sun 25/02/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 25 February 2018
Essay collections are happily mainstream now, from Zadie Smith to Oliver Sacks, with more and more bits and bobs coming from unexpected quarters. These patchwork quilts from...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 25 February 2018
What is music? When pondering archive releases, compilations and reissues the question doesn’t come up. Knowledge of context and history means there’s never a need to muse on this...
Joe Muggs
Sunday, 25 February 2018
Of all the wave of neoclassical or postclassical music of the past half decade or so, some of the most popular is a new breed of rippling, repetitive solo piano piece. And, really...
Rory Mullarkey
Saturday, 24 February 2018
“The Cherry Orchard is the greatest play ever written,” I declared, confidently, aged 16, to my mother, having just read The Cherry Orchard for the first time. She responded to my...
Gavin Dixon
Saturday, 24 February 2018
The London Philharmonic, conductor Vasily Petrenko and cellist Andreas Brantelid are just back from a tour of China, so they’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other. That...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 MusicAeterna/Teodor Currentzis (Sony)There's a left field vintage recording of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique conducted by Otto Klemperer, a reading totally...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Sixty years after her debut at Club 47, Harvard Square, Joan Baez this year bows out of formal touring and recording with an...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 23 February 2018
Country darkness falls quickly when Alice (Ruth Wilson) goes back to the farm. She stops before entering to gratefully...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 23 February 2018
In a career that began in 1967 and may yet have further life in it, Genesis have sold 150 million albums (and possibly more...
Richard Bratby
Friday, 23 February 2018
Don’t you just love that new concert hall smell? The main hall at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is so new that as...
Owen Richards
Friday, 23 February 2018
Take one of the strongest casts in British cinema and put them in a confined space; it was always going to be fun. Sally...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 22 February 2018
Tonya Harding and the kneecapping of Nancy Kerrigan – what a story it was, back in 1994. Even if you knew nothing about...
Liz Thomson
Thursday, 22 February 2018
In our era of 24/7 news, downloadable from anywhere in the world at the touch of an app, it's hard to remember that not so...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 22 February 2018
New Zealand comic Rose Matafeo is a fan of romcoms and has decided she is destined to appear in one at some point in her...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 22 February 2018
After two albums of battle anthems for Trump-addled times, raging against the machine with his “Void Pacific Choir”, Moby’s...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Whatever the weather, this week is Frozen. On Broadway, the Disney musical of that name begins previews, but let’s let that...
Saskia Baron
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
While this well-crafted documentary chose to open with footage of the stars and glitz of the American awards ceremonies, the...
Alexandra Coghlan
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
You have to wonder why it has taken this long. Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking premiered in San Francisco back in 2000 and...
Jasper Rees
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
This week brings a tale of two comedies. Both half-hour sitcoms are about widowed mothers with grown-up sons still at home....
Tom Birchenough
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Beach Rats is a film that has “indie” etched in its bones. The second feature from Brooklyn-born Eliza Hittman, it was made...

★★★★★ DEAD MAN WALKING, BARBICAN UK premiere for Jake Heggie's outstanding first opera

JOHN TUSA - INTERVIEW 'The arts must make a noise'

TONY BANKS INTERVIEW ‘You either do it by diplomacy or you do it by violence’

BEST PLAYS IN LONDON From All's Well to Schiller's thriller: theartsdesk's stage tips

★★★ I, TONYA Margot Robbie shines in over-complicated oddity

★★★★ DVD: BEACH RATS Limbo over an uneasy Brooklyn summer, from an American indie director to watch

★★★★ ROSE MATAFEO, SOHO THEATRE New Zealand comic with original takes on the big stuff

★★★★ DARK RIVER Family secrets are dredged up in the Yorkshire moors

CLIO BARNARD: 'WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE' Interview with 'Dark River' director

disc of the day

CD: Niklas Paschburg - Oceanic

Peaceful neo-classical won't scare the horses, but who wants scared horses?

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The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it

Working with Weinstein, Channel 4 review - portrait of a predator

Forensic dissection of Harvey Weinstein's reign of terror in the craven corners of the UK film business

Mum, BBC Two, series 2 review - Lesley Manville is a discreet delight

Stefan Golaszewski's sitcom returns for more gentle comedy about imperfect families


Dark River review - haunted rural realism

Family secrets are dredged up in the Yorkshire moors

DVD/Blu-ray: The Party

Sally Potter’s deliciously dark comedy provides an hour of brilliance in 70 minutes

I, Tonya review - Margot Robbie shines in over-complicated oddity

Craig Gillespie's one-note take on Tonya Harding's fascinating true story

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Voyager Golden Record

A chance to hear what was intended for extra-terrestrials in the Voyager space probes

CD: Niklas Paschburg - Oceanic

Peaceful neo-classical won't scare the horses, but who wants scared horses?

CD: Joan Baez - Whistle Down the Wind

No rust, but plenty of diamonds


Brantelid, LPO, Petrenko, RFH review - orchestral excesses redeemed by graceful Elgar

Young cellist offers valuable balance in a hard-driven programme

Classical CDs Weekly: Tchaikovsky, Fred Hersch, Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Electrifying orchestral playing from the Urals, a jazz musician's classical side, and a brilliant young cellist

Explore Ensemble, EXAUDI, St John's Smith Square review - making sense of Nono

Riveting 'Principal Sound' event delivers the luminous rewards of austerity modernism


La Vie Parisienne, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire review - vintage champagne in a new bottle

A celebratory production adds up to more than the sum of its parts

Dead Man Walking, Barbican review - timely and devastating meditation on human violence and forgiveness

Jake Heggie's outstanding first opera finally receives its UK premiere

Flight, Scottish Opera review - poignant and powerful, this production soars

Opera Holland Park's 2015 staging flies north of the border


'The greatest play ever written': translating 'The Cherry Orchard'
Rory Mullarkey introduces his new version of Chekhov's masterpiece for Bristol Old Vic
Frozen, Haymarket Theatre review - star cast explores the reality of evil
Suranne Jones, Jason Watkins and Nina Sosanya convincingly examine human darkness
The Best Plays in London
From the Ides of March to modern monologues: theartsdesk's stage tips


Giselle, Royal Ballet review - beautiful dancing in a production of classic good taste

Perfect storytelling through dance from Marianela Nuñez and excellent supporting cast

Song of the Earth/La Sylphide, English National Ballet review - sincerity and charm in a rewarding double bill

An odd-couple programme delivers both exquisite dancing and emotional truth

Best of 2017: Dance

Classical ballet dominates the highlights reel as chosen by theartsdesk's critics


Rose Matafeo, Soho Theatre review - sassy and she knows it

New Zealand comic with original takes on the big stuff

Hannah Gadsby, Soho Theatre review - misogyny explored

Straight-talking comic takes no prisoners


EA Sports UFC 3 review - the art of fighting has never looked so good

Why bob and weave when you can ground and pound?

Best of 2017: Games

Quality nearly matches quantity

Star Wars Battlefront II review - an opportunity missed

The force is less strong with this one

visual arts

Emil Nolde: Colour Is Life, National Gallery of Ireland review - boats, dancers, flowers

Comprehensive overview of neglected German Expressionist with a troubling past

Andreas Gursky, Hayward Gallery review - staggering scale, personal perspective

Space and light at the refurbished Hayward: huge views, artful manipulation from the German photographer

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