thu 26/05/2016

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

Romeo and Juliet, Garrick Theatre

Marianka Swain

Trouble remembering in which country Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers cross paths? Branagh’s panting paean to Fellini will sort you out. Stylish as a monochromatic Vogue spread,...

Money Monster

Saskia Baron

This is one of those films where it really is better not to have seen the trailer first. Much of the pleasure is in the narrative twists and the developing characters, and the...

Going Going Gone, BBC Four

Tom Birchenough

In Going Going Gone Nick Broomfield was fighting to get access all over again – but it wasn’t exactly the same kind of challenge he’d faced with Sarah Palin or some of his...

Jeff Koons: Now, Newport Street Gallery

Sarah Kent

The second exhibition staged by Damien Hirst in his stunning Newport Street Gallery is of work from his collection by the American artist, Jeff Koons. Hirst was still a student at...

Brighton Festival: Zvizdal, Corn Exchange

Thomas H Green

Berlin are, misleadingly, an arts unit from Antwerp, Belgium. They’ve been around for well over a decade and major in artily constructed documentaries that are presented in the...

theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Gavin Dixon

We don’t hear much about composer Stanisław Moniuszko in the West, but in Poland he’s considered a key figure in the history of opera. Moniuszko’s statue stands at the entrance of...

A View from Islington North, Arts Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Is there any point to political satire? The great thing about the glory years of this genre in, say, the early 1960s was...

4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith

Alexandra Coghlan

New operas are a risky business, or so the Royal Opera’s past experience teaches us. For years, visiting the company’s...

Running Wild, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Miriam Gillinson

Running Wild is a theatrical safari with no expenses spared. This latest stage adaptation of a novel by Michael Morpurgo (of...

Cédric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall

Gavin Dixon

This programme looked like a non-starter on paper, a long sequence of short Bartók dance settings, followed by a second half...

Rovers, Sky1

Jasper Rees

Football seeps into every cranny of British culture, but it's hard to name a great comedy or drama about the game of two...

The Burning Hell, Oslo

Kieron Tyler

“We’ve been visiting libraries on this tour and it’s a lot of fun learning people still read.” The words of The Burning Hell...

CD: Malcolm Middleton - Summer of '13

Thomas H Green

There’s been wave after wave of successful acoustic singer-songwriters this century, whimpering so-and-sos from David Gray...

Love & Friendship

Alexandra Coghlan

Jane Austen’s early novel-in-letters Lady Susan has more in common with Vanity Fair or even Les Liaisons Dangereuses than it...

Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds rediscovered

theartsdesk

In a gallery darkened to evoke the seabed that was its resting place for over a thousand years, the colossal figure of Hapy...

Oedipe, Royal Opera

David Nice

"Unjustly neglected masterpiece" is a cliché of musical criticism, and usually an exaggeration. Romanian master Enescu's...

Human Animals, Royal Court Theatre

Aleks Sierz

As I sit down to write this, a crow is cawing outside my window while night falls; for an awkard moment I think it might be...

Brighton Festival: Haçienda Classical, The Dome

Thomas H Green

Of all the nostalgia-fests, of all the retro events, those that involve rave culture have the wildest sense of glee. The...

Prohaska, Eberle and Friends, Wigmore Hall

Sebastian Scotney

A quick plot summary might be required here, because how this programme of Schubert, Pergolesi and Webern came into being...

Homefront: The Revolution

Steve O'Rourke

There are moments of real atmospheric oppression in this politically themed gun game. When you and your ragtag bunch of...

DVD: Spotlight

Jasper Rees

Journalism is not what it was and nor quite is the journalism movie. Spotlight is released as a home entertainment with a...

Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Glyndebourne

David Nice

"We're off to Glyndebourne, to see a ra-ther bor-ing op-ra by Rosseeeni," quoth songwriting wags Kit and the Widow. So here...

10 Questions for Musician Martin Fry

Adam Sweeting

It was in the long-ago year of 1982 that Martin Fry and ABC released The Lexicon of Love, a feast of addictively lush pop-...

St Ludmila, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Robert Beale

The Victorians liked their oratorios long and loud (most of the time), and when Dvořák wrote St Ludmila for the Leeds...

 

LOVE & FRIENDSHIP Kate Beckinsale shines in a stylish but uneven adaptation of Austen's early novella

4.48 PSYCHOSIS, ROYAL OPERA, LYRIC HAMMERSMITH A musical dramatisation of Sarah Kane's classic play finds both pain and consolation

SUNKEN CITIES: EGYPT'S LOST WORLDS REDISCOVERED Eerily evocative treasures take centre stage at the British Museum

ROVERS Lo-fi football sitcom starring Craig Cash and Sue Johnston has its heart in the right place

BRIGHTON FESTIVAL: HAÇIENDA CLASSICAL, THE DOME Despite an ill-balanced sound, the Mancunian orchestral/house music mash-up kicks off

RUNNING WILD, REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE Patchy Michael Morpurgo adaptation scores with its puppets

disc of the day

CD: Malcolm Middleton - Summer of '13

After seven years away, the synth-pop return of a great Scottish songwriter

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Brighton Festival

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

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

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two at the 50th Brighton Festival!

Prize includes hotel, a meal and event tickets

DVD: Pink String and Sealing Wax

Sub-texts galore in grade-A Ealing melodrama

tv

Going Going Gone, BBC Four

Nick Broomfield in elegiac mode holds out for history

Rovers, Sky1

Lo-fi football sitcom starring Craig Cash and Sue Johnston has its heart in the right place

Wallander, Series 4, BBC One

Agreeable scenery can't compensate for feeble plot and unconvincing characters

film

Money Monster

George Clooney and Julia Roberts star in enjoyable anti-Wall Street drama

Brighton Festival: Zvizdal, Corn Exchange

Artwork/documentary about an old couple in the Chernobyl isolation zone is quietly beautiful

Love & Friendship

Kate Beckinsale shines in a stylish but uneven adaptation of Austen's early novella

new music

The Burning Hell, Oslo

Literate Canadians bond with the audience to inspire a sing-along

CD: Malcolm Middleton - Summer of '13

After seven years away, the synth-pop return of a great Scottish songwriter

Brighton Festival: Haçienda Classical, The Dome

Despite an ill-balanced sound, the Mancunian orchestral/house music mash-up kicks off

classical

theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Rising stars of opera shine at major Polish-based international event

Cédric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall

A bold and vibrant programme of Hungarian modern masters

Prohaska, Eberle and Friends, Wigmore Hall

A mix of European chamber musicians with some surprising limitations

opera

theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Rising stars of opera shine at major Polish-based international event

4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith

A musical dramatisation of Sarah Kane's classic play finds both pain and consolation

Oedipe, Royal Opera

Tragedy transcended and patience rewarded in Enescu's epic myth

theatre

Romeo and Juliet, Garrick Theatre

Branagh's la dolce vita is ravishing, but superficial

A View from Islington North, Arts Theatre

Satirical swipes at politicians, plotters and prophets are only fitfully funny

Running Wild, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Patchy Michael Morpurgo adaptation scores with its puppets

visual arts

Jeff Koons: Now, Newport Street Gallery

More is always more when evoking the American dream

Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds rediscovered

Forgotten for over 1,000 years, eerily evocative treasures take centre stage at the British Museum

Grayson Perry: All Man, Channel 4

More whimper than bang as insightful series on modern masculinity ends in the City

dance

Carlos Acosta: A Classical Farewell, Birmingham Hippodrome

On his retirement tour, Cuban superstar showcases the young, and proves he's still got it

Frankenstein, Royal Ballet

New ballet has lavish production values, but the story's stretched thin

BalletBoyz, Life, Sadler's Wells

Controversial choreographer Javier de Frutos fakes own death, steals show

comedy

Julian Clary, Touring

Filthy, funny chat from the 'renowned homosexual'

Marcus Brigstocke, Soho Theatre

Observational comic gets some gripes off his chest

Victoria Wood: 'Please could you repeat the question?'

She was the most gifted comedian of her generation, male or female

gaming

Homefront: The Revolution

Home isn’t where the heart is in this overly ambitious shooter

Battleborn

Chaotic, cartoony, co-operative carnage

Pathfinder Adventures

A clever card game that benefits from a digital makeover

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

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