mon 22/09/2014

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

Our Girl, BBC One

Lisa-Marie Ferla

If Molly Dawes (Lacey Turner) had to find one act of heroism with which to fully incorporate herself into her new squadron before the credits rolled, she couldn’t have planned it...

Downton Abbey, Series 5, ITV

Adam Sweeting

As unavoidable as death and taxes, as inevitable as the rotation of the seasons, Downton Abbey has created the illusion of time-hallowed permanence in a mere four years. It is...

Anthony Caro: The Last Sculptures, Annely Juda

Marina Vaizey

Late Titian, Late Rembrandt, Late Picasso, Late Matisse…. What is it with Late that seems to give some artists a Golden Age irradiated by a kind of sublime carelessness, a genuine...

Ida

Emma Simmonds

Sometimes a film has you swooning from the very first frame, and Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski's fifth narrative feature is one such film. The story of a nun's self-discovery...

La Traviata, Opera North

Graham Rickson

You’d expect a regional opera company to focus on the core repertoire in these economically challenging times. Happily, Opera North’s La traviata is a new staging and not a weary...

Benedetti, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Philip Radcliffe

Having been put to the fiddle at the age of five, Nicola Benedetti appreciates the value of making music at an early age. She is fiercely committed to music education and...

theartsdesk in Cadaqués: Inside Dalí

Markie Robson-Scott

In 1959, the walk to Salvador Dalí’s house in Portlligat seemed very long. I was on holiday with my parents in Cadaqués,...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Sun Ra

Kieron Tyler

 Sun Ra and his Arkestra: In the Orbit of RaUp till his death in 1993, the space-fixated jazz bandleader, composer,...

10 Questions for Musician Gruff Rhys

Jasper Rees

It hardly sounds like the springboard for an album, a film, a book and an app. In the 1790s a young Welsh explorer called...

Albion, Bush Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Opening on the day after the Scottish Referendum, Chris Thompson’s new play has a timely, even incendiary, title. It also...

Carmen, Welsh National Opera

Stephen Walsh

Popularity is all very well, but it can be a poisoned chalice. Braving the umpteenth revival of Carmen at WNO (original...

Classical CDs Weekly: Gallay, Emma Johnson, Wihan Quartet

Graham Rickson

Jacques-François Gallay: Chamber music for natural horn ensemble Les Chevaliers de Saint Hubert (Resonus)Shove a funnel in...

The Riot Club

Matt Wolf

Britain's young male elite behaves badly (to put it mildly) in The Riot Club, playwright Laura Wade's screen adaptation of...

Sarah Jane Morris, Union Chapel

Peter Quinn

Recorded in the UK, Johannesburg, Paris and Tel Aviv, Sarah Jane Morris's latest album, Bloody Rain, is undoubtedly a labour...

The Real Tudors, National Portrait Gallery

Florence Hallett

For all the political hurly burly, social change and religious upheaval of the Tudor period and the intriguing personal...

Goat Simulator

Stuart Houghton

You are a goat. You are an invincible goat. You are an invincible goat with a jetpack. You are an invincible goat with a...

Night Will Fall

Tom Birchenough

More than once in André Singer’s documentary Night Will Fall, his interviewees describe their experience as like “...

Legends, Sky 1 / The Strain, Watch

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Let's face it, there are so many big-budget, densely plotted US TV imports around now that it seems a little hackneyed to...

Joan Baez, Royal Festival Hall

Heidi Goldsmith

The next revolution of civil disobedience is unlikely to be a ticketed event, with a sedentary congregation of grey-haired,...

Romeo and Juliet, Victoria Baths, Manchester

Philip Radcliffe

Instead of that small well-worn stone balcony in that courtyard in Verona, picture an extended well-worn cast-iron balcony...

This World: Ireland's Lost Babies, BBC Two

Jasper Rees

We think we know the story. As recounted in Philomena, in the 1950s and ‘60s the Irish state and Catholic Church colluded in...

Jasper Johns: Regrets, Courtauld Gallery

Fisun Güner

In your ninth decade it may not come as a surprise to find death staring you in the face. But it might be unnerving if you’...

Doctor Scroggy’s War, Shakespeare’s Globe

Aleks Sierz

The number of plays commemorating the outbreak of the First World War continues to grow, with some already falling casualty...

The Murmuring/ Metheus/ Mesmerics, BalletBoyz, Linbury Studio Theatre

Hanna Weibye

The fabulous dancers known as BalletBoyz The Talent 2014 looked so at home in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre...

 

ALBION, BUSH THEATRE New play about English nationalism is timely, but undermined by its musical form

NICOLA BENEDETTI, BRIDGEWATER HALL, MANCHESTER The violinist demonstrates her passion for music education

CD: LEONARD COHEN - POPULAR PROBLEMS As he nears 80, Leonard Cohen continues to shine, miraculously

10 QUESTIONS FOR MUSICIAN GRUFF RHYS Super Furry Animal travels to the heart of America in pursuit of a long-lost multi-media tall tale

LA TRAVIATA, OPERA NORTH A fast-moving, well-cast production of Verdi's crowd-pleaser

LEGENDS, SKY 1 / THE STRAIN, WATCH Sean Bean joins the FBI and Guillermo del Toro does vampires

disc of the day

CD: U2 - Songs of Innocence

How the Dublin quartet went from garage band to Apple's corporate partner

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six of the best

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Six of the best: Theatre

Let the right Mormons in: a bit of everything in theartsdesk's tips

Six of the best: Art

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top exhibitions

film

Ida

Pawel Pawlikowski delivers on his early promise with an award-winning drama

10 Questions for Musician Gruff Rhys

Super Furry Animal travels to the heart of America in pursuit of a long-lost multi-media tall tale

DVD: Only Lovers Left Alive

A love story, cool vampire tale and wry comedy in one

tv

Our Girl, BBC One

Heroics in Helmand as Tony Grounds's drama gets the series treatment

Downton Abbey, Series 5, ITV

On this evidence, there's still plenty of life in Lord Fellowes's beloved national institution

Legends, Sky 1 / The Strain, Watch

Sean Bean joins the FBI and Guillermo del Toro does vampires: latest US drama

new music

CD: U2 - Songs of Innocence

How the Dublin quartet went from garage band to Apple's corporate partner

Reissue CDs Weekly: Sun Ra

Cautious entry-point into the world of the visionary jazz explorer

CD: Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems

As he nears 80, Leonard Cohen continues to shine, miraculously

classical

Benedetti, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

In a wonderful curtain-raiser violinist Nicola Benedetti demonstrates her passion for music education

Classical CDs Weekly: Gallay, Emma Johnson, Wihan Quartet

Rousing music for natural horns, clarinet sonatas and the Beatles as you've never heard them

Maestri: Conductors at the 2014 Proms

Chris Christodoulou's sensational shots of baton-wielders in action

opera

La Traviata, Opera North

A fast-moving, well-cast production of Verdi's crowd-pleaser

Carmen, Welsh National Opera

Bizet's crowd-pleasing masterpiece sadly creaks in this lazy, by-the-numbers revival

Xerxes, English National Opera

This vintage Handel is pretty, witty and more youthful than ever

theatre

Albion, Bush Theatre

New play about English nationalism is timely, but undermined by its musical form

Romeo and Juliet, Victoria Baths, Manchester

Designer rises to challenge of spectacular new venue

Doctor Scroggy’s War, Shakespeare’s Globe

Howard Brenton’s First World War play is interesting, but not always convincing

visual arts

Anthony Caro: The Last Sculptures, Annely Juda

New formulations and materials preoccupied the late sculptor to the end

theartsdesk in Cadaqués: Inside Dalí

A Catalan fishing village is the world capital of Surrealism

The Real Tudors, National Portrait Gallery

A modest but groundbreaking display brings together portraits of a great dynasty

dance

The Murmuring/ Metheus/ Mesmerics, BalletBoyz, Linbury Studio Theatre

New works show all-male company on top form

KnowBody, Sadler's Wells

Older performers show dance is not just a young person's game

Sampling the Myth, Royal Ballet

Mixture of old and new makes for a colourful journey through mythology

comedy

Forbidden Broadway, Vaudeville Theatre

Fearless foursome spoofs the poker-faced and the overblown in magnificent Menier transfer

Joan Rivers, 1933-2014

The first lady of comedy whose biggest dread was an empty diary

Steen Raskopoulos, Soho Theatre

Superb character comedy from Australian debutant

gaming

Goat Simulator

You'll believe a goat can sort of fly

Destiny

The biggest game of a generation leaves an empty hole in space

Appointment with F.E.A.R.

Nostalgic superheroics updated for the smartphone era

latest comments

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