sat 06/02/2016

theartsdesk

theartsdesk

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Articles by theartsdesk

Six of the best: Film

 The Assassin ★★★★★ How not to kill your former fiancé in medieval ChinaThe Big Short ★★★★ Director Adam McKay successfully makes a drama out of a crisisThe Revenant ★★★★★ Frontier survival epic...

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Six of the best: Theatre

PLAYSEscaped Alone, Royal Court Theatre ★★★★★ New Caryl Churchill play creates a fantasy world where banality is infected by horror. Until 12 MarLes Liaisons Dangereuses, Donmar...

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Boulez, The Rite and the National Youth Orchestra

David Nice writes: 2016 began by ringing in the new with concerts by the ever-astonishing National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and continued by ringing out the old-new with funeral bells on the...

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Seven sides of Alan Rickman

When sorrows come they come not in single spies. It is a bad week to be 69. Hard on the heels of David Bowie's death from cancer comes Alan Rickman's. He was an actor who radiated a sinful allure...

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David Bowie: Unforgettable and Unrepeatable

If each man's death diminishes us, we're all about a foot shorter today. When Elvis Presley died, his manager Colonel Tom Parker said "this won't change anything!", and he promptly set about ensuring...

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Søren Dahlgaard’s Dough Portraits

Can a portrait really be a portrait if we can’t see a person’s face? And what if the reason we can’t see their face is that it is covered with a lump of dough? Is it a joke? And if it is a joke, is...

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Best (and Worst) of 2015: Television

It's hard to disagree with Matthew Wright, in his brisk analysis of the shortcomings of British crime drama (see below). He notes how flashes of inspiration are smothered by skimpy budgets and the...

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theartsfest 2015 - Sunday

So, the first day's done. We awake, bleary-eyed and emerge from our tents and survey the scene. No matter how bad it looks for our immediate future health, the clouds are sure to clear before the...

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theartsfest 2015 - Saturday

The festival market is one that has, like much of Britain, become oversaturated of late. Here at theartsdesk however, we feel that there’s room for one more as long as it’s of the highest possible...

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Best (and Worst) of 2015: Film

The autumn cinema schedules of 2015 were assailed by the double whammy of Spectre and The Force Awakens– at times making it hard to find a screen showing anything else. Yet you’ll see that...

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Best of 2015: Art

From weaselly shyster to spineless drip, the biographies of Goya’s subjects are often superfluous: exactly what he thought of each of his subjects is jaw-droppingly evident in each and every portrait...

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The Amazing World of MC Escher, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Walls that are floors, floors that are walls, and stairs that go up to go down: in the brain-befuddling art of MC Escher (1898-1972) the mundane everyday meets a world of paradox in which the rules...

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Portraits from the 2015 Taylor Wessing Prize

At first glance David Stewart’s Five Girls 2014, the winning entry in this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, is a very ordinary scene. Five young women sit behind a table, obligatory...

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Fallout 4

Fallout 4 ★★★★★Take one part Mad Max, mix with two parts Borderlands 2, add an extra mature story that spans 200 years, sprinkle generously with interesting characters, side quests and more...

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The 11 Best Gigs on Film (after Stop Making Sense)

In the arts there is never a best of anything. There is good, great and glorious. But best? There is, however, Stop Making Sense. Talking Heads invited the director Jonathan Demme to film them in...

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Guitar Hero Live - better than the real thing?

Guitar Hero Live ★★★★My first encounter with the Guitar Hero music rhythm games stretches back to 2008. It involved British Sea Power, the Mercury Prize-nominated indie band, trooping into my living...

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The Winter's Tale, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Shakespeare's tale is told quietly here but with tremendous charm and...

The Devil Inside, Peacock Theatre

Compelling new Faustian-pact opera is small in scale but big on ideas

Rabbit Hole, Hampstead Theatre

David Lindsay-Abaire's examination of grief is smart and sincere, but...