sun 26/10/2014

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

Reissue CDs Weekly: Minny Pops, The Pop Group

Kieron Tyler

Minny Pops: Drastic Measures, Drastic Movement The Pop Group: Cabinet of Curiosities, We are TimeTwo groups with tangential relationships to the pop in their names. One from...

The Wild Duck, Belvoir Sydney, Barbican Theatre

David Nice

Ibsen cast a cruel eye on the characters of his most relentlessly symbolic play – wild ducks wounded or domesticated by fate or character. They speak or behave unsympathetically,...

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

Is there an ideal way to programme Metamorphosen? Richard Strauss’s elegiac masterpiece requires 23 solo strings. That’s more than most chamber orchestras can muster, but with a...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Prokofiev, Shostakovich

Graham Rickson

 Bach: Partitas 1-6 Igor Levit (piano) (Sony)Martin Geck's sleeve essay accompanying this pair of discs is a good read, hinting at the subtleties and complexities lying just...

Lady Gaga, O2 Arena, London

Thomas H Green

Gaga’s relationship with her fanbase, her “Little Monsters”, is quite a thing. I’ve not seen the O2 so permanently on its feet. Large swathes of her capacity crowd are up and...

John Cooper Clarke, Town Hall, Birmingham

Guy Oddy

John Cooper Clarke has assumed many roles since he came motoring out of Salford in the mid Seventies, spitting out poetry from a distinctly untraditional view point. There were...

Wozzeck, BBCSSO, Runnicles, City Halls, Glasgow

Christopher Lambton

It takes a brave man to programme a single performance of Berg’s Wozzeck on a damp Thursday evening in Glasgow. But Donald...

Gerhard Richter, Marian Goodman Gallery

Marina Vaizey

Another October and another Frieze week just passed. This means the biggest of big hitters have been turning up in London....

Wet House, Soho Theatre

Marianka Swain

When gifting the unheard a voice, the temptation is often to make it a solemn one. Thankfully, Paddy Campbell has, for the...

Card Dungeon

Stuart Houghton

Mash-ups, genre-bending and creative anachronism can be a fun way to inject life into a stale idea. Pirates meet ninjas,...

Memphis, Shaftesbury Theatre

Edward Seckerson

It's throwback week on the West End, with two very different shows recalling the darkest days of America's racial disharmony...

Jimi: All Is By My Side

Karen Krizanovich

The Jimi Hendrix redux directed by John Ridley, Oscar-winning scriptwriter of 12 Years A Slave (and the underrated...

The Babadook

Nick Hasted

Mother love is mangled, yanked inside-out and tested almost to destruction in Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent’s...

Russian Avant-Garde Theatre, Victoria & Albert Museum

Sarah Kent

Installed in the main exhibition space, this could have been a blockbuster show introducing a large audience to an important...

Lee Mack, Eventim Apollo

Veronica Lee

The last time I saw Lee Mack live, my companion and I were literally in pain because we were laughing so much. It's perhaps...

10 Questions for Musician Fuse ODG

Matthew Wright

Anglo-Ghanaian musician Fuse ODG – born Nana Richard Abiona – is a leading exponent of the new Afrobeats movement, which...

Grayson Perry: Who Are You?, Channel 4

Jasper Rees

The night before he was locked up, Chris Huhne had that Grayson Perry round for tuna steaks. Who knew? Perry was embarking...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Nick Mulvey, Komedia, Brighton

Thomas H Green

The humming is rising. Only three songs in and already a large section of the crowd is swaying, tranced out, from side to...

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...

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...

 

10 QUESTIONS FOR MUSICIAN FUSE ODG Anglo-Ghanaian rising star of the Afrobeats scene on making a stand for Africa

LADY GAGA, O2 ARENA LONDON Adoring Gaga fans rewarded with show of multifaceted brilliance

RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE THEATRE, VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM The moment when theatre was transformed by visionary Russian directors

JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE Andre Benjamin is early Jimi Hendrix in John Ridley's alluring biopic

WOZZECK, BBCSSO, RUNNICLES, CITY HALLS, GLASGOW Thomas J Mayer heads stellar cast in showy performance of Berg's masterpiece

JOHN COOPER CLARKE, TOWN HALL, BIRMINGHAM The alternative Poet Laureate and National Treasure hits the road

PIERRE HUYGHE / PAUL MCCARTHY, HAUSER & WIRTH Eerie enviromental dystopias and hair-raising misanthropic rages 

GRAYSON PERRY: WHO ARE YOU?, CHANNEL 4 Engaging series about portraiture in action captures subjects at a crossroads

disc of the day

CD: Yusuf/Cat Stevens - Tell 'Em I'm Gone

This old Cat learns some new tricks

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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

DVD: Maleficent

This dark re-imagining of Disney's wicked fairy delivers in style and effects

Jimi: All Is By My Side

Andre Benjamin is early Jimi Hendrix in John Ridley's alluring biopic

The Babadook

A story-book monster stalks a mother and son, in emotionally rich Aussie horror

tv

Grayson Perry: Who Are You?, Channel 4

Engaging series about portraiture in action captures subjects at a crossroads

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?

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Minny Pops, The Pop Group

Post-punk mavericks from Amsterdam and Bristol

CD: Yusuf/Cat Stevens - Tell 'Em I'm Gone

This old Cat learns some new tricks

Lady Gaga, O2 Arena, London

Adoring Gaga fans rewarded with show of multifaceted brilliance

classical

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Fugitive beauty in late Strauss masterpiece, but not much of a helping hand

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Prokofiev, Shostakovich

Baroque keyboard suites and Soviet violin music

quartet-lab, Wigmore Hall

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

opera

Wozzeck, BBCSSO, Runnicles, City Halls, Glasgow

Thomas J Mayer heads stellar cast in showy performance of Berg's masterpiece

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

theatre

The Wild Duck, Belvoir Sydney, Barbican Theatre

Heartbreaking Ibsen adaptation mixes naturalism and forensic examination

Wet House, Soho Theatre

The desperate fate of addicts and outcasts is given bracingly humorous treatment

Memphis, Shaftesbury Theatre

Tony-winning Broadway export is well-sung but unoriginal

visual arts

Gerhard Richter, Marian Goodman Gallery

The heavyweight German artist inaugurates prestigious blue-chip gallery in London

Russian Avant-Garde Theatre, Victoria & Albert Museum

The moment when theatre was transformed by visionary Russian directors

Grayson Perry: Who Are You?, Channel 4

Engaging series about portraiture in action captures subjects at a crossroads

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

Lee Mack, Eventim Apollo

Amiable comic races through a disappointing set

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

gaming

Card Dungeon

A clever twist on dungeon adventuring that mostly works

The Swapper

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

Hellraid: The Escape

Hellish puzzles with lashings of gore

latest comments

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