mon 21/08/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Veronica Lee
Monday, 21 August 2017
Ingrid Oliver ★ ★ ★ ★ Ingrid Oliver is an old Edinburgh hand as one half of the sketch duo Watson and Oliver, but this is her debut solo show, and a very fine...
Mark Kidel
Monday, 21 August 2017
Iron and Wine’s songs sweet melancholy songs are instantly recognisable, as if Sam Beam, their principal author inhabited a parallel universe of the American imagination, a...
Jasper Rees
Sunday, 20 August 2017
It’s a burning question of western civilisation: what persuades young people brought up among us to walk out on their lives and join the cult of murderous fanatics who call...
David Nice
Sunday, 20 August 2017
From sunset to sunrise, across aeons of time, usually flashes by in Schoenberg's polystylistic epic. Not last night at the Proms: Simon Rattle is too much in love with the sounds...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 20 August 2017
A few days ago we learned that British taxpayers have unwittingly donated around £1m. in aid to the police and court systems of Egypt’s military dictatorship, via an opaque “...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 20 August 2017
The Some Bizzare Album was released in January 1981. Compiled by DJ Stevo, it featured twelve unsigned acts he felt represented a fresh way of approaching pop – one enabled by the...
Guy Oddy
Sunday, 20 August 2017
It seems quite a shock to consider that it’s now ten years since Portico Quartet’s breakthrough album Knee-Deep In The North...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 19 August 2017
Luke is a Silicon Valley billionaire, a high-tech wizard. And he’s just had a message from God. And what does God say? Well...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 19 August 2017
Krenek: Complete Piano Concertos, Volume 2 Mikhail Korzhev, Eric Huebner (pianos), Nurit Pacht (violin), Adrian Partington (...
Javi Fedrick
Saturday, 19 August 2017
Mogwai’s ability to create both frighteningly intense and gorgeously understated compositions has led to them being one of...
Demetrios Matheou
Friday, 18 August 2017
When An Inconvenient Truth won the best documentary Oscar 10 years ago, the film’s success marked two significant events: a...
David Kettle
Friday, 18 August 2017
 Meet Me at Dawn ★★★★★ Edinburgh-based playwright Zinnie Harris is the subject of a particular focus at this year’...
Jasper Rees
Friday, 18 August 2017
It was only at the dawn of the Blair age that Peter Kosminsky truly emerged as a basilisk-eyed observer of the nation’s...
Jasper Rees
Friday, 18 August 2017
There are three bravura scenes in Ronin that merit the price of acquisition. Two of them are French car chases, one along...
Saskia Baron
Thursday, 17 August 2017
No cliché is left unturned in this odd-couple action comedy. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson are the salt ‘n’ pepper...
Alexandra Coghlan
Thursday, 17 August 2017
Every play is a Brexit play. This much we have learnt in the year since the referendum. But in Nancy Meckler’s hands the...
Barney Harsent
Thursday, 17 August 2017
Whether it’s the £400,000 that separates Mishal Husain from John Humphrys, or the 74 million miles between the ...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 17 August 2017
Hannah Gadsby ★★★★This is Hannah Gadsby's last show, she tells us. Not because she has stopped being funny (she most...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 17 August 2017
True to their name, Finland’s Man Duo are male and there are two of them. The better-known half is former Helsinki tram...
David Kettle
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
It was an intriguing, contrast-filled programme that Swiss-born pianist Andreas Haefliger brought to Edinburgh for his Queen...

★★★ AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER Back on the road with his stirring environmental road show, Gore doesn't expect Donald Trump to gatecrash his party

RIP LIZ MACKEAN - HUNTED: GAY AND AFRAID Remembering a forceful investigative journalist

★★ KING LEAR, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE Kevin R McNally stars in a tragedy so quiet it proves almost inaudible at times

★★★★ EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 2017: ANDREAS HAEFLIGER A recital that was both frustrating and visionary from the Swiss-born pianist

★★★★ DVD/BLU-RAY: THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR T A welcome return for Dr Seuss's mind-bending fantasy

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 2017: Meet Me at Dawn / The Shape of the Pain / Wild Bore

Q&A PETER KOSMINSKY PART 2 The director of C4's new drama 'The State' has always taken the pulse of modern Britain

CHRISTOPHER SHINN: 'I did not know if I would be alive and someone wanted me to write a play'

disc of the day

CD: Beast Epic - Iron and Wine

Americana as comfort food - a refuge from US realities

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The State, Channel 4 review - dishonest portrait of British jihadis

Peter Kosminsky's drama about British recruits to IS means well but doesn't ring true

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Peter Kosminsky, Part 2

The director of C4's new drama The State has always taken the pulse of modern Britain. Here he talks about his Blair trilogy

The best TV to watch this week

What to watch and where to find it


An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power review - Al Gore's urgent update

Back on the road with his stirring environmental road show, Gore doesn't expect Donald Trump to gatecrash his party

Blu-ray: Ronin

Robert De Niro leads a classy cast through French car chases in thrilling pursuit of a MacGuffin

The Hitman's Bodyguard - potty-mouthed, turgid waste of talents

Formulaic high-end action movie fails to challenge Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds

new music

CD: Beast Epic - Iron and Wine

Americana as comfort food - a refuge from US realities

Reissue CDs Weekly: Blancmange

Repackaged trio of Eighties albums reveals synth-popper’s art-rock roots

CD: Portico Quartet - Art In The Age Of Automation

Post-jazzers revisit their early sound for some laidback grooves


Prom 46 review: Gurrelieder, LSO, Rattle - gorgeous colours, halting movement in Schoenberg's monsterpiece

Karen Cargill and Thomas Quasthoff provide the tingle quotient in a Proms spectacular

Classical CDs Weekly: Krenek, Belfiato Quintet, Bjarte Eike's Barokksolistene

Atonal piano concertos, Czech wind music, and a trip to a 17th century pub

Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: Andreas Haefliger

A recital that was both frustrating and visionary from the Swiss-born pianist


Prom 31 review: La Damnation de Faust, Gardiner - Berlioz tumbles out in rainbow colours

Youth in the choir and a youthful 74-year-old conductor spark a supernatural masterpiece

Prom 29 review: BBCSO, Bychkov - Musorgsky's Khovanshchina sears in concert

Superlative conducting and cast vindicate a drama of political chaos as a total work of art

Michael Volpe on a Requiem for Grenfell: 'one of the most remarkable evenings in our history'

Opera Holland Park's General Director on the company's response to losing a team member in the Grenfell Tower fire


Against, Almeida Theatre review - Ben Whishaw is a modern-day Jesus
New American drama about God and violence is baggy, but often brilliant
Edinburgh Festival and Fringe 2017 reviews round-up
theartsdesk recommends the shows to catch this August
Edinburgh Festival 2017 reviews: Meet Me at Dawn / The Shape of the Pain / Wild Bore
Grief, loss, unending pain - and critics talking out of their backsides


La Bayadère, Mariinsky Ballet review - a parade of delights

Russians save the best till last in lavish display of showmanship and art

Contrasts, Mariinsky Ballet review - company shows off range of its powers

Ekaterina Kondaurova the star as Russians display heritage and contemporary works at Royal Opera House

Swan Lake, Mariinsky Ballet review - Xander Parish lacks the spark of wildfire

Heritage company fail to set stage alight in good, but not great, performance at the Royal Opera House


Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Ingrid Oliver / Darren Harriott / Jayde Adams

An excellent mimic, a strong debut, and a dynamic entertainer

Edinburgh Festival and Fringe 2017 reviews round-up

theartsdesk recommends the shows to catch this August

Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Hannah Gadsby / Suzi Ruffell / Ivo Graham / Athena Kugblenu

A possible valediction, class concerns, feeling the privilege, and millennial politics


h.Club 100 Awards: Video games - you've come a long way, baby

From hit shows on Classic FM to bestselling novels, the influence of videogames stretches far beyond the confines of the screen

Enter theartsdesk's Young Reviewer of the Year Award

In association with The Hospital Club's h.Club 100 Awards, we're launching a new competition to find a brilliant young critic

Get Even review – good idea ineptly handled

The odds are stacked against you in this ambitious psychological thriller

visual arts

James Hamilton: Gainsborough - A Portrait review - an artistic life told with verve and enthusiasm

An original, chatty but scholarly biography of the great English artist

Matisse in the Studio, Royal Academy review - a fascinating compilation

Intriguing insight into the artist's relationship with his possessions

The Best Exhibitions in London

Giacometti, Picasso, Pink Floyd and more: our favourite shows to see now


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