wed 22/02/2017

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

Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
After 27 years away, band leader Kevin Rowland (b 1953) successfully relaunched Dexys as a recording unit in 2012. The album, One Day I’m Going to Soar, then became a theatrical...
Richard Bratby
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
“Who says Mozart is not like Rossini?” remarked Juan Diego Flórez, about a quarter of an hour into his debut recital at Symphony Hall. “There are seven high Cs in this aria.” And...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Pulling together a music documentary strikes me as a simple enough concept. Gather your talking heads in front of a nice enough backdrop, splice with archive footage in some...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
The 1980s were a great decade for British women playwrights. During those Thatcher-dominated years, Caryl Churchill produced two world-class masterpieces – Top Girls and Serious...
Matthew Wright
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
At least you always get something different from José James. Originally sprung to fame for blending jazz and hip-hop, this album has little of either, but according to his blurb,...
Mark Sanderson
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now…One of the many ironies of Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon’s massive novel...
Marianka Swain
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
The Other Palace’s housewarming party certainly lives up to its billing as a wild one – wet and wild, in fact, as the first...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Slipped out in the Storyville slot without much fanfare, Life, Animated is the Oscar-nominated documentary which won a...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
A new work by Igor Stravinsky is always going to be a major event, so Sunday evening’s UK premiere of his rediscovered...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Does a review of a 25-year-old film need a spoiler alert? Much of the success of The Crying Game – its 1992 release...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 20 February 2017
“What if the Germans had won the war?” has been a recurring theme in fiction, from Noel Coward’s Peace in Our Time to Philip...
David Nice
Monday, 20 February 2017
Polish composer Szymanowski's Ovid triptych Mythes achieved something like cult status thanks to an iridescent recording....
Liz Thomson
Monday, 20 February 2017
“I’m not necessarily the ‘I’ in my songs” declared Tom Waits in James Maycock's documentary, its title a tipping of the...
Steve O'Rourke
Monday, 20 February 2017
A sniper is a thinking man’s soldier. The aloof assassin is always outnumbered but never outgunned, a patient predator and...
Guy Oddy
Monday, 20 February 2017
Any listeners who may have been concerned that Anton Newcombe’s last few years of sobriety might result in him turning down...
Matthew Wright
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Novelist Jake Arnott has an eye for seedy glamour. The Fatal Tree takes the 1720s underworld - the setting of John Gay’s The...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 19 February 2017
On first pass, Beautica comes across as an exotic hybrid of 1991 school-of-Slowdive shoegazing and the fidgety music pre-...
Filiz Ali
Sunday, 19 February 2017
I was 11 years old when my father was killed. A body was found near the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. According to...
Tom Birchenough
Sunday, 19 February 2017
There’s rich irony in the timelining of 1940s Chinese blockbuster The Spring River Flows East. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli’...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 18 February 2017
Sometimes a film can transcend its formulaic confines. That's triumphantly the case with Hidden Figures, a largely...
 

STORYVILLE: LIFE ANIMATED, BBC FOUR Insightful documentary about an autistic young man connecting with the world through Disney animations

CD: BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - DON'T GET LOST Anton Newcombe’s psychedelic rockers try a range of flavours and come up trumps

SEE ME NOW, YOUNG VIC Real sex workers take the stage for a brilliantly devised show

DVD/BLU-RAY: THE CRYING GAME Neil Jordan's film noir set against the backdrop of the Troubles is still powerful after 25 years

ISABELLE FAUST, ALEXANDER MELNIKOV, WIGMORE HALL Out-of-body sequences in a shimmering, restless programme with Fauré at its heart

FLA.CO.MEN, ISRAEL GALVÁN, SADLER'S WELLS Maverick dancer opens annual flamenco festival with a playful jam-session of a show

disc of the day

CD: José James - Love in a Time of Madness

Original collection of songs doesn't always lift off

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tv

The Halcyon, Series 1 Finale, ITV

In which some scores are settled and the Luftwaffe takes a hand

Storyville: Life, Animated, BBC Four

Insightful documentary about an autistic young man connecting with the world through Disney animations

SS–GB, BBC One

Len Deighton dramatisation depicts the terrors of enemy occupation

film

Lost in France

Nostalgic music documentary gets a hero's welcome at Glasgow Film Festival

DVD/Blu-ray: The Crying Game

Neil Jordan's film noir set against the backdrop of the Troubles is still powerful after 25 years

DVD: The Spring River Flows East

Revolutionary film: war and passion caught in the Chinese 'Gone with the Wind'

new music

Lost in France

Nostalgic music documentary gets a hero's welcome at Glasgow Film Festival

CD: José James - Love in a Time of Madness

Original collection of songs doesn't always lift off

CD: Brian Jonestown Massacre – Don’t Get Lost

Anton Newcombe’s psychedelic rockers try a range of flavours and come up trumps

classical

Juan Diego Flórez, Vincenzo Scalera, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Quiet smiles outweigh high Cs in a recital of two distinct halves

Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Unearthed Stravinsky is a revelation, while Ligeti and Ravel dazzle

Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Out-of-body sequences in a shimmering, restless programme with Fauré at its heart

opera

Juan Diego Flórez, Vincenzo Scalera, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Quiet smiles outweigh high Cs in a recital of two distinct halves

Le Vin herbé, Welsh National Opera

A 1930s Tristan opera, beautiful and sombre, brilliantly played and sung

Listed: How I Do Love Thee

Let theartsdesk count the ways with our romantic favourites from all over the arts

theatre

Low Level Panic, Orange Tree Theatre
Neat revival of 1980s feminist comedy is more curiosity than classic
The Wild Party, The Other Palace
Gin, skin and sin in a scorching production of a slight musical
The Best Musicals in London
We recommend the top shows in musical theatre

dance

FLA.CO.MEN, Israel Galván, Sadler's Wells

Maverick dancer opens annual flamenco festival with a playful jam-session of a show

Masurca Fogo, Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Tanztheater Wuppertal in one of their founder's lightweight works

Giselle, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Cojocaru and Hernández delicious in perfect heritage production

comedy

The UK Pun Championships, Leicester Comedy Festival

Wordplay galore as jokesmiths battle for title

Suzi Ruffell, Soho Theatre

Amusing take on how class defines us

Chris Gethard, Soho Theatre

US comic tackles his mental-health problems

gaming

Sniper Elite 4

Life through a long-range lens

The Best Games of 2016

theartsdesk's gamers choose their personal highlights of the year

Time Locker

Is this top-down 2D endless run & gun game a timeless classic?

visual arts

Listed: How I Do Love Thee

Let theartsdesk count the ways with our romantic favourites from all over the arts

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, Royal Academy

An exhibition of Russian art purged of the artists who promoted the revolution

Sunday Book: Philip Hook - Rogues' Gallery

An insider spills the beans on the murky world of art dealing

latest comments

I thought that this was a breathtaking...

Hi I watched the film last night and I had a pain...

I found this film beautiful and truly inspiring.

Went to see this 17th Feb: mostly well sung but...

Very disappointing, what a missed opportunity,...

Surely not the Maleviches of the 1920s? The Kuzma...

I saw it and felt about it pretty much the same...

Best were Kandinsky and Chagall. The rest were...

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