wed 01/07/2015

Features & Interviews

Positive: Introducing a comedy about HIV/AIDS


Of all the art forms, theatre has been most attentive to the story of HIV/AIDS. Leading the way in America there was Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart (1985) and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (1991). In the UK the most resonant exploration of the virus’s devastating impact was Kevin Elyot’s My Night with Reg (1994). While all have been revisited - Kramer's play was filmed for HBO last year, when the Donmar Warehouse revived Elyot's masterpiece - as a subject for new drama HIV/AIDS has...

theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film Festival - part 2

David Kettle

It has felt like a strong year for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, even with new artistic director Mark Adams joining part-way through the programming process. And as the event sprinted towards its ever-denser conclusion – 17 "best of the fest" screenings of this year’s most in-demand films joined the already full programme for the event’s final day on Sunday 28 June – it was inevitably time to announce the festival’s award winners.Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl (...

theartsdesk in Orkney: St Magnus Festival

David Kettle

Ebb of Winter felt about right. It’s one of Peter Maxwell Davies’s most recent works, a yearning for the brightness and warmth of spring at the end...

Keeping up with the Joneses

Jasper Rees

Gruff Rhys has called it the Great Welsh Media Gang-Bang. This year everyone who is anyone (who can get funding) has hopped on a plane for Argentina...

theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film...

Demetrios Matheou

It’s a big deal when a film festival unveils a new artistic director. After all, this is the person who leads the selection of often hundreds of...

Habemus maestrum: the Berlin Phil chooses

David Nice

Kirill Petrenko to succeed Simon Rattle as Chief Conductor in 2018

The second coming of The Third Man

Graham Fuller

Vienna, the zither, a twist of Lime: Carol Reed's newly restored noir masterpiece returns

theartsdesk in Denmark: 150 years of Nielsen

David Nice

A great symphonist and a national treasure celebrated at home

theartsdesk at the Cottier Chamber Project

David Kettle

The three-week Glasgow chamber music festival is Scotland's answer to the Proms

Ornette Coleman (1930-2015), Jazz Liberator

Matthew Wright

His techniques were rooted in black American musical idiom, but also severed jazz history

Christopher Lee: A Career in Clips

Demetrios Matheou

theartsdesk pays tribute to the iconic actor, who died this week

Arise, Sir Van, Sir Lenny and Sir Kevin. Dame who?

Jasper Rees

Public school actors do well in the Queen's birthday honours, but women in the arts fare less well

Jazz FM Awards 2015

Peter Quinn

The legendary Hugh Masekela and the electrifying Loose Tubes are among the winners

First Person: Once More With Feeling

Edgaras Montvidas

Glyndebourne's Lithuanian star tenor on the challenges of filming opera

theartsdesk in Bergen 2: Leif Ove Andsnes curates

David Nice

Uniquely imaginative programming in special places from a world-class local

theartsdesk in Fes: Has the magic gone?

Peter Culshaw

The top world music festival reinvents itself with an Africa theme

theartsdesk in Bergen 1: Jazz in a sardine factory

Kieron Tyler

Cacophony, minimalism and the confessional at the Nattjazz Festival on Norway’s west coast

Does anyone know the way to blockbuster?

Jasper Rees

As Sweet announce a UK return, read the last ever interview with Brian Connolly, the glamrockers' original lead singer

Sticky Fingers: unzipped

Tim Cumming

Reissue with live tracks captures the Rolling Stones at their peak

Listed: Essential BBC Proms


Our classical writers choose 12 of the best

theartsdesk in Dresden: Fire and Ice

Paul Gent

The restored German honeypot looks beyond its musical borders

BB King: 'I play the way I'm feeling'

Elaine Lipworth

Recalling an encounter with the great blues guitarist who inspired Jagger, Clapton and Bono

theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Gavin Higgins

Graham Rickson

Rambert Dance Company's inaugural Music Fellow discusses his new ballet score

Maya Plisetskaya, 1925-2015

Ismene Brown

The Bolshoi's deathless über-ballerina is no more

'You must accept that muscle is machinery'


Exclusive poems from 'The Spalding Suite', a new stage play about basketball

theartsdesk Q&A Special: The Falling

Kieron Tyler

Director Carol Morley and actress Florence Pugh on a major new British film about mass schoolgirl hysteria

First Person: Learning the lessons

Jonathan Guy Lewis

Jonathan Guy Lewis on his new play ‘A Level Playing Field’ - and the need to reinvent education

theartsdesk in Thuringia: Easter with Bach

David Nice

Revelatory performances in the holy land of the greatest composer

10 Questions for Musician Squarepusher

Thomas H Green

Electronica supremo talks of dreams, criticism, counterculture, Brighton and much else


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?

latest in today

Imagine... Jeff Koons: Diary of a Seducer, BBC One

Just what is it that makes the kitsch-meister American artist so different,...

{150}, National Theatre Wales/Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru

Bold and technically dazzling, the energy of Marc Rees’ Patagonian tale fla...

The Man Who Sold the World, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire

Tony Visconti, Woody Woodmansey and friends play the David Bowie classic

Dan Cruickshank's Civilisation Under Attack, BBC Four

After destroying the historic artefacts, Islamic State will destroy the peo...

CD: Meg Baird - Don't Weigh Down the Light

Loss, leaving and new beginnings dominate a beautiful album from the former...

Guillaume Tell, Royal Opera

Strong musical values versus a production incongruent with the aims of a ma...

Robert Glasper: 'When hip hop took over the world'

Genre-straddling pianist on his covers project, and how the hip hop home st...

Freedom: The Art of Improvisation Festival, The Vortex, Dals...

The final day of this inaugural free jazz festival proves British improv is...

DVD: It Follows

Teen horror with a kind but chilling heart

Positive: Introducing a comedy about HIV/AIDS

Playwright Shaun Kitchener and director Harry Burton discuss their new prod...