thu 22/03/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Jasper Rees
Thursday, 22 March 2018
Steven Soderbergh has always been capable of a big Hollywood moment – Magic Mike, Oceans etc. But much of his filmography consists of curious sideways glances. He’s particularly...
Jenny Gilbert
Thursday, 22 March 2018
Sean Holmes is artistic director of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, yet his revival of this seminal Irish play has taken two years to come home to him. The production was...
Bernard Hughes
Thursday, 22 March 2018
I left this concert a bit depressed, but not because of anything I heard: rather, by the conservatism of London concert-goers. As London orchestras focus on programming the usual...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 22 March 2018
The death of “world music” is a wonderfully reassuring thing. That is to say, with every year that passes, it becomes less and less possible for media and consumers to bracket...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
No, this isn't the large-scale Kander and Ebb musical, which opened in 1992 in London before transferring for a sizable run on Broadway. Laurie Sansom's expert production instead...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
It's long been a theatrical given, especially in musicals, that characters need to be seen to change: a climactic duo in the eternally crowd-pulling Wicked makes that abundantly...
Sarah Kent
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
The American artist, Joan Jonas is one of the pioneers of performance art. Now 82, she is being honoured with a Tate Modern...
Barney Harsent
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Jack White isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. Whether it’s launching a record player into space to play Carl Sagan’s “A...
Aleks Sierz
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
You could call it an absence of yellow. Until very recently British theatre has been pretty poor at representing the stories...
Peter Culshaw
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
The packed crowd at the Jazz Café was fired up by a sizzling samba soul band led by Kita Steuer on bass and vocals, singing...
Alexandra Baraitser
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
It was always my dream to be an artist but I never expected to be a curator. Graduates considering vocations in critical and...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
The Bulgarian co-directing duo of Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov proved their skill with the scalpel in slicing...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 19 March 2018
Shakespeare's death-laden play is alive and well and breathing with renewed force in Hackney, the last British stop for an...
Alexandra Coghlan
Monday, 19 March 2018
Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: A Reimagining – it’s not a title that trips off the tongue. Nor one, frankly, that inspires much...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 19 March 2018
When ITV scheduled this new series of The Durrells for mid-March, they probably didn’t imagine it would coincide with the...
Robert Beale
Monday, 19 March 2018
Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is a ‘"fairytale opera" (its composer’s description), and yet one characteristic...
Jasper Rees
Monday, 19 March 2018
To Belgium for the latest continental instalment of murder really rather unpleasant. 13 Commandments, yet another crime...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 19 March 2018
Three years ago The Vaccines’ last album, English Graffiti, received a mixed response. It appeared to be a stab at moving...
Mark Kidel
Sunday, 18 March 2018
All the great sociologists, in the tradition of Georg Simmel, Max Weber and others, are on a mission. They cannot help...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 18 March 2018
This column last encountered Cocteau Twins in 2015 when the compilation The Pink Opaque and the Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in a...

★★★★ HANSEL AND GRETEL, RNCM, MANCHESTER Beautiful singing, orchestral warmth

★★★ 13 COMMANDMENTS, CHANNEL 4 Murder most Flemish

COCTEAU TWINS Spiffy upgrades of the sonic sorcerers' 'Head Over Heels' and 'Treasure'

★★★★ HAMLET, RSC, HACKNEY EMPIRE Paapa Essiedu's winning Dane

disc of the day

CD: Baloji - 137 Avenue Kaniama

Congolese-Belgian singer-songwriter rolls continents and decades into a singular vision

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The Durrells, Series 3, ITV review - a winter warmer from Corfu

Take a load off with some Mediterranean escapism

13 Commandments, Channel 4 review - murder most Flemish

Belgian crime drama from Walter Presents borrows the plot of 'Seven'

Annihilation, Netflix review - not quite a sci-fi masterpiece

Girl-power cast can't send Alex Garland's Earth-in-peril saga into orbit


Unsane review - Claire Foy in bonkers horror satire

Steven Soderbergh takes a wild pop at insurers and stalkers

DVD: Glory

Second film from accomplished Bulgarian directing duo adds dark comedy to repertoire

Mary Magdalene review - potent, feminist revisionism

Stripped-back, rigorously human reimagining of Jesus and his female disciple

new music

CD: Baloji - 137 Avenue Kaniama

Congolese-Belgian singer-songwriter rolls continents and decades into a singular vision

CD: Jack White – Boarding House Reach

The former White Stripe shows flashes of occasional brilliance in a bold experiment

Tim Maia tribute, The Jazz Café review - the Brazilian wild soul legend revival continues

Tribute to funky Brazilian soul star steams up a freezing London night


Donohoe, LPO, Orozco-Estrada, RFH review – wit aplenty in rare Stravinsky

Creative programming deserved a better audience turn-out

Classical CDs Weekly: Prokofiev, Philip Sawyers, Andrew Matthews-Owen

Russian violin concertos, plus two discs of contemporary music

Faust, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - Schumann as never before

An elusive violin concerto reassessed in victory for a misunderstood orchestral master


Hansel and Gretel, RNCM, Manchester review – an urban dream

Beautiful singing, orchestral warmth and ingenious re-imagining of the fairytale opera

La traviata, English National Opera review - into a vortex of ineptitude

Daniel Kramer digs a grave for musical-theatre possibilities

Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

The chorus is the real star in Giorgio Battistelli's ambitious operatic parable


The Plough and the Stars, Lyric Hammersmith review - trenchant reimagining of Irish classic
O'Casey's injunction to love thy neighbour above thy country hits home in timely update
Caroline, or Change, Hampstead Theatre review - Sharon D Clarke conquers
The award-winning musical returns in all its ferocity and glory
The Best Plays in London
From the Ides of March to modern monologues: theartsdesk's stage tips


Bernstein triple bill, Royal Ballet review - epic ambitions unfulfilled

Composer outshines McGregor, Scarlett and Wheeldon in centenary tribute

Macbeth, Wilton's Music Hall review - incisive and thrilling dance theatre

Mark Bruce Company's wordless take on the Scottish Play is stunning

Giselle, Royal Ballet review - beautiful dancing in a production of classic good taste

Perfect storytelling through dance from Marianela Nuñez and excellent supporting cast


Metal Gear Survive review - staying alive shouldn't be such a slog

Bring out your wild side in this strange survivalist simulation

EA Sports UFC 3 review - the art of fighting has never looked so good

Why bob and weave when you can ground and pound?

Best of 2017: Games

Quality nearly matches quantity

visual arts

Joan Jonas, Tate Modern review - work as elusive as it is beautiful

The pioneer of performance art who disguises her presence

The Best Exhibitions in London

From Charles I's collection to modern marginal lives in photography: our favourite shows to see now

'There's a poetry in painting that gives endless possibilities'

Painter Alexandra Baraitser on curating her sixth exhibition, 'Silent Painting'

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