tue 16/09/2014

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

Xerxes, English National Opera

Alexandra Coghlan

Nicholas Hytner’s 1988 Magic Flute may have trilled its last at English National Opera, but judging by the wit, the joy and the energy on display last night it would be absolutely...

Forbidden Broadway, Vaudeville Theatre

David Nice

“It takes a star to parody one,” wrote theartsdesk’s Edward Seckerson, nailing the essence of this immortal spoof-fest’s last incarnation at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Star...

Glue, E4

Veronica Lee

Jack Thorne's new eight-part drama is set in a fictional but recognisable small English village, Overton, where life is centred on farming and racehorses. A green and pleasant...

Opinion: What's the point of short film?

Debbi Lander

The emergence of digital both as a technology and a culture has fundamentally changed the world in which short film now exists. Now short film has public, industry and social...

Cilla, ITV

Adam Sweeting

With Cilla Black still fighting fit and eminently telly-worthy at 71, it feels a bit odd to find a three-part dramatisation of her life popping up on ITV. Black apparently gave...

Maestri: Conductors at the 2014 Proms

theartsdesk

Chris Christodoulou is the official Proms photographer, writes David Nice. From his uniquely privileged position behind a velvet curtain, he captures the white heat of performance...

Francesca Woodman: Zigzag, Victoria Miro

Marina Vaizey

Francesca Woodman killed herself at the age of 22, the biographical fact that colours her work and which it is de riguer to...

The Village, Series 2 Finale, BBC One

Tom Birchenough

You may have had to search for his name in the closing credits of this final episode of series two of The Village, but all...

20,000 Days On Earth

Nick Hasted

This excellent documentary considerably deepens the Nick Cave we know. If there is a Cave other than the spiritually and...

Foo Fighters, Olympic Park

Matthew Wright

“There goes my hero,” sang the Foo Fighters at the end of the Invictus Games last night. True to form, the Foo Fighters’...

British Art at War: Bomberg, Sickert and Nash, BBC Four

Marina Vaizey

At the end of this absorbing documentary about the art – and life – of Paul Nash we visited his tombstone in a...

10 Questions for Actor Stellan Skarsgård

Kieron Tyler

“Haven’t we met before?” We hadn’t, but Stellan Skarsgård’s friendly greeting immediately sets the tone for an encounter...

Otello, English National Opera

Alexandra Coghlan

From one great operatic storm to another. 2014 opened at English National Opera with David Alden’s Peter Grimes, gale-tossed...

Last Night of the Proms, Jansen, Williams, BBCSO, Oramo

Sebastian Scotney

If only the Last Night of the Proms could just be about the music. If it were, then the story which I would want to tell...

Mulatu Astatke, Royal Festival Hall

Peter Culshaw

It was Jim Jarmusch’s film Broken Flowers that first really got Mulatu Astatke major Western attention – in same way that...

Down by Law

Graham Fuller

Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law is back in British cinemas 28 years after it joined Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It and...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Game Theory

Kieron Tyler

 Game Theory: Blaze of GloryThe news of the death on 15 April last year of Scott Miller was a shock. Although hardly a...

Blondie, O2 Academy, Birmingham

Guy Oddy

Blondie may have been around the block a few times since they got together in New York in 1974, but they seemingly have no...

theartsdesk in Helsinki: Niubi Festival

Kieron Tyler

Tulegur Gangzi describes his music as “Mongolian grunge” and “nomad rock.” Thrashing at an acoustic guitar, the Inner-...

Prom 75: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gilbert

Alexandra Coghlan

The silliness of the Last Night is really just a postscript to the penultimate night of the Proms, traditionally given over...

William Tell, Welsh National Opera

Stephen Walsh

A few months ago, while looking something up about Liszt’s piano piece “Chapelle de Guillaume Tell,” I discovered to my...

Boardwalk Empire, Series 5, Sky Atlantic

Adam Sweeting

Fans of this dense and rewarding odyssey of Prohibition and American gangsterism are doubtless still reeling from the news...

10 Questions for Singer Sarah-Jane Morris

Matthew Wright

Sarah-Jane Morris is in every sense an original voice. One of Britain’s most distinctive and versatile singers, she has...

Elbow, Roundhouse

Heidi Goldsmith

Punctually, following a tension-building countdown, Elbow entered the blue-lit stage at London’s legendary Roundhouse, beers...

 

10 QUESTIONS FOR ACTOR STELLAN SKARSGARD Sweden's succesful export talks about the humour in brutality, the nature of Scandinavia and Monty Python

LATE TURNER: PAINTING SET FREE, TATE BRITAIN Turner was a brilliantly radical artist, but was he of his time or outside it? Both, of course

MAESTRI: CONDUCTORS AT THE 2014 PROMS Chris Christodoulou's sensational shots of baton-wielders in action

MANUSCRIPTS DON'T BURN Stark view of contemporary Iran, part thriller, part naturalism, is chillingly memorable

20,000 DAYS ON EARTH Nick Cave's art is exposed in a playful, funny doc

THE VILLAGE, SERIES 2 FINALE, BBC ONE Gripping final episode, but is the very existence of 'The Village' threatened?

disc of the day

DVD: The Two Faces of January

A superb, elegant thriller that's excellent on the small screen

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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

Opinion: What's the point of short film?

The director of the Encounters Film Festival leaps to the short film's defence

DVD: The Two Faces of January

A superb, elegant thriller that's excellent on the small screen

20,000 Days On Earth

Nick Cave's art is exposed in a playful, funny doc

tv

Glue, E4

Jack Thorne's latest is a gripping whodunit set in the English countryside

Cilla, ITV

Anodyne biog sanitises showbusiness legend

The Village, Series 2 Finale, BBC One

Gripping final episode, but is the very existence of 'The Village' threatened?

new music

CD: The Juan MacLean – In a Dream

Intermittent thrills on third album from LCD Soundsystem-related electro-dance outfit

Foo Fighters, Olympic Park

Dave Grohl's band closes Invictus Games with a seismic blast of energy and goodwill

Mulatu Astatke, Royal Festival Hall

Ethiopian lounge lizard creates a new sonic world

classical

Maestri: Conductors at the 2014 Proms

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

Last Night of the Proms, Jansen, Williams, BBCSO, Oramo

Other agendas have swirled furiously around this year's Last Night

Prom 75: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gilbert

A monumental season's close to the 2014 Proms from a great orchestra

opera

Xerxes, English National Opera

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

Otello, English National Opera

A dark and potent Otello is David Alden at his best

William Tell, Welsh National Opera

Rossini's last opera is finely done but has rather too many longueurs

theatre

Forbidden Broadway, Vaudeville Theatre

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

King Charles III, Wyndham's Theatre

Pigott-Smith is the jewel in the crown of a provocative political comedy

Six of the best: Theatre

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

visual arts

Francesca Woodman: Zigzag, Victoria Miro

An exhibition that lends new insights and depth to the late photographer's work

British Art at War: Bomberg, Sickert and Nash, BBC Four

Andrew Graham-Dixon begins an excellent trilogy about World War One artists with Paul Nash

Late Turner: Painting Set Free, Tate Britain

Turner was a brilliantly radical artist, but was he of his time or outside it? Both, of course

dance

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

Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Circa, Beyond

Entertaining circus show from top-quality Australian ensemble

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

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

CounterSpy

Visually striking stealth-action game leaves one stirred, but not very shaken…

latest comments

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