-year-olds

visual arts

Olga Chernysheva, Pace Gallery

A Russian artist who casts an affectionate eye over people going about their business

The Institute of Sexology, Wellcome Collection

On the men and women who spent their lives researching sex

Imagine... Anselm Kiefer, BBC One

Entertaining but two-dimensional, Alan Yentob's account glosses over the artist's flaws

dance

Sacred Monsters, Khan/Guillem, Sadler's Wells

Dance approaches religious experience in the hands of two truly magnificent artists

Don Quixote, Royal Ballet

Carlos Acosta's sunny romp of a production returns, with improvements

Triptych, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Great dancers in long programme of new work by Baldwin, Jeyasingh and Page

comedy

Dara Ó Bríain, Touring

Irish comic is on cracking form on home turf

Noel Fielding, Eventim Apollo

Surreal fun from a delightfully playful comic

John Bishop, Touring

Short on jokes but long on charm

gaming

LittleBigPlanet 3

Child's play? This platform game with editor doesn't quite gel for kids or adults

Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames

Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical

Far Cry 4

Roam free in the mountain paradise of this first-person shooter. Perhaps too free…

latest comments

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