sat 30/05/2015

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Pelléas et Mélisande, Welsh National Opera

Stephen Walsh

Debussy completed only one opera (though he started plenty), but it’s the most perfect work imaginable, not only in sheer musical refinement and narrative precision, but in...

Robbins/MacMillan Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

Last night at the Royal Ballet was, emphatically, laser-free. The combination of Afternoon of a Faun (1953) and In the Night (1970) by the great American choreographer Jerome...

Schubert Sonatas 2, Barenboim, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Personality is essential for Schubert’s piano sonatas. Listen to two recordings of the same one and you could easily think they are different works, such is the performer's input...

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Lisa-Marie Ferla

It seems a peculiar conceit to pack up a full symphony orchestra and choir and take them the length of the UK solely to perform suites of music from a popular television show...

CD: The Darkness - Last of Our Kind

Russ Coffey

The Darkness, despite their current sober lifestyle, claim to be back with music that makes “women weak at the knees and men shit their pants”. If only! The lorry loads of booze...

Classical CDs Weekly: Nielsen, Choir of Gonville & Caius College, St Peter's Singers

Graham Rickson

 Nielsen: Symphonies 2 and 6 Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo (BIS)Few composers' music can blow away the cobwebs quite like that of Carl Nielsen, and...

When Pop Ruled My Life, BBC Four

Jasper Rees

A long time ago I went out into the field to research a feature about the three ages of obsessive fandom. At the entry level...

We Made It: Jonathan Thomas, Maker

Simon Munk

Jonathan Thomas helped set up Thomas Heatherwick Studios, having met the man behind the Olympic Cauldron, new double-decker...

San Andreas

Matt Wolf

Time gets called on California in San Andreas, a bone-headed disaster movie that sends huge swathes of the West Coast...

DVD: Wild

Graham Fuller

Wild is solid, but Reese Witherspoon wasn’t necessarily the best choice to play a woman who took a 1,100-mile hike on the...

Sunset

Simon Munk

1972, a South American revolution, seen through the eyes of a cleaner. Sunset neatly side-steps the usual banana republic...

Man Up

Katherine McLaughlin

American actress Lake Bell turns in a rather charming performance in a romcom written by newcomer Tess Morris, who handles...

Sylvie Guillem, Life in Progress, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Sylvie Guillem is retiring in exactly the same way as she does everything: in her own time and on her own terms. She turns...

Schubert Sonatas 1, Barenboim, RFH

Jessica Duchen

It’s not often that you arrive for a piano recital to see members of the audience on the stage, clustering around the...

Fleetwood Mac, Reunion Tour, O2 Arena

Jasper Rees

To begin at the very bizarre ending. Fleetwood Mac, finally reunited as a five-piece with Christine McVie stage right on...

Temple, Donmar Warehouse

Aleks Sierz

St Paul’s Cathedral is an icon of national identity. The building that rose up from the fire and smoke of the Blitz has also...

Timbuktu

Emma Simmonds

The imposition of a brutal jihadist regime is relayed with formidable articulacy and a surprising lightness of touch in this...

SunTrap, BBC One

Matthew Wright

Gravelly, Winstone-esque banter about the trauma of putting down the sawn-off and having to stop for red lights. Poor taste...

CD: Jamie xx - In Colour

Thomas H Green

There has never been any doubt of Jamie xx’s skill as a producer. Since he first appeared with the spectral, soundscaped...

Danny Collins

Matt Wolf

Al Pacino gives it his barnstorming all as Danny Collins, an ageing, coke-rattled rocker who calls it quits in order to...

The Beaux' Stratagem, National Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

Between Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and Everyman it was beginning to look like we were never going to get a proper...

Common People Festival, Southampton

Caspar Gomez

Perhaps it was after Bestival 2008 that its organizer, Rob da Bank, made his pact with the ancient gods. That year the Robin...

Ehnes, Armstrong, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Violinists either fathom the elusive heart and soul of Elgar’s music or miss the mark completely. Canadian James Ehnes, one...

CD: Major Lazer - Peace is the Mission

Guy Oddy

When producers Diplo and Switch released their collaboration Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers do under the guise of Major...

 

SYLVIE GUILLEM, LIFE IN PROGRESS, SADLER'S WELLS Ballerina says goodbye with new works from Khan, Maliphant

MAN UP Lake Bell and Simon Pegg star in a romantic comedy with a manic screwball edge

LISTED: ESSENTIAL BBC PROMS Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

SUNSET A story of violent revolution, told without violence, from the sidelines

WE MADE IT: JONATHAN THOMAS, MAKER The designer maker on the future of furniture and working with Thomas Heatherwick

CD: JAMIE XX - IN COLOUR xx producer's solo foray takes a unique, disembodied wander round the idea of dance music

disc of the day

CD: The Darkness - Last of Our Kind

The Hawkins brothers get heavy, lose their charm

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We Made It

We Made It: Jonathan Thomas, Maker

The designer maker on the future of furniture and working with Thomas Heatherwick

We Made It: Rebecca Salter RA

The British artist talks about a life inspired by traditional Japanese crafts

We Made It: Artist Joseph Popper

Drones, space capsules and set-building as fine art

tv

When Pop Ruled My Life, BBC Four

Study of obsessive fandom from the Beatles to One Direction is funny but sad

SunTrap, BBC One

Austin Powers meets Tim Vine meets a script of breathtaking flimsiness

Gotham, Series 1 Finale, Channel 5 / Daredevil, Netflix

Comic book heroes battle for control of the small screen

film

San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson rocks - kinda - in otherwise daft disaster movie

DVD: Wild

A Reese Witherspoon heroine hikes her way to happiness

Man Up

Lake Bell and Simon Pegg star in a romantic comedy with a manic screwball edge

new music

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

An auditory treat for fans of the long-running sci-fi series

CD: The Darkness - Last of Our Kind

The Hawkins brothers get heavy, lose their charm

When Pop Ruled My Life, BBC Four

Study of obsessive fandom from the Beatles to One Direction is funny but sad

classical

Schubert Sonatas 2, Barenboim, RFH

Big passions from the veteran pianist threaten to overpower Schubertian tenderness

Classical CDs Weekly: Nielsen, Choir of Gonville & Caius College, St Peter's Singers

Rip-roaring Danish symphonies, plus choral music from Brazil and Leeds

Schubert Sonatas 1, Barenboim, RFH

The new instrument sounds sublime, but is the player on this occasion?

opera

Pelléas et Mélisande, Welsh National Opera

Debussy's masterpiece finds a brilliant production that he would have approved

Listed: Essential BBC Proms

Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Fresh revival with strong cast and dynamic conducting from Jakub Hrůša

theatre

Temple, Donmar Warehouse

New play about the Occupy movement starring Simon Russell Beale is deep but undramatic

The Beaux' Stratagem, National Theatre

Energetic and irreverent comic delight from start to finish

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Canadian literary great and author husband talk birds, and each other

visual arts

Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk, Turner Contemporary

The overexposed artist with pots, frocks and comforting clichés about Britain

Perspectives: War Art with Eddie Redmayne, ITV

Oscar-winning actor proves that he did learn something as a Cambridge art history student

Corin Sworn: Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery

Impostors and stolen identities explored in an installation inspired by the Commedia dell’Arte

dance

Robbins/MacMillan Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Company strong, principals less so in tame season finale

Sylvie Guillem, Life in Progress, Sadler's Wells

Ballerina says goodbye with new works from Khan, Maliphant

Dark Arteries, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Brass band the highlight of new triple bill

comedy

Nina Conti, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Wonderfully funny evening with a comedian-ventriloquist at the top of her game

Alex Horne: Monsieur Butterfly, Soho Theatre

Playful show during which the comic builds his own set

Panti: High Heels in Low Places, Soho Theatre

Drag artist tells her charming and funny story

gaming

Sunset

A story of violent revolution, told without violence, from the sidelines

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

A beautifully detailed fantasy world to lose yourself in

Project CARS

Racing simulation puts choice over personality

Listed

Listed: Essential BBC Proms
Our classical writers choose 12 of the best
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

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