sat 25/06/2016

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

theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016

David Kettle

Even without any particular pomp or focus for celebration, the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival has felt like a particularly strong and broad-ranging one, with a...

Werther, Royal Opera

David Nice

All 23 of Massenet's mature operas boast memorably melodious quarters of an hour and fastidious orchestration, so why Werther’s special status as a repertoire staple? Three or...

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe

Marianka Swain

It begins promisingly, a dark Gothic fairy tale – both Grimm and grim. The writhing witches (four, oddly) are summoned from a pile of dead bodies, Stefan Fichert’s eerie puppetry...

Classical CDs Weekly: Aukai, Mahler, Shostakovich

Graham Rickson

Aukai Markus Seiber (Aukai Music)In a week where there’s been rather too much news to get one’s head round, a spot of ambient calm is very appealing. Aukai is the pseudonym of...

EU Referendum Results – BBC, ITV, Sky News

Barney Harsent

And so we come to the end of the most spiteful, divisive and downright deceitful political campaign in living memory. And while we’re on the Ds, I’ll have disingenuous too, thanks...

Adult Life Skills

Katie Colombus

There are often times as adults, that we feel ill-prepared for dealing with situations that arise. There is no equivalent of a Brownie’s badge for “taking responsibility” “...

Jenůfa, English National Opera

David Nice

ENO's new artistic director Daniel Kramer must regret having gone on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week to talk about suspending...

The Good Wife, Series 7 Finale, More4

Adam Sweeting

It's amazing that they've managed to sustain The Good Wife over seven series and 156 episodes which have, by and large,...

DVD/Blu-ray: Wim Wenders - The Road Trilogy

Graham Fuller

In the mid 1970s, the German director Wim Wenders quickly and cheaply made three road movies that, taken together, can be...

Henry V, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Marianka Swain

As we finally go to the polls, casting votes based on our view of national identity and Britain’s place in the world, here...

Idomeneo, Garsington Opera

David Nice

Natural disaster, in the shape of a metaphorical sea-monster ravaging classical Crete, might make a director's imagination...

The South Bank Show: Joyce DiDonato, Sky Arts

Marina Vaizey

Take Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, and add Handel and Mozart and the Frenchman Massenet, and you have the composers whose...

Elvis & Nixon

Adam Sweeting

Shamed and reviled, Richard Nixon had the misfortune (albeit self-authored) to be the star of one of the murkiest chapters...

Maggie and Pierre, Finborough Theatre

Miriam Gillinson

There's a one-man play inside every politician – and a one-woman play behind each male leader. Linda Griffiths's and Paul...

Edinburgh celebrates British films

Demetrios Matheou

The Edinburgh film Festival’s signature prize, named after one of its most celebrated directors, is the Michael Powell Award...

DVD: Iona

Kieron Tyler

The wish to return to a place of past safety after a traumatic event is understandable. It helps if that place is remote and...

The Border, Channel 4

Adam Sweeting

Have psychologists analysed whether subtitles increase our enjoyment of TV drama, perhaps lending it an extra tincture of...

The Mighty Walzer: ping-pong in the round

Simon Bent

It’s a little over two years since I was approached to adapt The Mighty Walzer by Howard Jacobson for Manchester Royal...

Hallé Children’s Choir and Orchestra, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Robert Beale

’Tis the season for big children’s choirs to show off their end-of-season projects, and the Hallé Children’s Choir and...

Vassa Zheleznova, Southwark Playhouse

Jenny Gilbert

In the town of Nizhny Novgorod where Maxim Gorky was born, it was said that “the houses are made of stone, the people of...

CD: Mark Barrott - Sketches from an Island 2

Barney Harsent

The EU referendum isn’t the only thing causing polarised opinion over European issues. The question of what constitutes...

The Meddler

Matt Wolf

Susan Sarandon's natural radiance papers over a considerable number of cracks in The Meddler, writer-director Lorene...

Catalogue d'Oiseaux, Aimard, Aldeburgh Festival

David Nice

"He is one of the few pianists who will not make them sound like angry birds," said young pianist-animateur Víkingur...

Wild, Hampstead Theatre

Marianka Swain

Who do you trust? The EU Referendum campaign has exposed a mounting suspicion of the establishment, from financial...

 

ELVIS & NIXON Tricky Dicky meets the Pelvis in smart satirical fantasy

THE MIGHTY WALZER: PING-PONG IN THE ROUND Howard Jacobson's much-loved novel is coming to the stage. Simon Bent explains how he adapted it

SIX OF THE BEST: THEATRE A reflective, potent 'Henry V' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

EU REFERENDUM RESULTS - BBC, ITV, SKY NEWS In an evening of unexpected victories, Sky News did surprisingly well

JENŮFA, ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA Janáček's optimistic tragedy at its most powerful in electrifying revival

ADULT LIFE SKILLS Sweet, slightly predictable British dramedy veers from the norm

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Wim Wenders - The Road Trilogy

Beloved wanderers of the New German Cinema

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Brighton Festival

Brighton Festival: Brighton – Symphony of a City, Brighton Dome

A cinematic cross-section of life in London-by-Sea

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two at the 50th Brighton Festival!

Prize includes hotel, a meal and event tickets

DVD: Pink String and Sealing Wax

Sub-texts galore in grade-A Ealing melodrama

tv

EU Referendum Results – BBC, ITV, Sky News

In an evening of unexpected victories, Sky News did surprisingly well

The Good Wife, Series 7 Finale, More4

Outstanding legal drama draws to a not-quite-perfect close

The South Bank Show: Joyce DiDonato, Sky Arts

Not in Kansas any more – the mezzo who conquered the world

film

theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016

Little pomp but plenty of eclectic entertainment at the EIFF's 70th edition

Adult Life Skills

Sweet, slightly predictable, quirky British dramedy veers from the norm

DVD/Blu-ray: Wim Wenders - The Road Trilogy

Beloved wanderers of the New German Cinema

new music

CD: Mark Barrott - Sketches from an Island 2

The producer and record label boss delivers a beautiful blend of influences

Sónar Barcelona 2016

A glimpse of what Europe's cosmopolitanism can really mean in Barcelona

CD: Deerhoof - The Magic

Yet another frustrating album from the art-punk outfit

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Aukai, Mahler, Shostakovich

German ambient music and two discs of twentieth century symphonies

Hallé Children’s Choir and Orchestra, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Premiere of Jonathan Dove's 'A Brief History of Creation' enchants

Catalogue d'Oiseaux, Aimard, Aldeburgh Festival

Birds, Messiaen and a much-loved artistic director dazzle from dawn to midnight

opera

Werther, Royal Opera

Massenet's lovers ill met by moonlight, but the conducting is consummate

Jenůfa, English National Opera

Janáček's optimistic tragedy at its most powerful in electrifying revival

Idomeneo, Garsington Opera

Balance, but never neutrality, from fine singers and director in lacerating Mozart

theatre

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe

Incoherent vision results in a (Mac)duff production

Henry V, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Michelle Terry anchors a reflective exploration of leadership and nationhood

Maggie and Pierre, Finborough Theatre

Challenging one-woman play about first lady of Canadian politics Maggie Trudeau

visual arts

The Switch House, Tate Modern

Magnificent new extension has light and space enough for new art and new visitors

Alex Katz, Serpentine Gallery

An oh-so-cool response to the outpourings of Abstract Expressionism

Whitstable Biennale 2016

Kent's festival of art has grown up, but it hasn't lost its spark

dance

Betroffenheit, Sadler's Wells/Ballet BC, Birmingham Hippodrome

Choreographer du jour Crystal Pite heads up two impressive Canadian cultural offerings

The Invitation/Obsidian Tear/Within the Golden Hour, Royal Ballet

MacMillan revival in a different class to anodyne offerings from McGregor and Wheeldon

Jekyll & Hyde, Old Vic

Dance version is loud and brash with all the horror and none of the mystery

comedy

Whose Line Is It Anyway?, London Palladium

Terrific fun from an old favourite

David Baddiel - My Family: Not the Sitcom, Menier Chocolate Factory

Funny and challenging show about the comic's parents

Brighton Festival: Alexei Sayle, Corn Exchange

The Comedy Store legend reminisces, and sometimes sparks

gaming

Heroes of Loot 2

This fun take on the dungeon crawler is a blast in short bursts

Homefront: The Revolution

Home isn’t where the heart is in this overly ambitious shooter

Battleborn

Chaotic, cartoony, co-operative carnage

Listed

Listed: Forget the Force
Star Wars wasn't the only groundbreaking film of 1977. We identify some others
The 11 Best Gigs on Film (after Stop Making Sense)
As Talking Heads' masterpiece is restored on disc, we hail the great screen concerts
Listed: The 100 Funniest Things about Downton Abbey
Julian Fellowes' juggernaut has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in six series. Here's how he did it

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