sat 28/03/2015

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

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 extravagant and rich, and his hat is charming. This...

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 retailer brings up 22 pages of New World Symphonies, and a...

Cinderella

Matt Wolf

Lushly produced to within an inch of its pictorially ripe life, the new Disney/Kenneth Branagh live-action Cinderella couples swoony imagery with a cloying message about...

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 that role, but in William Gaminara's rapid-firing farce...

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.L.D. is a surprisingly unshowy show. Some have taken...

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 strands tend toward epic, over-the-top Hollywood...

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...

Amadis de Gaule, UCL Opera

Matthew Wright

Johann Christian Bach’s Amadis de Gaule, which is receiving its first London run this week in a vivid and charming...

Wild Tales

Nick Hasted

Six apocalyptic Argentine stories of revenge combine in this hugely enjoyable and extreme anthology. Producer Pedro...

Rules for Living, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

The seasonal family reunion play is a hardy perennial. Like the Christmas tree that must take its place on the stage, it is...

Giove in Argo, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

David Nice

If you’re looking for rare festival Handel, better a pasticcio – take that as shorthand for a cut-and-paste job mostly from...

Dior and I

Ellin Stein

If anyone thinks high fashion is an airy-fairy world populated by flibbertigibbets preoccupied with frills and furbelows,...

Harvey, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Marianka Swain

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, repeatedly unfunny Harvey isn’t just a...

Storyville: Masterspy of Moscow - George Blake, BBC Four

Tom Birchenough

“The righteous traitor” must be as provocative a subtitle as any when the subject is espionage. Director George Carey...

10 Questions for Filmmaker Damián Szifron

Demetrios Matheou

Nominated for Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Oscars, Wild Tales is that rarity, a portmanteau film; even rarer,...

The Subways, Institute, Birmingham

Guy Oddy

Not unreasonably, anyone might imagine that a band might lose a bit of their usual vigour if they found themselves four...

Man to Man, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Gary Raymond

There can be few modern plays as testing for a female actor as Manfred Karge’s Man to Man. When Tilda Swinton took it on at...

Sweeney Todd, Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop, Shaftesbury Avenue

Matt Wolf

Stephen Sondheim's ever-elastic masterpiece is downsized to largely dazzling effect in its latest iteration, which has been...

The Pub Landlord, Touring

Veronica Lee

Al Murray is celebrating 20 years as his brilliant invention the Pub Landlord, an autodidact, xenophobic sexist with...

 

WILD TALES Argentine anthology shows revenge can be crazed, witty fun

BAYADÈRE – THE NINTH LIFE, SHOBANA JEYASINGH COMPANY, LINBURY STUDIO Engaging dance treatment of Indian-European cultural and disciplinary encounters

AMADIS DE GAULE, UCL OPERA Spirited student revival of JC Bach's lovely final opera

BAD JEWS, ARTS THEATRE Jewish identity is scrutinised in this unflinching, startlingly funny American play

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

10 QUESTIONS FOR ARTIST MARCUS COATES Eccentric visionary talks birds, shamanism, intoxicated animals and the Brighton Festival

disc of the day

DVD: The Tales of Hoffmann

Powell and Pressburger declared 'total film' with their 1951 Offenbach fantasia

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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

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

The fantasy drama returns without much fantasy, or drama

Hillary Clinton: The Power of Women, BBC Two

Awkward documentary draws few conclusions from a 20-year fight for women's rights

Storyville: Masterspy of Moscow - George Blake, BBC Four

Intriguing espionage life-story of the British double-agent, and a brief encounter today

film

Cinderella

Cate Blanchett steals her stepdaughter Cinders's show

DVD: The Tales of Hoffmann

Powell and Pressburger declared 'total film' with their 1951 Offenbach fantasia

Wild Tales

Argentine anthology shows revenge can be crazed, witty fun

new music

CD: The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

The Essex rave juggernaut's sixth is unapologetically ballistic

CD: Polar Bear – Same As You

Post-jazzers add ambient dub to a spacey, love-infused mix

CD: Hanoi Masters - War Is a Wound, Peace Is a Scar

Touching field recordings from Vietnam

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Dvořák, Gustavo Leguizamón, Pärt

A popular symphony, guitar music from Argentina and choral delights from the holiest of minimalists

Bronfman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Two playful Ballets Russes scores outdance the UK premiere of an elephantine concerto

Total Immersion: Boulez at 90, Barbican

A detailed and engaging portrait of the iconic composer

opera

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

Giove in Argo, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

Into the woods with quality Handel, fine young singers and the brilliant Laurence Cummings

theatre

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

Bad Jews, Arts Theatre

Jewish identity is scrutinised in this unflinching, startlingly funny American play

visual arts

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

A tantalising exploration of the garden in both myth and extravagant 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

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

The Pursuit of Now, Sadler's Wells

The parts of this stellar dance-with-jazz line-up dazzle, without quite making a whole

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

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

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Kill, die, repeat in this garish, hypnotic action sequel

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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