thu 03/09/2015

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

CD: The Libertines - Anthems For Doomed Youth

Guy Oddy

As someone who has always been completely indifferent to the retro New Wave stylings of The Libertines, I can’t say that I greeted the news of their reformation with anything more...

People, Places and Things, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

We all know what the word “addict” means, but what does it feel like to be one? Thirtysomething Emma – a minor actress played with immense conviction and quirky charm by...

10 Questions for Musician John Lydon

Thomas H Green

John Lydon (b. 1956) is the singer and creative engine of Public Image Ltd. He was previously the frontman of the Sex Pistols. The latter group broke up in January 1978 when he...

Prom 62: Barton, OAE, Alsop

David Nice

A concert of Brahms chamber music I could understand, especially given a balance between early and late. An evening of orchestral Brahms, with or without voices, needs much more...

Cartel Land

Tom Birchenough

Cartel Land opens with a group of crystal meth cooks at work somewhere in the dead-of-night Mexican wilderness. They boast about the quality of their goods: they have the best...

Heartless Bastards, Borderline

Russ Coffey

Some consider Heartless Bastards to be the best band you’ve probably never heard of – albeit blighted by an awful name. Others say the Texas-based four-piece are merely a...

CD: Nicolas Godin - Contrepoint

Kieron Tyler

According to the press release for Contrepoint, “AIR have not split up.” Nicolas Godin, one half of the French duo, goes on...

Listed: Essential Operas 2015-16

theartsdesk

September is upon us and it’s nearly time for the new season. English National Opera’s Artistic Director John Berry may have...

Miss Julie

Demetrios Matheou

The television series Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, along with Robert Atman’s film Gosford Park, notably...

DVD: Far From The Madding Crowd

Matthew Wright

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg specialises in claustrophobic, asphyxiating atmospheres, from his breakthrough family...

Prom 60: Denk, San Francisco Symphony, Tilson Thomas

Geoff Brown

One astonishing creature was missing from the cavalcade of meerkats and whatnot featured in Sunday afternoon’s Life Story...

The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV

Tom Birchenough

“Breezy” isn't a word we associate with Ray Winstone. We’re more used to something like “big slab o’ bastard”, the epithet...

We Made It: Ballet costumier Anna Willetts

Guy Oddy

This year Birmingham Royal Ballet celebrates 25 years in the city, during which time the company has presented more than 130...

Murmel Murmel, King's Theatre, Edinburgh

David Kettle

It felt a bit like we were seeing things. At the fag-end of Edinburgh’s 2015 August of festival mayhem, with extreme...

CD: Micachu & The Shapes - Good Sad Happy Bad

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Bands that stand out live often disappoint on record: it can be difficult to capture the energy, the ferociousness, the...

Oliver Sacks remembered

Howard Male

Oliver Sacks, peerless explorer of the human brain, has today died of cancer aged 82. Inspired by case histories of patients...

Prom 58: Kullervo, BBCSO, Oramo

Sebastian Scotney

Last night's Proms performance of Sibelius's Kullervo symphony was radiant, unforgettable, but there has also been a...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Isley Brothers

Kieron Tyler

The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters (1958–1983)Head straight for Track 14, Disc 10’s quadrophonic...

Missa Solemnis, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

This was a performance laden with contradictions. After last weekend’s gargantuan Grande Messe des Morts, the standard issue...

CD: Public Image Ltd - What the World Needs Now...

Graham Fuller

John Lydon’s group went 20 years without cutting a studio album before issuing This Is PiL. A mere three years on, the...

Prom 57: Pires, COE, Haitink

David Nice

It’s hardly surprising that at the grand old age of 86 Bernard Haitink can pack them in at the Albert Hall so that there’s...

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Kieran Hodgson/ Richard Gadd/ Trygve Wakenshaw

Veronica Lee

Kieran Hodgson, Voodoo Rooms ★★★★When Kieran Hodgson was growing up in West Yorkshire in the early years of the century, he...

The Magic Flute, Komische Oper Berlin, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

In 2007, a tiny British theatre company called 1927 staged their first ever show at the Edinburgh Fringe – the darkly...

CD: The Naturals - On the Way (To the Laughing Light of Plenty)

Barney Harsent

Once upon a time, there was a label called Whatever We Want. As well as releasing vital, uncompromising records by Gareth “...

 

MISS JULIE Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell are the mistress and servant messing with each other’s heads

DVD: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Carey Mulligan sparkles but Thomas Vinterberg's Hardy is only a partial account

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY: Hugi Guðmundsson, Schubert, Les Siècles

WE MADE IT: BALLET COSTUMIER ANNA WILLETTS The secrets of Birmingham Royal Ballet's costume department are unveiled

LISTED: ESSENTIAL OPERAS 2015-16 Our classical/opera writers choose 12 highlights of the coming season

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: THE ISLEY BROTHERS The American soul great’s late-Sixties to mid-Eighties captured on a hefty, in-depth snapshot

disc of the day

CD: The Libertines - Anthems For Doomed Youth

Doherty and Co return to the fray with more tales of London’s seedy underbelly

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We Made It

We Made It: Ballet costumier Anna Willetts

The secrets of Birmingham Royal Ballet's costume department are unveiled

We Made It: Artist Grande Dame

Day-Glo Southern Gothic with artist and craftswoman Tiff McGinnis

We Made It: Coracle Maker Malcolm Rees

We Made It heads to South Wales to discover a living craft tradition

tv

The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV

Ray Winstone surprises as concerned grandad - but old habits die hard

Oliver Sacks remembered

The acclaimed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks has died aged 82

A Day in the Life of Andy Warhol, BBC Four

24 hours in the king of Pop Art's shoes

film

Cartel Land

Vivid documentary on resistance to Mexico's drug cartels hits home

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Miss Julie

Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell are the mistress and servant messing with each other’s heads in an airless Strindberg adaptation

new music

CD: The Libertines - Anthems For Doomed Youth

Doherty and Co return to the fray with more tales of London’s seedy underbelly

10 Questions for Musician John Lydon

The punk and post-punk icon lets rip

Heartless Bastards, Borderline

Texan rockers show that, vocally, bigger can indeed be better

classical

Prom 62: Barton, OAE, Alsop

Great mezzo and bright young choir fly up, orchestra and conductor remain below

Prom 60: Denk, San Francisco Symphony, Tilson Thomas

Glamorous visitors bring a crazy concerto, luminous Mahler, and a bit of chrome-plating

Prom 58: Kullervo, BBCSO, Oramo

Superlative performance of Sibelius's early epic coincides with Tolkien publication

opera

Listed: Essential Operas 2015-16

Our classical/opera writers choose 12 highlights of the coming season

The Magic Flute, Komische Oper Berlin, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

A magical Flute, but an insufficiently human one

Entanglement/ That Man Stephen Ward, Presteigne Festival

An arresting new psychodrama from Charlotte Bray, and Thomas Hyde revival

theatre

People, Places and Things, National Theatre

New drama about addiction is informative, didactic, clever, funny and often very moving

Murmel Murmel, King's Theatre, Edinburgh

Absurdist romp from Berlin's Volksbühne proves a hallucinatory if melancholy final theatre offering from this year's EIF

You Won't Succeed On Broadway If You Don't Have Any Jews, St James Theatre

Jumbled revue is salvaged by its bright young things

visual arts

Soup Cans and Superstars, BBC Four

Panorama of Pop art from Alastair Sooke ahead of the Tate Modern show

An Open Book: Bruce McCall

The distinguished writer and illustrator talks compensatory learning and the lure of Atlantic liners

An Open Book: Conrad Shawcross

The sculptor talks about his fascination with Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace and about the big ideas that inform his work

dance

McGregor/Spuck, Ballett Zürich, Edinburgh Playhouse

Contemporary dance formula ticks boxes, but fails to inspire

Seven, Ballett am Rhein/RSNO, Edinburgh Playhouse

Danced Mahler symphony is tour de force of energy and invention

Lo Real, Israel Galván, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Uncompromising look at gypsies under fascism is hard going, but rewarding

comedy

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Kieran Hodgson/ Richard Gadd/ Trygve Wakenshaw

Into the final lap at the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Joseph Morpurgo/ Daphne/ Tom Parry

Counting down at the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Nish Kumar/ Adam Hess/ Dial Medicine for Murder/ Larry Dean

Counting down at the world's biggest and best arts festival

gaming

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

When is a game not a game? When it's better than that

Volume

Purist stealth puzzles with too glossy a sheen?

A Day In The Woods

A simple but challenging puzzle with terrific good looks

Listed

Listed: Essential Operas 2015-16
Our classical/opera writers choose 12 highlights of the coming season
Listed: Songs of Summer
From seaside nostalgia to a consumerist jihadi paradise, we list the sounds of summer
Listed: Precocious Writers
As the Royal Court introduces some very young playwrights, we celebrate the great child authors

latest comments

This is an beautifully accurate review!!! Thank...

I was there! I was held for every second of the...

Heroin's brown mate.

Superb concert of an absolute masterpiece. Isn't...

As I mentioned a few days ago, Oramo and the...

Agree with every word (except that handsome young...

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