sun 01/02/2015


Tutuguri, BBCSO, Nagano, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

If what you wanted to do was go out to the middle of the Mexican desert, invert the Cross and dip it in blood, screaming obscenities all the while, surrounded by a sunburnt band of fellow travellers all off their heads on mescalin, Tutuguri is definitely the music you’d want to do it to. Which is OK, because those are pretty much the images conjured up by Antonin Artaud’s poem-radio play To Have Done with the Judgment of God, which prompted Wolfgang Rihm to make a two-hour instrumental setting...

The Secret World of Lewis Carroll, BBC Two

Marina Vaizey

Alice is always with us; the most quoted work of literature, after the Bible and Shakespeare. In fact, Desert Island Discs should probably add Alice to the mandatory Bible and Shakespeare as an automatic inclusion for the survival kit. Now 150 years after the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, written by a celibate mathematics don at Christ Church, Oxford, real name Charles Lutwidge Dogdson (pictured, below right), there are translations into countless languages, including that of...

Konono Nº1, Café Oto

Heidi Goldsmith

Rarely in London do the lights rise up after a live gig to reveal eyeballs glistening with euphoria, total body sweat and a communal stitch gradually...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Motorpsycho

Kieron Tyler

Motorpsycho: Demon BoxAfter a burst of guitar feedback, heavy, snail’s-pace drums pound. A massive, churning riff kicks in. The agitated singer tells...

Alice Russell, Jazz Café

Thomas Rees

You know what really grinds my gears? Bands that only have one. One gear, one level of intensity. For a good hour of last night’s set, diminutive...

Nicola Conte, Ronnie Scott's

Peter Quinn

The Italian DJ, producer and musician lights up Soho with feel-good retro stylings

Kraftwerk: Pop Art, BBC Four

Barney Harsent

Kraftwerk go under the microscope for this portrait of the artists

theartsdesk on Vinyl: Volume 2

Thomas H Green

The best of the month's records

Jessie J, Eventim Apollo

Matthew Wright

Magnificently garish live show is constantly on the edge of sensory overload

Fortitude, Sky Atlantic

Adam Sweeting

Love, death and monsters in the Arctic Circle

Timeshift: Battle for the Himalayas, BBC Four

Jasper Rees

The remarkable story of Everest on film highlights John Noel's restored footage


Matt Wolf

Director Stephen Daldry's three unknowns save the day

Di and Viv and Rose, Vaudeville Theatre

Marianka Swain

A frank, funny and deeply felt meditation on defining friendships

Florian Boesch, Roger Vignoles, Wigmore Hall

Alexandra Coghlan

An extraordinary musical adventure in the Austrian Alps

Grim Fandango Remastered

Simon Munk

A classic point-and-click adventure returns – but is the past another country?

The Hard Problem, National Theatre

Matt Wolf

Minor Stoppard that never fully melds head and heart

Onegin, Royal Ballet

Hanna Weibye

Cranko's adaptation of Pushkin offers plenty of character and intrigue

Hannigan, LPO, Jurowski, Festival Hall

Geoff Brown

A splendid soprano gets lost in the desert of Lindberg’s new work, but there are compensations elsewhere

The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios

Demetrios Matheou

James McAvoy gives a stellar performance as the mad earl, in a revival that falls short

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Veronica Lee

Action-packed James Bond pastiche by Matthew Vaughn

Inherent Vice

Nick Hasted

Paul Thomas Anderson films unfilmable Thomas Pynchon, in a stoner noir

Dara, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Meandering adaptation of a Pakistani history play about Islam in Mughal India loses the plot

Touched by Auschwitz, BBC Two

Tom Birchenough

Powerful documentary by Laurence Rees allows Auschwitz survivors full reflection

Hello/Goodbye, Hampstead Theatre

Marianka Swain

Cupid takes the form of a property dispute in this satisfyingly soulful romcom

Richard Alston Dance Company 20th Anniversary Performances, Sadler's Wells

Hanna Weibye

Two gems and two duds in celebratory mixed bill with live music

Taken at Midnight, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Heather Neill

Penelope Wilton triumphs as a mother who defies the Nazis in fighting for her lawyer son

Ghostpoet, Village Underground

Katie Colombus

New album sees this rap artist moving forward both lyrically and with his crossover sound

Big Hero 6

Emma Simmonds

Charming Disney animation gives way to superhero spectacle

Blind Date, Jermyn Street Theatre

Marianka Swain

Chirpy romcom offers big-hearted courtship, but lacks contemporary bite


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

Tutuguri, BBCSO, Nagano, Barbican

The UK premiere of a fearsome beast in the jungle of late 20th-century musi...

The Secret World of Lewis Carroll, BBC Two

150 years on, Carroll’s surreal, truthful masterpiece under the magnifying...

Konono Nº1, Café Oto

Congolese punk-trance leaves breathless human debris in its wake

CD: Tanya Tagaq - Animism

Throat singing meets contemporary pop with compelling results

Reissue CDs Weekly: Motorpsycho

Pivotal album by Norway’s veteran genre-smashers is restored to its origina...

Alice Russell, Jazz Café

The soul sensation strikes a critical nerve

Nicola Conte, Ronnie Scott's

The Italian DJ, producer and musician lights up Soho with feel-good retro s...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Liz Fraser

She put the come-hither in Brit comedies, but has done her finest work in d...

Classical CDs Weekly: Jürg Frey, Janáček, Trio Mediaeval

Minimalist piano music, rousing Czech fanfares and a vocal journey from Ice...

Kraftwerk: Pop Art, BBC Four

Kraftwerk go under the microscope for this portrait of the artists