tue 26/09/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Russia has its own rich traditions of satire and the grotesque, but at first glance we may wonder whether in his new film Zoology Ivan I Tverdovsky, a director who, still to turn...
David Kettle
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Increasingly, the Lammermuir Festival is – one audience member whispered conspiratorially to me – what East Lothian music lovers are switching to alongside the Edinburgh...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Sweet isn’t the right word; in Mike Leigh’s 1990 film, life is unfair, frustrating and confusing by turns. Though, despite the darkness, Life Is Sweet exudes positivity and...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 25 September 2017
Apparently this is the first time an Ian McEwan novel has been dramatised for television, but whether The Child in Time was the best choice for that singular honour is open to...
David Nice
Monday, 25 September 2017
It’s official: Romanian master George Enescu’s four-act Greek epic lives and breathes as a work of transcendent genius. It took last year’s Royal Opera production to lead us...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 25 September 2017
September and October see a deluge of new releases. Everybody and their aunt puts out an album as autumn hits, so theartsdesk on Vinyl appears this month (and next) in a slightly...
Robert Beale
Monday, 25 September 2017
Juanjo Mena memorably began his tenure as chief conductor at the BBC Philharmonic with a Mahler symphony (the Second), and...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 25 September 2017
The main man of folk big band Bellowhead steps out solo with a companion piece to his 2009 outing Songs from the Floodplain...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 24 September 2017
Although he made his name with the generally upbeat grooves and licks of his Barrytown Trilogy, Roddy Doyle has often played...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 24 September 2017
That this year is the 40th anniversary of 1977, the year punk rock went mainstream, shouldn’t obscure the pub rock...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 24 September 2017
The title says it all, or at least quite a lot. Luminously intelligent, an exceptionally hard worker, bilingual in French, a...
Barney Harsent
Sunday, 24 September 2017
David Crosby might be entering life’s twilight but, like a tired drummer, he seems to be speeding up towards the end....
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi’s On Body and Soul (Testrol es lelekrol) opens on a scene of cold. It’s beautiful, a winter...
Marina Vaizey
Saturday, 23 September 2017
The Royal Academy has a winning line in spectacular exhibitions that have become essentials in London, theatrically and...
David Nice
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Now look here, Giles Coren: immersion in a great play well acted can send you out of the theatre feeling very different from...
Gavin Dixon
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars have nothing to prove when it comes to Renaissance choral music – few ensembles can...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Antheil: A Jazz Symphony, Piano Concerto No. 1, Capital of the Word, Archipelago “Rhumba” Frank Dupree (piano), Deutsche...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Location, location, location. Jim thinks he lives in the “shittiest” small town in Scotland. It’s Mallaig, on the west coast...
David Nice
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Three “little greats,” as Opera North might put it, proved just the thing to cleanse the palate in a quiet place the...
Russ Coffey
Saturday, 23 September 2017
The last song on The Killers' new record is called "Have All the Songs Been Written?". The words refer to Brandon Flowers'...

★★★★★ CLAIRE TOMALIN: A LIFE OF MY OWN A life in literature, literature in life - a story of blessings as well as sadness

★★★ CD: THE KILLERS - WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL The Vegas quartet's fifth album - is it destined to be their last?

★★★★★ WINGS, YOUNG VIC Arthur Kopit's poetic drama about post-stroke aphasia and facing up to death astounds

★★★★ JASPER JOHNS, ROYAL ACADEMY 'Something resembling truth': the master mark-maker transforms the familiar into the exotic 

★★★★ OEDIPE, LPO, JUROWSKI, RFH The LPO's Principal Conductor probes a complex and unique idiom with total command

★★★ THE CHILD IN TIME, BBC ONE Ian McEwan's novel doesn't feel entirely comfortable in this TV dramatisation

★★★★★ AKRAM KHAN'S GISELLE, SADLER'S WELLS English National Ballet gives us the wilis, and then some

★★★★★ ON BODY AND SOUL Slaughterhouse love: this year's Berlinale Golden Bear winner tells a wintry tale

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Life Is Sweet

One of Mike Leigh’s funniest, most quotable features looks and sounds superb in BFI restoration

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. 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 theartsdesk.com gift subscription?


The Child in Time, BBC One review - lost in translation

Ian McEwan's novel doesn't feel entirely comfortable in this TV dramatisation

The best TV to watch this week

What to watch and where to find it

Bad Move, ITV review - Jack Dee resettles in the middle of the road

Grumpy country comedy is long on sitcom DNA, short on originality


Zoology review - the tale of a tail

Young Russian director Ivan I Tverdovsky offers cryptic commentary on his country today

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

DVD/Blu-ray: Life Is Sweet

One of Mike Leigh’s funniest, most quotable features looks and sounds superb in BFI restoration

new music

The Best Albums of 2017

theartsdesk's music critics pick their favourites of the year

CD: Jon Boden - Afterglow

Solo effort from Bellowhead frontman pictures a bleak vision of the future


Lammermuir Festival 2017 review - rich and deeply rewarding

Plenty to prokove, surprise and inspire in the East Lothian event

BBCPO, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - Mahler's Third lovingly realised

Chief conductor puts a characteristic stamp on opener of his final season


Oedipe, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Enescu's masterpiece glorious and complete

The London Philharmonic's Principal Conductor probes a complex idiom commandingly

Senza Sangue/Bluebeard's Castle, Hackney Empire - uneven French-Hungarian mix

Odd casting undermines the power of Péter Eötvös's answer to Bartók's masterpiece

La Damnation de Faust, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - infernal dynamite

Adrenaline levels still running high for the second instalment of #ThisisRattle


The Best Plays in London
From Harry Potter to The Ferryman: theartsdesk's stage tips
Wings, Young Vic review - Juliet Stevenson goes high and low
Arthur Kopit's poetic drama about post-stroke aphasia and facing up to death astounds
Ramona Tells Jim, Bush Theatre, review – kooky, teenage heartbreak
Heartwarming new play about young love is good fun, if a bit slender


Akram Khan's Giselle, Sadler's Wells review - the migrant crisis in a ballet thriller

English National Ballet gives us the wilis, and then some

La Bayadère, Mariinsky Ballet review - a parade of delights

Russians save the best till last in lavish display of showmanship and art

Contrasts, Mariinsky Ballet review - company shows off range of its powers

Ekaterina Kondaurova the star as Russians display heritage and contemporary works at Royal Opera House


Mae Martin, Soho Theatre review - life is a drug

Dry storytelling about an obsessional life

Edinburgh Festival and Fringe 2017 reviews round-up

theartsdesk recommends the shows to catch this August

Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Ingrid Oliver / Darren Harriott / Jayde Adams

An excellent mimic, a strong debut, and a dynamic entertainer


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

Bigger means better for this online sci-fi shooter

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy review - absolutely beautiful and still great fun to play

When the old dog looks this good, you don’t need new tricks

Agents of Mayhem review - digital déjà vu

Crazy action wrapped up in a repetitive formula

visual arts

The Best Exhibitions in London

Whiteread, Sargent, Pink Floyd and more: our favourite shows to see now

Jasper Johns, Royal Academy review - a master of 50 shades

'Something resembling truth': the master mark-maker transforms the familiar into the exotic

Basquiat: Boom for Real, Barbican review - the myth explored

Appraising the graffiti artist whose paintings fetch over $100 million at auction

latest comments

Like it .... bit scary to be honest. Bit Blair...

Bought the Ducks Deluxe LP just after Graham...

Nice piece. Further reading: No Sleep Till Canvey...

Perhaps I am missing something, but I arrived...

Why "oddballs"? I really can't understand the use...


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