sat 29/04/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Graham Rickson
Saturday, 29 April 2017
Laurence Crane: 6 Trios, 2 Solos and 1 Quintet The Ives Ensemble (RTF Classical)It's a rare pleasure to discover a contemporary composer whose work speaks with such effortless...
David Nice
Saturday, 29 April 2017
Many top Estonian musicians, performing among other works 30 premieres of music by their compatriots in just over a week, could just as well have appeared in the lead photograph...
Javi Fedrick
Saturday, 29 April 2017
Instead of resting on the laurels of the great music they made some 40 years ago, Blondie - still led by original members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein - are back with an album...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 28 April 2017
The simplest ideas are often the best. Here’s one – take AC/DC’s Tyneside-born vocalist Brian Johnson and get him to chew the fat with a list of fellow rock’n’roll veterans. Later...
Tom Birchenough
Friday, 28 April 2017
“Everything in extremity”. That announcement that the Capulet party is about to begin could just as well serve to describe Daniel Kramer’s Romeo and Juliet as a whole. Opening the...
Alexandra Coghlan
Friday, 28 April 2017
If Georg Friedrich Haas’s in vain was a work of political protest when it premiered in 2000, in 2017 it’s a piece that reads more like a commentary – a disturbing musical...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 28 April 2017
The original Guardians of the Galaxy from 2014 had a freshness to its humour and introduced audiences to a set of novel...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 28 April 2017
If Robert King and Michelle King, creators of The Good Wife, took the Joss Whedon line on sequels – “They are inevitably...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 28 April 2017
The Armenian genocide by the Ottomans during and after World War One killed 1.5 million people and is a wound that won’t...
Joe Muggs
Friday, 28 April 2017
Mary J Blige has a voice that was built to age gracefully. Gutsy, churchy, sometimes rough, it was miles away from the over-...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Playwright Duncan Macmillan has had a good couple of years. In 2015, his play People, Places and Things was a big hit at the...
Gavin Dixon
Thursday, 27 April 2017
You wouldn’t guess it from her name, but Janina Fialkowska isn’t actually Polish. You wouldn’t guess from her Chopin either...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 27 April 2017
The Scottish play’s traces are faint in this bloody, steamy tale of feminist psychosis. Based on Nikolai Leskov’s...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Shirley Collins was one of the Sixties British folk music revival’s central figures. Having built a reputation as a highly...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Three teenage boys meet at dawn. One of them, blonde and beautiful Simon (Gabin Verdet), jumps out of his girlfriend’s...
Peter Quinn
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Hosted by Jazz FM presenter, Jez Nelson, an impressively varied mix of UK and international artists from the worlds of jazz...
Tim Cumming
Thursday, 27 April 2017
He’s in his ninth decade, but with no signs of slowing down on stage or in studio, and the good news is that, while God...
Jenny Gilbert
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
There is a distinctive look, feel, even sound to a stage production directed by Ivo van Hove, which is becoming rather...
David Nice
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Bomb-dropping is the new black again in Trump's dysfunctional America. Awareness of that contributed to the crackling cloud...
Florence Hallett
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Flashes of intense colour pulse rhythmically across the piece, contrasting with delicate washes and pools of watery pigment...

★★★★ JANINA FIALKOWSKA, WIGMORE HALL Sensitive and supple readings get to the heart of Chopin

★★★ LADY MACBETH Feminist psychosis in 19th century Northumberland

★★★★ CITY OF GOD, LYRIC HAMMERSMITH Masterpiece of writer's 'New York Trilogy' is visually amazing, intellectually satisfying on stage

★★★★ DOCTOR ATOMIC, BBCSO, ADAMS, BARBICAN Gerald Finley reprises his tormented nuclear scientist in electrifying company

★★★★★ CHRIS OFILI, NATIONAL GALLERY Weaving with water: a tribute to Trinidad, the Old Masters and Mario Balotelli

★★★ CD: JOHN MELLENCAMP - SAD CLOWNS & HILLBILLIES Fanfares for the common man

disc of the day

CD: Blondie - Pollinator

Aiming for now-ness the perennial pop stalwarts hit a bump in the road

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The Good Fight review - 'flawless writing and acting'

Legal drama spin-off is as superlative as its precursor

Little Boy Blue review – 'the sum of all fears'

Skilful ITV dramatisation of real-life murder story


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 review - complacent, tedious, cynical

Sequel to the smash hit of 2014 boasts star cameos but lacks some of the original sparkle

The Promise review - genocide reduced to melodrama

Noble intentions don't do justice to historical horrors

Lady Macbeth review - 'memorably nasty'

Feminist psychosis in 19th century Northumberland

new music

CD: Blondie - Pollinator

Aiming for now-ness the perennial pop stalwarts hit a bump in the road

CD: Mary J Blige - Strength of a Woman

Can the hip hop soul survivor settle into elder stateswoman role on album 13?

CD: Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child

God may have a problem, but Willie's cool


Classical CDs Weekly: Laurence Crane, Martinů, Prokofiev

English minimalism, folk-inspired choral music and a wintry violin sonata

theartsdesk in Tallinn: From Dusk to Black at Estonian Music Days

Imaginative brilliance in a spectacular showcase for thriving new music scene

in vain, London Sinfonietta, Lubman, Royal Festival Hall

Haas's contemporary classic speaks louder than ever in the current political climate


Doctor Atomic, BBCSO, Adams, Barbican

Gerald Finley reprises his tormented nuclear scientist in electrifying company

The Exterminating Angel, Royal Opera

A savage new conversation piece lives up to its distinguished source

Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, EBS, Gardiner, Colston Hall, Bristol

Monteverdi Odyssey begins, aptly and superbly, with the last masterpiece


Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's Globe review - 'too much brouhaha'
There's vigour and violence, comedy too, but Daniel Kramer's production disappoints
City of Glass, Lyric Hammersmith review - ‘thrilling and enthralling Paul Auster adaptation’
Masterpiece of writer's 'New York Trilogy' is visually amazing, intellectually satisfying on stage


DVD: Dancer

Steven Cantor’s film tracks the making and breaking of ballet superstar Sergei Polunin

Betroffenheit, Crystal Pite & Jonathon Young, Sadler's Wells

Astonishing, unclassifiable work of dance theatre about an unrepresentable subject

Brighton Festival 2017: 12 Free Events

Brighton Festival CEO Andrew Comben's guide to this year's best free stuff


Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - 'politics is her patch'

Former Labour adviser finds the funny in politics

Our Friend Victoria review – ‘Victoria Wood’s genius is irreplaceable’

Julie Walters presents the first part of BBC One's series celebrating a comedian without equal


Mass Effect: Andromeda review - 'dialogue trumps visual presentation'

Is the final frontier one step too far for this sci-fi epic?

Horizon Zero Dawn

The sun shines brightly on this benchmark action RPG

Sniper Elite 4

Life through a long-range lens

visual arts

Chris Ofili, National Gallery

Weaving with water: a tribute to Trinidad, the Old Masters and Mario Balotelli

Queer British Art 1861-1967, Tate Britain

A vital selective history in images, but is much of it great art - and does it matter?

Michelangelo's Madonna and Child

Why the Taddei Tondo, on loan to the National Gallery's Michelangelo & Sebastiano exhibition, makes the perfect Easter image

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