thu 17/06/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 17 June 2021
After listening to Miracle on repeat, the impression which lingers is that its creator has assimilated a lot of music. First and third album Big Star, Magnetic Fields, The Left...
Daniel Lewis
Wednesday, 16 June 2021
There’s something refreshing about fiction you can easily trace back to the question “what if?” What if this or that existed? What would happen? What could? That question...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
Not long after the Nazis came to power, Eberhard Arnold sent a manifesto to Adolf Hitler. The Protestant preacher urged the dictator to “embrace universal love”. With his wife...
Joseph Middleton
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
April 2020 was to have been the celebratory 10th Anniversary Festival of Leeds Lieder, the organisation I’ve been fortunate enough to direct since late 2014. I’d called the...
Gaby Frost
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
To this day, if you take a stroll down Paris’ Boulevard de l’Hôpital, you’ll come across an imposing building: the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière. It’s one of Europe’s foremost...
Graham Fuller
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
Lake Mungo (2008) is a dread-laden Australian Gothic thriller that masquerades as a straight-faced documentary.It’s also an analysis of grief that questions who or what it's for;...
Dora Neill
Monday, 14 June 2021
Drawing is the cornerstone of artistic practice, but is often overshadowed by "higher" forms of visual art, such as painting...
Helen Hawkins
Monday, 14 June 2021
Limbo, in Jack Thorne’s latest play, is a room lined ceiling-high with drawers, a sort of morgue rebooted as a vast filing...
David Lan
Monday, 14 June 2021
In June 2001 the London Festival of International Theatre brought Amir Nizar Zuabi’s Alive from Palestine to the Royal Court...
Lydia Bunt
Monday, 14 June 2021
I’m one of the women in the pages of Elinor Cleghorn’s new history of the female body, Unwell Women: A Journey Through...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 14 June 2021
Back in dark days of the first lockdown when she was birthing her new album, Joan Armatrading was the subject of a TV...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 13 June 2021
In its first issue of 1979, Melody Maker included an article by Jon Savage on a Los Angeles band named Screamers. “They're...
Mark Kidel
Sunday, 13 June 2021
The German director Robert Wiene is best known for The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920), perhaps the most influential piece...
Maria Aberg
Saturday, 12 June 2021
When theatres in the UK closed last March, I found myself in a vacuum. Having been a freelance theatre director for over 15...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 12 June 2021
The Royal Albert Hall – 150 years old this year and with a commemorative £5 coin to prove it – is a great  space for...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 12 June 2021
Lupin isn’t really about the fictional character it’s named after (the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, created in 1905 by...
Sebastian Scotney
Saturday, 12 June 2021
Expectations are high with Julian Lage; they always have been. The guitarist is one of the special ones: born on Christmas...
David Nice
Friday, 11 June 2021
In the beginning, 38 years ago, came a career-making Mahler Third Symphony for Esa-Pekka Salonen in his first concert with...
Tom Baily
Friday, 11 June 2021
Florian Zeller: the name might not be familiar in the world of cinema. But watch this space. His stage play Le Père was...

★★★ BRITISH BALLET CHARITY GALA, ROYAL ALBERT HALL Darcey Bussell rallies all eight UK major dance companies to fete their survival

★★★★ BLU-RAY: THE HANDS OF ORLAC Masterpiece of Austrian expressionist cinema

★★★★★ THE FATHER Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman star in gripping dementia drama

★★★★ VICTORIA MAS: THE MAD WOMAN'S BALL  Compelling plot meets disquieting history

★★★★ LUPIN, PART 2 , NETFLIX Master of disguise versus racists and lies

MARIA ALBERG On drawing fresh inspiration for an ambitious, pan-European venture

★★★★ JOAN ARMATRADING - CONSEQUENCES More love and affection

★★★★ AFTER LIFE, NATIONAL THEATRE Intriguing, inventive play from Jack Thorne

PIANIST AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JOSEPH MIDDLETON ON LEEDS LIEDER One of our most enterprising younger-generation performers on renewing a major festival

disc of the day

Album: Francis Lung - Miracle

Musically erudite Manchester singer-songwriter probes his own character


Lupin, Part 2, Netflix review - master of disguise versus racists and lies

Second coming of crowd-pleasing French drama hits virtuoso high notes

The Beast Must Die, Britbox review - a crime story which plumbs psychological depths

Jared Harris seizes centre stage in Isle of Wight-based mystery

Time, BBC One review - grim and gritty study of life behind bars by Jimmy McGovern

Sean Bean and Stephen Graham find themselves in different kinds of prison


Blu-ray: Lake Mungo

Eerie Australian faux documentary probes the nature of grief, the value of fake images, and suburban decadence

Blu-ray: The Hands of Orlac (Orlacs Hände)

A little-known masterpiece of Austrian expressionist cinema

The Father review - gripping dementia drama

Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman star in Florian Zeller's Oscar-winning film adaptation

new music

Album: Francis Lung - Miracle

Musically erudite Manchester singer-songwriter probes his own character

Album: Joan Armatrading - Consequences

More love and affection

Reissue CDs Weekly: Screamers - Demo Hollywood 1977

Important first-ever official release from the Los Angeles art-punks


From cancellation to new vigour: pianist and artistic director Joseph Middleton on Leeds Lieder

One of our most enterprising younger-generation performers on renewing a major festival

Uchida, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - Bach to the future

The conductor as beguiling composer between arrangements and a Beethoven concerto

Bostridge, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - large and live

Malcolm Arnold's Fifth Symphony shoots for the stars in a programme of British rarities


La traviata, Opera Holland Park review – a revival in rude health

Rodula Gaitanou's production roars back with splendid singing and emotional conviction

Eugene Onegin, Garsington Opera review - choral and orchestral opulence for Tchaikovsky

How much we've missed in a year is exemplified in aspects of this hit-and-miss show


After Life, National Theatre review - thanks for the memories
Intriguing, inventive play from Jack Thorne and Headlong
Extract: David Lan's As If By Chance
Adventures in Palestine from the memoir of the former artistic director of the Young Vic
First Person: Director Maria Aberg on drawing fresh inspiration for the future
The theatre-maker sets out her stall for an ambitious, pan-European venture


British Ballet Charity Gala, Royal Albert Hall review - a celebration of sorts

Darcey Bussell rallies all eight UK major dance companies to fete their survival

Balanchine and Robbins, The Royal Ballet review - style and substance

A dazzling company tribute to America's two greatest choreographers


Mark Thomas, Soho Theatre review - new state-of-the-nation show

Post-Brexit Britain under the spotlight

Josie Long, Brighton Festival 2021 review - giddy post-lockdown spin on pregnancy-based show

Delayed for a year, Long's 2019 Edinburgh Fringe success finally makes it to Brighton


Danielle Evans: The Office of Historical Corrections review - what happens when history comes knocking

Short fiction that summons the past to put the present to the test

Anna Neima: The Utopians review – after horror, six quests for the good life

A timely exploration of post-Great War bids to build heaven on earth

Victoria Mas: The Mad Women's Ball review - compelling plot meets disquieting history

Reimagining the lives of the women incarcerated in the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière

visual arts

Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours, Ashmolean Museum review - a rich array

Some of Britain's most popular artists highlight the importance and beauty of drawing

The Making of Rodin, Tate Modern review - surrealist tendencies

The sculptor is recast as a proto-modernist in a show focused on works in plaster


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