thu 22/02/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 22 February 2018
Tonya Harding and the kneecapping of Nancy Kerrigan – what a story it was, back in 1994. Even if you knew nothing about figure skating, you followed the tale of Tonya, the red-...
Liz Thomson
Thursday, 22 February 2018
In our era of 24/7 news, downloadable from anywhere in the world at the touch of an app, it's hard to remember that not so very long ago the agenda was set by the BBC - the Home...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 22 February 2018
New Zealand comic Rose Matafeo is a fan of romcoms and has decided she is destined to appear in one at some point in her career. As she explains, it's not possible – as a mixed-...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 22 February 2018
After two albums of battle anthems for Trump-addled times, raging against the machine with his “Void Pacific Choir”, Moby’s fifteenth long-player is ostensibly a return to his...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Whatever the weather, this week is Frozen. On Broadway, the Disney musical of that name begins previews, but let’s let that go. In the West End, our Frozen has no Elsa, no Anna...
Saskia Baron
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
While this well-crafted documentary chose to open with footage of the stars and glitz of the American awards ceremonies, the focus of Working with Weinstein (Channel 4) was almost...
Alexandra Coghlan
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
You have to wonder why it has taken this long. Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking premiered in San Francisco back in 2000 and...
Jasper Rees
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
This week brings a tale of two comedies. Both half-hour sitcoms are about widowed mothers with grown-up sons still at home....
Tom Birchenough
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Beach Rats is a film that has “indie” etched in its bones. The second feature from Brooklyn-born Eliza Hittman, it was made...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Clio Barnard has quietly been building a reputation as one of Britain’s most human storytellers. Her debut feature The Arbor...
Katherine Waters
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Lila had breast implants at the age of eight. Karen, her mother, is required to take psychotherapy sessions on account of...
Helen Wallace
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
This was an evening of silence and shadow, a chill, moonlit meditation, where each sound demanded forensic attention. Enter...
Guy Oddy
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
A superstar elsewhere in the world, particularly in West Africa, Femi Kuti still lives somewhat unfairly in his dad, Fela...
Jasper Rees
Monday, 19 February 2018
You need to be of a certain vintage to have any memory of the traditional suburban family sitcom. Like the Raleigh Chopper...
Miranda Heggie
Monday, 19 February 2018
Inspired by the astonishing true story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport...
Peter Quinn
Monday, 19 February 2018
While some albums cram in more fillers than a Christmas stocking, Thought You Knew, the second recording from the London-...
Adam Sweeting
Sunday, 18 February 2018
The plan to bring drama back to Saturday nights on BBC One enjoyed mixed success with Hard Sun, but now threatens to slide...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 18 February 2018
London Rules – explicitly cover your arse – is the fifth in the most remarkable and mesmerising series of novels, set mostly...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 18 February 2018
During the British Invasion years, a Cleveland, Ohio band called The Choir ploughed a Brit-focussed furrow from late 1964....
Barney Harsent
Sunday, 18 February 2018
A little over two years ago, The Arts Desk reviewed Hipnotik Tradisi, Black Merlin’s extraordinary first offering for Island...
 

★★★★ FROZEN, HAYMARKET THEATRE Suranne Jones, Jason Watkins and Nina Sosanya examine human darkness

BEST PLAYS IN LONDON From All's Well to Schiller's thriller: theartsdesk's stage tips

★★★★ MUM, BBC TWO More gentle comedy about imperfect families

THE BEST FILMS OUT NOW We recommend the top movies of the moment

★★★ FEMI KUTI: ONE PEOPLE ONE WORLD Afrobeat royalty makes the case for peace and unity

★★★★ EXPLORE ENSEMBLE, EXAUDI Making sense of Nono

CLIO BARNARD: 'WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE' Interview with the director of Dark River

★★★★★ DEAD MAN WALKING, BARBICAN Jake Heggie's outstanding first opera finally receives UK premiere

★★ BLACK PANTHER The Marvel movie made by black talent takes itself too seriously

disc of the day

CD: Moby - Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt

US electronic music perennial makes the end times sound musically luscious

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tv

Working with Weinstein, Channel 4 review - portrait of a predator

Forensic dissection of Harvey Weinstein's reign of terror in the craven corners of the UK film business

Mum, BBC Two, series 2 review - Lesley Manville is a discreet delight

Stefan Golaszewski's sitcom returns for more gentle comedy about imperfect families

Hold the Sunset, BBC One, review - this is an ex-sitcom

John Cleese and Alison Steadman star in the exhumation of long-lost genre

film

I, Tonya review - Margot Robbie shines in over-complicated oddity

Craig Gillespie's one-note take on Tonya Harding's fascinating true story

DVD: Beach Rats

Limbo over an uneasy Brooklyn summer, from an American indie director to watch

Clio Barnard: 'We need to talk about sexual abuse' - interview

The director of 'Dark River' discusses tackling sexual trauma and why she’s drawn to Yorkshire

new music

CD: Moby - Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt

US electronic music perennial makes the end times sound musically luscious

CD: Femi Kuti - One People One World

Afrobeat royalty makes a compelling case for world peace and unity

CD: Snowpoet - Thought You Knew

The London group's restrained melodicism packs an intense depth of feeling

classical

Explore Ensemble, EXAUDI, St John's Smith Square review - making sense of Nono

Riveting 'Principal Sound' event delivers the luminous rewards of austerity modernism

Kaufmann, Damrau, Deutsch, Barbican review - bliss, if only you closed your eyes

More ham than a butcher's window, but when the music is this good it scarcely matters

Classical CDs Weekly: Diethelm, Grieg, Tippett

Orchestral delights from Switzerland and pianistic fireworks from Norway. Plus the greatest British symphony you've never heard

opera

Dead Man Walking, Barbican review - timely and devastating meditation on human violence and forgiveness

Jake Heggie's outstanding first opera finally receives its UK premiere

Flight, Scottish Opera review - poignant and powerful, this production soars

Opera Holland Park's 2015 staging flies north of the border

Iolanthe, English National Opera review - bright and beautiful G&S for all

Cal McCrystal's pretty, hilarious show should delight young and old alike

theatre

Frozen, Haymarket Theatre review - star cast explores the reality of evil
Suranne Jones, Jason Watkins and Nina Sosanya convincingly examine human darkness
The Best Plays in London
From the Ides of March to modern monologues: theartsdesk's stage tips
The B*easts, Bush Theatre review - Monica Dolan is almost flawless
Hectic monologue from smoking, drinking, fast-talking psychotherapist about women's bodies

dance

Giselle, Royal Ballet review - beautiful dancing in a production of classic good taste

Perfect storytelling through dance from Marianela Nuñez and excellent supporting cast

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

comedy

Rose Matafeo, Soho Theatre review - sassy and she knows it

New Zealand comic with original takes on the big stuff

Hannah Gadsby, Soho Theatre review - misogyny explored

Straight-talking comic takes no prisoners

gaming

EA Sports UFC 3 review - the art of fighting has never looked so good

Why bob and weave when you can ground and pound?

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

Emil Nolde: Colour Is Life, National Gallery of Ireland review - boats, dancers, flowers

Comprehensive overview of neglected German Expressionist with a troubling past

Andreas Gursky, Hayward Gallery review - staggering scale, personal perspective

Space and light at the refurbished Hayward: huge views, artful manipulation from the German photographer

latest comments

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