mon 05/10/2015

Features & Interviews

theartsdesk in Hamburg: Reeperbahn Festival 2015

Kieron Tyler

An encounter with Hamburg’s Reeperbahn is akin to assimilation into a real-life kaleidoscope where bright lights, mass revellers and shills touting bars, night clubs or strip joints combine in a single multi-sense overload. The tumultuous thoroughfare is dedicated to excess.The Reeperbahn, the main drag of Hamburg’s St. Pauli district, approximates two garish, illuminated British seafront parades – maybe Blackpool and Southend – that have been elongated and then arranged face-to-face on each...

Brian Friel, the private playwright of Ballybeg

Jasper Rees

Brian Friel, who has died at the age of 86, was a shy man who shunned interviews, keeping his powder dry for the work and shrouding his personal life in mystique. Not that he never opened his mouth at all. When Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) was winning Tony Awards in New York, he got into trouble for saying that a good stage manager is preferable to a director who disobeys the script. One or two American directors may have smirked when in 1993 Wonderful Tennessee closed on Broadway after nine...

theartsdesk at the Music@Malling Festival

David Nice

One of the summer’s greatest pleasures has been to confirm what I always thought: that you may hear some of the finest and rarest music-making in out...

Rio+Film, Barbican

James Woodall

With eyes trained on sporty Rio de Janeiro once more for next year’s Olympic Games, cultural portals on to the city are bound to be offered in all...

An Open Book: Laurent Garnier

Thomas H Green

Laurent Garnier, 49, is a key figure in the development of French electronic dance music. A DJ at the Haçienda in Manchester just as house music...

London Film Festival 2015


theartsdesk casts ahead to an LFF programme bursting with possibilities

The restoration of Nell Gwynn

Jessica Swale

Playwright Jessica Swale on unearthing the truth about the celebrated actress

theartsdesk at the Lammermuir Festival

David Kettle

Pleasingly provocative quartet of concerts ends this year's East Lothian event in style

theartsdesk at the Chicago Jazz Festival

Martin Longley

Enthusiastic audiences celebrate a programme spanning be-bop to free extremity

Sir David Willcocks (1919-2015)


A great soprano and mezzo, a choral bass and a conductor remember the chorus master

'We have a duty to all children to share our rich artistic history'

Sarah Connolly

Transcript of mezzo Sarah Connolly's passionate advocacy of the arts at an ACE event in Westminster

10 Questions for Conductor Laurence Equilbey

David Nice

French music director of the Accentus Choir and Insula Orchestra talks different styles

An Open Book: Chantal Joffe

Fisun Güner

The lives of artists, confessional poetry, and a cold bath with John Updike

First Person: Playing Jane

Madeleine Worrall

The star of the National Theatre/Bristol Old Vic adaptation on Charlotte Brontë's classic novel

theartsdesk in Lahti: Sibelius 150, Sibelius Hall

David Nice

Top concert hall is the natural heart of this year's anniversary celebrations

theartsdesk in Bucharest: Loving Enescu

Paul Gent

A cultural weapon of the Cold War has matured into a magnet for world-class orchestras

Listed: Essential Operas 2015-16


Our classical/opera writers choose 12 highlights of the coming season

theartsdesk at Green Man 2015

Barney Harsent

A wild time was had by all until rain stopped play…

DVD: Around the World with Orson Welles

Graham Rickson

Uneven TV travelogue from the maverick director

theartsdesk in New York: Folk City

Markie Robson-Scott

Bringing it all back home: NYC as a folk-music hub in the Fifties and Sixties

An Open Book: Bruce McCall

Marianka Swain

The distinguished writer and illustrator talks compensatory learning and the lure of Atlantic liners

Hot August Night: The Beatles at Shea Stadium

James Woodall

Fifty years ago today, The Beatles played their largest-ever concert

theartsdesk at Wilderness Festival 2015

Matthew Wright

The Waitrose of festivals offers the best of most things, just this side of self-parody

An Open Book: Conrad Shawcross

Florence Hallett

The sculptor talks about his fascination with Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace and about the big ideas that inform his work

theartsdesk at the New Horizons Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

A fledgling film festival in western Poland has quickly emerged as one of the most popular in Europe

Cilla Black, 1943-2015

Adam Sweeting

From cloakroom attendant at The Cavern club to national treasure

theartsdesk in Tuscany: Musical landscapes

Alexandra Coghlan

Encounters of the classical kind in Tuscany's loveliest garden

An Open Book: Quentin Blake

Fisun Güner

From a biography of Rimbaud to Annie Proulx's collage-like prose, we delve into the celebrated illustrator's literary tastes and habits

Bolshoi Ballet acid attack leader loses his job

Ismene Brown

Sergei Filin's contract will not be renewed, and his post abolished


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