sun 18/03/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Mark Kidel
Sunday, 18 March 2018
All the great sociologists, in the tradition of Georg Simmel, Max Weber and others, are on a mission. They cannot help wishing to change the world. Science should be value-free,...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 18 March 2018
Although its opening minute suggests one of Can’s Ethnological Forgery Series tracks, Jungle? Quelle Jungle? quickly sets its stall with gentle whacka-whacka guitar, a Cerrone-...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 18 March 2018
This column last encountered Cocteau Twins in 2015 when the compilation The Pink Opaque and the Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in a Shallow Bay album, which collected two EPs, were reissued...
David Nice
Saturday, 17 March 2018
You don't have to be a good director to manage the artistic side of an opera house. Daniel Kramer arrived at ENO and boosted morale at a time when company relations with then-CEO...
Katherine Waters
Saturday, 17 March 2018
Hot on the heels of International Women’s Day come three monologues written, directed and produced by women showing at Hoxton Hall. It’s kind of a treat, and kind of not.The...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 17 March 2018
Mary Magdalene’s story hasn’t suddenly become the second greatest ever told, despite its radical expansion here. Garth Davis’s follow-up to Lion is, though, a profoundly...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 17 March 2018
 Visions of Prokofiev Lisa Batiashvili (violin), Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Yannick Nézet-Seguin (DG)Buried beneath...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 17 March 2018
Oh dear. After a bumpy couple of years which included an all-too-public arrest for domestic violence assault to which he...
Hanna Weibye
Friday, 16 March 2018
The Royal Ballet last night presented an evening of Bernstein-scored ballets, two of them premieres by Wayne McGregor and...
Sarah Kent
Friday, 16 March 2018
Sometimes you come across an artwork that changes the way you see the world. Tacita Dean’s film portrait of the American...
David Nice
Friday, 16 March 2018
When a great musician pulls out of a concerto appearance, you're usually lucky if a relative unknown creates a replacement...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 16 March 2018
One of the oldest pleasures of cinema is the opportunity it gives us to look at beautiful people in beautiful places,...
Mark Kidel
Friday, 16 March 2018
Henri-Georges Clouzot is one of the giants of French cinema history, such a versatile master of entertainment that his...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Mild controversy hovers over the new film by Alex Garland, the novelist-turned-screenwriter-turned-director. Garland’s 2015...
Richard Bratby
Thursday, 15 March 2018
“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham...
Marina Vaizey
Thursday, 15 March 2018
It is a very human crowd at Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography. There are the slightly melancholic portraits of...
Katie Colombus
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Full disclosure: I have never quite gotten over Alexandra Burke's rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I'm not sure I...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Malcolm Middleton (b.1973) is a Scottish singer-songwriter whose music has a devoted fanbase. Instead of the faux-vulnerable...
Alexandra Coghlan
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
It was the work with which Handel conquered London, the Italian opera that finally wooed a suspicious English audience to...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Arnaud Despelchin’s My Golden Days is a strange beast; it is both a sequel and prequel to the gloriously titled...

★★★★ WAKE, BIRMINGHAM OPERA COMPANY Giorgio Battistelli's ambitious operatic parable

★★★★ THE SQUARE Ruben Östlund's Oscar-nominated assault on polite Swedish society

★★★★★ BEING BLACKER, BBC TWO Absorbing film about family, culture and society

ANTONY SHER: YEAR OF THE MAD KING The actor's Lear Diaries tell of his preparation to clamber up theatre's tallest peak for the RSC

★★★★★ FAUST, LSO, GARDINER, BARBICAN Schumann as never before

★★★ BERNSTEIN TRIPLE BILL, ROYAL BALLET Epic ambitions unfulfilled



disc of the day

CD: Bon Voyage Organization - Jungle? Quelle Jungle?

Clever but detached Gallic tribute to Seventies glossiness

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Annihilation, Netflix review - not quite a sci-fi masterpiece

Girl-power cast can't send Alex Garland's Earth-in-peril saga into orbit

Being Blacker, BBC Two review - absorbing film about family, culture and society

Molly Dineen documentary puts race identity in Brixton under the microscope

Below the Surface, BBC Four review - terror in Copenhagen

Dogged Danes versus ruthless subterranean hostage-takers


Mary Magdalene review - potent, feminist revisionism

Stripped-back, rigorously human reimagining of Jesus and his female disciple

The Square review - stylish, brilliantly acted satire

Ruben Östlund's Oscar-nominated assault on polite Swedish society

Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Le Corbeau, Quai des Orfèvres, La Prisonnière

Striking trio from the French master of eroticism and violence

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Cocteau Twins

Spiffy upgrades of the sonic sorcerers' 'Head Over Heels' and 'Treasure'

CD: Bon Voyage Organization - Jungle? Quelle Jungle?

Clever but detached Gallic tribute to Seventies glossiness

CD: Don McLean - Botanical Gardens

A most unstarry night


Classical CDs Weekly: Prokofiev, Philip Sawyers, Andrew Matthews-Owen

Russian violin concertos, plus two discs of contemporary music

Faust, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - Schumann as never before

An elusive violin concerto reassessed in victory for a misunderstood orchestral master

Ruthless Jabiru, King's College London / Arditti Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - delicate, dedicated modernism

Australians in refugee-themed concert, radical new sounds from avant-garde veterans


La traviata, English National Opera review - into a vortex of ineptitude

Daniel Kramer digs a grave for musical-theatre possibilities

Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

The chorus is the real star in Giorgio Battistelli's ambitious operatic parable

Rinaldo, The English Concert, Barbican review - Bicket's band steals the spotlight

Handel's London opera still serves up the sensations 300 years later


Female Parts: Shorts, Hoxton Hall review - women speak out
Adulteress, mother and immigrant tell their stories in three monologues
The Best Plays in London
From the Ides of March to modern monologues: theartsdesk's stage tips
Antony Sher: Year of the Mad King - extract
The actor's Lear Diaries tell of his preparation to clamber up theatre's tallest peak for the RSC


Bernstein triple bill, Royal Ballet review - epic ambitions unfulfilled

Composer outshines McGregor, Scarlett and Wheeldon in centenary tribute

Macbeth, Wilton's Music Hall review - incisive and thrilling dance theatre

Mark Bruce Company's wordless take on the Scottish Play is stunning

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

Perfect storytelling through dance from Marianela Nuñez and excellent supporting cast


Metal Gear Survive review - staying alive shouldn't be such a slog

Bring out your wild side in this strange survivalist simulation

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

visual arts

Victorian Giants, National Portrait Gallery review - pioneers of photography

Artistic searches, technical advances fuel the discoveries of the Victorian age

Murillo: The Self-Portraits, National Gallery review - edged with darkness

Exquisite exhibition prompted by Murillo's two self-portraits considers what can survive time's wreckage

latest comments

Thanks for this, Richard. Good to see such...

Very silly all the way through. The most spooky...

Wow - what a dreadful quality review. The whole...

Clarinets not flutes at the opening of Age of...

See Richard's comment above. Thanks for...

Great Review but having been at the premier last...

I found it not quite as wonderful as you suggest...


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