tue 28/04/2015


American Buffalo, Wyndham's Theatre

Demetrios Matheou

From the great, gasp-inducing rush of colour when the curtain opens on American Buffalo to the embrace that closes it, this revival of David Mamet’s career-making rummage through the junkyard of the American Dream has you in a vice-like grip. It’s been eagerly anticipated, and doesn’t disappoint.Most great plays have an air of having just been written. American Buffalo is now 40 years old, yet speaks loudly and painfully about the state we’re in today. While a number of our bankers and...

Trial by Jury / The Zoo, King's Head Theatre

David Nice

Judge Judy meets The Only Way Is Essex: this endlessly resourceful production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s first (mini) masterpiece Trial by Jury is one that cries out to appear on TV. Which in a make-believe sense it does: we’re the audience in the studio where Court on Camera is about to air. A warm-up chappie who turns out to be the Usher (Wagnerian bass-baritone in training Martin Lamb) – on other Sundays it will be a lady – gauges our capacity to applaud and boo, and we’re off on a case of...

Die Walküre Act 3, WNO, Koenigs, Wales Millennium...

Stephen Walsh

There’s a lot to be said for concert performances of Wagner. Not only are you spared the post-prandial lucubrations of aspirant directors – the...

Stonehearst Asylum

Nick Hasted

Stonehearst Asylum is bookended by classic Hammer horror scenes. Within minutes of Dr Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) being dropped off at the titular...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dion

Kieron Tyler

 Dion: Recorded Live at the Bitter End August 1971By 1971, when he was playing the Bitter End in New York’s Greenwich Village, Dion DiMucci had...

The Fall, Brixton Electric

Tim Cumming

A powerful sub-lingual assault on the senses

Ahnen, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells

Jenny Gilbert

Family lore and deep-seated fears explored with surprising humour, and a technical glitch

John Wood and Paul Harrison, Carroll/Fletcher

Sarah Kent

The Laurel and Hardy of the art world venture from comedy to failed utopian dreams

Fitzwilliam Quartet, Hay Chamber Music Festival

Stephen Walsh

New chamber festival is a refreshing antidote to second-hand books

Tales From the Tour Bus: Rock 'n' Roll on the Road, BBC Four

Barney Harsent

A tale of bands in vans that, for the most part, stuck to familiar routes

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Brahms, Bruch, Hartmann

Graham Rickson

British symphonies, German violin concertos and a dark 20th-century opera

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Nick Hasted

Inferior but lively superhero sequel

LSO, Eötvös, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Rituals of savagery and grief from Stravinsky and Boulez

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Revival of Caryl Churchill’s 1976 play about radicals in the English Civil War is an acquired taste

W1A, Series 2, BBC Two

Jasper Rees

It's still sharp, but should the BBC be flagellating itself a second time?

ATTHIS, Linbury Studio Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

A gorgeous play of music and emotion based on the erotic love poetry of Sappho

Panti: High Heels in Low Places, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Drag artist tells her charming and funny story

The Quest Keeper

Stuart Houghton

Keep on movin' in this endless runner, roguelike and more mash-up

Clarion, Arcola Theatre

Marianka Swain

Insider tabloid takedown has real pre-election heft

Public Service Broadcasting, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Thomas H Green

Pathé News rock 'n' rave from an eccentric, independent and very English success story

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Kieron Tyler

Lessons in how we treat each other from Roy Andersson, Sweden’s master of the absurd

Three Tales, Ensemble BPM, IMAX Science Museum

David Nice

Reich and Korot's dynamic reflections on 'progress' get new life from a young ensemble

This World: World’s Richest Terror Army, BBC Two

Tom Birchenough

Untangling the structure of Islamic State reveals the scale of the enemy

Batiashvili, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Passion and intensity in Barenboim’s Elgar, but often taken to excess

Laura Marling, QEH

Fisun Güner

Her talent may be special, but the evening never truly rocked for the singer-songwriter

The Falling

Kieron Tyler

Fainting, growing pains and the occult in Carol Morley’s seductive filmic waking-dream

Ah, Wilderness!, Young Vic

Marianka Swain

Rarely revived O'Neill comedy is charming, but insubstantial

Argerich, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim, RFH

David Nice

A Schubert rondo is the unscheduled highlight, but Barenboim's Strauss is all over the place

Who Cares, Royal Court Theatre

Aleks Sierz

Promenade performance of a timely new verbatim play about the NHS fails to thrive


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 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 theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

American Buffalo, Wyndham's Theatre

Damian Lewis tears up the stage, literally, in Mamet's modern classic

DVD: Exodus: Gods And Kings

Ridley Scott's Biblical epic is dourly, intelligently ambitious

Trial by Jury / The Zoo, King's Head Theatre

Perfect Savoyards excel in trial by telly and sweet zoological love story

Die Walküre Act 3, WNO, Koenigs, Wales Millennium Centre, Ca...

Wagner in concert finely paced, with only minor visual distractions

CD: Andreya Triana - Giants

Five years in the making, Triana's second album is well worth the wait

Stonehearst Asylum

A superior, all-star Gothic melodrama, with more ideas than thrills

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dion

Confident and previously unheard early Seventies concert from 'The ‘Wa...

CD: Olivia Chaney - The Longest River

The young English singer's long-awaited album delivers treasures

The Return of Peter Perrett

One of the late Seventies' most talented but elusive returns