sun 23/11/2014

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

Seven days of sci-fi

Simon Munk

Welcome to the future; welcome to the ever-present now. Sci-fi is evergreen – perhaps because, unlike other genre forms, its primary focus is not one style or historic period...

Celebrating 75 years of Blue Note, Royal Festival Hall

Peter Quinn

Paying homage to the legendary imprint that brought us 'The Finest In Jazz Since 1939', this concert on the penultimate evening of the EFG London Jazz Festival really did have...

The Institute of Sexology, Wellcome Collection

Sarah Kent

There is nothing erotic or titillating about The Institute of Sexology, an exhibition the Wellcome Collection plans to keep open for a year. Those expecting a display of fertility...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Jon Hassell / Brian Eno

Kieron Tyler

Jon Hassell / Brian Eno: Fourth World Vol. 1 - Possible MusicsIts opening is exotic. The music shimmers like heat haze and incorporates a sing-song instrument which might be a...

The Gospel According to the Other Mary, English National Opera

David Nice

A great creative partnership like the one between composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars can endure the occasional wobble. In his peerless autobiography Hallelujah...

My Old Lady

Matt Wolf

An Off Broadway play that largely passed without notice in 2002 is now a movie poised to suffer the same fate, notwithstanding the fact that this starry three-hander marks the...

Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Thomas Rees

Though pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Dave Holland have worked with pretty much everyone else over the course of their...

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Messiaen, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns

Graham Rickson

 Malcolm Arnold: Four Scottish Dances, Symphony no 3 London Philharmonic Orchestra/Malcolm Arnold (Everest)“Carefully...

Tomasz Stanko, Barbican

Peter Culshaw

If you were to wander in off the streets and catch this band randomly you would be amazed to find such accomplished...

Mike Nichols, 1931-2014

Matt Wolf

He was at home with screen newcomers like Dustin Hoffman and Cher and knew how to handle such old pros as Richard Burton and...

We Made It: Beardyman's Beardytron_5000mkIV

Matthew Wright

Beardyman, aka Darren Foreman, began his musical career as a beatboxer, becoming in 2006 and 2007 the first performer to win...

John McLaughlin / Hedvig Mollestad, Royal Festival Hall

Matthew Wright

John McLaughlin made history at the Royal Festival Hall 25 years ago when he recorded a superb album featuring Indian...

Bellowhead, Shepherd's Bush Empire

Tim Cumming

It’s been ten years since Bellowhead forged their riotous, rigorous pogo-folk, tooled up and fuelled up for closing...

Tsujii, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Glyn Môn Hughes

The knots on the purse-strings have certainly been untied at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and it was good to hear...

Far Cry 4

Simon Munk

When is more too much? Far Cry 4 continues to expand the freedom enshrined in the freeroaming, first-person shooter series,...

God Bless the Child, Royal Court Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Much of the recent programming of the Royal Court has flaunted a preference for gimmicky gestures rather than the hard work...

Winter Sleep

Tom Birchenough

This year’s Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep (Kiş Uykusu), is a monumental film...

Vogt, LPO, Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall

Edward Seckerson

Music lovers invariably divide into two factions over the Brahms piano concertos: those who thrill to the elemental D minor...

Confessions of a Copper, Channel 4

Adam Sweeting

This will have brought a nostalgic tear to the eye of fans of The Sweeney (the TV show, not the Ray Winstone movie) or GF...

BBC Singers, BBCSO, Pons, Barbican

David Nice

Had the BBC Symphony Orchestra been at full stretch, rather than in the neoclassical and otherwise selective formations of...

What We Do in the Shadows

Veronica Lee

Clearly the makers of this delightful film from New Zealand have watched a lot of movies, as so many are neatly and...

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, National Theatre

Matt Wolf

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, David Hare's adaptation of Katherine Boo's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, works as both play...

Triptych, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

How long should a dance programme be? Opera and theatre habitués can be surprised by outings to contemporary dance, where...

L'Elisir d'Amore, Royal Opera

Jessica Duchen

“Watch out for the dog!” instructs Covent Garden’s programme for its latest revival of L’elisir d’amore. These creatures do...

 

MY OLD LADY Three fine actors adrift in a highly pictorial Paris

FAR CRY 4 Roam free in the mountain paradise of this first-person shooter. Perhaps too free…

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE OTHER MARY, ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA Grace and pain stunningly interwoven in Adams' rich score and Sellars' luminous staging

BELLOWHEAD, SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE Ten years of riotous big band folk in one night

MIKE NICHOLS, 1931-2014 A chameleonic talent at home in the worlds of theatre, cinema, and comedy

DVD: IDA A return to his Polish roots, Pawel Pawlikowski's latest is a bleak, sacred masterpiece

disc of the day

CD: Susan Boyle - Hope

Boyle's in fine vocal form, but sticks too closely to the path well trodden

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Listed

Listed: The World and Beyond - London Jazz Festival 2014
This year's festival promises further encounters with the strange and new
Listed: Wall Flowers - The Best of Berlin
It divided a city, but the Wall produced great stories and songs, dramas and films. We pick our favourites
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To celebrate theartsdesk's fifth birthday, we share your favourite reads

We Made It

We Made It: Beardyman's Beardytron_5000mkIV

Ground-breaking improviser on the live composing kit he's had built from scratch

We Made It: Sub Pac Inventor John Alexiou

Meet the Canadian inventor changing the way you experience music

We Made It: Make-up Artist Nina Pratley

The art of faces, from Formula 1 groupies to alien armies

film

Seven days of sci-fi

A week celebrating the futuristic and fantastical on theartsdesk. Begin transmission...

My Old Lady

Three fine actors adrift in a highly pictorial Paris

DVD: Ida

A return to his Polish roots, Pawel Pawlikowski's latest is a bleak, sacred masterpiece

tv

Imagine... Anselm Kiefer, BBC One

Entertaining but two-dimensional, Alan Yentob's account glosses over the artist's flaws

24 Hours in Police Custody, Channel 4

Gripping documentary series outstrips crime drama

new music

Celebrating 75 years of Blue Note, Royal Festival Hall

All-star Blue Note sextet brings the audience to its feet

CD: Susan Boyle - Hope

Boyle's in fine vocal form, but sticks too closely to the path well trodden

Reissue CDs Weekly: Jon Hassell / Brian Eno

How Eno’s co-opting of Jon Hassell’s avant-garde style changed the course of music

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Messiaen, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns

Colourful British orchestral music, organ showstoppers and an avian-inspired piano premiere

Tsujii, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

A rousing standing ovation once again for Torke, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky

Vogt, LPO, Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall

Shapeliness and soul-searching in Brahms, Schubert and Strauss

opera

The Gospel According to the Other Mary, English National Opera

Grace and pain stunningly interwoven in Adams' rich score and Sellars' luminous staging

L'Elisir d'Amore, Royal Opera

The sun shines out of Vittorio Grigolo's behind in a strong revival of Laurent Pelly's production

Daphnis et Églé/La Naissance d'Osiris, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican

Baroque music and dance illuminate each other in one-off period recreation performance

theatre

God Bless the Child, Royal Court Theatre

New play about education is a gripping satire with a cast of bright eight-year-olds

Behind the Beautiful Forevers, National Theatre

Rufus Norris staging works both on its own terms and as a bold sign of what's to come

Accolade, St James Theatre

Revival of 1950s celebrity scandal drama is a topical triumph

visual arts

The Institute of Sexology, Wellcome Collection

On the men and women who spent their lives researching sex

Imagine... Anselm Kiefer, BBC One

Entertaining but two-dimensional, Alan Yentob's account glosses over the artist's flaws

Gallery: Honoré Daumier and Paula Rego - a conversation across time

One was driven by a sense of social injustice, the other by a fascination with stories that hint at psychological disturbance

dance

Triptych, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

Great dancers in long programme of new work by Baldwin, Jeyasingh and Page

Daphnis et Églé/La Naissance d'Osiris, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican

Baroque music and dance illuminate each other in one-off period recreation performance

Dancing Cheek to Cheek, BBC Four

Len Goodman and Lucy Worsley trot gently through dance history

comedy

Noel Fielding, Eventim Apollo

Surreal fun from a delightfully playful comic

John Bishop, Touring

Short on jokes but long on charm

Jim Davidson, Sands Centre, Carlisle

Terrific gagmeister who delights in giving offence

gaming

Far Cry 4

Roam free in the mountain paradise of this first-person shooter. Perhaps too free…

Assassin's Creed: Unity

The French Revolution makes for a stunning backdrop to free-roaming stealth action.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Louder, flasher, bigger, but not better, first-person shooter

latest comments

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