wed 04/03/2015

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

Still Alice

Matt Wolf

Oscar winner Julianne Moore: the phrase has been a long time coming but it finally came true ten days ago when the actress long considered one of Hollywood's best and brightest...

Super-Powered Owls: Natural World, BBC Two

Marina Vaizey

The owl – symbol of wisdom, harbinger of death – is a powerful if disparate symbol in human mythology worldwide. But this outstanding visual essay provided a riveting array...

Rattle for the LSO: great or just good news?

David Nice

Having manoeuvred to get a new concert hall for London earmarked in principle, Simon Rattle has finally agreed, as we thought he would, to take charge of the London Symphony...

Arthur and George, ITV

Matthew Wright

“Something strident and stirring – play to us now, please!” demands Martin Clunes’ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the piano-playing vicar’s wife, on apprehending that their...

Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, King's Head Theatre

David Nice

How can a feisty village dame duetting “lackaday”s with the mounted head of a long-lost, nay, long-dead love be so deuced affecting? Ascribe it partly to the carefully-applied...

10 Questions for Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan

Demetrios Matheou

New filmmakers often suffer an unhelpful onslaught of comparisons and labels. Yet Desiree Akhavan offers so many options as to deflect all of them – counter measures against the...

The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre

Marianka Swain

The quest for liberation is popular dramatic terrain, but the Gate Theatre’s "Freedom Burning" season shifts focus to the...

We Made It: Fashion Designer Anna Skodbo

Simon Munk

Anna Skodbo's route to designing her ethical, environmental and "crosstown" fashion brand Phannatiq has hardly been ordinary...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress MyAnna Buring

Adam Sweeting

There came a moment, around three years ago, when MyAnna Buring suddenly seemed to be in everything. "I'm so sorry!" she...

Le Roi de Lahore, Chelsea Opera Group, QEH

David Nice

Now that opera houses mostly lack either the will or the funds to stage the more fantastical/exotic pageants among 19th...

Nómada, Compañía Manuel Liñán, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

"Sprung from pure flamenco, Manuel Liñán exudes purity from himself and his dance - he is life, freshness and passion."...

Pompidou, BBC Two

Veronica Lee

Judging by its early-evening slot and diddly-dee theme tune, Matt Lucas's latest project is aimed at family audiences – far...

BBCSO, Segerstam, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

The BBC Radio 3 announcer came on stage to introduce the concert and promised us "the 100 minutes" of Bruckner’s Eighth...

Appropriate Behaviour

Tom Birchenough

There’s an engaging, indie sense of emotional flux in writer-director Desiree Akhavan’s feature debut Appropriate Behaviour...

Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera

David Nice

Mozart’s The Magic Flute is one of those operas, like Verdi’s Il trovatore and all the mature Wagner masterpieces, which...

theartsdesk in Calais: Simon Faithfull – To the Bottom of the World and Back

Sarah Kent

The sea is the theme uniting Simon Faithfull’s mid-career retrospective. It makes the port of Calais the perfect host for...

Three Men in a Boat, The Original Theatre Company, Touring

Ismene Brown

It’s a hostage to fortune really to create a play on one of the funniest books ever written, and a Victorian one at that....

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bridget St. John

Kieron Tyler

Bridget St. John: Dandelion Albums & BBC CollectionPigeonholing Bridget St. John is gratifyingly difficult. Although...

Jazz for Labour, Barbican

Thomas Rees

Jazz and politics go way back. Throughout its history the music has been involved with underground resistance movements in...

Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album, Courtauld Gallery

Florence Hallett

The sight of two old women fighting in the street would probably meet with roughly the same response from passers-by whether...

Benedetti, La Cetra, Saffron Hall

Sebastian Scotney

There's a whole fairytale backstory to be told here. The residents of Saffron Walden and the surrounding area still can't...

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Matt Wolf

The oldies are back at Jaipur's Marigold Hotel and they're looking like goodies, too, thanks to a British dame or two and an...

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Stephen Walsh

You might imagine that composers in general would write songs. On my way to the BCMG’s programme of pieces from the songbook...

Lippy, Young Vic

Marianka Swain

How do we respond to a tragedy of infinite mystery? We investigate, we speculate, and we seek to impose meaning, to produce...

 

BBCSO, SEGERSTAM, BARBICAN Stonehenge in sound: conductor-composer of 285 symphonies tackles Bruckner's Eighth

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR Gay Brooklyn dramedy memorably mixes great humour with uneasy search for identity

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: BRIDGET ST JOHN Wallet-friendly compendium of one of Britain’s great singer-songwriters

NOMADA, COMPANIA MANUEL LINAN, SADLER'S WELLS Style and showmanship aplenty from one of flamenco's innovators

LE ROI DE LAHORE, CHELSEA OPERA GROUP, QEH Top quality operatic voices in first London performance of Massenet exotica since 1880

THE ARTS DESK Q&A: ACTRESS MYANNA BURING The Swedish-born doctor's daughter on her rapid rise

disc of the day

CD: Jimmy Somerville – Homage

Infectious disco tribute from a man who knows the genre inside-out

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Listed

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
Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames
Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical

We Made It

We Made It: Fashion Designer Anna Skodbo

The east London fashion designer on crowd-sourcing, sustainable fabrics and dressing MPs

We Made It: Furniture Designer & Maker Laszlo Beckett

The South London furniture maker talks lasers, skate-ramps and Coltrane

We Made It: Set and Costume Designer Lise Marker

A multidisciplinary artist and Matthew Barney collaborator explains her craft

film

DVD: Spring in a Small Town

Passion hits the brick wall of decency in Fei Mu's 1948 masterpiece

10 Questions for Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan

New York's latest multi-hyphenate on making sense of her place in the world

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress MyAnna Buring

The Swedish-born doctor's daughter on her rapid rise from 'Kill List' and 'Twilight' to 'Downton', 'Ripper Street' and Jimmy McGovern's 'Banished'

tv

Super-Powered Owls: Natural World, BBC Two

Incredible secrets of the airborne nocturnal predators

Arthur and George, ITV

Conan Doyle is a bluff, romantic Holmes in ITV's splendidly thrilling three-parter

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress MyAnna Buring

The Swedish-born doctor's daughter on her rapid rise from 'Kill List' and 'Twilight' to 'Downton', 'Ripper Street' and Jimmy McGovern's 'Banished'

new music

CD: Emily Saunders - Outsiders Insiders

Latin rhythms mingle with a cool delivery and cerebral lyrics for a searching, substantial collection

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bridget St. John

Wallet-friendly compendium of one of Britain’s great singer-songwriters

CD: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday

Noel and his High Flying Birds aim for new heights without straying too near the Sun

classical

Rattle for the LSO: great or just good news?

Sir Simon finally committed to London post in 2017

BBCSO, Segerstam, Barbican

Stonehenge in sound: conductor-composer of 285 symphonies tackles Bruckner's Eighth

Benedetti, La Cetra, Saffron Hall

The violinist's Vivaldi charms an appreciative audience in a bold new hall

opera

Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, King's Head Theatre

They can sing, dance and make you laugh until you cry: portmanteau G&S at its very best

Le Roi de Lahore, Chelsea Opera Group, QEH

Top quality operatic voices in first London performance of Massenet exotica since 1880

Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera

Young lovers, a comic turn and paternal priest triumphant in Covent Garden staple

theatre

Ruddigore, Charles Court Opera, King's Head Theatre

They can sing, dance and make you laugh until you cry: portmanteau G&S at its very best

The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, Gate Theatre

Inventive exploration of Zimbabwe's fight for freedom lacks clear intention

Three Men in a Boat, The Original Theatre Company, Touring

Jolly boating music-hall as Jerome K Jerome's silly asses barge down the Thames

visual arts

theartsdesk in Calais: Simon Faithfull – To the Bottom of the World and Back

Online messages sent from elsewhere by an artist who loves the sea

Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album, Courtauld Gallery

Enigmatic works on paper, reunited for the first time since the Spanish artist's death

Sculpture Victorious, Tate Britain

Technical innovation often coupled with meaningless extravagance

dance

Nómada, Compañía Manuel Liñán, Sadler's Wells

Style and showmanship aplenty from one of flamenco's innovators

Eva Yerbabuena/Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, Sadler's Wells

Grimly majestic femininity steals the show at annual Spanish showcase

Swan Lake, Royal Ballet

Marianela Nuñez's dream Odette/Odile distracts from hideous designs and score butchery

comedy

Dracula! (Mr Swallow - the Musical), Soho Theatre

Nick Mohammed's daft but entertaining spoof musical

Kim Noble, Soho Theatre

Tender and playful show about love and loneliness

Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, Manchester Arena

Live stage version of the hit sitcom is great fun

gaming

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 1

Action-oriented horror series gets snipped into formulaic episodes

Sunless Sea

Nautical misadventures abound in this cruel strategy game

The Order: 1886

Steampunk Victorian London shooter fails to engage

latest comments

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