wed 24/05/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Welcome back, John Boyega. Less than a decade ago, he was an unknown budding British stage actor, then he took off as a global film star thanks to his role as Finn in Star Wars:...
Sebastian Scotney
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
This was very fine concert indeed, plus a lot more. The first half was a very carefully planned series of unveilings around the theme of Béla Bartók and Hungarian folk music...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
We’ve recently seen how Formula One heroes Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda and James Hunt can become box office gold, in the form of Senna and Rush. Roger Donaldson’s profile of New...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Tristan & Yseult has become something of a calling card for Kneehigh, which was founded in 1980 and is now the unofficial National Theatre of Cornwall. Emma Rice, currently...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
It’s a tricky business, approaching comedy on a day when a national tragedy has just occurred. Comedian and broadcaster Adam Buxton is aware of this. It was especially noticeable...
Barney Harsent
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Initially released to coincide with Record Shop Day (we’re in the UK so yes, it’s a shop, thanks very much), we’re a little late out of the blocks with the Miracle Legion frontman...
Thomas H Green
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Brighton is getting a bit above itself tonight. There’s a weird full moon atmosphere in the Theatre Royal, even though it’s...
Peter Quinn
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Almost 50 years since he started working on it, and following its world premiere in New York in February, it was a huge...
James Woodall
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
This is the most frustrating film. It’s probably no fault of the makers, but it’s rare to have to assess a documentary for...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
An Australian who emigrated to New Zealand in 1965, Roger Donaldson cut his teeth in documentaries and TV before launching...
Steve O'Rourke
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
In 2013, NetherRealm Studios, the creative force behind the multi-million-selling Mortal Kombat franchise, got their hands...
Nick Hasted
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
The subtitle of Richard Nelson’s new trilogy suggests an anti-Trump polemic. Instead, its miraculous, almost invisible craft...
Kieron Tyler
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Initially, Madame de… feels as if it might wear out its welcome. What seems a wearisome exposition on how privileged people...
Ismene Brown
Monday, 22 May 2017
 A Saudi princess in her white wedding dress digs her own grave as men pile up stones to hurl at her head — next, an...
Javi Fedrick
Monday, 22 May 2017
Old, young, or somewhere in the middle - people of all ages fill the seats around me and noisily wait for the evening to...
Bella Todd
Monday, 22 May 2017
Dream palace, cesspit and church; celebrated, mopped (by Marlene Dietrich, no less) and fucked: Brighton’s Theatre Royal has...
Russ Coffey
Monday, 22 May 2017
On its release, Linkin Park's recent single, "Heavy", with its lightweight, warbling vocals, caused serious distress among...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 21 May 2017
The news that Colm Tóibín has written a novel about Orestes, Clytemnestra, Electra and the whole accursed House of Atreus...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 May 2017
As the producer of the early Kinks and Who, Shel Talmy’s status as one of British pop’s most important figures is assured....
Guy Oddy
Sunday, 21 May 2017
Notwithstanding the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays’ underwhelming reunions, it comes as something of a shock to realise that...

★★★ HIGHLIGHTS FROM PHOTO LONDON 2017 Our resident photographer rummages through a mixed bag

★★★★ YASMINE HAMDAN, SCALA Lebanese indie star dreamily balances Orient and Occident

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: SHEL TALMY There's more to the producer than his work with The Kinks and The Who

★★★★ SYMPHONIC DANCES, ROYAL BALLET New Scarlett creation shines in a musical mixed bill

★★★ RICHARD III, ARCOLA THEATRE Arch machination and misogyny in its hero lift an otherwise under-nuanced production

★★★★★ COLM TÓIBÍN: HOUSE OF NAMES A daring, and triumphant, return to the Oresteia

disc of the day

CD: Mark Mulcahy - The Possum in the Driveway

The Miracle Legion frontman's latest solo effort consistently surprises

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The best TV to watch this week

What to watch and where to find it

Three Girls, BBC One review - drama as shattering public enquiry

Truthful acting earns audience trust for a story of catastrophic institutional failure

Kat and Alfie: Redwater, BBC One review – 'EastEnders' spinoff suffers from no fixed identity

Can the 'EastEnders' couple survive without the Albert Square life support system?


McLaren review - illuminating portrait of New Zealand's racing ace

Director Roger Donaldson revisits the career of a motorsport icon

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! review - without a little help from their friends

Absence of original music undermines Sgt. Pepper and Beyond documentary

10 Questions for film director Roger Donaldson – 'motor racing in the 1960s was incredibly dangerous'

The story of his new documentary about racing driver Bruce McLaren, who was killed 47 years ago

new music

CD: Mark Mulcahy - The Possum in the Driveway

The Miracle Legion frontman's latest solo effort consistently surprises and, more often than not, delights

London Vocal Project, Jon Hendricks review - towering homage to a Miles Davis classic

Kings Place hosts European premiere of vocalese master's magnum opus

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! review - without a little help from their friends

Absence of original music undermines Sgt. Pepper and Beyond documentary


Classical CDs Weekly: Joubert, Mahler, Simon Thacker & Justyna Jablonska

A very English opera, an iconic song cycle, and a meeting between guitar and cello

Kempf, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Simonov, Cadogan Hall

Rachmaninov war horse becomes prize thoroughbred in a riveting interpretation

Monteverdi Vespers, Vox Luminis, FBC, St John's Smith Square

Where was the vocal drama and the joy in Monteverdi's greatest sacred work?


Hipermestra / La Traviata, Glyndebourne

Baroque opera debuts in Isis imagery - how does that work? Plus Verdi revival

Y Tŵr, MTW, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Fine new chamber opera in Welsh proves singing not dead in the land of song

Ariodante, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican

The orchestra was the real hero in this superb concert performance of Handel's opera


Woyzeck, Old Vic review - John Boyega’s thrillingly powerful triumph
Finn from 'Star Wars' dominates a radical rewrite of Georg Büchner classic
The Best Plays in London
Catch David Tennant, Eve Best, John Boyega and Damian Lewis in theartsdesk's stage tips
Tristan & Yseult, Brighton Festival review - playful and inventive storytelling
Emma Rice's revival of Kneehigh classic is a wonderful synthesis of artforms


m¡longa, Brighton Festival review - sensual tango explosion

Sidi Larbi Charkaoui's tribute to the Argentine dance exudes vibrancy and dexterity

Symphonic Dances, Royal Ballet review - a truly interesting creation

New Scarlett creation shines in a musical mixed bill

Ghost Dances: Rambert, Sadler's Wells review - vital and joyfully precise dancing

This South American triple bill is highly entertaining, but should it be?


Jeremy Hardy, Brighton Festival review - expert raconteur shows political bite

Radio 4 regular's conversational style masks a passionate pin-sharp topicality

Ricky Gervais, Touring review - chatty and relaxed riffing

Some very personal material among the edgy content

Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - 'politics is her patch'

Former Labour adviser finds the funny in politics


Injustice 2 review - the even better sequel

A superhero soap opera with more twists and turns than a Netflix 12-parter

Prey review - environmental puzzles steal the show

In space no one can hear you... ponder a puzzle

theartsdesk at The Hospital Club

Announcing a new partnership with the most creative club in London

visual arts

Highlights from Photo London 2017 - virtual reality meets vintage treasure

Our resident photographer rummages through a mixed bag

57th Venice Biennale review - riveting and bewildering

Extreme art trek provides enough high points to justify the foot sores

latest comments

It is so true that love is all that matters and...

Alfano's original completion of the opera is far...

Serious critics who are far more knowledgeable...

Beautifully written, I too watched in admiration...

Your dismissal of Kaufmann's solo version of Das...

A thought provoking documentary on difficult...

Thank you, Jasper! At least I can credit this...

The production was riddled with errors and...


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