mon 27/04/2015

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

Die Walküre Act 3, WNO, Koenigs, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Stephen Walsh

There’s a lot to be said for concert performances of Wagner. Not only are you spared the post-prandial lucubrations of aspirant directors – the moonmen and the fighter pilots, the...

Stonehearst Asylum

Nick Hasted

Stonehearst Asylum is bookended by classic Hammer horror scenes. Within minutes of Dr Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) being dropped off at the titular, fog-bound mansion by a...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dion

Kieron Tyler

 Dion: Recorded Live at the Bitter End August 1971By 1971, when he was playing the Bitter End in New York’s Greenwich Village, Dion DiMucci had already experienced the...

The Return of Peter Perrett

Thomas H Green

Five songs. Five new songs is what we get. Not much on the face of it but this is still a very special occasion. Peter Perrett has resurfaced and in the basement of Rough Trade...

The Fall, Brixton Electric

Tim Cumming

They begin with “My Door is Never” from 2007 album Reformation Post TLC, and close a little over an hour later with “Sparta FC”, from early in the century, and from a long-gone...

Ahnen, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Jenny Gilbert

You’re already in the land of the unpredictable with Pina Bausch. Creating unease was her métier. But when she pulls a gag intended to convince you that something has gone badly...

John Wood and Paul Harrison, Carroll/Fletcher

Sarah Kent

Described by the Tate as the Laurel and Hardy of the art world, John Wood and Paul Harrison are best known for appearing in...

Fitzwilliam Quartet, Hay Chamber Music Festival

Stephen Walsh

If the thought of the annual trek to Hay-on-Wye for the literary festival in May fills you with as much gloom as it does me...

Tales From the Tour Bus: Rock 'n' Roll on the Road, BBC Four

Barney Harsent

This latest Friday night vehicle for archive footage and pop performances was the tour bus, as BBC4 invited us to hop into...

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Brahms, Bruch, Hartmann

Graham Rickson

 Malcolm Arnold: Symphonies 1-9 London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox, BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba (Chandos)Malcolm...

We Made It: Candle Maker Ted Thompson

Heather Neill

The arts will always rely on craft – and that goes a hundredfold when period detail is important. The atmosphere of Sam...

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Nick Hasted

Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel loses much of the original’s exhilarating freshness. It begins in the middle, doesn’t really...

LSO, Eötvös, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Time was when a Boulez concert with the LSO would have been directed by the man himself, but that is no longer possible. In...

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

The trouble with the general election is that while everybody talks about money, nobody talks about ideas. We know the price...

10 Questions for Human Rights Campaigner Shami Chakrabarti

Thomas H Green

Shami Chakrabarti (b. 1969) is the director of the civil liberties organisation Liberty, a position she famously and, some...

W1A, Series 2, BBC Two

Jasper Rees

Should the BBC take the piss out of itself? Of course we must all laugh at our own failings, but the function of satire is...

ATTHIS, Linbury Studio Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

I do wish that arts institutions would stop using the word “immersive” when they simply mean “staged”. Just to be clear,...

Panti: High Heels in Low Places, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Panti Bliss is not a name on many people's lips outside Ireland, but over the past year she has gone from little-known club...

The Quest Keeper

Stuart Houghton

Normally if you throw together three genres of videogame, the result is a mess. The Quest Keeper however, is a curious...

Clarion, Arcola Theatre

Marianka Swain

“Fury Over Sharia Law For Toddlers!” No, not a prime example of spoof headline generator Daily Mail-o-matic, but the latest...

Public Service Broadcasting, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Thomas H Green

A band are doing well if they have their audience laughing and cheering before they’ve even hit the stage. Such is the case...

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Kieron Tyler

If A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence induces reflections on the nature of existence, the resultant mood...

Three Tales, Ensemble BPM, IMAX Science Museum

David Nice

Poised vibrantly enough between the buried-alive monotony of Philip Glass and the dynamic flights of John Adams, Steve Reich...

This World: World’s Richest Terror Army, BBC Two

Tom Birchenough

You haven’t had to actually watch the brutal executions staged by Islamic State (IS, or ISIS or ISIL, as it’s also known) to...

 

THE QUEST KEEPER Keep on movin' in this endless runner, roguelike and more mash-up

DVD: MODEL FOR MURDER Knives fly in Mayfair, in a British Fifties curio

CD: OLIVIA CHANEY - THE LONGEST RIVER The young English singer's long-awaited album delivers treasures

THE RETURN OF PETER PERRETT One of the late Seventies' most talented but elusive returns

TALES FROM THE TOUR BUS: ROCK 'N' ROLL ON THE ROAD, BBC FOUR A tale of bands in vans that, for the most part, stuck to familiar routes

FITZWILLIAM QUARTET, HAY CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL New chamber festival is a refreshing antidote to second-hand books

disc of the day

CD: Andreya Triana - Giants

Five years in the making, Triana's second album is well worth the wait

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We Made It

We Made It: Candle Maker Ted Thompson

From Cumbria to the Globe, it's Ted's beeswax

We Made It: Digital Knitters Knyttan

Digital technology and craft principles creating one-off designs

We Made It: Art & Makers Collective Garudio Studiage

Meet the makers of objets de pop art in the heart of London

tv

Tales From the Tour Bus: Rock 'n' Roll on the Road, BBC Four

A tale of bands in vans that, for the most part, stuck to familiar routes

W1A, Series 2, BBC Two

It's still sharp, but should the BBC be flagellating itself a second time?

This World: World’s Richest Terror Army, BBC Two

Untangling the structure of Islamic State reveals the scale of the enemy

film

Stonehearst Asylum

A superior, all-star Gothic melodrama, with more ideas than thrills

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Inferior but lively superhero sequel

new music

CD: Andreya Triana - Giants

Five years in the making, Triana's second album is well worth the wait

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dion

Confident and previously unheard early Seventies concert from 'The ‘Wanderer’

CD: Olivia Chaney - The Longest River

The young English singer's long-awaited album delivers treasures

classical

Fitzwilliam Quartet, Hay Chamber Music Festival

New chamber festival is a refreshing antidote to second-hand books

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Brahms, Bruch, Hartmann

British symphonies, German violin concertos and a dark 20th-century opera

LSO, Eötvös, Barbican

Rituals of savagery and grief from Stravinsky and Boulez

opera

Die Walküre Act 3, WNO, Koenigs, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Wagner in concert finely paced, with only minor visual distractions

ATTHIS, Linbury Studio Theatre

A gorgeous play of music and emotion based on the erotic love poetry of Sappho

Jenůfa, Scottish Opera

A powerful account of Janáček's disquieting drama

theatre

Ahnen, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Family lore and deep-seated fears explored with surprising humour, and a technical glitch

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre

Revival of Caryl Churchill’s 1976 play about radicals in the English Civil War is an acquired taste

Clarion, Arcola Theatre

Insider tabloid takedown has real pre-election heft

visual arts

John Wood and Paul Harrison, Carroll/Fletcher

The Laurel and Hardy of the art world venture from comedy to failed utopian dreams

Sonia Delaunay, Tate Modern

Eclipsed by her painter husband, the artist is finally receiving full recognition

YZ Kami, Gagosian Gallery

Hypnotically arresting portrait and abstract paintings that play with variation and repetition

dance

Ahnen, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Family lore and deep-seated fears explored with surprising humour, and a technical glitch

BBC Young Dancer 2015, BBC Four

Impressive talents in remarkably gimmick-free Beeb competition

La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

Ashton's pastoral comedy of love among the haystacks continues to thrill and delight

comedy

Panti: High Heels in Low Places, Soho Theatre

Drag artist tells her charming and funny story

James Freedman: Man of Steal, Menier Chocolate Factory

The art of pickpocketing explained, plus some corny patter

The Pub Landlord, Touring

Al Murray on terrific form with his appalling creation

gaming

The Quest Keeper

Keep on movin' in this endless runner, roguelike and more mash-up

Mortal Kombat X

Blood, gore and violence – fun beat 'em up action, but not for the faint-hearted

The Trace: Murder Mystery Game

Sleuthing on the go with this detective adventure game

Listed

Listed: The Very Best of 2015
theartsdesk's writers recommend the one thing above all to look forward to in each art form
Listed: The Facts about Factual TV in 2014
This year's documentaries climbed high and swung low on Britain's social ladder
Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames
Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical

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