thu 06/10/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Rachel Halliburton
Thursday, 06 October 2022
It’s particularly poignant to watch this story in the knowledge that a little over a year after US-led troops withdrew from Afghanistan, women and girls are enduring a renewed...
David Kettle
Thursday, 06 October 2022
"The poem is real," intones entertainer-turned-courtier Ellen solemnly as a prologue and epilogue to Rona Munro’s vivid, vibrant new James IV: Queen of the Fight, presented by...
Barney Harsent
Thursday, 06 October 2022
Not content with having released one of the best hip-hop albums in recent memory (Cheat Codes, alongside Black Thought), producer Brian Burton has rekindled his partnership with...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 05 October 2022
Screenwriter and showrunner Steven Moffat is renowned for some of his work, especially Sherlock, but other stuff not so much (I direct you towards Dracula or The Time Traveler’s...
Sarah Kent
Wednesday, 05 October 2022
There stands Lucian Freud in Reflection with Two Children (Self-portrait), 1965 (main picture) towering over you, peering mercilessly down. Is that a look of scorn on his face or...
Saskia Baron
Wednesday, 05 October 2022
Nitram is an object lesson in how to make a responsible film about a mass shooting, right down to not using the fame-seeking perpetrator’s real name as the title but the...
David Nice
Tuesday, 04 October 2022
You know you’re in good company the minute these two appear on stage: they are so splendidly what they are, comfortable in...
Mark Kidel
Tuesday, 04 October 2022
The most unlikely venue: an extraordinary, authentic-as-can-be replica of a large Iron Age roundhouse. There’s a turf and...
Hugh Barnes
Tuesday, 04 October 2022
The title of Andrew Murray’s new book poses a question that also vexed Friedrich Engels over 130 years ago. The German co-...
Guy Oddy
Tuesday, 04 October 2022
It’s fair to say that The Cult have taken on a number of identities since their mid-80s’ transformation from Goth also-rans...
Gary Naylor
Monday, 03 October 2022
It’s hard to keep up with what terms are in vogue amongst those who insist on classifying and vilifying young people, but...
Saskia Baron
Monday, 03 October 2022
What is it with pushy Finnish mums and their acrobatic teenage daughters? Just weeks after the release of the Gothic fantasy...
Guy Oddy
Monday, 03 October 2022
Unless you’re one of the infamous 1%, you might be forgiven for recently spending a bit of time searching for a booster to...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 02 October 2022
Two snapshots of Jamaica’s music, each catching styles associated with specific periods. The two CDs of Catch-A-Fire -...
David Nice
Saturday, 01 October 2022
Rome, 14/15 June 1800: the specifics of the original Sardou melodrama are preserved in Puccini’s thriller mixing love, lust...
Mert Dilek
Saturday, 01 October 2022
How can this beauty arise from such ugliness? The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s 1953 drama about the Salem witch trials of 1692...
Markie Robson-Scott
Saturday, 01 October 2022
Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, based on Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel, is preposterous.  But it’s as pretty as a pink cloud. The...
Sarah Kent
Saturday, 01 October 2022
Remote is Mika Rottenberg’s first feature film. The New York-based artist was commissioned by Artangel, an organisation...
Graham Fuller
Friday, 30 September 2022
Andrew Dominik’s Blonde is an atrocity – a ghoulish biopic of Marilyn Monroe that luxuriates in her maltreatment and misery...
 

★★★ TOSCA, ENO Powerful singing and playing, but mixed historical periods mute the drama

★ REMOTE This ill-conceived 'art' movie about overcoming loneliness is irredeemably silly

★★★ THE CULT - UNDER THE MIDNIGHT SUN Astbury and Duffy still rock, just not so forcefully

★★★★★ JAMINAROUND, ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY CENTRE, CRANBOURNE A celebration of independent musical spirit and community in an Iron Age roundhouse

★★★ THIS ENGLAND, SKY ATLANTIC How Boris's No 10 got Covid wrong

★★★★ THE CRUCIBLE, NATIONAL THEATRE Visually stunning revival of Miller's classic drama

★ BLONDE Marilyn Monroe thrown to the wolves: a cruel biopic revels in the star's victimhood

disc of the day

Album: Broken Bells - Into the Blue

Danger Mouse and The Shins' James Mercer plunder the past with panache

tv

Inside Man, BBC One review - strong cast trapped on a sinking ship

Steven Moffat's continent-jumping mystery can't get its act together

This England, Sky Atlantic review - how Boris's No 10 got Covid wrong

Kenneth Branagh gets Boris (mostly) right, but what does this docudrama hope to achieve?

Am I Being Unreasonable?, BBC One review - comedy thriller delivers the gags

Daisy May Cooper's new show is promising, looking set to get darker

film

Blu-ray: Nitram

Lucid portrait of the months leading up to an infamous mass shooting in Australia

Girl Picture review - Finnish coming-of-age drama offers nothing new

A disappointingly formulaic teenage romance with good performances

Mrs Harris Goes to Paris review - Lesley Manville as a Fifties charlady with a heart of gold

Director Anthony Fabian embraces escapism in his adaptation of Paul Gallico's novel

new music

Album: Broken Bells - Into the Blue

Danger Mouse and The Shins' James Mercer plunder the past with panache

Jaminaround, Ancient Technology Centre, Cranborne review - contemporary sounds in an archaic setting

A celebration of independent musical spirit and community in an Iron Age roundhouse

Album: The Cult - Under the Midnight Sun

Astbury and Duffy still rock, just not so forcefully

classical

Purcell's Playhouse, Bevan, Barokksolistene, Eike, Purcell Room review - kaleidoscopic delights

Vivacious British soprano shares the communicative spirit of her Norwegian colleagues

Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review - titanic talent shows his lighter side

Dazzling range in mastery of tone and technique

opera

Only an Octave Apart, Wilton's Music Hall review - instant charm, infinite variety

Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo in an absolutely fabulous double act

Tosca, English National Opera review - a tale of two eras

Powerful singing and playing, but mixed historical periods mute the drama

Aida, Royal Opera review - dour but disciplined

Uniformly good cast, idiomatic conducting, production rigidly consistent in khaki

theatre

The Boy with Two Hearts, National Theatre review - poignant yet humorous story of family forced to flee Afghanistan
Engaging adaptation and sympathetic playing still leave viewers longing for more detail
James IV: Queen of the Fight, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh review - revelatory historical drama
Kingship, tolerance and the trappings of power are among the many themes of Rona Munro's passionate, timely new play
Only an Octave Apart, Wilton's Music Hall review - instant charm, infinite variety
Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo in an absolutely fabulous double act

dance

theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival 2022 - body and soul in perfect balance

Completion of the city’s big Dante project with 'Paradiso' is only one of three wonders

The Rite of Spring, Pina Bausch/École des Sables, Sadler's Wells review - explosive and disturbing

At last, the pan-African production of Bausch's landmark choreography arrives on the London stage

comedy

Kim Noble, Soho Theatre review - final part of trilogy about loneliness

You'll need a strong stomach for the comedy-performance art overlap of 'Lullaby for Scavengers'

Dave Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2022

Australian and American stand-ups leave the Fringe victorious

Books

Savala Nolan: Don't Let It Get You Down review - finding voice in the liminal

Essays on the spaces between black and white, rich and poor, thin and fat

Yiyun Li: The Book of Goose - fame, reality and two teenage French girls

Yiyun Li's compelling fifth novel marks a new departure

visual arts

Lucian Freud: New Perspectives, National Gallery review - a powerful punch in the gut

The complexity of human relationships laid bare in centenary show of the artist who always disturbs

Hallyu! The Korean Wave, V&A review - frenetic but fun

Learn how to succeed, South Korean style, right across the cultural board

Marina Abramović: Gates and Portals, Modern Art Oxford and Pitt Rivers Museum review - transcendence lite

The grandmother of performance art induces deep breathing and a slow heartbeat

latest comments

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