sat 30/08/2014

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

Kate Bush - Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith

Russ Coffey

Ms Bush walked on in a black, tasselled tunic with the slight air of an aging hippy. Her feet were bare and her tousled hair, half tied-back. And that – for anyone who had managed...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Unsuk Chin, Dvořák

Graham Rickson

 Bruckner: Symphony no 2 Wiener Symphoniker/Carlo Maria Giulini (Wiener Symphoniker)No apologies for reviewing a reissue, as this disc is fabulous. Originally a 1974 EMI...

Blondie’s New York and the Making of Parallel Lines, BBC Four

Kieron Tyler

“It looked like Dresden after the bombing.” Blondie’s Chris Stein may be a member of one of pop’s most-loved bands, but he also has a way with words. Describing 1970's New York...

Stammer School: Musharaf Finds His Voice, Channel 4

Tom Birchenough

What a difference four days can make. Stammer School: Musharaf Finds His Voice took us on an emotional journey from deep frustration and pain towards something like triumph and...

Obvious Child

Emma Dibdin

Opening as it does on a frank, witty and somewhat extended discussion of female discharge, Obvious Child lets you know from the outset that it is every bit as uninterested in...

CounterSpy

Simon Munk

CounterSpy looks brilliant. This stealth-action adventure delivers a perfect Man From U.N.C.L.E. spy aesthetic in videogame form. And largely delivers on the premise in gameplay...

Les Troyens, Mariinsky Opera, Gergiev, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

The Edinburgh Festival reserved its biggest operatic event for last. From St Petersburg, the Mariinsky Opera brought a...

Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Circa, Beyond

Hanna Weibye

Once, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was all about penniless students presenting avant-garde plays to audiences of three in...

Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets, Channel 4

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Mid-week at 9pm has always struck me as the perfect televisual sweet spot. It’s not so close to the weekend that you’re...

Patrias, Paco Peña Flamenco Company, Edinburgh Playhouse

Hanna Weibye

Dance as an art form doesn’t have a great track record in social and historical commentary. The endless grey areas, not to...

Million Dollar Arm

Emma Simmonds

Disney's latest is a film which must have itself represented a hell of a pitch. Based on a true story, it's basically...

Steen Raskopoulos, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Steen Raskopoulos has hit the ground running with his debut show; it was nominated for a Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award (...

The Grand Seduction

Katherine McLaughlin

 Taylor Kitsch’s doomed film career continues with this trite but good natured Canadian mash-up of Doc Hollywood and...

Prom 53: Brahms Symphonies, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Jessica Duchen

About 10 minutes into the Brahms Third Symphony I wanted to check a name in the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s programme. I...

Worst Place To Be A Pilot, Channel 4

Matthew Wright

Since Big Brother, Channel 4 has become expert at selecting naively self-promoting members of the public, and rubbing their...

Guglielmo Tell, Teatro Regio Torino, Noseda, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Hanna Weibye

First, confessions. I’m the dance critic here at theartsdesk. Yes, this is a review of a concert performance of an opera,...

Mystery Road

Kieron Tyler

Returning to the small town you grew up in after a spell in the big city can often be problematic. Old friends now think you...

Prom 52: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Sebastian Scotney

The first of this year's two Proms by the Budapest Festival Orchestra had looked like a rather strange confection, on paper...

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Katherine McLaughlin

There’s no rest for the wicked and corrupt in Frank Miller’s sequel to Sin City which sees him team up once again with...

John Kearns/ Alex Edelman/ This Is Ceilidh

Veronica Lee

John Kearns: Shtick, Voodoo Rooms ****London comic John Kearns made history at the weekend, when he became the first comic...

Al Murray's Great British War Films, BBC Four

Andy Plaice

Fifty-seven minutes into this hour-long programme entitled "Al Murray’s Great British War Films", our host put panellist Dan...

Richard Attenborough, 1923-2014

Nick Hasted

Richard Attenborough made himself known to the British public as a shark-eyed, snivelling psychopath. Pinkie, the teen...

Prom 50: Weilerstein, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohlávek

Edward Seckerson

Even as orchestras began to sound more and more alike, there was the Czech Philharmonic. And many of its notable...

Crystal Springs, Park Theatre / Little Stitches, Theatre503

Naima Khan

Here's a fun fact: this year the Merriam-Webster dictionary added a new definition for the noun "catfish". As well as the...

 

STEEN RASKOPOULOS, SOHO THEATRE Superb character comedy from Australian debutant

WORST PLACE TO BE A PILOT, CHANNEL 4 Fascinating and original concept only partially ruined by condescending direction

GUGLIELMO TELL, TEATRO REGIO TORINO, NOSEDA, USHER HALL, EDINBURGH Wildly thrilling Festival performance enough to convert anyone to Rossini

PATRIAS, PACO PEÑA FLAMENCO COMPANY, EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE Rich, thoughtful show from flamenco legend

THE GRAND SEDUCTION Brendan Gleeson stars in this twee and trite Canadian comedy from Don McKellar

disc of the day

CD: Dr John - Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch

New Orleans’ titan sits on his laurels in the company of Louis Armstrong

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Listed

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From Mork to mawkish, the clips that define a brilliant career
Listed: 10 Mozart Operas You've Never Heard (of)
As La finta giardiniera comes to Glyndebourne, we've got the pick of Mozart's lesser-known operas
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Family fun features as strongly as grown-up revels at many summer music festivals

six of the best

Six of the best: Theatre

Let the right Mormons in: a bit of everything in theartsdesk's tips

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Six of the best: Art

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top exhibitions

film

Obvious Child

Jenny Slate stars in a frank, wry study of female arrested development

Million Dollar Arm

Jon Hamm makes his bid for movie stardom in a semi-winning baseball drama

The Grand Seduction

Brendan Gleeson stars in this twee and trite Canadian comedy from Don McKellar

tv

Blondie’s New York and the Making of Parallel Lines, BBC Four

Superficial tribute to one of pop’s great albums

Stammer School: Musharaf Finds His Voice, Channel 4

Great television as stammerers make moving journey towards self-expression

Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets, Channel 4

Flimsy documentary is one for the feline-minded

new music

Kate Bush - Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith

It's the most hyped gig of the year - but how good is it really?

Blondie’s New York and the Making of Parallel Lines, BBC Four

Superficial tribute to one of pop’s great albums

CD: Dr John - Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch

New Orleans’ titan sits on his laurels in the company of Louis Armstrong

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Unsuk Chin, Dvořák

Romantic symphonies from Austria and the Czech Republic, and contemporary concerti from South Korea

Prom 53: Brahms Symphonies, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Exceptional control and finesse allow Brahms’s masterpieces to shine supreme

Prom 52: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Whole string sections with the ability to phrase cleverly and subtly as one

opera

Les Troyens, Mariinsky Opera, Gergiev, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Russian stars bring rich operatic highlight to last week of Edinburgh Festival

Guglielmo Tell, Teatro Regio Torino, Noseda, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Wildly thrilling Festival performance enough to convert anyone to Rossini

Rinaldo, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Schoolboy humour transforms Handel's opera into a deliciously adult drama

theatre

Crystal Springs, Park Theatre / Little Stitches, Theatre503

Cyberspace goings on and reports from the frontline of FGM

The Lion, St James Theatre Studio

Benjamin Scheuer's stirring solo show has both heart and heft

See Rock City & Other Destinations, Union Theatre

The emotional voyage takes literal form in this heartfelt if generic new musical

visual arts

Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale of Three Cities, BBC Four

Does James Fox have anything interesting to say? Judging from this series, no

Edinburgh Art Festival: Scotland to outer space

Anticipating the independence referendum, questions of Scottish identity fill the air

The Beauty of Anatomy, BBC Four

Adam Rutherford's exploration of Leonardo and the dark art of human dissection

dance

Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Circa, Beyond

Entertaining circus show from top-quality Australian ensemble

Patrias, Paco Peña Flamenco Company, Edinburgh Playhouse

Rich, thoughtful show from flamenco legend

Sweet Mambo, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Edinburgh Playhouse

German choreographer's late work delights Edinburgh Festival audience

comedy

Steen Raskopoulos, Soho Theatre

Superb character comedy from Australian debutant

John Kearns/ Alex Edelman/ This Is Ceilidh

Winning shows at the Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Chris Turner/ BEASTS/ Angela Barnes/ Show Pony

More from the world's biggest and best arts festival

gaming

CounterSpy

Visually striking stealth-action game leaves one stirred, but not very shaken…

Road Not Taken

It looks cute, but this puzzle game has a chilling heart…

Duet

A challenge that combines fast reactions with graceful movement

latest comments

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