wed 29/07/2015

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

Three Days in the Country, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

The trouble with the classics is that they are long, complex and difficult. But today’s sensibility favours the quick, simple and easy. So it is no surprise that the National...

CD: 10.000 Russos - 10.000 Russos

Guy Oddy

There is something strange happening in mainland Europe at the moment. Perhaps this has been spurred on by a feeling that the old certainties of the past aren’t quite so solid,...

theartsdesk in Pärnu: Top players, great Estonians

David Nice

In 1989 Neeme Järvi, already rated one of the world’s top conductors and soon to be voted “Estonian of the Century” by his compatriots, returned with his Gothenburg Symphony...

Life in Squares, BBC Two

Marina Vaizey

London, 1905. For the Stephen siblings, setting up an independent household in Bloomsbury freed them – especially the sisters, Vanessa and Virginia – from Victorian familial...

Man With a Movie Camera

Graham Fuller

Dziga Vertov’s narrativeless “city symphony” Man With a Movie Camera celebrates the modernity and energy of the post-Bolshevik Revolution metropolis – a composite of Kharkov, Kiev...

Tom Jones / The Shires, Greenwich Music Time Festival

Matthew Wright

With its time and observatory, Greenwich is a fitting venue for record-breakers, and Sir Tom Jones, who sang at the Greenwich Music Time Festival last night, has some impressive...

Prom 13: Josefowicz, BBCSO, Mälkki

David Nice

A packed Albert Hall told an instructive story: programme Holst’s The Planets at the Proms and you can dare to do anything...

Peter Perrett, The Garage

Thomas H Green

Peter Perrett reappears for his third encore. This time his band doesn’t play with him. He attacks the guitar alone, “No...

DVD: How to be Eccentric - The Essential Richard Massingham

Graham Rickson

Improbably described by the French archivist and critic Henri Langlois as “the greatest technician and the greatest poet of...

Partners in Crime, BBC One

Jasper Rees

Poirot curls an eyebrow and Miss Marple twinkles, but there haven't been a lot of out-and-out laughs in Agatha Christie’s...

Matan Porat, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

From now until 12 September, when Wigmore darling Iestyn Davies returns to open the new season, the biggest names in...

Prom 12: Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Andsnes 3

Bernard Hughes

After four years, 55 cities in 22 countries and an award-winning recording, Leif Ove Andsnes’s Beethoven journey came to an...

CD: Vetiver – Complete Strangers

Kieron Tyler

The listless Complete Strangers drifts by in such a haze that it’s impossible to maintain any concentration on it after the...

10 Questions for Broadcaster Bettany Hughes

Jasper Rees

How do you live a good life? Is wealth a good thing? How do you create a just society? The United Kingdom's electorate...

Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera

David Nice

Stop miking Bryn Terfel. Stop over-miking musicals; the show voices in a hybrid cast don’t need much. Too much ruined...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Tennessee Ernie Ford

Kieron Tyler

 Tennessee Ernie Ford: Portrait of an American SingerAlthough there are different American music charts, success in one...

Irakere, Ronnie Scott's

Thomas Rees

When Afro-Cuban jazz pioneers Irakere first played Ronnie Scott’s, back in 1985, they sold out the venue for five weeks on...

Xerxes, Longborough Opera

Stephen Walsh

One hardly expects operas about historical figures to bother much with the actual facts of their lives. But Handel’s Xerxes...

CD: The Maccabees - Marks to Prove It

Lisa-Marie Ferla

That I’ve tended to lump The Maccabees in with a certain brand of mid-Noughties landfill lad-rock is my problem, not theirs...

We Made It: Coracle Maker Malcolm Rees

Heather Neill

Over the past few months of We Made It, we've explored some very traditional crafts, but few that have such a direct link to...

Listed: Songs of Summer

theartsdesk

It’s forecast to rain for a fortnight, just as the schools tip out their restless young. The roads are jammed, and Calais...

Prom 10: Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Andsnes 2

Bernard Hughes

So to the second leg of Leif Ove Andsnes's journey through the Beethoven concertos, and a distressingly underpopulated Royal...

CD: Joss Stone – Water For Your Soul

Matthew Wright

To some critics, Joss Stone manages her career with the authenticity and conviction of her accent at the 2007 Brit Award...

Classical CDs Weekly: William Lawes, Diane Ambache, Tom Poster

Graham Rickson

 William Lawes: The Royal Consort Phantasm (Linn)“This is one of the greatest sets of instrumental dance music ever...

 

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD Lavish box set puts a new twist on the great American songbook

PARTNERS IN CRIME, BBC ONE David Walliams and Jessica Raine have fun as amateur sleuths in updated Agatha Christie

LIFE IN SQUARES, BBC TWO The elaborate lives and loves of the exhaustingly self-obsessed Bloomsbury Group

PETER PERRETT, THE GARAGE The Only Ones frontman pops up for a rare and riveting performance

MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA Dziga Vertov's dazzling 1929 opus captures a day in the life of an idealized Soviet city

THE ARTS DESK IN PARNU: TOP PLAYERS, GREAT ESTONIANS Utopian music-making led by the Järvi family in Estonia's magical summer town

disc of the day

CD: 10.000 Russos - 10.000 Russos

A muscular psychedelic debut from Portugal that heads straight for the dance-floor

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We Made It

We Made It: Coracle Maker Malcolm Rees

We Made It heads to South Wales to discover a living craft tradition

We Made It: Stage Technician Tom Robinson

Peek behind the scenes with the set builder of the Young Vic's amazing mirrored box for Caryl Churchill's A Number

We Made It: Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Gallery director Alice Workman on housing contemporary art in the threshing barn

tv

Life in Squares, BBC Two

The elaborate lives and loves of the exhaustingly self-obsessed Bloomsbury Group

Partners in Crime, BBC One

David Walliams and Jessica Raine have fun as amateur sleuths in updated Agatha Christie

10 Questions for Broadcaster Bettany Hughes

She's done Divine Women. Now for three thinkers: Socrates, Confucius and the Buddha

film

Man With a Movie Camera

Dziga Vertov's dazzling 1929 opus captures a day in the life of an idealized Soviet city

DVD: How to be Eccentric - The Essential Richard Massingham

Long overdue tribute to a forgotten British film-maker

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

new music

CD: 10.000 Russos - 10.000 Russos

A muscular psychedelic debut from Portugal that heads straight for the dance-floor

Tom Jones / The Shires, Greenwich Music Time Festival

Welsh star's songs show their age, country pop duo's their youth in spirited alfresco show

Peter Perrett, The Garage

The Only Ones frontman pops up for a rare and riveting performance

classical

theartsdesk in Pärnu: Top players, great Estonians

Utopian music-making led by the Järvi family in Estonia's magical summer town

Prom 13: Josefowicz, BBCSO, Mälkki

Ravishing orchestral playing in Boulez and Holst, superb control from the Finnish conductor

Matan Porat, Wigmore Hall

Young Israeli pianist aims big, with intelligence to spare, in Ligeti, Rameau and Schubert

opera

Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera

Bryn Terfel's effortless Tevye hampered by amplification as the shtetl musical hits the Proms

Xerxes, Longborough Opera

Handel's Persian comedy in a nightclub done with great polish by young singers

theartsdesk at the Buxton Festival: Bloody Lucia, saintly Joan and sweet Louise

High operatic standards for Donizetti, Verdi and Charpentier in the Peak District

theatre

Three Days in the Country, National Theatre

Patrick Marber’s adaptation of Turgenev’s classic is fun, but lacks subtlety and profundity

Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera

Bryn Terfel's effortless Tevye hampered by amplification as the shtetl musical hits the Proms

Richard II, Shakespeare's Globe

The Wilton Diptych meets Monty Python, and Richard II comes to provocative life

visual arts

Alice Anderson, Wellcome Collection

The artist who wraps the world in gleaming copper wire – but to what end?

theartsdesk in Oslo: From heritage to art now

A dynamic art scene in Norway's capital is giving London and Berlin a run for their money

Out of Chaos: Ben Uri - 100 Years in London, Somerset House

Powerful paintings that explore the Jewish émigré experience

dance

Matthew Bourne's The Car Man, Sadler's Wells

New Adventures company on sizzling form in revival of slick, exciting show

Cinderella, Wheeldon, London Coliseum

Dutch National Ballet give UK première of oddly modernised fairy story

Flamencura, Paco Peña Company, Sadler's Wells

Top-quality showcase from some of the best in the business

comedy

Rob Delaney, QEH

Filthy but funny hour from the US comic

Tommy Tiernan, Soho Theatre

Delightful devilment from the Irishman

Nina Conti, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Wonderfully funny evening with a comedian-ventriloquist at the top of her game

gaming

Anna's Quest

Fairytale wanderings with a semi-comatose telekinetic - *Nnnnh!*

Her Story

The search bar as thrillingly brilliant videogame

Ronin

It looks like a bloody ninja action game, but plays like a puzzle

Listed

Listed: Songs of Summer
From seaside nostalgia to a consumerist jihadi paradise, we list the sounds of summer
Listed: Precocious Writers
As the Royal Court introduces some very young playwrights, we celebrate the great child authors
Listed: Essential BBC Proms
Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

latest comments

You booked for Fiddler on the Roof? What were you...

Zzzz I left during Act 1 as I was SO appalled at...

An excellent evening's entertainment. We were...

i found the amplification intrusive and made the...

Only spotted one product placement - Jaffa...

One of the best shows I've seen in a long time....

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