sun 24/05/2015

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

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 version at Glyndebourne was bound to seem conservative. But...

Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

David Nice

No two symphonic swansongs could be more different that Sibelius’s heart-of-darkness Tapiola and Nielsen’s enigmatically joky Sixth Symphony. In its evasive yet organic jumpiness...

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 resources is the only issue anyone could have with her, a...

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 Communist East Germany for 40 years, it is now becoming...

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 Pistols had imploded in early 1978 and John Lydon,...

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 but his blistering, finger-picking was undeniably...

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...

The New Girlfriend

Nick Hasted

François Ozon’s sly fascination with radical family units takes another, surprisingly gentle twist here. Based on a Ruth...

Poliuto, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Alexandra Coghlan

Fashion is a funny thing, in opera no less than the sartorial trappings that go with it (everything from tight, hipster...

Benjamin Clementine, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Thomas H Green

Benjamin Clementine’s idea of repartee with the audience is producing a clementine orange and smiling shyly. Clad in his...

Cat's Eyes live score for The Duke of Burgundy, Brighton Dome

Bella Todd

There’s an extraordinary moment, in Peter Strickland’s deeply sensual, desperately funny and feverishly powerful S&M...

Peter Pan, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Marianka Swain

“All children, except one, grow up.” So begins J. M. Barrie’s iconic tale of arrested development, given new power and...

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Simon Munk

In short, Game Of Thrones the videogame. The Witcher 3 sees this epic role-playing fantasy series truly rival its key...

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

Sarah Kent

Glasgow-based Corin Sworn is the fifth winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Every two years a British artist is...

McQueen, St James Theatre

Matt Wolf

"You make clothes that make the darkness in me matter": If such an accolade strikes you as profound, make a beeline for...

Carmen, English National Opera

David Nice

Crotch-grabbing, suggestions of oral and anal sex, stylized punching and kicking and other casual violence offer diminishing...

The Joey Arias Experience, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Matthew Wright

Brighton whooped as if she had never seen risqué entertainment last night, as cabaret veteran Joey Arias brought his Billie...

As You Like It, Shakespeare's Globe

Marianka Swain

The Forest of Arden takes many forms, but in Blanche McIntyre’s meticulously purist production, it’s strictly a state of...

L'Oublié(e)/The Forgotten, Brighton Dome

Thomas H Green

Those expecting an evening at the circus tonight, such as L’Oublié(e)’s advertising hinted at, were in for a shock. I saw a...

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Kieron Tyler

A skateboarding female vampire in a striped Brêton top. A James Dean look-alike with a junkie father. A prostitute as...

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, RFH

Matt Wolf

Frank Loesser seems to be known in Britain for one show and one show only, which seems a shame given that the composer-...

Flavia Coelho, Rich Mix

Peter Culshaw

Flavia Coelho once told me her parents in the favelas of Rio put an aluminium bucket over her head as the only way to calm...

 

POLIUTO, GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL OPERA Donizetti gets Glyndebourne's season off to a sober and psychological start

THE NEW GIRLFRIEND A touching transvestite romcom from François Ozon

PETER PAN, REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE Eloquent wartime reimagining of Barrie's play is a magical experience

THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT A beautifully detailed fantasy world to lose yourself in

10 QUESTIONS FOR MUSICIAN POKEY LAFARGE American roots music's freshest face talks dancing, touring and 'dreamlike melancholia'

MARK KNOPFLER, O2 ARENA Prolific musical craftsman gives a tantalising reminder of his former self

CORIN SWORN: MAX MARA ART PRIZE FOR WOMEN, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY Impostors and stolen identities explored in an installation inspired by the Commedia dell’Arte

disc of the day

CD: Pokey LaFarge - Something in the Water

The Americana roots phenomenon digs enjoyably into his Midwestern roots

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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

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, BBC One

An adaptation that feels like a children's drama dressed up in adult clothes

1864, BBC Four

Epic Danish drama about the human cost of nationalism

Je t'aime: The Story of French Song, BBC Four

An ode to 'la chanson française' that proved a fascinating lesson in love

film

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

DVD: Birdman

Oscar champ stars Michael Keaton as a Hollywood Icarus braving Broadway heat

new music

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

Honouring a jazz icon in sometimes challenging, sometimes thrilling style

CD: Pokey LaFarge - Something in the Water

The Americana roots phenomenon digs enjoyably into his Midwestern roots

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Damned

Admirably succinct entry point into first five years of Brit-punk pioneers

classical

Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

Kaleidoscope of fascinating scores circa 1925 crowns superlative Nielsen anniversary series

theartsdesk in Dresden: Fire and Ice

The restored German honeypot looks beyond its musical borders

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Shostakovich, Henrik Schwarz

Baroque delights, controversial cantatas and contemporary dance music

opera

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

Carmen, English National Opera

Broad brushstrokes and big voices in Calixto Bieito's pacey but half-cooked Bizet

theatre

Peter Pan, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Eloquent wartime reimagining of Barrie's play is a magical experience

McQueen, St James Theatre

An excellent Stephen Wight can't salvage torpid bioplay

As You Like It, Shakespeare's Globe

Warmly traditional Shakespeare needs more theatrical magic

visual arts

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

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

Edmund de Waal: I Placed a Jar, Brighton Festival

The ceramic artist and author talks about pots, words and the burden of memory

Tough & Tender: Sheila Rock's English Seascapes

Best known for her punk portraits, the American photographer introduces a gallery of images from a very different love letter to England

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: 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

latest comments

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