thu 05/05/2016

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

Frankenstein, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

Another year, another new full-length story ballet from one of the Royal Ballet's in-house choreographers. Time was – a long time, in fact, up to 2011 – when that would have...

An Enemy of the People, Chichester Festival Theatre

Bella Todd

If Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes were (a lot) more like Ibsen, our national viewing habits would be in good hands. But then, as the hero of An Enemy of the People...

Chris Cornell / Fantastic Negrito, Royal Albert Hall

Matthew Wright

Bold programming always deserves credit. Last night’s Royal Albert Hall audience enjoyed an unusually piquant blend, as grunge-rocker turned soloist Chris Cornell on his Higher...

Who was St Clair Bayfield?

Jasper Rees

This week Stephen Frears's film about Florence Foster Jenkins opens. It will bring to the widest attention yet the story of a New York socialite who couldn’t sing and yet did sing...

Mona Hatoum, Tate Modern

Sarah Kent

Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut of Palestinian parents. She came to London to study at the Slade School in 1975 and got stuck here when civil war broke out in Lebanon, preventing...

CD: Jessy Lanza - Oh No

Joe Muggs

Canadian singer/producer Jessy Lanza's records – and this one more than ever – can feel like they're mapping an alternative history, one where populist and leftfield electronic...

Knight of Cups

Saskia Baron

There are times when you sit in the cinema and wish that you didn’t speak English and could just enjoy what you’re seeing....

theartsdesk in Denmark: Ambition and Attack in Aalborg and Aarhus

Kieron Tyler

Denmark is casting a shadow in a way it has not done before. The international success of Copenhagen’s Lukas Graham is...

CD: Kel Assouf - Tikounen

Howard Male

When the Tuareg band Tinariwen first started to come to prominence a decade or so ago, world music purists tried to lay...

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Middle Temple Hall

David Nice

You rarely see a full production of Shakespeare's dream play so magical it brings tears to the eyes. But then you don't...

DVD: The Hateful Eight

Mark Kidel

Tarantino’s latest bloodfest is a claustrophobic piece of cinema in which a very wild bunch, holed up in a Wyoming shack in...

Marcus Brigstocke, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

It's striking what a broken heart can do for a comic. Not least it can provide him with some new material, but also make him...

Zuev, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

David Nice

It often sounds as though Richard Strauss makes the ascent of his Alpine Symphony in too many layers of clothes. Hopes were...

The Silk Road, BBC Four

Marina Vaizey

Terracotta warriors, Bactrian two-humped camels, Heavenly Horses, Buddhist caves, sand dunes, the world’s first printed book...

CD: Snarky Puppy – Culcha Vulcha

Matthew Wright

Snarky Puppy make music on their own terms. Boundary-straddling is their stock in trade, from their origins between Brooklyn...

Q&A Special: Sir Mark Elder on Dvořák

Jasper Rees

This May the Hallé is celebrating Dvořák. The orchestra’s music director Sir Mark Elder has previously mounted a festival of...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Move, The Yardbirds

Kieron Tyler

The figures are approximate, but the Yardbirds’ first studio album has been issued on CD at least 12 separate times. With...

Piau, Les Talens Lyriques, Rousset, Wigmore Hall

Alexandra Coghlan

La Follia was, as every programme note inevitably reminds us, a pop song of its day. A strutting Spanish dance, it featured...

CD: Gregory Porter - Take Me to the Alley

Lisa-Marie Ferla

I find myself incredibly conflicted by a musician like Gregory Porter. Is my lack of response to his effortlessly soulful...

CD: Beyoncé - Lemonade

Katie Colombus

When life gives you lemons, what do you do? Well, Beyoncé took the fruits of her musical labour, those of the...

Daniel Kramer for ENO Artistic Director: cause for cautious optimism?

David Nice

Within the wounded, divided company of English National Opera – artists and administration still at loggerheads – the buzz...

Alberto Giacometti, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

Marina Vaizey

An exceptionally wide-ranging exhibition of paintings, sculptures, drawings and lithographs by Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966...

Classical CDs Weekly: Ibert, Martinů, Ravel

Graham Rickson

Ibert: Orchestral music Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Neeme Järvi (Chandos)Eighty-two minutes of Jacques Ibert’s music may...

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two at the 50th Brighton Festival!

Thomas H Green

Brighton Festival is a fantastic, exhilarating, leading annual celebration of the arts, with events taking place in venues...

 

DVD: THE HATEFUL EIGHT Torrents of blood in the Wyoming snow

KNIGHT OF CUPS Terrence Malick's first movie shot in LA is a star-studded disappointment

THEARTSDESK IN DENMARK: AMBITION AND ATTACK IN AALBORG AND AARHUS  SPOT Festival shows there’s more to Denmark’s music than Lukas Graham

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, MIDDLE TEMPLE HALL Mendelssohn's incidental music adds to an enchanted Shakespeare evening

MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE, SOHO THEATRE Observational comic gets some gripes off his chest

THE SILK ROAD, BBC FOUR How 2,000-year-old trade routes carried merchandise, ideas and inventions between Europe and China

disc of the day

CD: Jessy Lanza - Oh No

Canadian singer-songwriter telescopes the history of electro together

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Brighton Festival

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two at the 50th Brighton Festival!

Prize includes hotel, a meal and event tickets

DVD: Pink String and Sealing Wax

Sub-texts galore in grade-A Ealing melodrama

10 Questions for Musician Beth Orton

The singer-songwriter talks about California, EDM, music-making, money and more

tv

The Silk Road, BBC Four

How 2,000-year-old trade routes carried merchandise, ideas and inventions between Europe and China

Line of Duty, Series 3 Finale, BBC Two

Vicki McClure takes charge in pulsating showdown to round off gripping series

Mary Beard's Ultimate Rome: Empire without Limit, BBC Two

How did all the roads in the ancient world end up leading to Rome?

film

Who was St Clair Bayfield?

Florence Foster Jenkins's biographer tells the true story of her common-law husband, played by Hugh Grant in Stephen Frears's new film

Knight of Cups

Terrence Malick's first movie shot in LA is a star-studded disappointment

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

new music

Chris Cornell / Fantastic Negrito, Royal Albert Hall

Unusually potent programme pairs smooth romance and political protest

CD: Jessy Lanza - Oh No

Canadian singer-songwriter telescopes the history of electro together

theartsdesk in Denmark: Ambition and Attack in Aalborg and Aarhus

SPOT Festival shows there’s more to Denmark’s music than Lukas Graham

classical

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Middle Temple Hall

Mendelssohn's incidental music adds to an enchanted Shakespeare evening

Zuev, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Rachmaninov's strangest adventure excels even Strauss's Alpine journey

Q&A Special: Sir Mark Elder on Dvořák

The Hallé's music director introduces a sumptuous festival of the Czech composer's work

opera

Daniel Kramer for ENO Artistic Director: cause for cautious optimism?

Can the new incumbent hold out against the company's impoverishment?

Il Vologeso, Classical Opera, Cadogan Hall

A gem from 1766 offers pure delight in perfect casting and playing

Tannhäuser, Royal Opera

Superior cast elevates revival of Albery’s serviceable production

theatre

An Enemy of the People, Chichester Festival Theatre

Hugh Bonneville returns to the stage after more than a decade in Ibsen's political comedy

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Middle Temple Hall

Mendelssohn's incidental music adds to an enchanted Shakespeare evening

The Iliad, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

A fast-moving, thoughtful Homer adaptation marks Mark Thomson's last production in charge of the Lyceum

visual arts

Mona Hatoum, Tate Modern

The pain of life in exile provides powerful subject matter

Alberto Giacometti, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

A one-of-a-kind artist gains context and depth surrounded by his contemporaries

John Piper, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

Intimately connected to his paintings, the artist's textiles remain mysterious

dance

Frankenstein, Royal Ballet

New ballet has lavish production values, but the story's stretched thin

BalletBoyz, Life, Sadler's Wells

Controversial choreographer Javier de Frutos fakes own death, steals show

Mariinsky Ballet: Concerto DSCH, Sacre, Wales Millennium Centre

A flying visit from St Petersburg, without the swans

comedy

Marcus Brigstocke, Soho Theatre

Observational comic gets some gripes off his chest

Victoria Wood: 'Please could you repeat the question?'

She was the most gifted comedian of her generation, male or female

10 Questions for Comedian Alexei Sayle

The Liverpudlian Surrealist talks film, music and imaginary sandwich bars

gaming

Ratchet & Clank

Spit and polish trumps bodge it and scarper

Miitomo

Nintendo makes a surprising choice for its first mobile app

Dark Souls III

Snap defeat from the jaws of victory in this hardcore RPG action adventure

Listed

Listed: Forget the Force
Star Wars wasn't the only groundbreaking film of 1977. We identify some others
The 11 Best Gigs on Film (after Stop Making Sense)
As Talking Heads' masterpiece is restored on disc, we hail the great screen concerts
Listed: The 100 Funniest Things about Downton Abbey
Julian Fellowes' juggernaut has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in six series. Here's how he did it

latest comments

i have it on good authority that Nunez and...

I can't agree I'm afraid. The ballet I saw last...

Frank the dog behaved perfectly at the second (...

Yes, that's how I understood it and tried to...

For clarification: although David Edwards took...

Thoroughly enjoyed this programme and was...

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