sun 22/10/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Peter Quantrill
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Hyperbole be damned. The most iconic English classical recording was made on 19 August 1965 in Kingsway Hall, London. Like Maria Callas singing Tosca, Jacqueline du Pré simply was...
Adam Sweeting
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Much is being made of the fact that Kit Harington is not only playing the Gunpowder Plot mastermind Robert Catesby, but is genuinely descended from him (and his middle name is...
Katherine Waters
Sunday, 22 October 2017
La Belle Sauvage, the first instalment of Philip Pullman’s eagerly-awaited new trilogy The Book of Dust, opens in the Trout, a rambling Thames-side pub on the outskirts of Port...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Seeger. A name to strike sparks with almost anyone, whether or not they have an interest in folk music, a catch-all term about which Peggy Seeger and her creative and life partner...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Committed fans of Emerson, Lake & Palmer are spoiled for choice when they need to feed their passion for prog rock’s most eminent trio. Decent shape original pressings of...
Alexandra Coghlan
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Beautiful though Katie Mitchell’s original production of Written on Skin is, George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s opera has always felt more at home in the concert hall. Last year’s...
Javi Fedrick
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Both Rhode Island’s Downtown Boys, and Washington D.C.’s Priests sit at the centre of today’s feminist punk scene. As stated...
Tom Birchenough
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Pere Portabella’s remarkable Vampir Cuadecuc is almost impossible to classify. It may have been filmed on the set of ...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 21 October 2017
If there were an arts award for loyalty, the Barbican Theatre would surely win it for having kept faith with Michael Clark....
Katherine Waters
Saturday, 21 October 2017
During his time at the Slade David Bomberg — the subject of a major new retrospective at Pallant House Gallery — was...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 21 October 2017
A new baby is like an alien invasion: it blows your mind and it colonises your world. For any couple, parenthood can be both...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 21 October 2017
Beethoven: Symphony No 9 Park Avenue Chamber Symphony/David Bernard (Recursive Classics)My favourite recent Beethoven cycle...
Katie Colombus
Saturday, 21 October 2017
I have a confession to make. The first time I heard "This Town" – the debut release for Niall Horan's new album – I thought...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 20 October 2017
Like Steptoe and Son with ideological denouncements, Stalin’s Politburo have known each other too long. They’re not only...
Hanna Weibye
Friday, 20 October 2017
There are different ways of celebrating a great artist’s legacy, and I suppose they have to coexist. One approach is raptly...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 20 October 2017
British singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey’s new album, Wake Up Now, is one of the year’s finest. However, there’s a moment on...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 20 October 2017
Kerry Godliman is such an affable and down-to-earth onstage presence that when she talks about whether she should move now...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 20 October 2017
For those who are unsure of Bootsy Collins’ place in the funk pantheon, he is the bassman who put the One into James Brown’s...
Jasper Rees
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Harry Potter has a track record of trickery. He miraculously persuaded a generation of screen addicts to get stuck into...
David Nice
Thursday, 19 October 2017
What a profoundly beautiful play is Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. It stands in relation to the earlier, relatively confined...

BEST PLAYS IN LONDON From Albion to Venus in Fur: theartsdesk's stage tips

★★★★ KERRY GODLIMAN, TOURING A canny look at social mobility

★★★★ ANGELA HEWITT, WIGMORE HALL Bach Partitas shine and sing

FIERCE The Birmingham festival which reaches out to Europe and beyond


★★★★ HARRY POTTER: A HISTORY OF MAGIC, BRITISH LIBRARY Weirdly wonderful mix of ancient and new

NICK MULVEY, TOURING British singer-songwriter with a difference holds audience in thrall

THE MOST EXPLOSIVE TV THIS WEEK What's on and where to find it

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Vampir Cuadecuc

Experimental filmmaking with a bite: Christopher Lee in a 'Dracula' like none you've seen before

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Jacqueline du Pré: A Gift Beyond Words, BBC Four review - ode to joyful cellist

More gush than grit in a greatest-hits compilation from the filmmaker who knew her best

Gunpowder, BBC One review – death, horror, treason and a hint of farce

Dark and Gothicky treatment of the plot to blow up Parliament

The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it


DVD/Blu-ray: Vampir Cuadecuc

Experimental filmmaking with a bite: Christopher Lee in a 'Dracula' like none you've seen before

The Death of Stalin review - dictatorship as high farce

Armando Iannucci finds a reign of terror's funny side

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

new music

Peggy Seeger: First Time Ever - A Memoir, review - a remarkable life

Folk clubs and abortions: the American singer tells of life with Ewan MacColl

Reissue CDs Weekly: Emerson, Lake & Palmer

The sprawling ‘Fanfare’ is the career-spanning box set the prog-rock giants deserve

Priests/Downtown Boys, Deaf Institute, Manchester review - lively political punk-fest

A refreshing and energized musical response to Trump and the rest


Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Prokofiev, Scriabin

Edge-of-the-seat playing from a New York orchestra, and Russian music via Merseyside and Oslo

Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – Bach Partitas shine and sing

Piano recital of unassuming mastery speaks deep musical truths

Ensemble InterContemporain, Pintscher, RFH review - a visit from the gentle ghost of Boulez

Two modernist masterpieces suspend the rules of time and space


Of Kith and Kin, Bush Theatre, review - comic but confused gay surrogacy drama
New play about gay parenthood suffers from an identity crisis
The Best Plays in London
From Harry Potter to The Ferryman: theartsdesk's stage tips
The Lady from the Sea, Donmar Warehouse review - Nikki Amuka-Bird luminous in a sympathetic ensemble
Ibsen's great human comedy weathers a sea-change from fjord to Caribbean island


Michael Clark Company, Barbican Theatre review - bad boy of dance comes good

Not what was promised, but ballet's prodigal son delivers

Kenneth MacMillan, Royal Opera House review - a sprite proves merciless

Celebration opener recovers MacMillan's uneasy 1960 Stravinsky collaboration

Fierce: the Birmingham festival which reaches out to Europe and beyond

The new artistic director of the international showcase of live art and performance says what's coming


h.Club 100 Awards 2017: The Winners

News from The Hospital Club's annual awards for the creative industries, plus theartsdesk's Young Reviewer of the Year

FIFA 18 review - as polished as football silverware

Slicker and slower, the latest version of the football bestseller takes its time to shine

Destiny 2 review - a worthy follow-up to the biggest game of a generation

Bigger means better for this online sci-fi shooter

visual arts

David Bomberg, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester review - a reputation restored

Light shed on neglected British artist by a timely touring exhibition

The Best Exhibitions in London

Whiteread, Basquiat, Harry Potter and more: our favourite shows to see now

Harry Potter: A History of Magic, British Library review - weirdly wonderful

Loans from JK Rowling sit comfortably alongside ancient books and objects

latest comments

Zen was utterly stylish, classy, beautifully...

A good point well made, Andrew. I must admit I...

The quotation attributed to James I was actually...

What a lot of old miseries you all are. I...

Has no one noticed the irony of the title. No I...

This last series has been crap from start to...


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters