wed 01/06/2016

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The Nice Guys

Jasper Rees

“A porno film where the point was the plot?!” The Nice Guys asks you to make quite a few imaginative leaps: to find Russell Crowe endearing and Ryan Gosling funny and to believe...

Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century, BBC Four

Marina Vaizey

Suzy Klein, writer and presenter of this three-episode series, is a trained musician and a ubiquitous presence in cultural programmes across a wide spectrum. This opening film, "...

Ariane/Alexandre Bis, Guildhall School

David Nice

Common wisdom has it that the prolific output of 20th century Czech genius Bohuslav Martinů is very uneven, a judgment surely made without a complete hearing. Some listeners...

CD: The Kills - Ash and Ice

Guy Oddy

It may be half a decade since The Kills graced us with their Blood Pressures album and it’s more produced take on their original grubby punk blues sound, but the wait for...

The wisdom and wit of Carla Lane

Jasper Rees

Carla Lane, who has died at the age of 87, was the first from Liverpool. Before Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell, long before Jimmy McGovern, hers was the loudest Liverpudlian...

A Midsummer Night's Dream, BBC One

Matt Wolf

Theseus was a tablet-carrying dictator, Lysander a sweet-faced asthmatic, and Peter Quince rechristened Mistress Quince in the agreeably unexpected presence of Elaine Paige: those...

Common People Festival 2016, Southampton

Thomas H Green

Rob da Bank’s Faustian pact with the weather gods continues apace with the second year of Common People, which takes place...

Race

Ed Owen

With the Olympic Games starting in three months, it’s time to cash in with those inspiring stories of competition. Jesse...

Period Portraits: Snapping the OAE

Eric Richmond

When I was first commissioned by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment I never dreamed that it would turn into a...

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

Hugh Pearman

Arts festivals the size of the Venice Biennale are inevitably patchy. The appointed directors are hardly ever given enough...

DVD: Penda’s Fen

Kieron Tyler

Penda’s Fen has so many constituent parts it could burst its seams. Almost-18 schoolboy Stephen Franklin is struggling with...

The Invitation/Obsidian Tear/Within the Golden Hour, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

It shows you just how much Kenneth MacMillan changed ballet in this country that 1960's The Invitation, with its onstage...

Top Gear, BBC Two

Matthew Wright

Few TV series manage such copious, prominent and skilful trails. There was a “controversy” about doing a handbrake turn...

Znaider, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

David Nice

Anger and fear in Elgar, introspection in middle-period Beethoven: these are undervalued qualities in each composer’s music...

Is Wales really the land of song?

Professor Gareth Williams

Culture, said Aneurin Bevan, comes off the end of a pick. A hundred years ago there was no shortage of picks when a quarter...

CD: Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Just over three years ago, I was swooning for this very site over Tegan and Sara’s masterful shift from indie rock to full-...

theartsdesk in Bilbao: The School of Paris at the Guggenheim Museum

Florence Hallett

Painted during his first trip to Paris in 1900, Picasso’s Le Moulin de la Galette is an outsider’s view of an exotic and...

Brighton Festival: Beth Orton, Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts

Matthew Wright

Beth Orton’s sparsely ethereal new collection Kidsticks has been well received for marking an interesting change of...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Death and Vanilla

Kieron Tyler

Last May, Malmö trio Death and Vanilla issued the To Where the Wild Things are album and it seemed they had arrived as a...

Brighton Festival: Stella, Theatre Royal

Nick Hasted

A Victorian transgender celebrity is a fitting and timely subject for this Brighton Festival premiere. Writer-director Neil...

CD: Dexys - Let The Record Show: Dexys Do Irish And Country Soul

Thomas H Green

Kevin Rowland, throughout his career, has been a man who doesn’t brook compromise, whatever the consequences. He seems to...

Paul Simon Introduces 'Stranger to Stranger'

Adam Sweeting

Perhaps as a hopeful harbinger for Paul Simon's new album Stranger to Stranger, Disturbed recently topped Billboard's...

Brighton Festival: Alexei Sayle, Corn Exchange

Nick Hasted

The last time I saw Alexei Sayle was at a benefit gig in Essex in the Eighties, when his rapid torrents of invective and...

Classical CDs Weekly: Kenneth Hesketh, Vaughan Williams, Ensemble Pygmalion

Graham Rickson

Kenneth Hesketh: horae (pro clara) Clare Hammond (piano) (BIS)Pianist Clare Hammond writes of Liverpudlian composer Kenneth...

 

CD: TEGAN AND SARA - LOVE YOU TO DEATH Full-on electropop magnificence from Canadian sister duo

THE INVITATION/OBSIDIAN TEAR/WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR, ROYAL BALLET MacMillan revival in a different class to anodyne offerings from McGregor and Wheeldon

BRIGHTON FESTIVAL: BETH ORTON, ATTENBOROUGH CENTRE FOR CREATIVE ARTS Live charisma adds human depth to the perfect sheen of her new record

TOP GEAR, BBC TWO The starry partnership of Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc misfires in series relaunch

IS WALES REALLY THE LAND OF SONG? As Festival of Voice opens in Cardiff with Bryn Terfel, Charlotte Church and John Cale, a historian explains Wales's choral roots

THEARTSDESK IN BILBAO: THE SCHOOL OF PARIS AT THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM Exceptional loans from New York make a familiar story sparkle with life

disc of the day

CD: The Kills - Ash and Ice

The Anglo-American duo return after an injury-induced five year break

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Brighton Festival

Brighton Festival: Brighton – Symphony of a City, Brighton Dome

A cinematic cross-section of life in London-by-Sea

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

tv

Revolution and Romance: Musical Masters of the 19th Century, BBC Four

The birth of the notion of musician as superstar

The wisdom and wit of Carla Lane

The creator of The Liver Birds, Bread and Butterflies recalled in her own words

A Midsummer Night's Dream, BBC One

Russell T Davies's revisionist Shakespeare delivers on its own, often puckish terms

film

The Nice Guys

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling buddy up to crack jokes, bones and crime in 70s LA

Race

Jesse Owens biopic lacks tension and is strewn with inaccuracies

DVD: Penda’s Fen

Major Seventies British television drama unites the politically pointed with fantasy

new music

CD: The Kills - Ash and Ice

The Anglo-American duo return after an injury-induced five year break

Common People Festival 2016, Southampton

Chas & Dave, Duran Duran, Cuban Brothers and the blazing sun make this festival fizz

CD: Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death

Full-on electropop magnificence from Canadian sister duo

classical

Period Portraits: Snapping the OAE

The OAE doesn't just sound unique. It looks it too. To mark the orchestra's 30th anniversary, photographer Eric Richmond introduces his portraits

Znaider, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

Perfect depth and communication in Beethoven and Elgar

Is Wales really the land of song?

As Festival of Voice opens in Cardiff with Bryn Terfel, Charlotte Church and John Cale, a historian explains Wales's choral roots

opera

Ariane/Alexandre Bis, Guildhall School

Two-faced men and confused women in schizoid Martinů mini-operas

Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Welsh National Opera

Double bill celebrates Italy in Wales and 70 years of changing styles

theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Rising stars of opera shine at major Polish-based international event

theatre

Brighton Festival: Stella, Theatre Royal

A Victorian's spectacular transgender life, bleakly and obliquely told

Six of the best: Theatre

A thrilling revival of contemporary classic 'Blue/Orange' leads theartsdesk's stage tips

The Threepenny Opera, National Theatre

A brutally efficient adaptation of Brecht and Weill's grubby classic

visual arts

Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

Reality bites: icon buildings abandoned for mass migration and a global housing crisis

theartsdesk in Bilbao: The School of Paris at the Guggenheim Museum

Exceptional loans from New York make a familiar story sparkle with life

10 Questions for Photographer Tanya Habjouqa

The award-winning photographer talks about her new book, 'Occupied Pleasures'

dance

The Invitation/Obsidian Tear/Within the Golden Hour, Royal Ballet

MacMillan revival in a different class to anodyne offerings from McGregor and Wheeldon

Jekyll & Hyde, Old Vic

Dance version is loud and brash with all the horror and none of the mystery

Carlos Acosta: A Classical Farewell, Birmingham Hippodrome

On his retirement tour, Cuban superstar showcases the young, and proves he's still got it

comedy

Brighton Festival: Alexei Sayle, Corn Exchange

The Comedy Store legend reminisces, and sometimes sparks

Julian Clary, Touring

Filthy, funny chat from the 'renowned homosexual'

Marcus Brigstocke, Soho Theatre

Observational comic gets some gripes off his chest

gaming

Homefront: The Revolution

Home isn’t where the heart is in this overly ambitious shooter

Battleborn

Chaotic, cartoony, co-operative carnage

Pathfinder Adventures

A clever card game that benefits from a digital makeover

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

Exactly the same point at which I gave up, became...

It was a jolly romp, and quite mesmerising at...

This was Shakespeare for people who watch too...

Had to give up after the first Oberon-Titania...

No, it simply didn't work - a production far too...

Everything that could be said, already said...

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