tue 25/04/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Peter Quantrill
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
"But is any of this normal?," asks poor Beatriz at the end of Act One. Of course not. She and 14 other grand creatures are crossing the space of an aristocratic drawing-room from...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Turning the real-life murder of an 11-year-old boy into a four-part TV drama carries obvious risks (might it be exploitative, sick or in bad taste, for instance?), but judging by...
Peter Culshaw
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Caetano Veloso is a unique figure in world popular music. As bright as the likes of David Byrne and Brian Eno, but also a genuine pop star, beloved by “chamber maids and taxi...
Matthew Wright
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Decade Zero is a new commission from acclaimed contemporary classical composer Dave Maric, receiving its world premiere this weekend at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Maric has...
Jenny Gilbert
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
For decades, but especially since the turn of the millennium, the arts have fretted over how to appeal to a younger audience. For ballet, this has meant playing down the notion of...
Robert Beale
Monday, 24 April 2017
The opening of a new concert hall offers two options for opinionizing: the venue itself – or the performances in it? Review the acoustics – or the music? It has to be a mixture of...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 24 April 2017
François-Xavier Roth is a distinctive presence at the podium. He is short and immaculately attired, and first appearances...
Russ Coffey
Monday, 24 April 2017
Best Troubadour is Bonnie Prince Billy's musical tribute to his "forever hero", country singer Merle Haggard...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 23 April 2017
It’s 25 years this year since Donna Leon introduced us to Commissario Guido Brunetti, a man who in his way has done as much...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 23 April 2017
In the second week of September 1979, Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to be Kind” entered the Top 40. A month later, it peaked at number...
Julian Curry
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Much of the brilliance of Shakespeare lies in the openness, or ambiguity, of his texts. Whereas a novelist will often...
Nick Hasted
Sunday, 23 April 2017
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Any More was Ellen Burstyn’s baby. Determined to use her clout after The Exorcist to make a film...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 22 April 2017
Text can sometimes be a prison. At its best, post-war British theatre is a writer’s theatre, with the great pensmiths – from...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 22 April 2017
Harald Genzmer: Music for Trautonium Peter Pichler (mixture trautonium) (Paladino Music)The trautonium is described here as...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 22 April 2017
For some of us Blur were an irritant during the 1990s rather than one of the decade’s premier bands. However, once Gorillaz...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 21 April 2017
Eddie Otchere is best known for the plethora of photographs he’s taken of artists from hip hop’s golden age, circa the late-...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 21 April 2017
Christopher Hampton's witty comedy, first performed in 1970, ingeniously inverts Molière's The Misanthrope, centring as it...
Demetrios Matheou
Friday, 21 April 2017
Within seconds – literally seconds – of Unforgettable it becomes apparent that this is the kind of film that in the late...
Robert Beale
Friday, 21 April 2017
The world premiere of a symphony by a British composer – Huw Watkins – was the chief attraction in the latest Hallé...
Howard Male
Friday, 21 April 2017
This is a bit of a curiosity. Kasai Allstars were bought to our attention by producer Vincent Kenis almost a decade ago,...

THEARTSDESK Q&A: ANNE SOFIE VON OTTER On starring in the premiere of The Exterminating Angel

THEARTSDESK ON VINYL: RECORD STORE DAY SPECIAL 2017 Reviews of Record Store Day vinyl exclusives, including Uriah Heep, Bochum Welt, Jaco Pastorius and Swet Shop Boys

ACTORS REVEAL THEIR SHAKESPEAREAN SECRETS On the 401st anniversary of the Bard's death, actor-author Julian Curry introduces his new book of interviews, Shakespeare On Stage Vol 2

★★★★ NUCLEAR WAR, ROYAL COURT New play about loss offers an unusually experimental and immersive experience

★★ THE PHILANTHROPIST, TRAFALGAR STUDIOS Revival of Christopher Hampton's academic satire lacks energy

★★★★ SUNDAY BOOK: DONNA LEON – EARTHLY REMAINS A busman's holiday for Commissario Brunetti

GORILLAZ - HUMANZ Damon Albarn's latest adventure is ripe with ear-wakening inventiveness

disc of the day

DVD: Dancer

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

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

Skilful ITV dramatisation of real-life murder story

The best TV to watch this week

theartsdesk picks the dramas, sitcoms and documentaries you shouldn't miss

Broadchurch review - the final reckoning

Farewell to the nation's favourite hinges on surprise


The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

DVD: Martin Scorsese - Two Early Films

An Oscar-winning detour into feminism, and a first bulletin from Little Italy

Unforgettable review - forgettable film

Sadly only the women are to blame for a risible thriller

new music

Caetano Veloso and Teresa Cristina, Barbican

Veteran Brazilian idol and new samba star warm up the Barbican

Decade Zero, Dave Maric, Phronesis, Engines Orchestra - preview

Composer, conductor and star bassist on exploring the worlds between jazz and classical chamber music

CD: Bonnie Prince Billy - Best Troubadour

Will Oldham remembers country legend Merle Haggard


Stoller Hall Opening, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester

New performance venue christened with a high-spirited weekend

Tamestit, LSO, Roth, Barbican

Gently radical readings, elevated by spellbinding viola virtuosity

Classical CDs Weekly: Harald Genzmer, Mendelssohn, Nicholas Phan

Early German electronica, teenage chamber music and stories told through song


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

Patience/Tosca, English Touring Opera

G&S wave a lily and Puccini gets down to basics on ETO's spring tour


The Best Plays in London
Shakespeare, Stoppard, wizards and more: theartsdesk's stage tips
'What did you do?' Actors reveal their Shakespearean secrets
On the 401st anniversary of the Bard's death, actor-author Julian Curry introduces his new book of interviews, Shakespeare On Stage Vol 2
Nuclear War, Royal Court review - ‘deeply felt and haunting’
Simon Stephens' new play about loss offers an unusually experimental and immersive experience


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

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

Geta Bratescu, Camden Arts Centre

A one-woman riot: the Romanian artist who has come in from the cold

latest comments

I can talk from first hand exp I am grateful to...

I wholeheartedly agree. The one grainy filming I...

I see maybe Chris broke it to the evidence room...

An excellent trio of reviews. I had read about...

Thanks for the review! Just one thing I'd like...

Thank you very much Graham! If anybody would like...

The clips in this documentary do make it worth...

Is that near-buried irony re Kenny Doughty's...


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