thu 28/08/2014

Features & Interviews

Richard Attenborough, 1923-2014

Nick Hasted

Richard Attenborough made himself known to the British public as a shark-eyed, snivelling psychopath. Pinkie, the teen gangster he portrayed in the Boulting Brothers’ 1947 film of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, chilled with his lack of empathy, even to the angelic girlfriend he means to betray in the most vicious way (watch a clip below). He is a predator of Brighton’s seedy, damp backstreets, a manipulator and coward. As the world came to know over the next 65 years, these qualities were the...

theartsdesk in Verbier: Festival with Fireworks

Alexandra Coghlan

Mahler’s Sixth Symphony is dominated by the doleful clang of cowbells. They are an other-worldly intrusion into an otherwise familiar musical scene – unless you happen to be in Verbier, that is, in which case they are just another everyday part of the aural landscape. To hear this particular metallic clanging in its natural environment just before entering the concert hall and hearing its artificial twin, to walk out of the same concert hall into the same views that inspired Mahler to compose...

Frightfest 2014: Preview

Katherine McLaughlin

August bank holiday weekend is like Christmas day for horror fans thanks to Frightfest who deliver a sackful of disturbing delights in their 15th...

Lauren Bacall: 'Just put your lips together...

Matt Wolf

Lauren Bacall, who has died at the age of 89, was an iconic figure on screen. She spoke one of the immortal lines in film history when all but...

Listed: The laughter and tears of Robin Williams

Jasper Rees

Robin Williams, who has died at the age of 63, was a very American comedian. The flow of invention that erupted from inside him had an unstoppable,...

10 Questions for singer Laura Mvula

Russ Coffey

The critic's darling talks Birmingham, fame, books and why she's re-recorded her debut album

theartsdesk in La Foce: War and Peace in Val d'Orcia

David Nice

Musical youth and experience gather in one of the world's most beautiful landscapes

Alright on the Night: at Glyndebourne with the OAE

Adam Sweeting

The view from the pit as Handel's 'Rinaldo' returns to leafiest East Sussex

Opinion: The Tricycle were right over the UK Jewish Film Festival

Fisun Güner

An arts organisation for once takes an ethical stand and are unjustly pilloried for it

First Person: 'Thomas Bernhard? I love him'

Peter Eyre

The actor Peter Eyre introduces the German rarity he is bringing to the Edinburgh Festival

theartsdesk in Bregenz: A floating opera festival

Alexandra Coghlan

Operatic fireworks (and dragons and acrobats) at the Bregenz Festival

Opinion: What does opera have to say to the under-30s?

Alexandra Coghlan

Will Glyndebourne's under-30s ticket scheme help the art form?

What Lies Beneath: The Secret Life of Paintings

Florence Hallett

From mystery men to missing whales, paintings can reveal unexpected secrets

theartsdesk at the Port Eliot Festival

Mark Hudson

Notting Hill meets Cornwall at boho-hippie-rock-literary love-in

theartsdesk in the Faroes: Disco and Dried Fish

Kieron Tyler

The usually reserved Faroese get down at G! Festival 2014

theartsdesk at Latitude: Lily Allen/Haim

Katie Colombus

Kid-friendly festival has an audience as eclectic as the line-up

theartsdesk at Latitude: Damon Albarn/Booker T Jones

Matthew Wright

Booker T Jones' set of Sixties hits wows the crowd - but is Damon Albarn's new solo material a touch too subtle to headline?

theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival: Littoral Schubertiad

David Nice

All-day Schubert by the sea and a Sibelius symphony in a working potato barn

Some Like It Hot

David Benedict

Billy Wilder's peerless, deliriously funny sex-comedy is back on the big screen

'Gimme a vodka and a floorplan': Elaine Stritch remembered

David Benedict

Brief encounters with the legendary New York diva

First Person: Curating Shelagh Wakely

Sarah Kent

On mounting a show which gives a forgotten artist the recognition she deserves

Opinion: Too Strictly? Battle in the ballroom

Marianka Swain

An ill-conceived new ruling could have disastrous effects on the dance community

Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) on Puccini's Golden Girl

David Nice

The conductor, who has died aged 84, enthusing in 1991 about a masterpiece

Opinion: The docusoap must die, again

Jasper Rees

A generic mutation has come back from the grave, and it still sucks

Nightmare in Aix: Sarah Connolly on a shocking first night

Sarah Connolly

The great mezzo reports on how her Ariodante at the French festival was sabotaged

theartsdesk in Moscow: Blood brothers on film

Tom Birchenough

No avoiding contemporary realities at the Moscow International Film Festival

theartsdesk in Setúbal: Youth and music under the jacarandas

David Nice

A festival with a difference in a stunningly situated Portuguese port city

theartsdesk in Fes: A world music festival that's a beacon of tolerance

Peter Culshaw

Forget Glastonbury, Morocco's Festival of World Sacred Music goes from strength to strength

First Person: Who is Mozart's fake garden girl?

Frederic Wake-Walker

The director of Glyndebourne's La finta giardiniera explores her identity

newsletter

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 theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 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 theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Steen Raskopoulos, Soho Theatre

Superb character comedy from Australian debutant

Million Dollar Arm

Jon Hamm makes his bid for movie stardom in a semi-winning baseball drama

Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets, Channel 4

Flimsy documentary is one for the feline-minded

Prom 53: Brahms Symphonies, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fis...

Exceptional control and finesse allow Brahms’s masterpieces to shine suprem...

Worst Place To Be A Pilot, Channel 4

Fascinating and original concept only partially ruined by condescending dir...

CD: Simian Mobile Disco - Whorl

Electronic duo take us on a spaced out - but dynamic - analogue adventure

Guglielmo Tell, Teatro Regio Torino, Noseda, Usher Hall, Edi...

Wildly thrilling Festival performance enough to convert anyone to Rossini

Mystery Road

A raw take on Australia in potent outback crime drama

Prom 52: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Whole string sections with the ability to phrase cleverly and subtly as one

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Frank Miller's 3D return to the world of Basin City proves a grotty an...