fri 12/02/2016

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

A Bigger Splash

Adam Sweeting

A "guests-from-hell" saga on a panoramic scale, Luca Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash is a reworking of Jacques Deray's 1969 sex-and-jealousy movie La Piscine. The action has been...

"...como el musguito...", Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Sitting near the front at a Pina Bausch piece always provokes anxiety. As my neighbour in the fourth row remarked, "at best, we'll get offered a cup of tea; at worst, anything...

The End of Longing, Playhouse Theatre

Marianka Swain

Jack is an alcoholic. Stephanie is a whore. Joseph is stupid. Stevie is a broody neurotic. These identifiers are proudly proclaimed in the first minute of Matthew Perry’s debut...

Mahler 3, Fink, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

Peter Quantrill

 ‘It’s all very well, but you can’t call it a symphony.’ So said William Walton of Mahler’s Third, all six movements and a hundred minutes of it. Jakub Hrůša conducted the...

Toast, Rose Theatre, Kingston

Ismene Brown

If one says, accurately, that Richard Bean’s Toast is a comedy about Hull’s lost bread industry, trade unions and the poor working man, you will possibly yawn and turn the page....

DVD: Fidelio: Alice's Journey

Kieron Tyler

Fidelio: Alice's Journey can literally be described as relating a journey of self-discovery. A mechanic on the Marseille-registered freighter Fidelio, the equally titular Alice...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Jasper Rees

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” Miss Bennet...

Callow, Hough, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

David Nice

2015, Sibelius anniversary year, yielded no London performances of the composer's last masterpiece, the Prospero's farewell...

CD: Rokia Traoré, Né So

Mark Kidel

The Malian music scene has always been dominated by the griot caste, the jalis who serve as historians, praise-singers and...

Happy Valley, Series 2, BBC One

Jasper Rees

“It’s routine, it’s procedure.” “It’s wank, it’s toss.” As you can tell, Happy Valley is back. If Sally Wainwright made...

The Survivalist

Adam Sweeting

This is the first feature by writer-director Stephen Fingleton, and has earned him a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut...

Zavalloni, Saeijs, Britten Sinfonia, Rundell, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

The music of Louis Andriessen is instantly recognisable but frustratingly difficult to define. The American Minimalists are...

Horace and Pete

Barney Harsent

“Warning: this show is not a ‘comedy,’” wrote comedian Louis CK in an email alerting fans to the impending arrival of the...

Rock History Revisited in HBO's Vinyl

Adam Sweeting

It was 20 years ago that Mick Jagger suggested to Martin Scorsese that they should make a film "that spanned four decades of...

CD: The Jezabels - Synthia

Lisa-Marie Ferla

It would be easy to write off The Jezabels’ third album as style over substance. The gaudy, synth-heavy gloom-pop of Synthia...

Generation Painting 1955-65, Heong Gallery, Cambridge

Marina Vaizey

The individual colleges of the University of Cambridge can call, when needed, on an astonishing international network of...

The Mighty Handful, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House

David Nice

What fun it must have been to attend any of the St Petersburg Free Music School concerts during the second half of the 19th...

The X-Files, Channel 5

Lisa-Marie Ferla

It’s 2016, and The X-Files is the most popular TV show in the world. The very idea that over 20 million people in the US...

CD: Barry Adamson - Know Where To Run

Guy Oddy

If these decisions were made on the back of quality and creativity rather than marketing muscle, Barry Adamson wouldn’t just...

War and Peace, Series Finale, BBC One

David Nice

At the end of Episode Five, Brian Cox's savvy old Field-Marshal Kutuzov gave the order to retreat and abandon Moscow, with...

Bruegel in Black and White: Three Grisailles Reunited, Courtauld Gallery

Florence Hallett

Now that Renaissance altarpieces live for the most part in museums and not churches, our experience of them is, quite...

We Made It: Stuntwoman Tracy Caudle

Florence Hallett

With a raft of high-quality digital effects available, real stunts might seem a little old-fashioned. In truth, the art of...

CD: Wendy James - The Price of the Ticket

Thomas H Green

In the latter half of the 1980s, Wendy James’s band Transvision Vamp created quite a stir. Their music, including a chart-...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Long Ryders

Kieron Tyler

For its 6 April 1985 issue, the NME chose The Long Ryders as its cover stars. The colour picture of the band was emblazoned...

 

SIX OF THE BEST: THEATRE 'The mother of the blues' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

HORACE AND PETE Louis CK defies expectations with his brand new 'not a comedy' show

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES Lily James reincarnates Elizabeth Bennet as a slayer of the undead

THE SURVIVALIST The end of the world as we know it

GENERATION PAINTING 1955-65, HEONG GALLERY, CAMBRIDGE New Downing space opens with the mid-century collection of former Tate director Alan Bowness

disc of the day

DVD: Fidelio: Alice's Journey

Despite smatterings of the ludicrous, a spiced-up sea voyage brings self-discovery

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We Made It

We Made It: Stuntwoman Tracy Caudle

Forget Evel Knievel: a well-crafted stunt is more about precision than daring

We Made It: 'The Revenant' Production Designer Jack Fisk

How he stunningly recreated the authentic American frontier of 1823

We Made It: Double Bass Maker Laurence Dixon

Love at first sight, a six-day week and the satisfaction of a job well done

tv

Happy Valley, Series 2, BBC One

Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire return to police work in Yorkshire laden with BAFTAs

Horace and Pete

Louis CK defies expectations with his brand new 'not a comedy' show

Rock History Revisited in HBO's Vinyl

Scorsese and Jagger shine a light on the Seventies music business

film

A Bigger Splash

Last tango in Pantelleria

DVD: Fidelio: Alice's Journey

Despite smatterings of the ludicrous, a spiced-up sea voyage brings self-discovery

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Lily James reincarnates Elizabeth Bennet as a slayer of the undead

new music

CD: Rokia Traoré, Né So

A Malian singer with a touch of vulnerability

CD: The Jezabels - Synthia

Aussie four-piece throw out the rulebook on immersive third album

CD: Barry Adamson - Know Where To Run

Ex-Bad Seed lays down some fine cinematic soul

classical

Mahler 3, Fink, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

The biggest symphony is wholehearted but missing the bigger picture

Callow, Hough, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

Rainbow colours in Sibelius's masterly incidental music for 'The Tempest'

Zavalloni, Saeijs, Britten Sinfonia, Rundell, Barbican

Subtle connections help frame fascinating portrait of the Dutch pioneer

opera

The Magic Flute, English National Opera

Mozart's opera rediscovers its magic in this revelatory revival

The Devil Inside, Peacock Theatre

Compelling new Faustian-pact opera is small in scale but big on ideas

L'Étoile, Royal Opera

Chabrier's pretty music for an absurdist comedy needs more sparkle

theatre

The End of Longing, Playhouse Theatre

The one where love conquers all in Matthew Perry's fatally artificial debut

Toast, Rose Theatre, Kingston

Richard Bean's ribald bakery comedy is proof of a gap year well spent

Six of the best: Theatre

'The mother of the blues' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

visual arts

Generation Painting 1955-65, Heong Gallery, Cambridge

New Downing College space opens with the mid-century collection of former Tate director Alan Bowness

Bruegel in Black and White: Three Grisailles Reunited, Courtauld Gallery

Virtuoso works by the Netherlandish master dazzle and beguile

Painting the Modern Garden, Royal Academy

Monet triumphs in a celebration of nature tamed

dance

"...como el musguito...", Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Tanztheater Wuppertal in choreographer's gentle last work

The Return, Circa, Barbican

Exile-themed circus show is rather too serious

Rhapsody/The Two Pigeons, Royal Ballet

Too much sugar in Ashton double bill

comedy

Reeves & Mortimer, Leicester De Montfort Hall

The gloriously daft duo return

Dave Gorman, Touring

Likeable comic points out life's inanities

Eddie Izzard, Palace Theatre

Surreal comic kicks off his West End run

gaming

The Room 3

A tactile puzzle of ingenious construction

Life Is Strange Limited Edition

Acclaimed graphic adventure episodes finally gets the boxset treatment

Best of 2015: Games

Action replay! We select the top titles from a vintage year in games

Listed

Listed: Forget the Force
Star Wars wasn't the only groundbreaking film of 1977. We identify some others
The 11 Best Gigs on Film (after Stop Making Sense)
As Talking Heads' masterpiece is restored on disc, we hail the great screen concerts
Listed: The 100 Funniest Things about Downton Abbey
Julian Fellowes' juggernaut has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in six series. Here's how he did it

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