wed 10/02/2016

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

Happy Valley, Series 2, BBC One

Jasper Rees

“It’s routine, it’s procedure.” “It’s wank, it’s toss.” As you can tell, Happy Valley is back. If Sally Wainwright made bespoke ironmongery or dry stone walls or exceedingly good...

The Survivalist

Adam Sweeting

This is the first feature by writer-director Stephen Fingleton, and has earned him a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut. Set in Fingleton's native Northern Ireland, it's a...

Zavalloni, Saeijs, Britten Sinfonia, Rundell, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

The music of Louis Andriessen is instantly recognisable but frustratingly difficult to define. The American Minimalists are a strong influence, but so too is Stravinsky, and...

Rock History Revisited in HBO's Vinyl

Adam Sweeting

It was 20 years ago that Mick Jagger suggested to Martin Scorsese that they should make a film "that spanned four decades of the world of music in New York City". The idea has...

CD: The Jezabels - Synthia

Lisa-Marie Ferla

It would be easy to write off The Jezabels’ third album as style over substance. The gaudy, synth-heavy gloom-pop of Synthia seeks to catch you off guard with its sexualised sighs...

Generation Painting 1955-65, Heong Gallery, Cambridge

Marina Vaizey

The individual colleges of the University of Cambridge can call, when needed, on an astonishing international network of alumni for expert advice, consultation and financial...

The Mighty Handful, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House

David Nice

What fun it must have been to attend any of the St Petersburg Free Music School concerts during the second half of the 19th...

The X-Files, Channel 5

Lisa-Marie Ferla

It’s 2016, and The X-Files is the most popular TV show in the world. The very idea that over 20 million people in the US...

CD: Barry Adamson - Know Where To Run

Guy Oddy

If these decisions were made on the back of quality and creativity rather than marketing muscle, Barry Adamson wouldn’t just...

War and Peace, Series Finale, BBC One

David Nice

At the end of Episode Five, Brian Cox's savvy old Field-Marshal Kutuzov gave the order to retreat and abandon Moscow, with...

Bruegel in Black and White: Three Grisailles Reunited, Courtauld Gallery

Florence Hallett

Now that Renaissance altarpieces live for the most part in museums and not churches, our experience of them is, quite...

We Made It: Stuntwoman Tracy Caudle

Florence Hallett

With a raft of high-quality digital effects available, real stunts might seem a little old-fashioned. In truth, the art of...

CD: Wendy James - The Price of the Ticket

Thomas H Green

In the latter half of the 1980s, Wendy James’s band Transvision Vamp created quite a stir. Their music, including a chart-...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Long Ryders

Kieron Tyler

For its 6 April 1985 issue, the NME chose The Long Ryders as its cover stars. The colour picture of the band was emblazoned...

CD: Basia Bulat - Good Advice

Kieron Tyler

Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat’s first three albums were recognisably folky. Her main instrument was the autoharp....

Battlefield, Young Vic Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Legendary director Peter Brook makes theatre that teaches audiences to be human. Now 90 years old, he brings his latest...

The Magic Flute, English National Opera

Alexandra Coghlan

“We are at a time of present crisis.” When Sarastro addressed his boardroom of business-suited acolytes last night, there...

Fleming, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Renée Fleming recently announced her imminent retirement from the opera stage. But she has no plans to stop performing, and...

Trumbo

Graham Fuller

Trumbo depicts the 13-year struggle by the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) to break the blacklist imposed on him...

The Room 3

Stuart Houghton

The Room 3 is the latest in Fireproof Games' series of tactile puzzle games that invite you to twist, prod and rotate on-...

Classical CDs Weekly: Dutilleux, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Amy Dickson

Graham Rickson

Dutilleux: Le Loup, and other early works Vincent Le Texier (baritone), Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire/Pascal Rophé...

CD: Kula Shaker - K2.0

Russ Coffey

When Kula Shaker first tasted success in 1996, classic rock was at its least fashionable. That, however, wasn't the reason...

The Winter's Tale, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Alexandra Coghlan

For a play about silence – its uncanny ability to tell the truth, to “persuade when speaking fails” – The Winter’s Tale is...

The Devil Inside, Peacock Theatre

David Nice

"I wish I had money," exclaims the weak-willed hero of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress and, hey presto, the devil appears...

 

THE X-FILES, CHANNEL 5 Long-awaited sci-fi return gets off to a lacklustre start

CD: BARRY ADAMSON - KNOW WHERE TO RUN Ex-Bad Seed lays down some fine cinematic soul

THE MIGHTY HANDFUL, ROH ORCHESTRA, PAPPANO, ROYAL OPERA HOUSE Lively Russian nationalist goody-bag not quite filled to the brim

SIX OF THE BEST: THEATRE 'The mother of the blues' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY Early works from a French 20th century giant, Russian piano concertos and Australian saxophone music

GENERATION PAINTING 1955-65, HEONG GALLERY, CAMBRIDGE New Downing space opens with the mid-century collection of former Tate director Alan Bowness

disc of the day

CD: The Jezabels - Synthia

Aussie four-piece throw out the rulebook on immersive third album

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We Made It

We Made It: Stuntwoman Tracy Caudle

Forget Evel Knievel: a well-crafted stunt is more about precision than daring

We Made It: 'The Revenant' Production Designer Jack Fisk

How he stunningly recreated the authentic American frontier of 1823

We Made It: Double Bass Maker Laurence Dixon

Love at first sight, a six-day week and the satisfaction of a job well done

tv

Happy Valley, Series 2, BBC One

Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire return to police work in Yorkshire laden with BAFTAs

Rock History Revisited in HBO's Vinyl

Scorsese and Jagger shine a light on the Seventies music business

The X-Files, Channel 5

Long-awaited sci-fi return gets off to a lacklustre start

film

The Survivalist

The end of the world as we know it

Trumbo

Glib account of the blacklisted screenwriter's resisting of Hollywood's Red-baiters

DVD: Bill

An irreverent Shakespearean romp, not just for kids

new music

CD: The Jezabels - Synthia

Aussie four-piece throw out the rulebook on immersive third album

CD: Barry Adamson - Know Where To Run

Ex-Bad Seed lays down some fine cinematic soul

CD: Wendy James - The Price of the Ticket

Transvision Vamp's vamp makes a not entirely convincing stab at New York punk

classical

Zavalloni, Saeijs, Britten Sinfonia, Rundell, Barbican

Subtle connections help frame fascinating portrait of the Dutch pioneer

The Mighty Handful, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House

Lively Russian nationalist goody-bag not quite filled to the brim

Fleming, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

Star soprano shines in adventurous new works

opera

The Magic Flute, English National Opera

Mozart's opera rediscovers its magic in this revelatory revival

The Devil Inside, Peacock Theatre

Compelling new Faustian-pact opera is small in scale but big on ideas

L'Étoile, Royal Opera

Chabrier's pretty music for an absurdist comedy needs more sparkle

theatre

Six of the best: Theatre

'The mother of the blues' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

Battlefield, Young Vic Theatre

Peter Brook revisits 'The Mahabharata' with a perfection that ultimately feels chilly

The Winter's Tale, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Shakespeare's tale is told quietly here but with tremendous charm and impact

visual arts

Generation Painting 1955-65, Heong Gallery, Cambridge

New Downing College space opens with the mid-century collection of former Tate director Alan Bowness

Bruegel in Black and White: Three Grisailles Reunited, Courtauld Gallery

Virtuoso works by the Netherlandish master dazzle and beguile

Painting the Modern Garden, Royal Academy

Monet triumphs in a celebration of nature tamed

dance

The Return, Circa, Barbican

Exile-themed circus show is rather too serious

Rhapsody/The Two Pigeons, Royal Ballet

Too much sugar in Ashton double bill

Le Corsaire, English National Ballet, Coliseum

Spectacular dance fireworks make this hoariest and silliest of Russian classics worth seeing

comedy

Reeves & Mortimer, Leicester De Montfort Hall

The gloriously daft duo return

Dave Gorman, Touring

Likeable comic points out life's inanities

Eddie Izzard, Palace Theatre

Surreal comic kicks off his West End run

gaming

The Room 3

A tactile puzzle of ingenious construction

Life Is Strange Limited Edition

Acclaimed graphic adventure episodes finally gets the boxset treatment

Best of 2015: Games

Action replay! We select the top titles from a vintage year in games

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

Thanks for the pointer, Alexander. I went to Road...

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 Trumbo the film, I do not judge the fine...

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