tue 22/10/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Nice
Monday, 21 October 2019
We have John Eliot Gardiner to thank for an unconventional diptych of Czech masterpieces in the London Symphony Orchestra's current season. He had to withdraw from last night's...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 21 October 2019
Focusing on twelve women who played a key role in the lives of Pre-Raphaelite painters like Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, this timely...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 21 October 2019
"Revelatory":  it’s one of those words which is now completely devalued through having been carelessly dropped into a thousand press releases. And yet it perfectly describes...
Mark Kidel
Monday, 21 October 2019
Tom Morris’s production of Cyrano starts with a procession of nuns, some of them bearded, chanting verses from the medieval mystic Hildegarde of Bingen. In this original and...
Gabriela Montero
Monday, 21 October 2019
For as long as I can remember, there has been a continuous loop of original music playing in my mind. My father used to joke about my “tuyuyo” – a little bump I have on the back...
Nick Hasted
Monday, 21 October 2019
Neil Young’s prolific, patchy output rejects the very notion of major releases, though only a major artist would be given so much rope. His thirtieth album of the century (new or...
Sam Marlowe
Sunday, 20 October 2019
Playing our monarch and her husband in The Crown has made actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith into TV drama royalty, so...
Jonathan Geddes
Sunday, 20 October 2019
Familiarity evidently does not breed contempt, at least in the case of Hot Chip and Glasgow. This was the band’s third...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 20 October 2019
That John le Carré! It turns out the agent isn’t so much running in the field as playing badminton. The master of the spy...
Adam Sweeting
Sunday, 20 October 2019
And welcome back to our favourite French cop show – perhaps our favourite cop show from anywhere, in fact – which has raced...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 20 October 2019
Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire hasn’t had the stratospheric levels of praise as the preceding Kinks...
India Lewis
Sunday, 20 October 2019
A Month in Siena is a sweet, short mediation on art, grief, and life. Ostensibly describing the time and space of its title...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Sunday, 20 October 2019
As frontman and lyricist of US rockers The Hold Steady, Craig Finn specialises in vivid storytelling featuring larger than...
David Nice
Saturday, 19 October 2019
Advance publicity overstated the case for The Mask of Orpheus. "Iconic"? Only to academics and acolytes, for British...
Joseph Walsh
Saturday, 19 October 2019
Angelina Jolie is back again with those cut-glass cheekbones and ink-black wings, reprising her role as the self-proclaimed...
Miranda Heggie
Saturday, 19 October 2019
Venetian director Damiano Michieletto’s new Royal Opera production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is a clever and entertaining...
Bernard Hughes
Saturday, 19 October 2019
Some of the greatest pieces of the string orchestra repertoire are based on pre-existing pieces: the fantasias by Tippett...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 19 October 2019
 Gabriela Montero: Piano Concerto No 1, ‘Latin Concerto’, Ravel: Concerto in G Gabriela Montero (piano), The Orchestra...
Mark Kidel
Saturday, 19 October 2019
PJ Harvey is not just a consummate rock musician but a multi-talented artist, who has re-invented herself throughout her...

★★★★ JOHN LE CARRÉ: AGENT RUNNING IN THE FIELD A sharply contemporary thriller from the master spy writer

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY: Contemporary chamber music from the United States, plus a new concerto from Gabriela Montero

★★★★ SPIRAL, SERIES 7, BBC FOUR Crime, slime and real-life issues in a de-glamourised Paris

★★★★ DON PASQUALE, ROYAL OPERA Bryn Terfel and Olga Peretyatko in stylish new production

★★★★★ HOT CHIP, BARROWLAND, GLASGOW Dancefloor kings keep the party going

THE KINKS - ARTHUR OR THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE Definitive 50th anniversary edition of an ever-wonderful album

disc of the day

CD: Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Colorado

Friendships fade and the planet burns, but the Horse plough on

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Spiral, Series 7, BBC Four review - hard-hitting return of our favourite French cop show

Crime, slime and real-life issues in a de-glamourised Paris

Giri/Haji, BBC Two review - inspired Anglo-Japanese thriller makes compulsive viewing

Two worlds collide after synchronous murders in London and Tokyo

In the Long Run, Series 2, Sky 1 review - Idris Elba's warm-hearted comedy returns

An entertaining brew of culture clash, social commentary and belly laughs


Maleficent: Mistress of Evil review - fantasy follow-up falls flat

Angelina Jolie's charms aren't enough to carry Disney sequel

Non-Fiction - adultery spices up digitisation drama

Sexual fidelity is as believable as the digitally derived "truth" in Olivier Assayas's latest

Zombieland: Double Tap review - dead dull redo

Stunted sequel fails to add to the 2009 original

new music

CD: Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Colorado

Friendships fade and the planet burns, but the Horse plough on

Hot Chip, Barrowland, Glasgow review - dancefloor kings keep the party going

Londoners were in sublime form promoting their new album

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Kinks - Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire

Box set 50th-anniversary edition is the last word on an ever-wonderful album


London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Ono, Barbican review - feet on the ground, eyes to the skies

Solo vocal, choral and orchestral trumpets blaze in Janáček's Glagolitic Mass

Miklós Perényi, Dénes Várjon, Wigmore Hall review – Beethoven in wonderfully safe hands

Total authority with the freedom and the feel of improvisation

‘We must not allow boorish, opportunistic autocrats to hijack music’: Gabriela Montero on life and art

The Venezuelan pianist and composer on the creative impulse and how she uses it


The Mask of Orpheus, English National Opera review - amorphous excess

Daniel Kramer's camp carnival defuses any focus in Birtwistle's bruising score

Don Pasquale, Royal Opera review - fun and frolics in stylish new production

Bryn Terfel shines but Olga Peretyatko soars in Donizetti's charming comedy

The Cunning Little Vixen, Welsh National Opera review - family night in the forest

Janáček’s life cycle comes up fresh and inspiring after four decades


Cyrano, Bristol Old Vic review – comedy with emotional intelligence
Tristan Sturrock's lead performance brings energy matched by depth
Lungs, Old Vic review - deluxe casting and slick delivery
Claire Foy and Matt Smith elevate Duncan Macmillan's rather toothless parenting drama
[Blank], Donmar Warehouse review - strong but dispiriting
Alice Birch's new play prioritises form over content, and is depressingly reactionary


The deathless Alicia Alonso, in person

Remembering the woman who was Cuban ballet's legend and monster

Cross Currents/Monotones II/Everyone Keeps Me, Linbury Theatre review - the Royal Ballet finds the missing link

In exploring the road not taken, the Royal Ballet turns up treasures old and new

Dada Masilo's Giselle, Sadler's Wells review - bold, brutal, unforgiving

Startling cultural retread of the romantic ballet, set in a South African village


Elf Lyons, Komedia, Brighton review - bonkers, brilliant and a bit of bare bum

An endearing personal journey into why guinea pigs hate their loving, attentive owners

Rob Beckett, St David's Hall, Cardiff review - a mixed bag of observations

Scattergun approach yields both killer lines and tame misses

DVD: Do Not Adjust Your Set / At Last The 1948 Show

What the Pythons did first: the remnants of two iconic 1960s shows, restored with respect


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

visual arts

Rembrandt's Light, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a film-maker out of time?

A novel collaboration between curators and cinematographer Peter Suschitzky


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