tue 27/06/2017

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Is meat murder? Will people eat anything if it’s cheap? Is the taste of bacon really what stops us half the western world turning vegetarian? Okja is a commercial stretch, a...
Peter Quantrill
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
It’s often said that Ariadne auf Naxos is all about The Composer – not only Richard Strauss but an affectionate parody of his younger self – and Katharina Thoma takes this idea...
David Nice
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Why stage a stiff opera about half-frozen royals by a not-yet-divine Mozartino? The best Mitridate really deserves is one of those intimate concert performances with brilliant...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
All the accolades heaped onto this documentary in the near 50 years since it was made are wholly deserved. Over 251 minutes, Marcel Ophüls weaves together an extraordinary...
David Nice
Monday, 26 June 2017
Perfect comedies for the country-house opera scene? Mozart's Figaro and Così, Strauss's Ariadne - and Britten's Albert Herring, now 70 years and a few days old, but as ageless as...
Stephen Walsh
Monday, 26 June 2017
Opera directors must, I suppose, direct. But one could wish that they kept their mouths shut, at least outside the rehearsal studio. The condescension in Longborough’s programme-...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 26 June 2017
Portraying a Nation juxtaposes photographs by August Sander with paintings by Otto Dix. It's an inspired idea as both...
Joe Muggs
Monday, 26 June 2017
Imagine that The Ramones were not only still playing into the mid 2000s, but were still writing new songs as good as “Sheena...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Reading the Rocks has a provocative subtitle, “How Victorian Geologists Discovered the Secret of Life”, indicating the role...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Considering Shelleyan Orphan, Melody Maker said “someone’s been smearing themselves in art…were they artists or did they...
Mark Kidel
Sunday, 25 June 2017
As Wonder Woman hits screens worldwide, the publication of a book that explores the myth and reality of the Amazon seems...
Barney Harsent
Sunday, 25 June 2017
Those coming to Lifetime of Love expecting something – anything – approaching Moses Archuleta’s day job in Deerhunter will...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 24 June 2017
Isabelle Huppert isn’t just here for the nasty things in life. Her rape non-victim in Elle was one of the most iconoclastic...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 24 June 2017
 Falla: Nights in the Garden of Spain, Ravel: Piano Concertos Steven Osborne (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/...
Peter Quinn
Saturday, 24 June 2017
Denys Baptiste's deep dive into the mid-1960s work of jazz icon, sax player and composer John Coltrane also...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 23 June 2017
As with life, so it is in art: in the same way that one can't predict the curve balls that get thrown our way, the American...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 23 June 2017
It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a movie as staggeringly awful as The Book of Henry. If it was just a touch more...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 23 June 2017
Can the theatre be a courtroom? A good public place to debate morality and to arrive at profound decisions? You could answer...
Barney Harsent
Friday, 23 June 2017
Immigration…immigration… immigration… that’s what we need! Not the words of record-breaking, tap-dancing trumpeter Roy...
Graham Rickson
Friday, 23 June 2017
F Percy Smith was a maverick film-maker whose most important work was created in a house in suburban Southgate, North London...

PORTRAYING A NATION, TATE LIVERPOOL Two artists hounded by the Nazis for their unflinching portrayal of the German people

THEARTSDESK ON VINYL 29 The Beatles and Kraftwerk, Alice Coltrane and DragonForce

JOHN MAN: AMAZONS The Wonder Women of the past, real and imagined

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY French and Spanish piano music, plus seductive viola sounds and phenomenal brass playing

★★★ SOUVENIR Isabelle Huppert gives her tragicomic all to a Eurovision comeback

FIDELIO, LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL Beethoven imprisoned in a director's bad idea

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: The Sorrow and the Pity

The greatest documentary ever made about France during the Second World War

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The best TV to watch this week

What to watch and where to find it

Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop on the First Great Immigration Row, review – how history repeats itself

The Private Eye editor's eye-opening examination of our attitudes to immigration, past and present


Okja, Netflix review - joyous assault on the meat industry

Tilda Swinton is the villain in a glorious South Korean fable about a big pig

DVD/Blu-ray: The Sorrow and the Pity

The greatest documentary ever made about France during the Second World War

Souvenir review – Huppert does deadpan like Buster Keaton

Isabelle Huppert gives her tragicomic all to a Eurovision comeback

new music

CD: Lory D - Strange Days

From Rome via Glasgow, techno boiled down to its most potent essence

Reissue CDs Weekly: Shelleyan Orphan

Box set dedicated to arty British duo pays tribute to their recently lost Caroline Crawley

The Best Albums of 2017

theartsdesk's music critics pick their favourites of the year


Classical CDs Weekly: Falla, Ravel, Antoine Tamestit, The American Brass Quintet

French and Spanish piano music, plus seductive viola sounds and phenomenal brass playing

Ensemble InterContemporain, Wigmore Hall

Eccentricity inspires colour, nuance and slapstick from young composer Matteo Franceschini

Classical CDs Weekly: Antheil, Debussy, Hosokawa, Schmidt

Symphonies from a self-styled 'bad boy', plus music from Austria, France and Japan


Ariadne auf Naxos, Glyndebourne review – seriously compelling revival

Notable debuts bring fresh energy to Strauss's opera about opera

Mitridate, Re di Ponto, Royal Opera review - Crowe and costumes light up pointless revival

Good singing not enough to justify the return of Graham Vick's 1991 production

Albert Herring, The Grange Festival review - playing it straight yields classic comedy gold

A true ensemble has a focused ball under veterans John Copley and Steuart Bedford


Gloria, Hampstead Theatre review – pretty glorious
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's Off Broadway hit makes a vibrant crossing to London starring Colin Morgan
Terror, Lyric Hammersmith review – more gimmick than drama
Audience participation cannot save a trial that suffocates in abstraction
The Best Plays in London
From Anatomy of a Suicide to Tristan and Yseult: theartsdesk's stage tips


Scottish Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - striking and memorable dance

Crystal Pite's 'Emergence' is a smart pick for the company

Sergei Vikharev, master ballet-reconstructor, 1962-2017

Sudden death at 55 of bold seeker after 'authentic' classical ballet

Ashton triple bill, Royal Ballet review – fond farewell to Zenaida Yanowsky

The prima ballerina bows out in 'Marguerite and Armand' as Akane Takada makes a lovely debut in 'The Dream'


Jeremy Hardy, Brighton Festival review - expert raconteur shows political bite

Radio 4 regular's conversational style masks a passionate pin-sharp topicality

Ricky Gervais, Touring review - chatty and relaxed riffing

Some very personal material among the edgy content

Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - 'politics is her patch'

Former Labour adviser finds the funny in politics


Injustice 2 review - the even better sequel

A superhero soap opera with more twists and turns than a Netflix 12-parter

Prey review - environmental puzzles steal the show

In space no one can hear you... ponder a puzzle

theartsdesk at The Hospital Club

Announcing a new partnership with the most creative club in London

visual arts

Portraying a Nation, Tate Liverpool review – an inspired juxtaposition

Two artists hounded by the Nazis for their unflinching portrayal of the German people

National Gallery of Ireland review - bigger and better

Dublin celebrates the reopening of its refurbished art gallery with Vermeer

Fahrelnissa Zeid, Tate Modern review - rediscovering a forgotten genius

How a major 20th century painter was erased from history

latest comments

"...and perhaps reflecting Boyd’s penetratingly...

An excellent review of an underwhelming film.

I liked the inconsistency (generally I like...

I was up in Tier 2 and the sound was awful, so...

Nearly all the participants had loving,...

Ismene - Critics often review an event through a...


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