wed 27/05/2015

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

The Beaux' Stratagem, National Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

Between Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and Everyman it was beginning to look like we were never going to get a proper, uncomplicated laugh in Rufus Norris’s National...

Common People Festival, Southampton

Caspar Gomez

Perhaps it was after Bestival 2008 that its organizer, Rob da Bank, made his pact with the ancient gods. That year the Robin Hill Country Park site was reduced to a cold, sleet-...

Ehnes, Armstrong, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Violinists either fathom the elusive heart and soul of Elgar’s music or miss the mark completely. Canadian James Ehnes, one of the most cultured soloists on the scene today, is...

CD: Major Lazer - Peace Is The Mission

Guy Oddy

When producers Diplo and Switch released their collaboration Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do under the guise of Major Lazer in 2009, it gave the electronic dance scene a much...

Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk, Turner Contemporary

Fisun Güner

Imagine if broadcasters thought the only living pop star worth giving air time to was Lady Gaga. Imagine – the horror. It would be wall-to-wall Gaga for the foreseeable future....

Gotham, Series 1 Finale, Channel 5 / Daredevil, Netflix

Adam Sweeting

Finally reaching its concluding 22nd episode, delayed further by the "mid-season break" fashionable with American shows, Gotham [****] stands tall as a distinctive contribution to...

Listed: Essential BBC Proms

theartsdesk

Hottest tickets for seats at the Proms have probably all gone already. Yet the beauty of it is that so long as you start...

DVD: The Long Good Friday/Mona Lisa

Nick Hasted

“No other city has in its centre such an opportunity for profitable progress.” Anyone depressed and outraged by London’s...

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Nick Hasted

Margaret Atwood’s Forties childhood was spent knocking around the Canadian backwoods with her forest entomologist, proto-...

1945: The Savage Peace, BBC Two

Tom Birchenough

“Enjoy the war, for the peace will be savage,” was apparently a macabre joke circulating in the German military towards the...

Perspectives: War Art with Eddie Redmayne, ITV

Marina Vaizey

The country is groaning under the weight of commemorations, exhibitions, publications and programmes all marking significant...

CD: Man Power – Man Power

Barney Harsent

The mysterious figure of Man Power has been making waves for a while now. A series of mixes and remixes and frankly jaw-...

King Lear, Northern Broadsides, Touring

Ismene Brown

Jonathan Miller’s new King Lear is rustic to its core, spoken in broad Northern accents, and the whole production could be...

Tetzlaff, LSO, Harding, Barbican

Alexandra Coghlan

With Kavakos, Faust, Shaham and Skride already been and gone, and Jansen, Ehnes, Bell and Ibragimova still to come, the LSO’...

Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Gavin Dixon

After Calixto Bieito’s radical reimaging of Carmen, which opened at English National Opera this week, David McVicar’s...

Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

David Nice

No two symphonic swansongs could be more different than Sibelius’s heart-of-darkness Tapiola and Nielsen’s enigmatically...

Carleen Anderson: A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Nick Hasted

Carleen Anderson’s range of vocal scales and styles is matchless in contemporary pop. Where she aims those enviable...

theartsdesk in Dresden: Fire and Ice

Paul Gent

Dresden is slowly opening up to the world. All but destroyed by British bombing in the Second World War, locked away inside...

CD: Pokey LaFarge - Something in the Water

Lydia Perrysmith

At gigs by Irish blues-rockers The Strypes or Dutch swing fanatic Cara Emerald, what’s shocking is how old and staid their...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Damned

Kieron Tyler

The Damned: Go! 45At the end of 1979, Britain’s first three 1976-born punk bands were in very different situations. The Sex...

Mark Knopfler, O2 Arena

Russ Coffey

For many, Mark Knopfler will forever evoke a golden age of Eighties' soft rock. His headband might have been easy to mock...

10 Questions for Musician Pokey LaFarge

Lydia Perrysmith

Pokey LaFarge (b. 1983) is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and American history enthusiast. Based in St Louis,...

theartsdesk Radio Show 9

theartsdesk

Been a while since you checked out the best and latest world music releases? theartsdesk’s global music expert Peter Culshaw...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Shostakovich, Henrik Schwarz

Graham Rickson

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Florilegium, dir. Ashley Solomon (Channel Classics)This is a predictably satisfying pair of...

 

LISTED: ESSENTIAL BBC PROMS Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

THE ARTS DESK RADIO SHOW 9 Listen to the hottest new transcontinental music

KING LEAR, NORTHERN BROADSIDES, TOURING Jonathan Miller's vivid new production puts Lear in a Yorkshire accent

GRAYSON PERRY: PROVINCIAL PUNK, TURNER CONTEMPORARY The overexposed artist with pots, frocks and comforting clichés about Britain

DVD: THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY/MONA LISA London gangster greatness from Bob Hoskins

1945: THE SAVAGE PEACE, BBC TWO The story of the cruel aftermath of war told in bruising documentary

MARGARET ATWOOD AND GRAEME GIBSON, CORN EXCHANGE, BRIGHTON Canadian literary great and author husband talk birds, and each other

disc of the day

CD: Major Lazer - Peace is the Mission

Uber-producer Diplo loses his edge and indulges in middle of the road EDM sounds

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We Made It

We Made It: Rebecca Salter RA

The British artist talks about a life inspired by traditional Japanese crafts

We Made It: Artist Joseph Popper

Drones, space capsules and set-building as fine art

We Made It: Candle Maker Ted Thompson

From Cumbria to the Globe, it's Ted's beeswax

tv

Gotham, Series 1 Finale, Channel 5 / Daredevil, Netflix

Comic book heroes battle for control of the small screen

1945: The Savage Peace, BBC Two

The story of the cruel aftermath of war told in bruising documentary

Perspectives: War Art with Eddie Redmayne, ITV

Oscar-winning actor proves that he did learn something as a Cambridge art history student

film

DVD: The Long Good Friday/Mona Lisa

London gangster greatness from Bob Hoskins

The New Girlfriend

A touching transvestite romcom from François Ozon

DVD: Germany Pale Mother

A rediscovered German classic about a mother and child's wartime bond

new music

Common People Festival, Southampton

Grace Jones and Clean Bandit headline a boisterous new event from the Bestival crew

CD: Major Lazer - Peace Is The Mission

Uber-producer Diplo loses his edge and indulges in middle of the road EDM sounds

CD: Man Power – Man Power

The story of a hidden identity and a debut full of personality, wit and invention

classical

Ehnes, Armstrong, Wigmore Hall

Flawless violin-and-piano duo in rich programme of works from around 1915

Listed: Essential BBC Proms

Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

Tetzlaff, LSO, Harding, Barbican

Ecstatic Beethoven dragged back to earth by some workaday Brahms

opera

Listed: Essential BBC Proms

Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Fresh revival with strong cast and dynamic conducting from Jakub Hrůša

Poliuto, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Donizetti gets Glyndebourne's season off to a sober and psychological start

theatre

The Beaux' Stratagem, National Theatre

Energetic and irreverent comic delight from start to finish

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Canadian literary great and author husband talk birds, and each other

King Lear, Northern Broadsides, Touring

Jonathan Miller's vivid new production puts Lear in a Yorkshire accent

visual arts

Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk, Turner Contemporary

The overexposed artist with pots, frocks and comforting clichés about Britain

Perspectives: War Art with Eddie Redmayne, ITV

Oscar-winning actor proves that he did learn something as a Cambridge art history student

Corin Sworn: Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery

Impostors and stolen identities explored in an installation inspired by the Commedia dell’Arte

dance

Dark Arteries, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Brass band the highlight of new triple bill

Woolf Works, Wayne McGregor, Royal Ballet

Leaden score and ponderous choreography do an injustice to Bloomsbury author's name

theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Gavin Higgins

Rambert Dance Company's inaugural Music Fellow discusses his new ballet score

comedy

Nina Conti, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Wonderfully funny evening with a comedian-ventriloquist at the top of her game

Alex Horne: Monsieur Butterfly, Soho Theatre

Playful show during which the comic builds his own set

Panti: High Heels in Low Places, Soho Theatre

Drag artist tells her charming and funny story

gaming

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

A beautifully detailed fantasy world to lose yourself in

Project CARS

Racing simulation puts choice over personality

Westerado: Double Barreled

Manifest destiny... for a few pixels more

Listed

Listed: Essential BBC Proms
Our classical writers choose 12 of the best
Listed: The Very Best of 2015
theartsdesk's writers recommend the one thing above all to look forward to in each art form
Listed: The Facts about Factual TV in 2014
This year's documentaries climbed high and swung low on Britain's social ladder

latest comments

".. the film almost seemed to imply that the (...

Ditto. Brahms was magnificent and the chorus were...

Point taken but I don't think there was any need...

I wish to disagree most vehemently with Alexandra...

Workaday? Underpowered? Timid? Where were you?

Many years ago, I sat watching an episode of the...

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