tue 31/03/2015

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

A Nation Divided? The Charlie Hebdo Aftermath, BBC Three

Adam Sweeting

All the politicians lined up to chorus "Je suis Charlie" after the nauseating massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in Paris in January, but three months later, how is that...

The Ark, BBC One

Jasper Rees

There was a distinct lack of giraffe or spiny anteater or even ant in The Ark. The animals went in none by none in the BBC’s visit to the Old Testament. When the deluge finally...

Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, BBC Two

Fisun Güner

Louis Theroux just wants to make good television. This may seem an obvious thing to say of a programme-maker, but many programme-makers concerned with the kind of human interest...

Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015): A virtuoso remembered

Christopher Lambton

Ronald Stevenson, who died on Saturday at the age of 87, was a composer and pianist who will be much missed both in the small Borders village where he lived and by the much larger...

Why everyone should see The Mysteries from Cape Town

Jasper Rees

One night in Cape Town, I was caught in a power cut. Like an untenanted theatre, the city went utterly dark, darker than perhaps it had been since settlers first arrived three...

Something Must Break

Kieron Tyler

Sometimes, nothing can prevent love blossoming. Sebastian’s second encounter with Andreas is punctuated by the latter vomiting after too much booze. It doesn’t put the brakes on...

Coalition, Channel 4

Adam Sweeting

Switched from last Thursday to accommodate the live standup gigs by Cast Iron Dave and "Tough Enough" Clint Miliband, this...

White Night

Simon Munk

The old house seems empty at first. But in the darkness, a flickering match your only light source, it quickly becomes...

St Matthew Passion, Anton Bruckner Choir, St John's Smith Square

Alexandra Coghlan

After a Messiah last Christmas by one of London’s finest professional chamber choirs that was straight off the factory...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Specials

Kieron Tyler

 The Specials: Specials, More Specials; The Special AKA: In the StudioAfter hearing the three albums credited to The...

Mikhail Rudy, Kings Place

Peter Quantrill

Opening It’s All About Piano!, a short but packed festival shared between Kings Place and the Institut français in...

The Four Temperaments/Untouchable/Song of the Earth, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

After the second piece of last night's triple bill, Hofesh Shechter's Untouchable in its world premiere, my friend asked me...

Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden, The Queen's Gallery

Marina Vaizey

The young, rather homely yet grand gentleman is lounging under a tree, behind him a formal knot garden. His costume is...

Classical CDs Weekly: Dvořák, Gustavo Leguizamón, Pärt

Graham Rickson

 Dvořák: Symphony no 9, American Suite Bamberger Symphoniker/Robin Ticciati (Tudor)A quick check at one online CD...

Cinderella

Matt Wolf

Lushly produced to within an inch of its pictorially ripe life, the new Disney/Kenneth Branagh live-action Cinderella...

The Three Lions, St James Theatre

Tom Birchenough

The devil gets the best lines, as usual. That may depend, of course, on whether we’re prepared to qualify David Cameron in...

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Channel 4

Barney Harsent

Warning! Spoilers ahead, etc… Bearing in mind the high-octane thrills of recent Marvel forays into cinema, Agents of S.H.I.E...

Battlefield: Hardline

Simon Munk

The Battlefield series is probably the key rival to Call Of Duty for first-person shooters. Whereas the various Call Of Duty...

Princess Ida, Finborough Theatre

David Nice

All Savoyards, whether conservative or liberal towards productions, have been grievously practised upon. They told us to...

10 Questions for Artist Marcus Coates

Thomas H Green

Marcus Coates (b. 1968) is an artist who specialises in projects that involve the natural world. Graduating from the Royal...

Bayadère - The Ninth Life, Shobana Jeyasingh Company, Linbury Studio Theatre

Hanna Weibye

The premise of last night’s world première made so much sense that one almost wondered why nobody had done it before now....

Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art, British Museum

Fisun Güner

We think we know it when we see it. But how, pray, do we define beauty? The ancient Greeks thought they had the measure of...

Hillary Clinton: The Power of Women, BBC Two

Lisa-Marie Ferla

If the mark of a good documentary is that it teaches you something new, then the awkwardly titled Hillary Clinton: The Power...

Bad Jews, Arts Theatre

Marianka Swain

Joshua Harmon’s provocative 2012 piece is the Rocky of comedies. His evenly matched sparring partners, a pair of viscerally...

 

PRINCESS IDA, FINBOROUGH THEATRE Tweaked plot and lyrics muddy the waters of Gilbert and Sullivan's tricky sexist satire

CD: THE PRODIGY – THE DAY IS MY ENEMY The Essex rave juggernaut's sixth is unapologetically ballistic

CINDERELLA Cate Blanchett steals her stepdaughter Cinders's show

WHITE NIGHT Beautifully stylish horror adventure shines out

ST MATTHEW PASSION, ANTON BRUCKNER CHOIR, ST JOHN'S SMITH SQUARE A heartfelt and moving performance with a star Evangelist

COALITION, CHANNEL 4 How traditional two-party politics was forced to confront the unthinkable

disc of the day

DVD: Rude Boy

Despite its shortcomings, film vehicle for The Clash is an essential pop-cultural document

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We Made It

We Made It: Lauren O'Farrell, aka Deadly Knitshade

Graffiti-knitting pioneer talks about 'yarnstorming' Parliament Square and social media

We Made It: Fashion Designer Anna Skodbo

The east London fashion designer on crowd-sourcing, sustainable fabrics and dressing MPs

We Made It: Furniture Designer & Maker Laszlo Beckett

The South London furniture maker talks lasers, skate-ramps and Coltrane

tv

A Nation Divided? The Charlie Hebdo Aftermath, BBC Three

Troubling investigation of the disaffection of French Muslims

The Ark, BBC One

Old Testament epic rendered as an animal-free northern soap

Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, BBC Two

The presenter teases out the answers to the questions the viewer wants to ask

film

DVD: Rude Boy

Despite its shortcomings, film vehicle for The Clash is an essential pop-cultural document

Something Must Break

Sensitive Swedish examination of identity and transgender love

Cinderella

Cate Blanchett steals her stepdaughter Cinders's show

new music

DVD: Rude Boy

Despite its shortcomings, film vehicle for The Clash is an essential pop-cultural document

CD: Pombagira – Flesh Throne Press

A stoner epic from the doom rock duo

CD: Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Experimental songwriter returns to his roots on gut-wrenching new album

classical

Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015): A virtuoso remembered

Memories of a maverick pianist and composer of 80-minute homage to Shostakovich

St Matthew Passion, Anton Bruckner Choir, St John's Smith Square

A heartfelt and moving performance with a star Evangelist

Mikhail Rudy, Kings Place

Music and image meet through Musorgsky and Janáček, with unpredictably successful results

opera

Why everyone should see The Mysteries from Cape Town

How a medieval play from Chester ended up in Xhosa and Zulu

Princess Ida, Finborough Theatre

Tweaked plot and lyrics muddy the waters of Gilbert and Sullivan's tricky sexist satire

Amadis de Gaule, UCL Opera

Spirited student revival of JC Bach's lovely final opera

theatre

Why everyone should see The Mysteries from Cape Town

How a medieval play from Chester ended up in Xhosa and Zulu

The Three Lions, St James Theatre

Farcical pratfalls as Cameron, Beckham and William preen for Britain

Princess Ida, Finborough Theatre

Tweaked plot and lyrics muddy the waters of Gilbert and Sullivan's tricky sexist satire

visual arts

Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden, The Queen's Gallery

From Eden to an embodiment of the power of the state: the garden in myth and reality

10 Questions for Artist Marcus Coates

Eccentric visionary talks birds, shamanism, intoxicated animals and the Brighton Festival

Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art, British Museum

More than the sum of its parts: an exploration of how the human form was perfected

dance

The Four Temperaments/Untouchable/Song of the Earth, Royal Ballet

Shechter première odd one out in triple bill with Balanchine and MacMillan

Bayadère - The Ninth Life, Shobana Jeyasingh Company, Linbury Studio Theatre

Engaging dance treatment of Indian-European cultural and disciplinary encounters

Serenade/Carmina Burana, Birmingham Royal Ballet, London Coliseum

Balanchine and Bintley showcase BRB's contrasting talents

comedy

The Pub Landlord, Touring

Al Murray on terrific form with his appalling creation

Nina Conti Clowning Around, BBC Four

Ventriloquist fails to 'find' her clown, reduced to 'tears of...'

The 2,000 Year Old Man, JW3

Recreation of famous Brooks and Reiner skits

gaming

White Night

Beautifully stylish horror adventure shines out

Battlefield: Hardline

Cops 'n' robbers should be a perfect setting for this frantic first-person shooter

Shelter 2

Might and Delight invite you to take a walk on the wild side

Listed

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
Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames
Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical

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