wed 22/10/2014

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

Pierre Huyghe/ Paul McCarthy, Hauser & Wirth

Fisun Güner

In a tavern somewhere in Tokyo, two Japanese macaque monkeys work a daily, two-hour shift (under Japanese law, these hours are regulated). Dressed in miniature uniforms, the...

Fury

Emma Simmonds

As the bald title suggests, Fury is a work of righteous, focussed rage. It's a combat film which swaps preaching and profundity for pure anger at the brutalising, destructive war...

Culture Club, Heaven

Matthew Wright

In the time that Culture Club have been planning reunions, bands, movements, whole musical eras have come and gone. And still, once every couple of years, a rumour circulates, and...

quartet-lab, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Musical theatre needn’t be dominated by the human voice. Instrumental dramas with an element of acting can be a good way into the wonderful world of chamber music for younger...

Nick Mulvey, Komedia, Brighton

Thomas H Green

The humming is rising. Only three songs in and already a large section of the crowd are swaying, tranced out, from side to side, like southern Baptists, swept along by an extended...

Neville's Island, Duke of York's Theatre

Marianka Swain

Hell is other people. It’s not the wilderness that poses the greatest threat to the stranded corporate bonding quartet in this docile Lord of the Flies-meets-The Office...

Serena

Jasper Rees

If you make a film about logging, you better be sure the audience can see the wood for the trees. When Jennifer Lawrence and...

The Scottsboro Boys, Garrick Theatre

Edward Seckerson

You come away from The Scottsboro Boys sure of two things: that the next cakewalk you hear will induce queasiness and that...

The Way He Looks

Tom Birchenough

Falling in love for the first time is one of the standard tropes of the movies. Brazilian director Daniel Ribeiro gives it a...

Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World, Globe Theatre

Sarah Kent

On Saturday at Shakespeare’s Globe, the Alternative Miss World was staged for the 13th time. Having launched this gloriously...

Witches and Wicked Bodies, British Museum

Florence Hallett

Wicked women have always sold well, but more than that, they have fired the artistic imagination in a quite exceptional way...

The House That Will Not Stand, Tricycle Theatre

Marianka Swain

Bigger is better in the Tricycle’s latest piece of reclaimed black history. African-American writer Marcus Gardley’s...

Storyville: Russia's Toughest Prison - The Condemned, BBC Four

Tom Birchenough

The initial challenge – and there should be no underestimating the scale of it – of Nick Read’s documentary Russia's...

LFF 2014: Germany, Pale Mother

Nick Hasted

When can Nazi Germany be humanised? Never, many German critics believed on Germany, Pale Mother’s 1980 release, when it was...

This Is Where I Leave You

Veronica Lee

Normally in Hollywood films, adult siblings being forced to spend time together is Thanksgiving-related, but in Shawn Levy's...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jonathan Nott

David Nice

When I entered the light and spacious chief conductor’s room in Bamberg’s Konzerthalle, Jonathan Nott was poised with a...

Gypsy, Chichester Festival Theatre

Edward Seckerson

There’s a moment of stunned silence in Imelda Staunton’s storming Mama Rose at the Chichester Festival Theatre, a long, long...

The spooky and the bold in the art of contemporary China

Mark Sheerin

In China there are more than 100 million fans of Manchester United. At least that’s what I’m told when I get to the the city...

LFF 2014: Winter Sleep

Nick Hasted

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner is an epic chamber piece by a contemporary great. From the moment a stone...

Schama on Rembrandt: Masterpieces of the Late Years, BBC Two

Marina Vaizey

The chatty, loquacious, exuberant Simon Schama, whose seminal 1987 book on Holland in the 17th century, The Embarrassment of...

Ashton Mixed Bill, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

This morning, those who follow ballet on both sides of the Atlantic might be feeling a bit like the male soloists at the...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Madness

Kieron Tyler

 Madness: One Step Beyond - 35th Anniversary EditionLast time One Step Beyond was reissued on CD, for its 30th...

LFF 2014: Margarita, With A Straw

Karen Krizanovich

In the vein of My Left Foot, Inside I’m Dancing and Gaby: A True Story, Margarita, With A Straw focuses on living a full...

Richard Serra, Gagosian Gallery

Marina Vaizey

The septuagenarian American sculptor Richard Serra can treat the most massive sheets of steel as though they are handy...

 

WITCHES AND WICKED BODIES, BRITISH MUSEUM From classical antiquity to the Victorian era, witches have held artists under their spell

THE WAY HE LOOKS Gentle Brazilian gay adolescent drama rings stronger that its story suggests

THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, GARRICK THEATRE Kander & Ebb's startling, stirring musical gets a West End upgrade

ANDREW LOGAN'S ALTERNATIVE MISS WORLD, GLOBE THEATRE The delightfully shambolic talent show that's become a national treasure

ASHTON MIXED BILL, ROYAL BALLET Symphonic Variations is the highlight among fine works by supreme British choreographer

disc of the day

CD: The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave

Scottish indie band's misery is appealingly well-groomed

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six of the best

Six of the best: Theatre

Kings, kids and singing despots: a bit of everything in theartsdesk's tips

Six of the best: Art

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top exhibitions

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

film

Fury

David Ayer and Brad Pitt take the war film by the scruff of the neck

Serena

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reunite. What can possibly go wrong?

The Way He Looks

Gentle Brazilian gay adolescent drama rings stronger that its story suggests

tv

Storyville: Russia's Toughest Prison - The Condemned, BBC Four

Nick Read's long-stretch documentary on remote Russian prison life

Schama on Rembrandt: Masterpieces of the Late Years, BBC Two

Simon Schama campaigns and entertains, but does he explain?

The Great Fire, ITV

ITV's historical drama is long on intrigue but short on action

new music

Culture Club, Heaven

Intriguing taster gig suggests successful reunion is on the way

CD: The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave

Scottish indie band's misery is appealingly well-groomed

Nick Mulvey, Komedia, Brighton

One of Britain's most potent, original singer-songerwiters sparks bright

classical

quartet-lab, Wigmore Hall

Four brilliant players need a stage director, but still electrify in Beethoven and Crumb

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jonathan Nott

An Englishman abroad on balancing Mahler and Strauss with contemporary music

Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Poulenc, Orbert Davis

Viennese music from Denmark, effervescent ballet scores transcribed for piano, and a 1960s classic gets a reboot

opera

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jonathan Nott

An Englishman abroad on balancing Mahler and Strauss with contemporary music

Life on the Moon, English Touring Opera

Costumes, conductor and star tenor keep this mundane Haydn opera afloat

The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera

Fiona Shaw's Mozart makes a joyous return to the Coliseum

theatre

Neville's Island, Duke of York's Theatre

Like its marooned middle-managers, Tim Firth's comedy loses its way

The Scottsboro Boys, Garrick Theatre

Kander & Ebb's startling, stirring musical gets a West End upgrade

Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World, Globe Theatre

The delightfully shambolic talent show that's become a national treasure

visual arts

Pierre Huyghe/ Paul McCarthy, Hauser & Wirth

Eerie enviromental dystopias and hair-raising misanthropic rages

Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World, Globe Theatre

The delightfully shambolic talent show that's become a national treasure

Witches and Wicked Bodies, British Museum

From classical antiquity to the Victorian era, witches have held artists under their spell

dance

Ashton Mixed Bill, Royal Ballet

Symphonic Variations is the highlight among fine works by supreme British choreographer

Shadows of War, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Atmospheric revival of 1944 Miracle in the Gorbals, the centrepiece of an unusual triple bill

Bosque Ardora, Rocío Molina, Barbican

Flamenco innovator presents a woodland realm to remember

comedy

Paul Daniels, Touring

Expertly executed magic tricks with old-school humour

Lee Evans, O2 Arena

No amount of fart gags and racing about can hide the cobwebs on these jokes

Luisa Omielan, Soho Theatre

Joyous and raucous hymn to modern womanhood

gaming

The Swapper

Clone-killing puzzle game asks what your soul looks like…

Hellraid: The Escape

Hellish puzzles with lashings of gore

Alien: Isolation

Stealth and horror mix in this often unnerving resurrection of the iconic enemy…

latest comments

Interesting interview, and what’s particularly...

The King Lear of the American Musical stage.

Oh no, me neither: it's not your failing. I was...

This review is excellent and shows a deep...

Yeah, spot on, it was brilliant. The world of the...

But that's the thing, John: by the end of it I...

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