sun 20/01/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Lisa-Marie Ferla
Sunday, 20 January 2019
The disappearance of a band for a while calls for a re-set. A reminder, perhaps, of why you fell for them in the first place. "[10 Good Reasons for Modern Drugs]", the four...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 20 January 2019
Releases dedicated to previously unreleased live recordings can be tricky. The variables at play don’t necessarily ensure that what’s in the shops for the first time is worth...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 19 January 2019
A bunch of young-ish people stuck in a rambling house in the middle of nowhere, a hatchet-faced senior citizen guarding a hoard of murky secrets, assorted missing persons, a...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Very much a woman of today, the Catholic Stuart heroine (Saoirse Ronan) of Mary Queen of Scots frequently hacks her way out of a thicket of power-hungry males, enjoys it when her...
David Nice
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Julia Wolfe, Caroline Shaw, Anna Þorvaldsdóttir: three names on quite a list I reeled off earlier this week when someone asked me why the compositions of Rebecca Saunders, in the...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 19 January 2019
M Night Shyamalan is the Orson Welles of twist-ending fantasy, forever condemned to reach back to his first two successes. The Sixth Sense still stands alone, though its haunted...
Kieron Tyler
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Trio reset the dial to what jazz fusion sought to do when it emerged, and do so in such a way that...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 19 January 2019
 Mia Brentano’s Hidden Sea – 20 Songs for 2 Pianos Benyamin Nuss & Max Nyberg (pianos) (Mons Records)Hiddensee is a...
Gavin Dixon
Saturday, 19 January 2019
The big news on this programme was Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande. This early score, completed in 1903, is a sprawling...
Saskia Baron
Saturday, 19 January 2019
This well-crafted addition to the films inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement is subtler and less commercial than last...
Guy Oddy
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Why You So Crazy is a woozy, disorientating and spaced-out affair with a similar understated production to the Dandy Warhols...
Marina Vaizey
Friday, 18 January 2019
The multi-costumed Lucy Worsley is television marmite, loved or loathed: her gesticulating enthusiasm can grate, as can her...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 18 January 2019
As the January chill began to bite around the Barbican, Sir Mark Elder and the Britten Sinfonia summoned memories of spring...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 18 January 2019
The tortuous road to addiction and back again – or maybe not – makes for a faintly tedious experience in...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 18 January 2019
Nadia Fall is a good thing. Her appointment as the artistic director of this venue, with her first season having begun in...
Robert Howarth
Friday, 18 January 2019
I’m here in Leeds at the end of five weeks of quite intense rehearsals for Opera North's new production of Mozart's The...
Liz Thomson
Friday, 18 January 2019
Well this is a treat. Darren Morrissey and Greg Marshall, London-based Dubliners who began their musical life in the fair...
Boyd Tonkin
Thursday, 17 January 2019
As Wigmore Hall audiences really ought to know, silence can be golden. Especially at the close of Schubert’s Winterreise, as...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 17 January 2019
There’s a stark power to Jack Gamble’s production of DH Lawrence’s The Daughter-in-Law, which has transferred to the Arcola’...


'BRINGING THINGS TO LIFE IS WHAT OPERA IS ALL ABOUT': Robert Howarth on a 'Magic Flute' with a difference from Opera North

★★★★ AMERICAN HISTORY'S BIGGEST FIBS, BBC FOUR Lucy Worsley on the founding myths

★★ BEAUTIFUL BOY Steve Carell & Timothée Chalamet can't enliven meth addict memoir


★★★★ THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW, ARCOLA THEATRE Searing simplicity from DH Lawrence

disc of the day

CD: The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All The Time

Scottish miserabilists remind you why you fell for them in the first place

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Black Lake, Series 2 Finale, BBC Four review - Swedish chiller fails to thrill

After an intriguing start, spooky sequel goes nowhere fast

Magnum P.I., Sky 1 review - slick and formulaic remake of Eighties original

Jay Fernandez updates the Tom Selleck role in Hawaii-based drama


Mary Queen of Scots review - Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie excel

A worthy historical drama that sinks under its own weight

Glass review - shattered Shyamalan sequel

A muted meta-superhero mess whose ambition still intrigues

Monsters and Men review - an impressive debut

Dynamic yet subtle drama on the impact of police brutality on black Americans

new music

CD: The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All The Time

Scottish miserabilists remind you why you fell for them in the first place

Reissue CDs Weekly: Charles Mingus

‘Jazz in Detroit’ captures the legendary bass-man with a hitherto unheard band at a 1973 show

Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kings Place review - a kaleidoscope of vibrant sound and vision

The six New York-based players showcase a range of eclectic commissions


Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kings Place review - a kaleidoscope of vibrant sound and vision

The six New York-based players showcase a range of eclectic commissions

Classical CDs Weekly: Mia Brentano, Wim Henderickx, Saint-Saëns

Flemish and German contemporary music, plus three French piano concertos

Ehnes, BBCSO, Ryan Wigglesworth, Barbican review - a concert of two very different halves

Rarely heard Schoenberg delivers compelling musical drama


'Bringing things to life is what opera is all about': Robert Howarth on a 'Magic Flute' with a difference

Opera North's Mozart conductor on taking a careful look at a masterpiece

The Queen of Spades, Royal Opera review - uneven cast prey to overthought concept

Two stories painstakingly interwoven, but the dark heart of Tchaikovsky/Pushkin falters

Best of 2018: Opera

A year more remarkable for high musical values than any wealth of great UK productions


The Unreturning, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - hymn to home
Frantic Assembly's latest is a moving meditation on war and masculinity
The Daughter-in-Law, Arcola Theatre review - searing simplicity
DH Lawrence's tragically inflected 1913 tale of family relationships powerfully told


Swan Lake, English National Ballet, London Coliseum review - a solid, go-to production

Traditional stagings don't come much more satisfying than Derek Deane's for ENB

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Sadler's Wells - vivid, enchanting

Refreshed classic production delights with energy, storytelling and live Tchaikovsky

The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - a still-magical tale of two couples

Peter Wright's balance of story-telling and classical dance lacks only elan from the pit


James Acaster, Phoenix Theatre review - a masterclass in comedy

The stand-up's show is his most personal yet

The Catherine Tate Show Live, Wyndham's Theatre review - sketch show favourites on stage

Catchphrases galore and great fun from the queen of sketch comedy


Battlefield V review - WWII on an epic scale

The veteran series returns for another ambitious tour of duty

Red Dead Redemption 2 review - the cowboy drama makes a triumphant return

An ambitious Wild West odyssey that matches epic scale with benchmark skill

visual arts

Best of 2018: Art

Reputations restored and revised: a look back at some of this year's best art shows

Edwin Landseer / Rachel Maclean, National Gallery review - a juxtaposition of opposites

The Monarch of the Glen refreshed by a Scottish political satirist

Māris Briežkalns Quintet, EFG London Jazz Festival 2018 review - a Rothko symphony

Latvian players and composers homage a great artist they can call their own

latest comments

They can't do Brexit. They'd all fall out, go...

I have only just discovered this article. It is...

Pretty much the worst... it was hard to make any...

A tragically bad decision demonstrating that...

By putting 'left leaning', you woudd seem to be...


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters