thu 03/12/2020

20th century

Hillbilly Elegy review - misery in the heartland

Published in June 2016, J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy became a best-seller around the time of that November’s presidential election as people sought to understand why working class whites in the American heartland supported Donald Trump en...

Read more...

Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla online review - muted celebrations

“This year was supposed to be so very different” said Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra when he spoke to theartsdesk earlier this year. Talk about an understatement. The CBSO has hardly been alone in...

Read more...

Bluebeard's Castle, LSO, Rattle, LSO St Luke's online review - slow-burning magnificence

Poulenc’s La voix humaine comes close, but Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle has to be the perfect lockdown opera, this heady tale of two mismatched souls stuck in a confined space (admittedly an enormous one) alarmingly pertinent. Simon Rattle’s London...

Read more...

Julia Bullock, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bewitching dreamscapes

Nobody would wish it this way, but orchestras playing on a stage specially built-up for distancing to a handful of invitees have never sounded better in the Royal Festival Hall. The Philharmonia’s outgoing principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is a...

Read more...

Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – wide range of American voices

There’s an old rule in the theatre that you don’t have to go on if there are more people on stage than in the audience. Last night I counted less than 15 people listening in the cavernous auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall pitted against a fairly...

Read more...

Blu-ray: Eraserhead

Shot across a period of five years, David Lynch’s creepy debut feature Eraserhead (1977) follows the story of Henry Spencer, played by Jack Nance, an employee at a print factory in a quiet, unnamed town. Henry arrives home one evening to a...

Read more...

Daniel Saldaña Paris: Ramifications review – chaos reigns in contemporary Mexico

The majority of Daniel Saldaña París’s latest novel spurs from a single act, committed during the height of summer, in 1994. Teresa, the mother of the unnamed narrator, departs her family home in the Educación neighbourhood of Mexico City to...

Read more...

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet review - is the end nigh?

At 93-years-old and with a career that spans nearly 60 years, David Attenborough has spent a lifetime transporting audiences from the comfort of their sofas to the dazzling, often bewildering, majesty of the natural world. Now, he offers what he...

Read more...

James Rebanks: English Pastoral, An Inheritance review - a manifesto for a radical agricultural rethink

Coming from a family of farmers, with periods of time spent working on a farm in the past ten years, I found James Rebanks’ English Pastoral: An Inheritance to be a highly urgent, important book. It is a perfect encapsulation and...

Read more...

Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

One source of advance information told us to expect a reduced version of Bartók’s one-act Bluebeard’s Castle, among the 20th century’s most original and profound operatic masterpieces. Joining 19 other lucky invitees and some of the LSO brass...

Read more...

Rose, Hope Mill Theatre online review - a performer at her peak

Solo plays and performances are, of necessity, the theatrical currency of the moment, whether across an entire season at the Bridge Theatre or last week at the Old Vic in the too briefly glimpsed Three Kings, starring a rarely-better Andrew Scott....

Read more...

Album: James Dean Bradfield - Even In Exile

One of the most evocative tracks on James Dean Bradfield’s second solo album is hardly his at all. The Manic Street Preacher takes “La Partida”, a haunting, finger-picked melody by the Chilean musician Victor Jara, and blows it up to the size of an...

Read more...
Subscribe to 20th century