tue 17/01/2017

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

Alexandra Coghlan
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
It takes some pretty special casting to spice up Richard Eyre’s Royal Opera regular, currently returning for its fourteenth revival (with a fifteenth on the cards later this year...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
Let’s explain the peculiar title first: Operation Anthropoid was the code name given by the Czech Resistance for the planned assassination of Reinhard Heidrich in Prague during...
David Kettle
Monday, 16 January 2017
You can tell it’s a big deal when even a handful of London critics abandon the capital for a Saturday evening in chilly Glasgow. And there were more besides in the capacity crowd...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 16 January 2017
Nick Mohammed doesn't do things by halves as his chatty airhead alter ego Mr Swallow. Forget the scholarly approach of finely researched biographies of Harry Houdini (“boring!”);...
Robert Beale
Monday, 16 January 2017
Colin Matthews’s arrangements for orchestra of the 24 Debussy Préludes (originally commissioned by the Hallé) have been widely admired. The BBC Philharmonic’s concert, conducted...
Matthew Wright
Monday, 16 January 2017
The flaming pigtails say it all. More St Trinian’s than gangsta, the 23-year-old Croydon rapper Nadia Rose presents (mostly) the lighter side of South London street life. Despite...
David Nice
Sunday, 15 January 2017
The Big Mac – as in Ligeti's music-theatre fantasia on the possible death of Death – is here to stay. Back in 1990...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 15 January 2017
In the heat of a Texas summer, Aaron Holland Broussard comes of age. It’s 1952:  the two world wars still cast their...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 15 January 2017
In 1942, Roy Acuff set up Acuff-Rose Music in partnership with Nashville-based songwriter and talent scout Fred Rose. The...
Thomas H Green
Sunday, 15 January 2017
God knows we need originality in pop, and French singer Petite Meller delivers it. At least, she does visually, which, in...
Alexandra Coghlan
Saturday, 14 January 2017
There’s a passage in Martin Crimp’s impeccable libretto for Written on Skin that describes a page of illuminated manuscript...
Jasper Rees
Saturday, 14 January 2017
La La Land needs no further introduction. A homage to the golden age of the movie musical, to Michel Legrand and The...
Marina Vaizey
Saturday, 14 January 2017
"Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!" Curly the cowboy sang in the opening scene of Oklahoma!, the first...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 14 January 2017
 Gavin Higgins: Dark Arteries and other works Tredegar Town Band/Ian Porthouse (Tredegar Town Band)The heavy industries...
Mark Kidel
Saturday, 14 January 2017
Eno pioneered ambient music way back in the 1970s, in collaborations with Robert Fripp, Jon Hassell, Harold Budd, and on his...
Jasper Rees
Friday, 13 January 2017
On screen, two hoodlums in macs and homburgs debate the best way to waste a victim. One of them, played by Peter Sellers,...
Jasper Rees
Friday, 13 January 2017
There is an event at the heart of Manchester by the Sea that cannot be spoken about, either here or by any character who is...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 13 January 2017
You could call it the Corbynisation of new writing. In the past couple of years, a series of plays have plumbed the lower...
Richard Bratby
Friday, 13 January 2017
Birmingham audiences are a supportive bunch. There was never much likelihood that they’d greet Andris Nelsons’s first...
Jasper Rees
Friday, 13 January 2017
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the highest-grossing film produced exclusively in New Zealand, and yet it snuck into UK cinemas...

WRITTEN ON SKIN, ROYAL OPERA This contemporary classic only gets better with each hearing

INTERVIEW: MARIUS DE VRIES, MUSICAL DIRECTOR OF LA LA LAND Everything you need to know about the creation of the music for an instant classic

SUNDAY BOOK: JAMES LEE BURKE – THE JEALOUS KIND The heavyweight champ returns to conclude his trilogy

SOUND OF MUSICALS WITH NEIL BRAND, BBC FOUR The magic swirling trip from the Edwardian musical to the Broadway blockbuster

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: ROY ACUFF Hefty box set dedicated to the King of Country Music is a lesson in the history of American music

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Casey Affleck is quietly immense in Kenneth Lonergan's powerful study of loss

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Anthropoid

Gruelling, gripping World War Two thriller

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Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four

The magic swirling trip from the Edwardian musical to the Broadway blockbuster

Hospital, BBC Two

Unmissable insight into the inner workings of the biggest, sickest patient of them all

Interview: Claire Foy, Netflix queen

Celebrating the great British actress who rules the waves (and the Golden Globes)


DVD/Blu-ray: Anthropoid

Gruelling, gripping World War Two thriller

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top films out now

Interview: Marius de Vries, musical director of La La Land

Everything you need to know about the creation of the music for an instant classic

new music

CD: Nadia Rose - Highly Flammable

Croydon rapper's debut is fresh, funny and full of attitude

Reissue CDs Weekly: Roy Acuff

Hefty box set dedicated to the King of Country Music is a lesson in the history of American music

CD: Petite Meller - Lil Empire

Lush Afro-pop and infantilised vocal stylings that are - eventually - persuasive


The Last Supper, BBCSSO, Brabbins, City Halls, Glasgow

A thrilling renaissance for Birtwistle's ritualistic religious opera

Bavouzet, BBCPO, Collon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

A new mirror on Ravel, left-hand piano virtuosity and subtle Shostakovich

Classical CDs Weekly: Gavin Higgins, Christopher Simpson, Pina Napolitano

Brass bands, viols and a pair of 20th century piano concertos


La traviata, Royal Opera

A revival full of youthful energy and passion

The Last Supper, BBCSSO, Brabbins, City Halls, Glasgow

A thrilling renaissance for Birtwistle's ritualistic religious opera

Le Grand Macabre, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Demi-staging of Ligeti's apocalypse-maybe hits hard but misses the wit and brio


Wish List, Royal Court Theatre
New play about casual work is thinly written and lacks drama
The Kite Runner, Wyndhams Theatre
Adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's bestseller is not built to soar
The Best Plays in London
Potter, Schiller and fish: theartsdesk's stage tips


Giselle, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Cojocaru and Hernández delicious in perfect heritage production

Best of 2016: Dance & Ballet

Tamara Rojo's ENB and Akram Khan trump Royal Ballet in theartsdesk's highlights

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 Final, BBC One

Ore Oduba's win is evidence that light entertainment isn't just white entertainment


Mr Swallow - Houdini, Soho Theatre

Daft escapist fun from bumbling spoof performer

The Great Indoors, ITV2

Limp US inter-generational sitcom starring an out-of-place Stephen Fry

Scott Gibson, Soho Theatre

Award-winning show about a medical calamity


The Best Games of 2016

theartsdesk's gamers choose their personal highlights of the year

Time Locker

Is this top-down 2D endless run & gun game a timeless classic?

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Infinite warfare but finite fun

visual arts

Gavin Turk, Newport Street Gallery

He poses as Sid Vicious, Elvis, Warhol and Pollock. Will the real Gavin Turk stand up?

Australia's Impressionists, National Gallery

The visual discoveries of France applied in the open landscapes of a young nation

John Berger: the critic as artist

Remembering the influential and radical thinker who has died aged 90

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