sat 17/03/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Hanna Weibye
Friday, 16 March 2018
The Royal Ballet last night presented an evening of Bernstein-scored ballets, two of them premieres by Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon and the other a revival of Liam...
Sarah Kent
Friday, 16 March 2018
Sometimes you come across an artwork that changes the way you see the world. Tacita Dean’s film portrait of the American choreographer Merce Cunningham (main picture) is one...
David Nice
Friday, 16 March 2018
When a great musician pulls out of a concerto appearance, you're usually lucky if a relative unknown creates a replacement sensation. In this case not one but two star pianists...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 16 March 2018
One of the oldest pleasures of cinema is the opportunity it gives us to look at beautiful people in beautiful places, possibly having beautiful sex. Often audiences get exactly...
Mark Kidel
Friday, 16 March 2018
Henri-Georges Clouzot is one of the giants of French cinema history, such a versatile master of entertainment that his qualities as an auteur and art-house director are sometimes...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Mild controversy hovers over the new film by Alex Garland, the novelist-turned-screenwriter-turned-director. Garland’s 2015 directing debut, Ex Machina, was a slow-burning hit...
Richard Bratby
Thursday, 15 March 2018
“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham...
Marina Vaizey
Thursday, 15 March 2018
It is a very human crowd at Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography. There are the slightly melancholic portraits of...
Katie Colombus
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Full disclosure: I have never quite gotten over Alexandra Burke's rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I'm not sure I...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Malcolm Middleton (b.1973) is a Scottish singer-songwriter whose music has a devoted fanbase. Instead of the faux-vulnerable...
Alexandra Coghlan
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
It was the work with which Handel conquered London, the Italian opera that finally wooed a suspicious English audience to...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Arnaud Despelchin’s My Golden Days is a strange beast; it is both a sequel and prequel to the gloriously titled...
Liz Thomson
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
The delicious flame-grilled burgers and the vast array of bourbons on offer at the Lexington, hard by yet another “King's...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
It’s difficult to dislike Kim Wilde, whatever you think of her music. Even more so after her pissed Christmas sing-along on...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
They don’t commission many television documentaries like Being Blacker (BBC Two) any more. That is not unconnected to the...
Antony Sher
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
In 1982 Antony Sher played the Fool to Michael Gambon’s King in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear....
Aleks Sierz
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
Good programming is an art, and Paul Miller – artistic director of the Orange Tree Theatre – is clearly on a continuous roll...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
Ruthless Jabiru is an all-Australian chamber orchestra based in London. It is the brainchild of conductor Kelly Lovelady,...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
The subtitle of Franz Osten’s 1928 film, A Romance of India, says it all: this Indian silent film is a tremendous watch, a...
David Nice
Monday, 12 March 2018
Violins, violas, wind and brass all standing for Schumann: gimmick or gain? As John Eliot Gardiner told the audience with...

★★★★ RINALDO, THE ENGLISH CONCERT, BARBICAN Bicket's band steals the spotlight

★★★★ WAKE, BIRMINGHAM OPERA COMPANY Giorgio Battistelli's ambitious operatic parable

10 QUESTIONS FOR MUSICIAN MALCOM MIDDLETON Scottish songwriter talks music, Brighton and much else

★★★★ DIANA JONES, THE LEXINGTON The singer-songwriter with a voice to break your heart

★★★★★ BEING BLACKER, BBC TWO Absorbing film about family, culture and society


ANTONY SHER: YEAR OF THE MAD KING The actor's Lear Diaries tell of his preparation to clamber up theatre's tallest peak for the RSC

★★★★ MY GOLDEN DAYS French independent feature shines through honest, raw performances

SOLDIER ON: A THEATRICAL TREATMENT OF PTSD Ex-servicemen and women tell their stories through drama

disc of the day

Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Le Corbeau, Quai des Orfèvres, La Prisonnière

Striking trio from the French master of eroticism and violence

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Annihilation, Netflix review - not quite a sci-fi masterpiece

Girl-power cast can't send Alex Garland's Earth-in-peril saga into orbit

Being Blacker, BBC Two review - absorbing film about family, culture and society

Molly Dineen documentary puts race identity in Brixton under the microscope

Below the Surface, BBC Four review - terror in Copenhagen

Dogged Danes versus ruthless subterranean hostage-takers


The Square review - stylish, brilliantly acted satire

Ruben Östlund's Oscar-nominated assault on polite Swedish society

Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Le Corbeau, Quai des Orfèvres, La Prisonnière

Striking trio from the French master of eroticism and violence

Annihilation, Netflix review - not quite a sci-fi masterpiece

Girl-power cast can't send Alex Garland's Earth-in-peril saga into orbit

new music

CD: Alexandra Burke - The Truth Is

Predictable power ballad pop from a former X-Factor star

10 Questions for Musician Malcolm Middleton

The Scottish songwriter talks music, books, musicals, Brighton and much else

Diana Jones, The Lexington review - at the crossroads of folk and country

From Tennessee via New York, the singer-songwriter with a voice to break your heart


Faust, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - Schumann as never before

An elusive violin concerto reassessed in victory for a misunderstood orchestral master

Ruthless Jabiru, King's College London / Arditti Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - delicate, dedicated modernism

Australians in refugee-themed concert, radical new sounds from avant-garde veterans

Hallenberg, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - palpitating Schumann and Berlioz

Supreme communication from conductor, mezzo-soprano and an orchestra on top form


Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

The chorus is the real star in Giorgio Battistelli's ambitious operatic parable

Rinaldo, The English Concert, Barbican review - Bicket's band steals the spotlight

Handel's London opera still serves up the sensations 300 years later

From the House of the Dead, Royal Opera review - Janáček's prison oddity prompts hot tears

Hallucinatory intensity from Mark Wigglesworth and Krzysztof Warlikowski


The Best Plays in London
From the Ides of March to modern monologues: theartsdesk's stage tips
Antony Sher: Year of the Mad King - extract
The actor's Lear Diaries tell of his preparation to clamber up theatre's tallest peak for the RSC
Humble Boy, Orange Tree Theatre review - love, death and science in Middle England
Spirited revival of Charlotte Jones's 2001 hit buzzes with fun


Bernstein triple bill, Royal Ballet review - epic ambitions unfulfilled

Composer outshines McGregor, Scarlett and Wheeldon in centenary tribute

Macbeth, Wilton's Music Hall review - incisive and thrilling dance theatre

Mark Bruce Company's wordless take on the Scottish Play is stunning

Giselle, Royal Ballet review - beautiful dancing in a production of classic good taste

Perfect storytelling through dance from Marianela Nuñez and excellent supporting cast


Metal Gear Survive review - staying alive shouldn't be such a slog

Bring out your wild side in this strange survivalist simulation

EA Sports UFC 3 review - the art of fighting has never looked so good

Why bob and weave when you can ground and pound?

Best of 2017: Games

Quality nearly matches quantity

visual arts

Victorian Giants, National Portrait Gallery review - pioneers of photography

Artistic searches, technical advances fuel the discoveries of the Victorian age

Murillo: The Self-Portraits, National Gallery review - edged with darkness

Exquisite exhibition prompted by Murillo's two self-portraits considers what can survive time's wreckage

latest comments

Clarinets not flutes at the opening of Age of...

See Richard's comment above. Thanks for...

Great Review but having been at the premier last...

I found it not quite as wonderful as you suggest...

Thank you for this - amended accordingly. It wasn...

The cellist on the platform at the beginning of...


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