sun 04/12/2016, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 03 December 2016
What stroke of prescience brought two Sam Shepard plays to London in the very month America voted for Trump? The kind of people we’re learning to call the disenfranchised have...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 03 December 2016
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (Complete) Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko (Lawo Classics)The three suites which Prokofiev extracted from his ballet Romeo and Juliet are...
Ismene Brown
Saturday, 03 December 2016
This House arrives in the West End with magic timing - a comedy about the farcical horrors of being a government with a wafer-thin majority, frantically wheeling out dying,...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 03 December 2016
The 37th studio album from the man dubbed “the godfather of grunge” is raw, down and dirty-sounding – like many of the problems Neil Young grapples with. Recorded over four days...
Heather Neill
Friday, 02 December 2016
The cry "Let's pretend" must have been heard often when J M Barrie played with the Llewelyn Davies boys in Kensington Gardens or at Black Lake Cottage in Surrey. The five sons of...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 02 December 2016
The pilot and the sniper have a lot in common for Clint Eastwood. In his previous US blockbuster, American Sniper, Chris Kyle’s cool shooting under pressure helped extract his...
Tom Birchenough
Friday, 02 December 2016
For anyone disposed to treat the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as hallowed ground – and such issues have gained much currency at...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 02 December 2016
The Dardennes brothers' latest tale from the grim streets of the industrial suburb of Liège in Belgium is another quietly...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 02 December 2016
This story drops down the rabbit-hole so fast, you doubt it’ll ever hit bottom. Kiwi TV presenter David Farrier’s human...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 01 December 2016
Anyone hoping for a few laughs and a nice bit of catharsis after enduring the eight unstintingly miserable episodes of The...
Markie Robsonscott
Thursday, 01 December 2016
“This is an emergency. Homicides in Chicago, Illinois have surpassed the death toll of American special forces in Iraq.”...
Kelly Hunter
Thursday, 01 December 2016
“I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, Were it not that I have bad dreams…” 2016, with...
Robert Beale
Thursday, 01 December 2016
With two of the biggest parts of the tetralogy already behind them, it might have seemed that Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 01 December 2016
A welcome antidote to the mood of a time which seems hell-bent on closing borders and building walls, The Music of Strangers...
Mark Sanderson
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Howard Brenton (Christie in Love) and Ruth Rendell (Thirteen Steps Down) are just two of the many writers inspired by the...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
As an old Sixties lefty brought up on paranoia-infused thrillers like The Parallax View or All the President's Men, Oliver...
Bernard Hughes
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Leonard Bernstein once said that his favourite piece of Stravinsky was whatever one he happened to be listening to. I have a...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Tom Allen may have started life in Bromley, a non-descript south London suburb, but there was always a touch of Oscar Wilde...
Gavin Dixon
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Thomas Søndergård stood in for this concert at a day’s notice – Valery Gergiev is apparently recovering from a knee...
Guy Oddy
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Those with an ear open to loud experimental music of a certain stripe may already be aware of some of the members of Sex...

THE UNKNOWN GIRL Subtle Belgian noir about a doctor haunted by a young woman's death

THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS Picaresque musical journey led by cellist Yo-Yo Ma is thoughtfully inspiring


SWAN LAKE/LOCH NA HEALA, SADLER'S WELLS Agony meets ecstasy in radical Irish take on the ballet

DAS RHEINGOLD, HALLE, ELDER, BRIDGEWATER HALL, MANCHESTER Consummate 'preliminary evening' of the Ring from a master Wagnerian

THE LITTLE MATCHGIRL, SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE Hans Christian Andersen made contemporary, infused with Emma Rice's trademark brio

KINGS OF INFINITE SPACE As her touring Hamlet reaches London, director Kelly Hunter reflects on packing Elsinore into a suitcase

THE MISSING, SERIES 2 FINALE, BBC ONE Gloom-drenched odyssey reaches miserable conclusion

disc of the day

CD: Neil Young - Peace Trail

Righteous anger but insufficient effort

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The Missing, Series 2 Finale, BBC One

Gloom-drenched odyssey reaches miserable conclusion

Rillington Place, BBC One

Reginald Christie's Notting Hill murders revisited with horror and black humour

MPs: Behind Closed Doors, Channel 5

Constituents come off best in a fly-on-the-wall documentary about their representatives


Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks are the right men for an epic of understated heroism

The Unknown Girl

Subtle Belgian noir about a doctor haunted by a young woman's death

DVD: Tickled

The laughter doesn't last in a gripping documentary about fetishes and power

new music

CD: Neil Young - Peace Trail

Righteous anger but insufficient effort

CD: Sex Swing - Sex Swing

Underground noisemongers’ debut is inspired but defiantly uncommercial

CD: The Rolling Stones - Blue & Lonesome

Rolling back the years to the deep Chicago Blues


Classical CDs Weekly: Prokofiev, Daniel Röhn, Ayreheart

A great ballet score gets a definitive reading, a nostalgic violin recital, and an American quartet tackle the hits of the English Renaissance

Uchida, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, RFH

British pianist successfully follows a tried and tested recipe

Douglas, LSO, Søndergård, Barbican

Russian classics energised by clean lines and precise textures


Das Rheingold, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Consummate 'preliminary evening' of the Ring from a master Wagnerian

Alice's Adventures Under Ground, Barbican

Gerald Barry's crazy velocity berserks both 'Alice' books in rude style

Large, Hudson Shad, BBCSO, Gaffigan, Barbican

Storm-force Brecht and Weill means lumpy Korngold is worth enduring


Buried Child, Trafalgar Studios
Ed Harris gives a masterclass in Sam Shepard's gothic family drama
This House, Garrick Theatre
Sharp Seventies political farce comes suddenly bang up to date
Peter Pan, National Theatre
Sally Cookson brilliantly reinvents a Christmas favourite to hook in all ages


Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, Sadler’s Wells

Agony meets ecstasy in radical Irish take on the ballet

Conceal/Reveal, Russell Maliphant Company, Messums Barn

Modern dance finds a serene new home in a 13th-century tithe barn

The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet

Christmas classic is never disappointing - and these principals always winning


Tom Allen, Soho Theatre

Intricately constructed tale about suburbia

The Catherine Tate Show Live, Eventim Apollo

Go on, have a guess. Terrific live tour of sketch show favourites

Susan Calman, Soho Theatre

Feelgood stand-up with a political punch


Time Locker

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

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Infinite warfare but finite fun

Titanfall 2

Robot Wars goes up a notch

visual arts

'Before punk, there was Rauschenberg'

As a major retrospective opens at Tate Modern, musician and producer Justin Adams reflects on his lifelong love of an American great

Portrait of the Artist, The Queen's Gallery

A rich history of art through painters' eyes

Flaming June, Leighton House Museum

Reunited with the artist's final works, a painting rarely seen but endlessly reproduced

latest comments

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