tue 21/02/2017

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

Mark Sanderson
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now…One of the many ironies of Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon’s massive novel...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
A new work by Igor Stravinsky is always going to be a major event, so Sunday evening’s UK premiere of his rediscovered Funeral Song was hotly anticipated. The score disappeared...
Marianka Swain
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
The Other Palace’s housewarming party certainly lives up to its billing as a wild one – wet and wild, in fact, as the first three rows are sporadically doused with bathtub gin....
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Does a review of a 25-year-old film need a spoiler alert? Much of the success of the movie when it was released in 1992 (six Oscar nominations, huge box office returns – although...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 20 February 2017
“What if the Germans had won the war?” has been a recurring theme in fiction, from Noel Coward’s Peace in Our Time to Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Robert Harris’...
David Nice
Monday, 20 February 2017
Polish composer Szymanowski's Ovid triptych Mythes achieved something like cult status thanks to an iridescent recording. Everyone knew the pianist, the great Krystian Zimerman;...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 20 February 2017
“I’m not necessarily the ‘I’ in my songs” declared Tom Waits in James Maycock's documentary, its title a tipping of the...
Steve O'Rourke
Monday, 20 February 2017
A sniper is a thinking man’s soldier. The aloof assassin is always outnumbered but never outgunned, a patient predator and...
Saskia Baron
Monday, 20 February 2017
Slipped out in the Storyville slot without much fanfare, Life, Animated is the Oscar-nominated documentary which won a...
Guy Oddy
Monday, 20 February 2017
Any listeners who may have been concerned that Anton Newcombe’s last few years of sobriety might result in him turning down...
Matthew Wright
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Novelist Jake Arnott has an eye for seedy glamour. The Fatal Tree takes the 1720s underworld - the setting of John Gay’s The...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 19 February 2017
On first pass, Beautica comes across as an exotic hybrid of 1991 school-of-Slowdive shoegazing and the fidgety music pre-...
Filiz Ali
Sunday, 19 February 2017
I was 11 years old when my father was killed. A body was found near the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. According to...
Tom Birchenough
Sunday, 19 February 2017
There’s rich irony in the timelining of 1940s Chinese blockbuster The Spring River Flows East. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli’...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 18 February 2017
Sometimes a film can transcend its formulaic confines. That's triumphantly the case with Hidden Figures, a largely...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 18 February 2017
Sex workers come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone knows that. But why do they do it? Why does anyone take the risk of being...
Hanna Weibye
Saturday, 18 February 2017
Before this Sadler's Wells Flamenco Festival-opening performance of Israel Galván's show FLA.CO.MEN, my guest wanted to...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 18 February 2017
The only British gig in Josh Ritter’s so-called work-in-progress tour took place in the somewhat unlikely venue of St...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 18 February 2017
 Ghedini: Orchestral Music Orchestra della Toscana/Daniele Rustione (Sony)Yet more music you’ve never heard by a...
David Kettle
Saturday, 18 February 2017
In the end, it’s all about Mamillius. It’s he – the young son of Leontes of Sicily – who launches director Max Webster’s...

MOONLIGHT Barry Jenkins' brilliant film has a difficult journey of self-realisation at its rich heart

THE GREAT WALL Matt Damon and Zhang Yimou buddy up in wooden Sino-Hollywood 3D CGI assault on the senses

LE VIN HERBE, WELSH NATIONAL OPERA 1930s Tristan opera, beautiful and sombre, brilliantly played and sung

FLA.CO.MEN, ISRAEL GALVÁN, SADLER'S WELLS Maverick dancer opens annual flamenco festival with a playful jam-session of a show

RICHARD III, SCHAUBÜHNE BERLIN, BARBICAN More or less a one-man show, but the denouement justifies everything

THE WINTER'S TALE, ROYAL LYCEUM THEATRE, EDINBURGH A wonder-filled, child's-eye view of Shakespeare from director Max Webster

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: The Crying Game

Neil Jordan's film noir set against the backdrop of the Troubles is still powerful after 25 years

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The Halcyon, Series 1 Finale, ITV

In which some scores are settled and the Luftwaffe takes a hand

Life, Animated: Storyville, BBC Four

Insightful documentary about an autistic young man connecting with the world through Disney animations


Len Deighton dramatisation depicts the terrors of enemy occupation


DVD/Blu-ray: The Crying Game

Neil Jordan's film noir set against the backdrop of the Troubles is still powerful after 25 years

DVD: The Spring River Flows East

Revolutionary film: war and passion caught in the Chinese 'Gone with the Wind'

Hidden Figures

Oscar contender is buoyed aloft by its irresistible brio

new music

CD: Brian Jonestown Massacre – Don’t Get Lost

Anton Newcombe’s psychedelic rockers try a range of flavours and come up trumps

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bizarre

A respectful acknowledgment of Estonia’s post-independence musical pioneers

Josh Ritter, St Stephen's Church

Solo appearance from artist inspired by desire to 'play messianic oracular honky-tonk'


Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Unearthed Stravinsky is a revelation, while Ligeti and Ravel dazzle

Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Out-of-body sequences in a shimmering, restless programme with Fauré at its heart

Classical CDs Weekly: Ghedini, Ives, Vaughan Williams

Refined Italian orchestral music, downsized Americana and pastoral pianism


Le Vin herbé, Welsh National Opera

A 1930s Tristan opera, beautiful and sombre, brilliantly played and sung

Listed: How I Do Love Thee

Let theartsdesk count the ways with our romantic favourites from all over the arts

Kaufmann, Mattila, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

Restraint and reward in a Wagner evening of intermittent thrills


The Wild Party, The Other Palace
Gin, skin and sin in a scorching production of a slight musical
The Best Musicals in London
We recommend the top shows in musical theatre
See Me Now, Young Vic
Real sex workers take the stage for a brilliantly devised show


FLA.CO.MEN, Israel Galván, Sadler's Wells

Maverick dancer opens annual flamenco festival with a playful jam-session of a show

Masurca Fogo, Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Tanztheater Wuppertal in one of their founder's lightweight works

Giselle, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Cojocaru and Hernández delicious in perfect heritage production


The UK Pun Championships, Leicester Comedy Festival

Wordplay galore as jokesmiths battle for title

Suzi Ruffell, Soho Theatre

Amusing take on how class defines us

Chris Gethard, Soho Theatre

US comic tackles his mental-health problems


Sniper Elite 4

Life through a long-range lens

The Best Games of 2016

theartsdesk's gamers choose their personal highlights of the year

Time Locker

Is this top-down 2D endless run & gun game a timeless classic?

visual arts

Listed: How I Do Love Thee

Let theartsdesk count the ways with our romantic favourites from all over the arts

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, Royal Academy

An exhibition of Russian art purged of the artists who promoted the revolution

Sunday Book: Philip Hook - Rogues' Gallery

An insider spills the beans on the murky world of art dealing

latest comments

Went to see this 17th Feb: mostly well sung but...

Very disappointing, what a missed opportunity,...

Surely not the Maleviches of the 1920s? The Kuzma...

I saw it and felt about it pretty much the same...

Best were Kandinsky and Chagall. The rest were...

Over-hyped and intellectuslly photoshopped....

I may be cynical, darling, but I know shit from...

Very interesting article. In the penultimate...


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