mon 16/12/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Jessica Duchen
Monday, 16 December 2019
Why does music suddenly disappear? It is all the more heartening when a work as excellent and enjoyable as Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3 takes wing once more, but you do have to...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Monday, 16 December 2019
Appearing on NPR Music’s legendary Tiny Desk Concert series back in autumn, Taylor Swift talked about how, in interviews over the years, she’d been asked a thousand variations on...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 16 December 2019
Christmas and Agatha Christie are a very good fit – how better to spend time with your loved ones than sitting down to watch some murder and intrigue together? So Agatha and the...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 16 December 2019
Britain is unpleasant to look at right now, ugly and foolish, so why not lock down with some tuneage. Below is the best plastic that’s hit theartsdesk on Vinyl over the last month...
India Lewis
Sunday, 15 December 2019
Whatever your office Christmas party was like, I can (almost) guarantee that it wasn’t as much fun as Fire Records’. Running from five to midnight in Studio 9294, with lashing...
Lauren Brown
Sunday, 15 December 2019
Nalini Singh's debut thriller thrusts us into Golden Cove, a small coastal town in New Zealand at "the edge of nowhere” that isn't everything it seems. What on the surface is a...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 15 December 2019
Animal intelligence has come to the fore as an essential and fashionable subject for study. Dolphins, elephants, bees,...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 15 December 2019
Hugh Hefner established Playboy Records in 1972 as an arm of his male-targeted business empire. Amongst the singles issued...
Daniel Baksi
Sunday, 15 December 2019
In March 1937, the government of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk instigated what it called a “disciplinary campaign” against the Zaza-...
Thomas H Green
Sunday, 15 December 2019
A Fistful of Dynamite and Once Upon a Time in America are Sergio Leone’s films with the most explicit political underpinning...
Owen Richards
Sunday, 15 December 2019
Not all One Direction solo albums are created equally, and after Liam Payne's public ostracization for LP1, all eyes are on...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 14 December 2019
Putin and Mikhail Khodorkovsky are “strong”, a Russian journalist considers. “Everyone else – weak.” This is essentially...
Markie Robson-Scott
Saturday, 14 December 2019
What Jenna (Tatiana Maslany, star of Orphan Black), likes doing is wrangling and coordinating, not creating – she hates that...
Florence Hallett
Saturday, 14 December 2019
It doesn’t matter where you stand, whether you crouch, or teeter on tiptoe: looking into the eyes of Bernini’s Medusa, 1638-...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 14 December 2019
 Bach: Christmas Oratorio Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Gotthold Schwarz (Accentus)Another year,...
Guy Oddy
Saturday, 14 December 2019
No-one needs to be told that 2019 was a year which saw the UK, USA and many other countries looking somewhat at unease with...
David Nice
Friday, 13 December 2019
What a jolting coincidence that one of the 20th century's angriest symphonic beasts should have a rare unleashing on a night...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 13 December 2019
If good intentions were everything, Teenage Dick would be the play of the year. As it is, this British premiere at the...
Richard Bratby
Friday, 13 December 2019
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s programmes in Birmingham are so personal – so utterly bespoke – that in the event of her being...


★★★★ THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, NATIONAL THEATRE Terrifying, magical coming of age story


★★★ TEENAGE DICK, DONMAR WAREHOUSE A fearlessly acted, well-intentioned mess

★★★★★ CARGILL, LSO, PAPPANO, BARBICAN High anxiety and visionary gleams

★★★ JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL Dwayne Johnson and the gang return

disc of the day

Albums of the Year 2019: Angie McMahon - Salt

Ennui, desperation and longing from stunning singer-songwriter debut

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Traces, Alibi review - pedigree cast battles implausible plot

Dundee-set forensic thriller has too many coincidences for its own good

How They Built the Titanic, Channel 5 review - the great liner revisited again, but why now?

It's always a great story, but this didn't tell us anything new


Blu-ray: A Fistful of Dynamite

Sergio Leone's glorious Mexican revolution epic receives a suitably opulent new release

Citizen K review - real power in Russia

Putin and Mikhail Khodorkovsky are equally sphinx-like adversaries in Alex Gibney's revealing doc

Pink Wall review - scattered scenes from a tortuous relationship

Actor Tom Cullen's directorial debut contains intense performances but lacks clarity

new music

Albums of the Year 2019: Angie McMahon - Salt

Ennui, desperation and longing from stunning singer-songwriter debut

Outer Limits, Studio 9294 review - quickfire sets and snowman dancing

A festive celebration of Fire Record's artists


Hewitt, Clein, Aurora Orchestra, Ward, Kings Place review – rise and shine

Louise Farrenc, fresh from 19th-century Paris, arrives with a spring in her step

Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas CDs 1

Part one of this year's seasonal smörgåsbord: six discs you'd happily spin all year round

Cargill, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - high anxiety and visionary gleams

Vaughan Williams' Fourth Symphony tautly ferocious in a fascinating programme


Peter Grimes, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner, RFH review - more instrumental than vocal intensity

Superlative playing and conducting, some fine singing, but the protagonist is a bit peaky

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Sir Jonathan Miller

The legendary director lets rip

Death in Venice, Royal Opera review – expansive but intimate evocations

David McVicar brings light and movement to gloomy Venice, but holds psychological focus


Teenage Dick, Donmar Warehouse review - a fearlessly acted, well-intentioned mess
Mike Lew's riff on Shakespeare needs more art to go with its heart
A Kind of People, Royal Court review - multiculturalism falls apart
Family tragedy is emotionally powerful but incomplete and unsatisfying


Radio & Juliet/Faun/McGregor + Mugler, London Coliseum review - a fashion faux pas

Wayne McGregor fails to shine in ill-advised bling fest

Svetlana Zakharova, Modanse, London Coliseum review - impeccably chic but soul-less

The Bolshoi star looks great but delivers zero emotion in new ballet about Coco Chanel

Coppélia, Royal Ballet review - a real charmer

Overdue revival of a sunny favourite


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

Caravaggio & Bernini, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - high emotion in 17th century Rome

Painting and sculpture vie for supremacy in the eternal city

Dora Maar, Tate Modern review - how women disappear

Stunning photographs and fabulous photomontages by overlooked and elusive artist

Eco-Visionaries, Royal Academy review - wakey, wakey!

Big issues raised, but not answered

latest comments

I feel so sorry for this young man. I wish I was...

Thank you for that nuanced bit of info, RL...

Well written review Nick. Just one historical/...

Yes, it's a fascinating story. The female wolf...

I watched this Programme with my Wife and was...


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