sat 28/05/2016

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

Paul Simon Introduces 'Stranger to Stranger'

Adam Sweeting

Perhaps as a hopeful harbinger for Paul Simon's new album Stranger to Stranger, Disturbed recently topped Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart with their flabbergasting...

Brighton Festival: Alexei Sayle, Corn Exchange

Nick Hasted

The last time I saw Alexei Sayle was at a benefit gig in Essex in the Eighties, when his rapid torrents of invective and surreal invention was stand-up as great as I’ve seen. Last...

Classical CDs Weekly: Kenneth Hesketh, Vaughan Williams, Ensemble Pygmalion

Graham Rickson

Kenneth Hesketh: horae (pro clara) Clare Hammond (piano) (BIS)Pianist Clare Hammond writes of Liverpudlian composer Kenneth Hesketh’s ‘fierce intelligence’ in her sleeve notes. He...

theartsdesk on Vinyl: Volume 17 - Paul McCartney, Moby, Grace Jones and more

Thomas H Green

News just in that the vinyl soundtrack to Star Wars: The Force Awakens will feature holograms that can seen as the record is played, if a light is shone upon it. It seems that...

CD: Bugzy Malone - Facing Time

Joe Muggs

In 2016, grime is facing a new test of its ability to operate on its own terms. At the start of this decade the genre was flirting with major label crossover that resulted in a...

The Threepenny Opera, National Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

Last seen at the National Theatre over 10 years ago, Brecht and Weill’s The Threepenny Opera is back in a new adaptation by Simon Stephens. But looking at Rufus Norris’s epic-...

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Ed Owen

How much you enjoy this new version of Alice Through The Looking Glass will be directly proportional to how much you revere...

Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Welsh National Opera

Stephen Walsh

Seventy years ago, almost to the month, Welsh National Opera took to the stage for the first time with a double bill of the...

Jekyll & Hyde, Old Vic

Jenny Gilbert

From time to time theatre managements hit on the idea that danced drama should be part of their remit. Nick Hytner flirted...

10 Questions for Photographer Tanya Habjouqa

Thembi Mutch

Tanya Habjouqa, winner of the World Press Photo Award 2014, is a founding member of the all-female Middle Eastern...

DVD: Battle for Sevastopol

Tom Birchenough

The latest in a long tradition of Russian Second World War films, Sergei Mokritsky’s Battle for Sevastopol itself emerged...

Romeo and Juliet, Garrick Theatre

Marianka Swain

Trouble remembering in which country Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers cross paths? Branagh’s panting paean to Fellini will...

Money Monster

Saskia Baron

This is one of those films where it really is better not to have seen the trailer first. Much of the pleasure is in the...

Going Going Gone, BBC Four

Tom Birchenough

In Going Going Gone Nick Broomfield was fighting to get access all over again – but it wasn’t exactly the same kind of...

Jeff Koons: Now, Newport Street Gallery

Sarah Kent

The second exhibition staged by Damien Hirst in his stunning Newport Street Gallery is of work from his collection by the...

Brighton Festival: Zvizdal, Corn Exchange

Thomas H Green

Berlin are, misleadingly, an arts unit from Antwerp, Belgium. They’ve been around for well over a decade and major in artily...

theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Gavin Dixon

We don’t hear much about composer Stanisław Moniuszko in the West, but in Poland he’s considered a key figure in the history...

A View from Islington North, Arts Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Is there any point to political satire? The great thing about the glory years of this genre in, say, the early 1960s was...

DVD: In a Lonely Place

Graham Fuller

In a Lonely Place (1950) contains one of the most harrowing night-time drives in all of film noir. Dix Steele (Humphrey...

4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith

Alexandra Coghlan

New operas are a risky business, or so the Royal Opera’s past experience teaches us. For years, visiting the company’s...

Running Wild, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Miriam Gillinson

Running Wild is a theatrical safari with no expenses spared. This latest stage adaptation of a novel by Michael Morpurgo (of...

Cédric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall

Gavin Dixon

This programme looked like a non-starter on paper, a long sequence of short Bartók dance settings, followed by a second half...

Rovers, Sky1

Jasper Rees

Football seeps into every cranny of British culture, but it's hard to name a great comedy or drama about the game of two...

The Burning Hell, Oslo

Kieron Tyler

“We’ve been visiting libraries on this tour and it’s a lot of fun learning people still read.” The words of The Burning Hell...

 

ROMEO AND JULIET, GARRICK THEATRE Branagh's la dolce vita is ravishing, but superficial

THE THREEPENNY OPERA, NATIONAL THEATRE A brutally efficient adaptation of Brecht and Weill's grubby classic

GOING GOING GONE, BBC FOUR Nick Broomfield in elegiac mode holds out for history

JEFF KOONS: NOW, NEWPORT STREET GALLERY More is always more when evoking the American Dream 

JEKYLL & HYDE, OLD VIC Dance version is loud and brash with all the horror and none of the mystery

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Wasikowska, Bonham Carter and Depp back in inventive if unfaithful Carroll sequel

disc of the day

CD: Bugzy Malone - Facing Time

As grime enters its mature phase, what contribution can Manchester make?

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Brighton Festival

Brighton Festival: Brighton – Symphony of a City, Brighton Dome

A cinematic cross-section of life in London-by-Sea

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two at the 50th Brighton Festival!

Prize includes hotel, a meal and event tickets

DVD: Pink String and Sealing Wax

Sub-texts galore in grade-A Ealing melodrama

tv

Going Going Gone, BBC Four

Nick Broomfield in elegiac mode holds out for history

Rovers, Sky1

Lo-fi football sitcom starring Craig Cash and Sue Johnston has its heart in the right place

Wallander, Series 4, BBC One

Agreeable scenery can't compensate for feeble plot and unconvincing characters

film

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Wasikowska, Bonham Carter and Depp back in inventive if unfaithful Carroll sequel

DVD: Battle for Sevastopol

Impressive Russian World War II sniper story with international dimension

Money Monster

George Clooney and Julia Roberts star in enjoyable anti-Wall Street drama

new music

Paul Simon Introduces 'Stranger to Stranger'

Not so crazy after all these years

theartsdesk on Vinyl: Volume 17 - Paul McCartney, Moby, Grace Jones and more

From Afrobeat to psychedelia, from electronica to guitar pop, it's all here on plastic

CD: Bugzy Malone - Facing Time

As grime enters its mature phase, what contribution can Manchester make?

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Kenneth Hesketh, Vaughan Williams, Ensemble Pygmalion

Modern British pianism, two very English symphonies and a musical trip down the Rhine

theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Rising stars of opera shine at major Polish-based international event

Cédric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall

A bold and vibrant programme of Hungarian modern masters

opera

Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Welsh National Opera

Double bill celebrates Italy in Wales and seventy years of changing styles

theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Rising stars of opera shine at major Polish-based international event

4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith

A musical dramatisation of Sarah Kane's classic play finds both pain and consolation

theatre

Six of the best: Theatre

A thrilling revival of contemporary classic 'Blue/Orange' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

The Threepenny Opera, National Theatre

A brutally efficient adaptation of Brecht and Weill's grubby classic

Romeo and Juliet, Garrick Theatre

Branagh's la dolce vita is ravishing, but superficial

visual arts

10 Questions for Photographer Tanya Habjouqa

The award-winning photographer talks about her new book, 'Occupied Pleasures'

Jeff Koons: Now, Newport Street Gallery

More is always more when evoking the American Dream

Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds rediscovered

Forgotten for over 1,000 years, eerily evocative treasures take centre stage at the British Museum

dance

Jekyll & Hyde, Old Vic

Dance version is loud and brash with all the horror and none of the mystery

Carlos Acosta: A Classical Farewell, Birmingham Hippodrome

On his retirement tour, Cuban superstar showcases the young, and proves he's still got it

Frankenstein, Royal Ballet

New ballet has lavish production values, but the story's stretched thin

comedy

Brighton Festival: Alexei Sayle, Corn Exchange

The Comedy Store legend reminisces, and sometimes sparks

Julian Clary, Touring

Filthy, funny chat from the 'renowned homosexual'

Marcus Brigstocke, Soho Theatre

Observational comic gets some gripes off his chest

gaming

Homefront: The Revolution

Home isn’t where the heart is in this overly ambitious shooter

Battleborn

Chaotic, cartoony, co-operative carnage

Pathfinder Adventures

A clever card game that benefits from a digital makeover

Listed

Listed: Forget the Force
Star Wars wasn't the only groundbreaking film of 1977. We identify some others
The 11 Best Gigs on Film (after Stop Making Sense)
As Talking Heads' masterpiece is restored on disc, we hail the great screen concerts
Listed: The 100 Funniest Things about Downton Abbey
Julian Fellowes' juggernaut has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in six series. Here's how he did it

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