mon 31/08/2015

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

The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV

Tom Birchenough

“Breezy” is hardly a word we associate with Ray Winstone. We’re more used to something like “big slab o’ bastard”, the epithet he got (they were biased Glaswegians, admittedly)...

Prom 60: Denk, San Francisco Symphony, Tilson Thomas

Geoff Brown

One astonishing creature was missing from the cavalcade of meerkats and whatnot featured in Sunday afternoon’s Life Story Prom introduced by Sir David Attenborough. I mean, of...

Murmel Murmel, King's Theatre, Edinburgh

David Kettle

It felt a bit like we were seeing things. At the fag-end of Edinburgh’s 2015 August of festival mayhem, with extreme exhaustion and input overload mixing to brain-addling effect...

CD: Micachu & The Shapes - Good Sad Happy Bad

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Bands that stand out live often disappoint on record: it can be difficult to capture the energy, the ferociousness, the vitality that makes a group of musicians special when you...

Oliver Sacks remembered

Howard Male

Oliver Sacks, peerless explorer of the human brain, has today died of cancer aged 82. Inspired by case histories of patients suffering from neurological disorders, Sacks's...

Prom 58: Kullervo, BBCSO, Oramo

Sebastian Scotney

Last night's Proms performance of Sibelius's Kullervo symphony was radiant, unforgettable, but there has also been a pure coincidence this past week which is simply too good...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Isley Brothers

Kieron Tyler

The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters (1958–1983)Head straight for Track 14, Disc 10’s quadrophonic...

Missa Solemnis, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

This was a performance laden with contradictions. After last weekend’s gargantuan Grande Messe des Morts, the standard issue...

CD: Public Image Ltd - What the World Needs Now...

Graham Fuller

John Lydon’s group went 20 years without cutting a studio album before issuing This Is PiL. A mere three years on, the...

Prom 57: Pires, COE, Haitink

David Nice

It’s hardly surprising that at the grand old age of 86 Bernard Haitink can pack them in at the Albert Hall so that there’s...

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Kieran Hodgson/ Richard Gadd/ Trygve Wakenshaw

Veronica Lee

Kieran Hodgson, Voodoo Rooms ★★★★When Kieran Hodgson was growing up in West Yorkshire in the early years of the century, he...

The Magic Flute, Komische Oper Berlin, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

In 2007, a tiny British theatre company called 1927 staged their first ever show at the Edinburgh Fringe – the darkly...

CD: The Naturals - On the Way (To the Laughing Light of Plenty)

Barney Harsent

Once upon a time, there was a label called Whatever We Want. As well as releasing vital, uncompromising records by Gareth “...

Classical CDs Weekly: Hugi Guðmundsson, Schubert, Les Siècles

Graham Rickson

Hugi Guðmundsson: Calm of the Deep The Hamrahlíd Choir/Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, Nordic Affect/Guðni Franzson (Smekkleysa)...

45 Years

Jasper Rees

“I can hardly be cross with something that happened before we existed.” Andrew Haigh is a two-hand specialist intrigued by...

McGregor/Spuck, Ballett Zürich, Edinburgh Playhouse

Hanna Weibye

New Edinburgh Festival director Fergus Linehan has made it clear he wants to offer things people actually want to see. So...

Entanglement/ That Man Stephen Ward, Presteigne Festival

Richard Bratby

Two dramas of sex, sleaze and death in the postwar London underworld: to outsiders, this double bill of chamber operas by...

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Joseph Morpurgo/ Daphne/ Tom Parry

Veronica Lee

Joseph Morpurgo, Pleasance Courtyard ***** In Soothing Sounds For Baby, Joseph Morpurgo uses found objects - vinyl LPs...

You Won't Succeed On Broadway If You Don't Have Any Jews, St James Theatre

Marianka Swain

Well, here’s an oddity. You Won’t Succeed... is too fragmented for musical theatre, too bombastic for cabaret, and about as...

DVD: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Kieron Tyler

Any film about a series of real-life unsolved murders is ready to be tagged as exploitation. With The Town That Dreaded...

Our Country's Good, National Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

The political wheel has turned full-circle. When Our Country’s Good was premiered in 1988, it was a barely-veiled protest...

Prom 55: SWR SO Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Roth

Peter Quantrill

The only reasonable explanation for the all too belated arrival at the Proms of the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Orchestra...

En Équilibre

Kieron Tyler

En Équilibre addresses the impact of disabling and irreparable injury, thwarted ambitions, the questionable practices of...

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Nish Kumar/ Adam Hess/ Dial Medicine for Murder/ Larry Dean

Veronica Lee

Nish Kumar, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★There's been so little out-and-out political comedy at this year's Fringe that it's...

 

OLIVER SACKS REMEMBERED Acclaimed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks has died aged 82

DVD: THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN Arch reimagining of a gruesome 1976 proto-slasher film of the same name

CD: PUBLIC IMAGE LTD - WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW... PiL builds up a head of steam with its second comeback record

HAMLET, BARBICAN Visuals threaten to swamp Shakespeare - and, yes, Sherlock

PROM 58: KULLERVO, BBCSO, ORAMO Superlative performance of Sibelius's early epic coincides with Tolkien publication

EN EQUILIBRE Finely formed tale of battling the odds from the director of 'The Page Turner'

disc of the day

CD: Micachu & The Shapes - Good Sad Happy Bad

Avant-garde art-pop from erstwhile BAFTA nominee

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We Made It

We Made It: Artist Grande Dame

Day-Glo Southern Gothic with artist and craftswoman Tiff McGinnis

We Made It: Coracle Maker Malcolm Rees

We Made It heads to South Wales to discover a living craft tradition

We Made It: Stage Technician Tom Robinson

Peek behind the scenes with the set builder of the Young Vic's amazing mirrored box for Caryl Churchill's A Number

tv

The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV

Ray Winstone surprises as concerned grandad - but old habits die hard

Oliver Sacks remembered

The acclaimed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks has died aged 82

A Day in the Life of Andy Warhol, BBC Four

24 hours in the king of Pop Art's shoes

film

45 Years

Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay shine in Andrew Haigh's wintry marital drama

DVD: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Arch reimagining of a gruesome 1976 proto-slasher film of the same name

En Équilibre

Finely formed tale of battling the odds from the director of 'The Page Turner'

new music

CD: Micachu & The Shapes - Good Sad Happy Bad

Avant-garde art-pop from erstwhile BAFTA nominee

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Isley Brothers

The American soul great’s late-Sixties to mid-Eighties captured on a hefty, in-depth snapshot

CD: Public Image Ltd - What the World Needs Now...

PiL builds up a head of steam with its second comeback record

classical

Prom 58: Kullervo, BBCSO, Oramo

Superlative performance of Sibelius's early epic coincides with Tolkien publication

Missa Solemnis, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Beethoven proves immune to Ticciati magic

Prom 57: Pires, COE, Haitink

Perfection within limits from a great conductor, pianist and chamber orchestra

opera

The Magic Flute, Komische Oper Berlin, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

A magical Flute, but an insufficiently human one

Entanglement/ That Man Stephen Ward, Presteigne Festival

An arresting new psychodrama from Charlotte Bray, and Thomas Hyde revival

Prom Chamber Music 6: Jeremy Denk/ Prom 53: Fray, Philharmonia, Salonen

Blocks of Bartók hit hard, but an orchestrated slab of earlyish Shostakovich falls flat

theatre

Murmel Murmel, King's Theatre, Edinburgh

Absurdist romp from Berlin's Volksbühne proves a hallucinatory if melancholy final theatre offering from this year's Edinburgh International Festival

You Won't Succeed On Broadway If You Don't Have Any Jews, St James Theatre

Jumbled revue is salvaged by its bright young things

Our Country's Good, National Theatre

Moments of poignancy and humour don't quite add up to this play's full dramatic weight

visual arts

Soup Cans and Superstars, BBC Four

Panorama of Pop art from Alastair Sooke ahead of the Tate Modern show

An Open Book: Bruce McCall

The distinguished writer and illustrator talks compensatory learning and the lure of Atlantic liners

An Open Book: Conrad Shawcross

The sculptor talks about his fascination with Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace and about the big ideas that inform his work

dance

McGregor/Spuck, Ballett Zürich, Edinburgh Playhouse

Contemporary dance formula ticks boxes, but fails to inspire

Seven, Ballett am Rhein/RSNO, Edinburgh Playhouse

Danced Mahler symphony is tour de force of energy and invention

Lo Real, Israel Galván, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Uncompromising look at gypsies under fascism is hard going, but rewarding

comedy

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Kieran Hodgson/ Richard Gadd/ Trygve Wakenshaw

Into the final lap at the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Joseph Morpurgo/ Daphne/ Tom Parry

Counting down at the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Nish Kumar/ Adam Hess/ Dial Medicine for Murder/ Larry Dean

Counting down at the world's biggest and best arts festival

gaming

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

When is a game not a game? When it's better than that

Volume

Purist stealth puzzles with too glossy a sheen?

A Day In The Woods

A simple but challenging puzzle with terrific good looks

Listed

Listed: Songs of Summer
From seaside nostalgia to a consumerist jihadi paradise, we list the sounds of summer
Listed: Precocious Writers
As the Royal Court introduces some very young playwrights, we celebrate the great child authors
Listed: Essential BBC Proms
Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

latest comments

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