sat 01/08/2015


Ripper Street, Series 3, BBC One

Adam Sweeting

Axed by the BBC at the end of 2013 after its second series, ostensibly because of poor viewing figures, Ripper Street found a new home on Amazon Prime, where the third series began streaming in November last year. With a fourth and fifth series already commissioned by Amazon, the BBC is making up for lost time by airing Series Three. Perhaps the Top Gear bunch will be back on the Beeb yet.Happily, the change of address has done Ripper Street no harm at all, and this powerful opener...

Prom 19: Alina Ibragimova plays Bach

Alexandra Coghlan

I can’t be alone in often leaving a Proms violin concerto convinced that the Bach encore was the best bit. The Royal Albert Hall is a chameleon space, capable of dwarfing the largest orchestra and muting the weightiest of Wagnerian singers, but also of amplifying solo performances, lending them a clarity, an intimacy, unique to this unlikely venue. It’s a well-documented phenomenon, which makes it all the more surprising that so many of Bach’s solo works for violin are receiving their complete...

Bakkhai, Almeida Theatre

David Nice

This is the real Greek, bloody-fantastical thing. After the fascinating but flawed attempt to bring Aeschylus’s Oresteia into the 21st century, the...

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Adam Sweeting

Stepping in for Brad Bird, who helmed 2011's Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, director Chris McQuarrie has brought a high-speed sheen and...

Prom 17: Hallé, Elder

Peter Quantrill

Roger Wright may be gone from the BBC Proms, replaced for now by a committee, but his legacy lives on. His zeal to recover areas of English musical...

Of Thee I Sing, RFH

Matt Wolf

Sound issues all but scupper period satire


Simon Munk

A meditative and artistic puzzle game

Prom 16: Late Night with Radio 1, Pete Tong

Matthew Wright

Euphoric celebration of dance music let down by strange orchestration and sound issues

Shirley Baker, Photographers' Gallery

Florence Hallett

A forgotten photographer of the northern slums is rediscovered

Prom 14: Prokofiev Piano Concertos

Gavin Dixon

Five-work marathon showcases exceptional pianists and the less familiar specimens

WOMAD 2015, Charlton Park

Peter Culshaw

World Music Fest gets muddy but Senegalese and systems folk group shine

WOMAD 2, Charlton Park

Mark Kidel

Surfing across the global bandwidths at the top world music festival

Three Days in the Country, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Patrick Marber’s adaptation of Turgenev’s classic is fun, but lacks subtlety and profundity

Philharmonia, Davis, Three Choirs Festival

Richard Bratby

Bliss’s personal war requiem in Hereford Cathedral

Life in Squares, BBC Two

Marina Vaizey

The elaborate lives and loves of the exhaustingly self-obsessed Bloomsbury Group

Man With a Movie Camera

Graham Fuller

Dziga Vertov's dazzling 1929 opus captures a day in the life of an idealised Soviet city

Tom Jones / The Shires, Greenwich Music Time Festival

Matthew Wright

Welsh star's songs show their age, country pop duo's their youth in spirited alfresco show

Prom 13: Josefowicz, BBCSO, Mälkki

David Nice

Ravishing orchestral playing in Boulez and Holst, superb control from the Finnish conductor

Peter Perrett, The Garage

Thomas H Green

The Only Ones frontman pops up for a rare and riveting performance

Partners in Crime, BBC One

Jasper Rees

David Walliams and Jessica Raine have fun as amateur sleuths in updated Agatha Christie

Matan Porat, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Young Israeli pianist aims big, with intelligence to spare, in Ligeti, Rameau and Schubert

Prom 12: Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Andsnes 3

Bernard Hughes

Triumphant end to a four-year pilgrimage thrills Proms audience

Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera

David Nice

Bryn Terfel's effortless Tevye hampered by amplification as the shtetl musical hits the Proms

Reissue CDs Weekly: Tennessee Ernie Ford

Kieron Tyler

Lavish box set puts a new twist on the great American songbook

Irakere, Ronnie Scott's

Thomas Rees

The legendary Cuban ensemble’s 40th anniversary celebration doesn’t quite take off

Xerxes, Longborough Opera

Stephen Walsh

Handel's Persian comedy in a nightclub done with great polish by young singers

Prom 10: Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Andsnes 2

Bernard Hughes

The Norwegian pianist's marvellous musicianship deserved a larger audience

Richard II, Shakespeare's Globe

Ismene Brown

The Wilton Diptych meets Monty Python, and Richard II comes to provocative life

Alice Anderson, Wellcome Collection

Sarah Kent

The artist who wraps the world in gleaming copper wire – but to what end?


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

An Open Book: Quentin Blake

From a biography of Rimbaud to Annie Proulx's collage-like prose, we d...

Ripper Street, Series 3, BBC One

Pungent Victorian crime drama returns to network television

Prom 19: Alina Ibragimova plays Bach

Sternly beautiful, Ibragimova's Bach is baroque at its most authentic

CD: Julio Bashmore - Knockin' Boots

Bristolian house don's debut has its tasty moments

Classical CDs Weekly: Steve Reich, Saint-Saëns, Cristina Pat...

A minimalist magnum opus and the grandest of French symphonies. Plus Spanis...

Bakkhai, Almeida Theatre

Ben Whishaw's ambiguous Dionysos and operatic chorus serve superb Euri...

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Fifth time around, and still nothing is impossible for Tom Cruise

Prom 17: Hallé, Elder

Valuable Proms premiere for Vaughan Williams’ equivocal vision of utopia

Bolshoi Ballet acid attack leader loses his job

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

Of Thee I Sing, RFH

Sound issues all but scupper period satire