tue 13/04/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Thomas H Green
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
11 Past the Hour opens with its title song, a delicious, twangy, string-laden Nancy Sinatra Bond theme that never was. The album closes with a lyrically empowered torch song, “...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 12 April 2021
If American music has a royal family, it’s surely the Seeger clan. Charles, the patriarch, the composer, musicologist and teacher who could be said to have invented...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Monday, 12 April 2021
There’s a line in “No Home”, the staggering centrepiece of Lady Dan’s debut album, that perhaps sums up the project. “Wolves will never be my masters again,” the artist, real name...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Speaking to America’s Hit Parader magazine in August 1967, Frank Zappa said “If you want to learn how to play guitar, listen to Wes Montgomery.” The article was titled My Favorite...
Tom Baily
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Since launching his directing career in 2011 with The Showdown, Park Hoon-jung has established himself as a promising devotee of the bloody gangster genre. The pandemic may have...
Graham Fuller
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Catch Us If You Can, the 1965 road movie starring Barbara Ferris and the eponymous drummer and guiding force of the Dave Clark Five, proved a more trenchant satire of capitalism...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 10 April 2021
Sequin is the screen name for the questing 16-year-old at the slowly awakening heart of Sequin in a Blue Room, a 2019...
David Nice
Saturday, 10 April 2021
There are so many good ideas, so much talented hard work from the singers of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 10 April 2021
 Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, Piano Concerto No. 4, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra/Lahav Shani (piano and conductor) (...
Guy Oddy
Saturday, 10 April 2021
If there’s someone who could claim to have proved Arnold Schoenberg’s pithy phrase “If it is art, it is not for all” it was...
Bernard Hughes
Friday, 09 April 2021
The Polyphonic Concert Club is a collective of musicians – including Isata Kanneh-Mason and I Fagiolini – offering recorded...
Russ Coffey
Friday, 09 April 2021
A trend's been emerging, of late, for ageing rockers to actually sound younger on each new record. We saw it with AC/DC's...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 08 April 2021
I once went to see Motorhead, back in the days when real men didn’t wear earplugs, and afterwards it was if somebody had...
Florence Hallett
Thursday, 08 April 2021
It’s no surprise that 30 years on, the individuals most closely connected to the world’s biggest art heist are showing their...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 08 April 2021
The career of Raf Rundell has had one of the most satisfying trajectories of any in UK music – a steady process of self-...
Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 07 April 2021
Illogical in its twists and turns, elusive as a fading dream but not stylistically dreamy – Christian Petzold’s optimistic...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 07 April 2021
Channel 5 is rather partial to its four-night dramas, though recent effort The Drowning seemed to have sneaked unseen past...
Jessica Payn
Wednesday, 07 April 2021
“I think it happened to you, too, the first time you arrived.” So begins Andrea Bajani’s second novel (Se consideri le colpe...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 07 April 2021
Loyiso Gola, twice nominated for Emmy awards for his satire show Late Nite News, has been a big star in South Africa for...

★★★ THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS / MAHAGONNY SONGSPIEL, ROYAL OPERA Modern morality tales mesh uneasily

CLASSICAL CDS Three very different symphonies, music for mental well-being and an intriguing piano recital

★★★★ CATCH US IF YOU CAN John Boorman's Swinging '60s satire of capitalism on DVD/Blu-ray

★★★★ ALAN VEGA: MUTATOR Ex-Suicide frontman’s posthumous solo album is a sublime blast

★★★ THIS IS A ROBBERY: THE WORLD'S BIGGEST ART HEIST, NETFLIX Three decades on and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum mystery is still hot

BAFTAS 2021 'Nomadland' takes four awards, including Best Film

disc of the day

Album: Imelda May - 11 Past the Hour

Irish star makes a rare musical blunder into whiffy 'classic rock' and balladry on her latest


This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Netflix - the last word (for now)

Three decades on and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum mystery is still hot

Intruder, Channel 5 review - implausible but watchable

The death of a home invader opens a can of worms

Queen Elizabeth and the Spy in the Palace, Channel 4 review - how the Fourth Man burrowed deep into the British Establishment

Did Anthony Blunt uncover secrets which threatened the survival of the house of Windsor?


Night in Paradise review - lukewarm bloodbath

Violent gangster thriller is bogged down by morose pensive sequences

DVD/Blu-ray: Catch Us If You Can

John Boorman's debut skewered the capitalist exploitation of youth culture

Sequin in a Blue Room review - soullessness and sex in Sydney

Directing debut is grimly compelling if not always plausible

new music

Album: Imelda May - 11 Past the Hour

Irish star makes a rare musical blunder into whiffy 'classic rock' and balladry on her latest

Singer-songwriter Peggy Seeger: still in the vanguard of her musical dynasty

A member of America's great musical clan, Peggy Seeger has been a fixture on the British folk scene for more than 60 years

Album: Lady Dan - I Am the Prophet

Breaking free of patriarchy on Austin country-folk debut


Classical CDs: Dramatic symphonies, medieval bagpipes and a solo bassoon

Three very different symphonies, music for mental well-being and an intriguing piano recital

Castalian Quartet, Stoller Hall, Manchester online review - mercurial playing fits a varied programme

Haydn and Adès rub shoulders in a recital of drama and excitement


The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

More time needed in knocking this fascinating Brecht/Weill double bill into shape

L'heure espagnole, Grange Park Opera online review - seduction and sandwiches in 60 minutes

Ravel takes a Kensington lunchbreak, in an operatic updating for the YouTube generation

Siegfried, Göteborg Opera online review - a hero for our times

Staging and singing in sync for the Ring’s scherzo


Romeo and Juliet, National Theatre online review - a triumphant hybrid
Simon Godwin's debut film is part dressed-down rehearsal, part cinematic flourish
Living Newspaper, Edition 3, Royal Court online review – bleak news, sharp words
Third instalment of the irreverent series takes on Boris, star signs, and casual sexism
A Midsummer Night's Dream, SHAKE Festival livestream review - a star turn from Luisa Omielan makes this 'Bottom's Dream'
Jenny Caron Hall's production, with sister Rebecca starring, offers 'mechanical' treats


Best of 2020: Dance

In a perilous year, bright ideas and perseverance sometimes prevailed

The Nutcracker: an end-of-year obituary

It's been a rough ride for the seasonal cash cow. Here's how ballet companies coped

The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's indictment of capitalism in a vibrant new production


Andrea Bajani: If You Kept a Record of Sins review - where blame, grief and discovery meet

Irresistibly spare narrative reckons with a mother’s death in Romania

Will Page: Tarzan Economics - a 'rockonomist' writes

A lively book with a music industry slant

Extract: TV by Susan Bordo

On 75 years of changing TV, changing habits and the relationship between TV and Trump

visual arts

This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Netflix - the last word (for now)

Three decades on and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum mystery is still hot

Prix Pictet: Confinement review - a year in photographs

Prize-winning photographers respond to the pandemic

Pioneering Women, Oxford Ceramics Gallery online review - domestic pleasures

A survey of female potters explores ancient ubiquity and the allure of pure form

latest comments

The accompaniments add so much.It's a lovely disc.

yes I really liked the vox clara, a lovely sound...

Intruder, terrible. None of the actors gel and "...

In the flashback to 1979. You showed a young...

A thoughtful and well-balanced critique that drew...

Only two actors are worth their salt in all this...


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