sat 18/04/2015

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

Carmen Disruption, Almeida Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Playwright Simon Stephens has made a long journey. Starting off as a young in-yer-face writer, then pausing to mellow over slices of life, then winning awards with state-of-the-...

The Decent One

Jasper Rees

Remember the Hitler diaries? Stern and the Sunday Times were so eager for them to be true they went ahead and published even after historian Hugh Trevor Roper had changed his mind...

Alice's Adventures Underground, The Vaults

Marianka Swain

The 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s seminal novel has inspired a raft of commemorative works, from Damon Albarn and Moira Buffini’s musical Wonder.land to Holland Park opera...

Classical CDs Weekly: CPE Bach, Busoni, Vivaldi

Graham Rickson

 CPE Bach: Symphonies Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Rebecca Miller (Signum)Think of musical perfection and you think of JS Bach. Every note perfectly placed, every...

The Pirates of Penzance, Touring

David Nice

When does a Gilbert and Sullivan chorus make you laugh, cry and cheer as much as any of the famous set pieces? In this case when Major-General Stanley’s daughters “climbing over...

BBC Young Dancer 2015, BBC Four

Hanna Weibye

Lest the BBC Four imprint prove not strong enough a signal, I'll say it loud and clear: don't go into this expecting Strictly, kids. On the evidence of last night's contemporary...

DiDonato, NYPO, Gilbert, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Visits by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra are always an adrenaline boost for musical life in London, and yesterday...

La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

Jenny Gilbert

In 1803 they called it Filly me Gardy. Today British ballet lovers refer to it by a single coded syllable: “Fee”. But...

We Made It: Digital Knitters Knyttan

Heather Neill

Hand knitting has had a bit of a moment recently. Making your very own jumper was suddenly fashionable, but the knitter...

The Necks, Village Underground

Matthew Wright

Novelty and rapture are rare commodities in Shoreditch these days, where everything has already been tried, and nothing...

Measure for Measure, Cheek by Jowl/Pushkin Theatre, Barbican

David Nice

Russia isn’t the only country where violations of personal freedoms and censorship seem to be mounting by the day, but it’s...

10 Questions for Mezzo-Soprano Alice Coote

Thomas H Green

Alice Coote (b.1968) is one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos. She grew up in Cheshire, born to two painters, Mark Coote...

Child 44

Adam Sweeting

"There is no murder in paradise" is the official line of the authorities in 1950s Russia, but nevertheless Child 44 is the...

Mortal Kombat X

Simon Munk

I've got blood in my eyes… no, hang on a second, it's OK, it's not blood – it's brains and a bit of severed spinal column!...

Gypsy, Savoy Theatre

David Nice

Vaudeville is alive and well in the silvered Lilliputian cave which might have been made for it (not that Victorian...

Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört, Tanztheater Wuppertal, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Retrospectives are difficult in dance, and for Pina Bausch's brand of Tanztheater, even more difficult. A great deal of her...

Paul Simon and Sting, O2 Arena

Fisun Güner

Put your hand up if you were in the audience last night, or indeed on any of the nights of this ambitious On Stage Together...

Newzoids / Thunderbirds Are Go, ITV

Adam Sweeting

Who says satire is dead? After this, I would imagine just about everybody. According to Jon Culshaw, one of the prime movers...

Lampedusa, Soho Theatre

Jenny Gilbert

You might think you know what you’re in for with a play by Anders Lustgarten, winner of the inaugural Harold Pinter...

Perianes, LPO, Ticciati, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Conductor Robin Ticciati and pianist Javier Perianes are an odd couple. Ticciati is forthright and disciplined, while...

A Little Chaos

Ellin Stein

We’ve waited 33 years since Peter Greenway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract for another film combining romance, intrigue and...

The School for Scandal, Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Mark Kidel

Andrew Hilton’s immensely enjoyable Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory production of the Sheridan classic opens with a...

The Glass Protégé, Park Theatre

Marianka Swain

Hollywood has never met a cliché it didn’t love; unfortunately, neither has Dylan Costello. His peek behind the curtain of...

Diana Vishneva, On the Edge, London Coliseum

Hanna Weibye

Diana Vishneva's last solo show was called Beauty in Motion, a pretty safe bet under the Trade Descriptions Act, since the...

 

GYPSY, SAVOY THEATRE Imelda Staunton dazzles with truth and vitality in a near-perfect musical

10 QUESTIONS FOR MEZZO-SOPRANO ALICE COOTE The singer speaks about opera, loneliness, time machines and her special Brighton Festival event

THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL, TOBACCO FACTORY, BRISTOL Pitch-perfect Sheridan satire with present-day resonance

TANZTHEATER WUPPERTAL: PINA BAUSCH, SADLER'S WELLS 1984 work by German choreographic genius receives UK première

PAUL SIMON AND STING, O2 A memorable evening as the pair light up the stage with classic songs and thumping good tunes

CHILD 44 There's a killer on the loose in Stalin's Communist paradise

MEASURE FOR MEASURE, CHEEK BY JOWL / PUSHKIN THEATRE, BARBICAN Stark exposition, explosive consequences in strangest Russian Shakespeare

NEWZOIDS / THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO, ITV New puppet satire can barely drag itself to the finishing line

disc of the day

CD: Passenger – Whispers II

Sequel album even more raw, spare and gritty, despite gentle folk-pop sound

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We Made It

We Made It: Digital Knitters Knyttan

Digital technology and craft principles creating one-off designs

We Made It: Art & Makers Collective Garudio Studiage

Meet the makers of objets de pop art in the heart of London

We Made It: Lauren O'Farrell, aka Deadly Knitshade

Graffiti-knitting pioneer talks about 'yarnstorming' Parliament Square and social media

tv

BBC Young Dancer 2015, BBC Four

Impressive talents in remarkably gimmick-free Beeb competition

Newzoids / Thunderbirds Are Go, ITV

New puppet satire can barely drag itself to the finishing line

Wild Ireland, ITV

Pleasing travelogue with game presenter Christine Bleakley

film

The Decent One

Documentary enters the toxic mind of SS Reichsführer Himmler

Child 44

There's a killer on the loose in Stalin's Communist paradise

DVD: Traps/Fruit of Paradise

Two rereleases from Věra Chytilová, master of the Czech New Wave

new music

CD: Passenger – Whispers II

Sequel album even more raw, spare and gritty, despite gentle folk-pop sound

The Necks, Village Underground

Australian slo-mo improv trio spin a potently hypnotic web

Paul Simon and Sting, O2 Arena

A memorable evening as the pair light up the stage with classic songs and thumping good tunes

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: CPE Bach, Busoni, Vivaldi

Sparky symphonies, 20th-century piano music and a ubiquitous Baroque work in a vibrant performance

DiDonato, NYPO, Gilbert, Barbican

Sensual colours and spirited waltzes from the New York orchestra

Perianes, LPO, Ticciati, RFH

Ticciati’s detailed approach energises Beethoven, but Bruckner needs more

opera

The Pirates of Penzance, Touring

Where the maidens are men and every gag's a winner

10 Questions for Mezzo-Soprano Alice Coote

The singer speaks about opera, loneliness, time machines and her special Brighton Festival event

King Size, Theater Basel, Linbury Studio Theatre

Promising idea of dramatised dreamsongs from all ages yields insipid results

theatre

Carmen Disruption, Almeida Theatre

Simon Stephens’s new deconstruction of Bizet’s opera is strangely, feverishly beautiful

Alice's Adventures Underground, The Vaults

New subterranean Alice offers an engaging alternative journey

The Pirates of Penzance, Touring

Where the maidens are men and every gag's a winner

visual arts

Sonia Delaunay, Tate Modern

Eclipsed by her painter husband, the artist is finally receiving full recognition

YZ Kami, Gagosian Gallery

Hypnotically arresting portrait and abstract paintings that play with variation and repetition

Jo Baer, Camden Arts Centre

The Minimalist who rejected abstraction for figurative painting. Or did she?

dance

BBC Young Dancer 2015, BBC Four

Impressive talents in remarkably gimmick-free Beeb competition

La Fille mal gardée, Royal Ballet

Ashton's pastoral comedy of love among the haystacks continues to thrill and delight

Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört, Tanztheater Wuppertal, Sadler's Wells

1984 work by German choreographic genius Pina Bausch receives UK première

comedy

James Freedman: Man of Steal, Menier Chocolate Factory

The art of pickpocketing explained, plus some corny patter

The Pub Landlord, Touring

Al Murray on terrific form with his appalling creation

Nina Conti Clowning Around, BBC Four

Ventriloquist fails to 'find' her clown, reduced to 'tears of...'

gaming

Mortal Kombat X

Blood, gore and violence – fun beat 'em up action, but not for the faint-hearted

The Trace: Murder Mystery Game

Sleuthing on the go with this detective adventure game

Bloodborne

Brutally hard, but rewarding action gaming

Listed

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theartsdesk's writers recommend the one thing above all to look forward to in each art form
Listed: The Facts about Factual TV in 2014
This year's documentaries climbed high and swung low on Britain's social ladder
Listed: Science Fiction in Videogames
Nearly all videogames are fantastical, but few are interestingly fantastical

latest comments

Sorry. Completely wrong. Completely. Sting is a...

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Hofesh shows choreographers how to bring the...

Corrected; thanks for highlighting that. For what...

It was a great concert and Joyce Di Donato is the...

I don't think George is like he was! 1, He got...

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