wed 17/01/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Nobody is more sensitive about the notion of becoming a geriatric action hero than Liam Neeson (“guys, I’m sixty-fucking-five” as he points out), but he can still punch bad guys...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Channel 4’s new import is the latest procedural from Scandinavia, this time focusing on Stockholm’s biker gangs. The first episode aired Tuesday night, with the rest of the series...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Alexander Payne’s best-loved film is Sideways but that title may as well work for everything and anything in his oeuvre. In Election, About Schmidt, The Descendants and Nebraska,...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Hounds of Love is the latest in a long line of small-budget Australian horrors “based on true events” – it must be something about the heat. However, stellar performances and a...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 15 January 2018
In the early 1990s, a group of students at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) staged an end-of-year comedy project. Three of them – Claire Walker, Abi Palmer and...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 15 January 2018
Many hard rock aficionados say that Motörhead’s greatest work was all with the “classic” line-up of Lemmy, drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke (...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 14 January 2018
The critic Simon Reynolds characterised Butterfly Child’s debut album Onomatopoeia as the sound of “vitrified everglades in...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Readers familiar with Nick Coleman’s 2012 memoir The Train in the Night will know before embarking on this book that the...
Guy Oddy
Sunday, 14 January 2018
The Limiñanas are considered something of a musical jewel across the Channel but, like many fine mainland European bands...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 13 January 2018
The revival that almost didn't make it into town has got the Royal Court's 2018 mainstage offerings off to a rousing start....
Robert Beale
Saturday, 13 January 2018
Edward Gardner was back on familiar ground when he conducted in Manchester last night – his high-profile career began when...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 13 January 2018
 Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas, Janáček: Sonata (arr. Brill) Shirley Brill, Jonathan Aner (piano) (Hänssler Classic)Brahms's...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 13 January 2018
Dario Argento’s Suspiria was confirmed as one of horror’s great fever dreams on its 40th anniversary re-release last year....
Peter Quantrill
Friday, 12 January 2018
Cheers and huzzahs greeted the arrival of Sir Simon Rattle on the Barbican stage last night before the London Symphony...
Marianka Swain
Friday, 12 January 2018
The rolling stone is now at home in the West End, as Conor McPherson’s inimitable dramatic take on Bob Dylan transfers from...
Owen Richards
Friday, 12 January 2018
A Woman’s Life first premiered at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival, alongside the likes of La La Land, Arrival...
Marina Vaizey
Friday, 12 January 2018
Accepted wisdom seemed to be that in the animal world rats and cockroaches were the most adaptable and the most widely...
Kieron Tyler
Friday, 12 January 2018
As a prime example of high-end Gallic art-pop, Triomphe pushes the right buttons. The mid-tempo opening cut “Senga” sets the...
Katie Colombus
Thursday, 11 January 2018
For their eighth debut at the Royal Albert Hall, mesmerising French-Canadian performance art company Cirque du Soleil takes...
 

★★★ DARKEST HOUR Winston airbrushed for the 21st century

★★★ VOICES: HOW A GREAT SINGER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE Nick Coleman explores the songs that linger in his memory

★★★★ DAVID LODGE: WRITER'S LUCK - A MEMOIR 1976-1991 The prolific polymath's quotidian reflections on life and culture

★★★ CD: PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS - THE AGE OF ABSURDITY Motörhead guitarist and progeny strike out on their own with a feisty hard rock brew

★★★★ RITA, SUE AND BOB TOO, ROYAL COURT Andrea Dunbar's Thatcher-era classic is invigorated afresh

LAST WEEK ★★★★ SOUTINE'S PORTRAITS, COURTAULD GALLERY Superb, unsettling show by French-Russian portraitist

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: BUTTERFLY CHILD Twenty-five years on, the matchless ‘Onomatopoeia’ still sounds out of time

★★★★ A WOMAN'S LIFE Love and heartbreak in 19th century Normandy

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Hounds of Love

Surpisingly mature thriller driven by high tension and powerful performances

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tv

Before We Die, Channel 4 review - underwhelming and unengaging Scandi noir

Swedish crime drama offers dull production and a meandering plot

The best TV to watch this week

What's on and where to find it

Big Cats, BBC One review - how cats conquered the world

Felines from the fastest to the strongest, the smallest to the biggest

film

The Commuter review - trouble on the main line

The train proves quite a strain for Liam Neeson's lone crusader

Downsizing review - little things please little

Alexander Payne's finger-wagging satire should have cut a long story short

DVD/Blu-ray: Hounds of Love

Surpisingly mature thriller driven by high tension and powerful performances

new music

CD: Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - The Age of Absurdity

Motörhead guitarist and progeny strike out on their own with a feisty hard rock brew

Reissue CDs Weekly: Butterfly Child

Twenty-five years on, the matchless ‘Onomatopoeia’ still sounds out of time

CD: The Limiñanas - Shadow People

Gallic hipsters lay down some classy psychedelic pop

classical

Lortie, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – whipping up a storm

Brisk, brash and exciting music-making blows away the cobwebs

Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Janáček, George Martin, Dmitry Masleev

Autumnal wind sonatas, orchestral music from a celebrated record producer, Russian pianism

opera

The Return of Ulysses, Royal Opera, Roundhouse review - musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft

Monteverdi magic from peerless performers, triumphing over a messy production

Salome, Royal Opera review – lurid staging still packs a punch

Compelling production returns, but with a patchy cast

theatre

Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Royal Court review - iconic 1980s title makes a welcome return
Andrea Dunbar's Thatcher-era classic is invigorated afresh
Cirque du Soleil - OVO, Royal Albert Hall review - fantastical creatures, heart-in-mouth thrills
Athleticism, daring feats, grace and visual poetry in Cirque's animal world exravaganza

dance

Song of the Earth/La Sylphide, English National Ballet review - sincerity and charm in a rewarding double bill

An odd-couple programme delivers both exquisite dancing and emotional truth

Best of 2017: Dance

Classical ballet dominates the highlights reel as chosen by theartsdesk's critics

Cinderella, Sadler's Wells review - Matthew Bourne puts Cinderella through the Blitz

Prokofiev's dark glitterball of a ballet score with added air raid sirens

gaming

Best of 2017: Games

Quality nearly matches quantity

Star Wars Battlefront II review - an opportunity missed

The force is less strong with this one

visual arts

The Best Exhibitions in London

Soviet art, Cézanne, Harry Potter and more: our favourite shows to see now

From Life, Royal Academy review - perplexingly aimless

A lacklustre account of a defining practice in western art

latest comments

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