sat 23/07/2016

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

Prom 9: Feola, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, Rhorer

David Nice

It's never easy readjusting to the weird and sometimes wonderful acoustics of Albert's colosseum at Proms time, least of all when the first thing you hear there comes from a...

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

Sarah Kent

American photographer William Eggleston is famous for dedicating himself to colour photography at a time when it was still considered kitsch – acceptable for wedding and...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Mahler, Nielsen, Schnittke

Graham Rickson

Bruckner: Mass No. 3 in F minor Soloists, Bavarian Radio Choir, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Robin Ticciati (Tudor)Good Bruckner recordings aren’t just the preserve of elderly...

DVD: Around China With a Movie Camera

Graham Fuller

It’s comforting to reflect that some of the anonymous young people seen in Around China With a Movie Camera – a DVD culled from films spanning 1900-48 held in the BFI National...

The BFG

Matt Wolf

Two cultural giants from different spheres align to occasionally sublime results in The BFG. Steven Spielberg's film locates the beatific in its (literally) outsized star, Mark...

Strictly goes to the Proms

Marianka Swain

The glitterball has landed. After loaning out Proms queen Katie Derham to Strictly Come Dancing last series, where she hauled comedy pro Anton Du Beke all the way to the...

Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

London’s West End may be the envy of the world, but when it comes to musicals the big-hitting theatres might have to up...

Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Marina Vaizey

Winifred Knights (1899-1947) was an impeccable draughtsman: her portrait drawings are compelling. She deployed fine webs of...

DVD: The Witch

Nick Hasted

New England in the 17th century is the primordial soup of American horror: where Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Hettie Prynne...

Pet Shop Boys, Royal Opera House

Thomas H Green

Anyone remember the Boobahs? They were the less successful cousins of the Teletubbies, from the same production house. They...

Cinderella, Ratmansky/Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Hanna Weibye

Does Alexei Ratmansky, former Bolshoi director and current world-leading classical choreographer, really love Prokofiev's...

Star Trek Beyond

Adam Sweeting

This is the third of the rebooted new generation Star Treks, and ultimately leaves you with the feeling that the intrepid...

CD: Ben Chatwin - Heat & Entropy

Joe Muggs

Ben Chatwin's music speaks loudly of solitude. He lives and records on the coast of the Firth of Forth, just outside...

Prom 5: Missa Solemnis, BBCPO, Noseda

Peter Quantrill

Even in a performance as well-organised as this one, masterminded by Gianandrea Noseda, there is still something of the...

Becca Stevens Band, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Matthew Wright

Becca Stevens’ limpid, luscious and artful fusion of Appalachian folk, jazz and indie rock found a perfectly empathetic...

Imagine... Danger! Cornelia Parker, BBC One

Marina Vaizey

Squash! Bulldoze! Blow-Up! Tie Up! Break-Up! Re-Build! There is practically nothing the artist Cornelia Parker won’t and can...

Some Girl(s), Park Theatre

Marianka Swain

Neil LaBute’s exercise in self-flagellation, first seen in 2005 and adapted for film in 2013, offers his familiar...

CD: Jim Causley & Luke Thompson - The Clay Hymnal

Tim Cumming

Devonian singer and accordionist Jim Causley released Cyprus Well, settings of his relative Charles Causley's poems, in 2013...

Pokémon Go

Stuart Houghton

If you've been outside in the past week or so, you will have seen someone playing Pokémon Go even if you didn’t realise it...

Chevalier

Jasper Rees

The opening shot of Chevalier trains the camera on a rocky beach surmounted by overcast skies. A dark form emerges from the...

The Golden Dragon, Music Theatre Wales, Buxton Festival

Richard Bratby

It’s the kitchen of a Thai-Chinese-Vietnamese fast food restaurant. The onstage orchestra wear sweatbands and T-shirts, and...

DVD: Anomalisa

Jasper Rees

The midlife crisis, the one-night stand in another city, the younger woman and the honeyed words that turn to dust – they...

The Secret Agent, BBC One

Adam Sweeting

Based on an abortive real-life attempt to blow up the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in 1894, Joseph Conrad's novel The...

Jenůfa, Longborough Festival Opera

Stephen Walsh

Quite apart from its inherent power, Jenůfa always amazes me by the way it seems to pluck a new language out of...

 

SIX OF THE BEST: FILM Our recommendations for your viewing pleasure

CINDERELLA, RATMANSKY/AUSTRALIAN BALLET, LONDON COLISEUM Serious choreography and lush design make this Surrealist fairytale a visual treat

POKEMON GO Game or viral phenomenon? Who cares - let's go hunting

PET SHOP BOYS, ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 30 years on, the electro-pop duo still joyously push the show to new places

WINIFRED KNIGHTS, DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY A forgotten Slade alumnus restored to prominence

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE A classic musical reborn for a contemporary audience

disc of the day

DVD: Around China With a Movie Camera

Long-lost republic come stunningly alive again

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Brighton Festival

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Fuchsia Days

Second from Brighton outfit heads into deliciously cosmic easy listening

theartsdesk at Love Supreme Festival 2016: Kamasi Washington, Esperanza Spalding and Stanley Clarke

Laid back atmosphere, inspiring music at the UK’s only green field jazz festival

Brighton Festival: Brighton – Symphony of a City, Brighton Dome

A cinematic cross-section of life in London-by-Sea

tv

Imagine... Danger! Cornelia Parker, BBC One

The artist who destroys things in order to create new ones

The Secret Agent, BBC One

Joseph Conrad swamped in melodrama and turgid music

The Hunter, All4

Glossy, superficial and cartoonish – you may be hunting for the remote

film

DVD: Around China With a Movie Camera

Long-lost republic come stunningly alive again

The BFG

Mark Rylance lends moments of the sublime to standard issue Spielberg

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

new music

Pet Shop Boys, Royal Opera House

30 years on, the electro-pop duo still joyously push the show to new places

CD: Ben Chatwin - Heat & Entropy

Further bleak and beautiful ambient-classical-drone textures

Becca Stevens Band, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Sensational performance from Lauren Laverne's Wonder Woman

classical

Prom 9: Feola, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, Rhorer

Vivacious Italian soprano and first clarinet excel in Mozart and Mendelssohn

Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Mahler, Nielsen, Schnittke

Austrian sacred music, a memorable live concert from Manchester and Russian violin sonatas

Prom 5: Missa Solemnis, BBCPO, Noseda

An exhilarating assault on Beethoven's spiritual testament

opera

The Golden Dragon, Music Theatre Wales, Buxton Festival

Peter Eötvös's new opera finds a world in a grain of egg fried rice

Jenůfa, Longborough Festival Opera

Janáček's happy-ending tragedy is powerfully moving despite untidy details

Prom 2: Boris Godunov, Royal Opera, Pappano

Impressive ensemble allows Musorgsky's opera to shine in concert

theatre

Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

A classic musical reborn for a contemporary audience

Some Girl(s), Park Theatre

Neil LaBute's masochistic odyssey is sporadically thought-provoking

Into the Woods, Menier Chocolate Factory

Off Broadway transfer illuminates Sondheim's fairy tales anew

visual arts

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

The American who made colour photography an art form

Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery

A forgotten Slade alumnus restored to prominence

Ragnar Kjartansson, Barbican Art Gallery

Fact and fiction coalesce in work by an artist born into an acting dynasty

dance

Strictly goes to the Proms

Canny brand synergy encourages fans to keep Promming

Cinderella, Ratmansky/Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Serious choreography and lush design make this Surrealist fairytale a visual treat

Swan Lake, Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Visiting Aussies are engaging in lush production, but the plot's not all that

comedy

theartsdesk Q&A: Garrison Keillor

As he hosts 'A Prairie Home Companion' for the last time, its creator looks back

Whose Line Is It Anyway?, London Palladium

Terrific fun from an old favourite

David Baddiel - My Family: Not the Sitcom, Menier Chocolate Factory

Funny and challenging show about the comic's parents

gaming

Pokémon Go

Game or viral phenomenon? Who cares - let's go hunting

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Lego returns to 'Star Wars' and creates a new summer blockbuster

Heroes of Loot 2

This fun take on the dungeon crawler is a blast in short bursts

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

latest comments

Indeed. Thank you, now amended.

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The film was well made and the talent was very...

Track id says "time for a change" by Elephant

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