fri 23/10/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Mark Kidel
Friday, 23 October 2020
As he cruises into the autumn of his life, 71 year-old Bruce Springsteen, The Boss, as he's generally known, revisits territory that will sound very familiar to his fans. Perhaps...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 23 October 2020
What a pleasure it was to step inside a West End theatre again, and what a different experience it was – temperature checks at the door, a one-way system through to the seats and...
Alexandra Coghlan
Thursday, 22 October 2020
Last seen gurning and camping his way across the Royal Opera House stage in absurdist musical fantasy Frankenstein!!, it was a very different Allan Clayton who held the Wigmore...
Liz Thomson
Thursday, 22 October 2020
What a pick-me-up this album is. Released as the days darken, literally and metaphorically, it’s a real joy – a transport of delight to dappled squares in Paris or Lisbon, or a...
India Lewis
Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Jenny Hval’s Girls Against God covers every angsty young woman’s favourite subjects. Witchcraft, heavy metal, viscera, and hatred. It’s a book in the grand tradition of Kathy...
Jessica Duchen
Wednesday, 21 October 2020
During the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in London earlier this year, a black man named Patrick Hutchinson hoisted over his shoulder an injured white man from the counter-...
Guy Oddy
Wednesday, 21 October 2020
It’s not hard to understand why so many people in the UK really don’t like political pop and rock music. For one, you only...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Towards the end of this new documentary, an account of how he recorded his new album Letter to You at his home studio in New...
David Nice
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Big orchestras to serve the late romantic masterpieces and contemporary blockbusters still aren’t the order of the Covid-era...
Joseph Walsh
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Chloé Zhao’s The Rider was a film of rare honesty and beauty. Who would have thought she’d be able to top the power of that...
Jessica Payn
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Strangers: Essays on the Human and Nonhuman is a powerful invitation to rethink, to doubt and to engage. Beginning among the...
Daniel Baksi
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Shot across a period of five years, David Lynch’s creepy debut feature Eraserhead (1977) follows the story of...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 19 October 2020
A lifelong socialist who has regularly written about the Labour party, playwright David Hare admits that in his career he...
David Nice
Monday, 19 October 2020
Think you’ve seen enough of monologues and duets over the past few months? Watch this and reel. Four British directors, four...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 19 October 2020
Ronnie Scott was a remarkable man: “Jazz Musician, Club Proprietor, Raconteur and Wit, he was the leader of our generation...
Jessica Duchen
Monday, 19 October 2020
What do you want to do on your 80th birthday? Well, playing two of your favourite pieces of music at the Wigmore Hall...
Daniel Baksi
Monday, 19 October 2020
The majority of Daniel Saldaña París’s latest novel spurs from a single act, committed during the height of summer, in ...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 19 October 2020
After a successful – and very welcome - summer season of gigs in its outdoor courtyard, Battersea Arts Centre has come...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 19 October 2020
The big news is that this is Faithless’s first album without longterm frontman Maxi Jazz. Instead, remaining members Rollo...

★★★★★ 4/4, ROYAL OPERA Desire, loss and lunacy in four surprising acts

★★★★ SONGHOY BLUES - OPTIMISME An unashamedly political album to move hips and feet

★★★★ JENNY HVAL: GIRLS AGAINST GOD A sticky dance through space and time

10 QUESTIONS FOR POET AND CRITIC REBECCA TAMAS On 'Strangers' and the urgent interconnectedness of the human and non-human

★★★★ BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S LETTER TO YOU, APPLE TV+  Documentary takes an emotional journey through the past with the E Street Band

★★★★★ LFF 2020: NOMADLAND Francis McDormand gives a career-defining performance



Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You, Apple TV+ review - his new album is a matter of life and death

Documentary takes an emotional journey through the past with the E Street Band

Roadkill, BBC One review - David Hare pokes under the floorboards of the Conservative party

Hugh Laurie plays an ambitious government minister with a shady history


Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You, Apple TV+ review - his new album is a matter of life and death

Documentary takes an emotional journey through the past with the E Street Band

Blu-ray: Eraserhead

David Lynch's first feature film is a surrealist nightmare

Ronnie's review – fascinating story of the fabled Soho jazz club

Oliver Murray's film is packed with great music and revealing interviews

new music

Album: Bruce Springsteen - Letter to You

Nostalgia for the future

Album: Songhoy Blues - Optimisme

An unashamedly political album to move hips and feet from the West African superstars


Allan Clayton, Stephanie Wake-Edwards, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall review - consummate musicality and technique

John Donne's poetry was the connecting thread through a soberly beautiful recital

Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, Sode, Chineke! Orchestra, Edusei, RFH review - protest, passion and joy

The new, the rediscovered and the familiar rub (distanced) shoulders

London Symphony Orchestra, Hasan, LSO St Luke's review - dances great and small

Miniature Strauss followed by a big orchestra for works by Hannah Kendall and Bartók


4/4, Royal Opera review – desire, loss and lunacy in four surprising acts

Allan Clayton and Richard Jones are kings of bedlam, but the rest has high style too

First Person: tenor Nicky Spence on working with Blackheath locals on screen Stravinsky

'The Rake's Progress' distilled and introduced by its star and community opera patron

Fidelio, Garsington Opera review - heart of darkness, light-filled liberation

Fine singers equalled by Philharmonia soloists in revelatory chamber-music Beethoven


The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage review - fireworks in the Garden

At long last, our premier ballet company is back in action. And it's dynamite

theartsdesk in Hamburg: Ghost Light - a ballet in the time of corona

How the city is showing the world a way through the live-performance impasse

'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

Ballet or cabaret, Zizi's passion was for performance - preferably with her husband


Jenny Hval: Girls Against God review - a sticky dance through space and time

A surreal witches' flight through southern Norway

10 Questions for Poet and Critic Rebecca Tamás

On 'Strangers' and the urgent interconnectedness of the human and non-human

Daniel Saldaña Paris: Ramifications review – chaos reigns in contemporary Mexico

Revolutionary fervour sends ruptures through a nuclear family

visual arts

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer, Barbican Art Gallery review - mould-breaker, ground-shaker

A crash course in the life and times of an iconoclast and muse

Sin, National Gallery review - great subject, modest show

A small gathering can't do justice to this fabulous topic

latest comments

He was a gifted guitar player,that's all.Guitar...

Ronnie Scott was my friend, my tenor sax player...

Hi Paul. I don't know if you are reading these...

Many apologies! It was no.25 - I have now amended...

Thanks, but you didn't say which Mozart concerto.

I’m still trying to get a model of this GREAT...


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