fri 24/03/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Hanna Weibye
Friday, 24 March 2017
Is English National Ballet's current predilection for acquiring European repertoire some kind of anti-Brexit statement, or just smart brand positioning? Last night's performance...
David Nice
Friday, 24 March 2017
It's a rare concert when nothing need be questioned about the orchestral playing. The usual nagging doubts – about whether any of the London orchestras has a recognisable sound-...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 24 March 2017
The beauty of fiction is that its stories have both compelling shape and deep meaning – they are dramas where things feel right and true and real. The trouble with real life is...
Tom Birchenough
Friday, 24 March 2017
Politics certainly caught up with Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius. The Brazilian director and his cast appeared at their Cannes competition premiere last year with placards...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 24 March 2017
Craig David’s two-hour show, in two parts, receives an ecstatic response in Brighton. The audience, dominated by women in their twenties, is loudly vocal in their appreciation,...
Jasper Rees
Friday, 24 March 2017
“The following images are extremely graphic.” The words appeared in white lettering against a black background, two-thirds of the way in. For the next minute, the screen filled...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 24 March 2017
This is the Italian cinema Berlusconi suppressed. Elio Petri directed broadsides between the crossfire of the Sixties and...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 23 March 2017
In space, no-one can hear you say “hang on, haven’t I seen this before?” The sprawling, labyrinthine space ship full of...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 23 March 2017
Silver Eye is Goldfrapp’s seventh long-player in an 18-year career that has taken in electronica sounds of all stripes. It...
Jenny Gilbert
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
What’s in a yellow dress? Hope over experience? Reckless confidence? This is a legitimate question when the second big cross...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Tommy Sissons is a 21-year-old poet, originally from Brighton, now based in London. He has won a number of poetry slam...
Peter Quantrill
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Isn’t it funny? You wait ages for an opera by an eleven-year-old and then two turn up at once. The world’s feature...
Grayson Perry
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
I have always felt very lucky to have been working as an artist in London during the period when it transformed into the...
Russ Coffey
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
On Jethro Tull's classic "Songs from the Wood" Ian Anderson promised "all things refined". And refined the band certain has...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
What's in a name? Terence Rattigan’s Love in Idleness is a reworking of his 1944 play Less Than Kind (never staged at the...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Percy Fawcett: does the name ring a bell? He ought by rights to sit in the pantheon of boys’ own explorers alongside Cook...
Marina Vaizey
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
The soothing voice of David Attenborough narrated this cautionary tale, which is improbably heading not for a happy ending...
Kieron Tyler
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
The two words cut to the chase. The cast play, or actually are, maniacs. There are lots of them. Multiple Maniacs also nods...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 20 March 2017
In the end, SS-GB promised more than it could deliver, but it still left us with some memorable images (not least in the...
Nick Hasted
Monday, 20 March 2017
Olivier Assayas was born into French cinema, as the son of screenwriter Jacques Remy, but his three acclaimed decades as a...

★★★★ THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, ST JOHN'S SMITH SQUARE The miraculous maturity of the 11-year-old Mozart

10 QUESTIONS FOR POET TOMMY SISSONS Rising young poet talks war, grime, social media and... poetry

FOURTH PLINTH: How London created the smallest sculpture park in the world

LINE OF DUTY RETURNS Series 4 of Jed Mercurio's police thriller begins on BBC One on Sunday

★★★★ AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Christopher Wheeldon's staging at the Dominion is the most glamorous escape in town

★★★★ CRYSTAL PITE, FLIGHT PATTERNS, ROYAL BALLET Extraordinary première by Canadia choreographer explores refugee experience through dance

★★★ LIFE Is there life on Mars? It would appear so

CD: GOLDFRAP - SILVER EYE Hipster electro-poppers fall between two stools

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Property Is No Longer a Theft

Elio Petri's grotesque thriller dissects Seventies Italy's rotten heart

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Syria’s Disappeared review - 'must-watch can't-look record of Assad's atrocities'

Channel 4 documentary makes the case against Assad with indelible images and testimony

Puerto Rico: Island of Enchantment – Natural World, BBC Two

Caribbean conservationists fight back against man-made mayhem

SS–GB, Series Finale, BBC One

It was the Germans wot won it


Aquarius review - 'the unease of contemporary Brazil'

Brazilian star Sonia Braga shines in unsettling portrayal of her country today

DVD/Blu-ray: Property Is No Longer a Theft

Elio Petri's grotesque thriller dissects Seventies Italy's rotten heart

Life review - 'knuckle-gnawing moments of panic'

Is there life on Mars? It would appear so

new music

Craig David, Brighton Centre

UK garage pop comeback sensation sends Brighton doolally

CD: Goldfrapp – Silver Eye

Hipster electro-poppers fall between two stools

10 Questions for Poet Tommy Sissons

Rising young poet talks war, grime, social media and... poetry


Buchbinder, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

Ideal orchestral Brahms under an already great young Czech conductor

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Sibelius, Temple University Wind Symphony

Baroque violin music, rare Finnish songs, and a set of wind and brass concertos

Bryars and Reich, London Philharmonic Orchestra, RFH

Excitement and emotion in an evening of minimalist classics


The First Commandment, Classical Opera, St John’s Smith Square

The teenage Mozart's miraculous maturity

Partenope, English National Opera

Everyone in this Handel revival makes froth seem stylish and effortless

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Royal Opera

No joy or lightness in Kasper Holten's messy Wagner, despite high musical values


The Kid Stays in the Picture, Royal Court, review – ‘sad, bad and sprawling’
Cut! Simon McBurney muddles the story of Hollywood mogul Robert Evans
An American in Paris review - 'stagecraft couldn't be slicker'
Christopher Wheeldon's staging at the Dominion is the most glamorous escape in town
The Best Musicals in London
We recommend the top shows in musical theatre


Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Dancers wow in iconic Stravinsky piece, but Forsythe and van Manen need more work

Crystal Pite, Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet

Extraordinary première by Canadian choreographer explores refugee experience through dance

Project Polunin, Sadler's Wells

Can ballet's bad boy live up to the hype?


Peter Kay's Dance for Life, Ricoh Arena Coventry

School disco with lots of laughs

Miles Jupp, London Palladium

A gentle meander through life's vicissitudes

The UK Pun Championships, Leicester Comedy Festival

Wordplay galore as jokesmiths battle for title


Horizon Zero Dawn

The sun shines brightly on this benchmark action RPG

Sniper Elite 4

Life through a long-range lens

The Best Games of 2016

theartsdesk's gamers choose their personal highlights of the year

visual arts

Fourth Plinth: How London Created the Smallest Sculpture Park in the World

Celebrating Trafalgar Square's infamous empty plinth, and its role in changing attitudes to contemporary art

French Touch, Red Gallery

Ground-breaking exhibition digs into the history of French electronic music

Michelangelo & Sebastiano, National Gallery

Exceptional loans redeem poor display in a tale of two Renaissance masters

latest comments

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