thu 18/10/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Marianka Swain
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
The most thrilling revivals interrogate a classic work, while revealing its fundamental soul anew. Marianne Elliott’s female-led, 21st-century take on George Furth and...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
In 2017, playwright Nina Raine's Consent, an excellent National Theatre play about lawyers and rape victims, was hugely successful, winning a West End transfer, as well as...
Ralph Moore
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
A three-hour show? There’s no doubt that The Smashing Pumpkins give good bang for the buck but it’s rare to see a band of this size and stature play for more than two hours in...
Saskia Baron
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
What do you do after playing Doctor Who, the dream dad of the nation, quirky and compassionate, the adult who every child knows will be fun?  Does it seem like a good idea to...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
The “portmanteau” form of film-making is almost guaranteed to deliver patchy results, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the Coen brothers’ six-pack of tall tales from the Old West...
Steve O'Rourke
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
For the first time in the 15-year history of Call of Duty games, the developer Treyarch has decided to completely do away with the single player story campaign for its latest...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Thanks heavens not all police officers spend their time trying to find “hate crime” on Twitter, or not going to the...
Guy Oddy
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
There is no doubt that the hippies of the late Sixties and early Seventies gifted the world a horde of beautiful music...
Matt Wolf
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Shakespeare exists to be refracted and filtered through the age in which he is presented. So there's every good reason for...
Marina Vaizey
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
You had to keep your eyes skinned. Was that Iris Murdoch or AS Byatt, Kingsley Amis or John Banville, Margaret Atwood or Val...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
“There’s a lot of weirdness I didn’t want explained,” Paul Schrader reveals at one point in a new director’s commentary to...
David Nice
Monday, 15 October 2018
Its roots are in an emotional truth: Matthew Lopez saw the film, then read the book, of Howards End when he was 15 and 11...
Robert Beale
Monday, 15 October 2018
Edward Gardner was back amongst friends when he opened the Hallé’s Thursday series concerts. This was the place where he...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 15 October 2018
The Edinburgh Fringe does throw up some oddities – in comedy shows, of course, but also in its dishing out of awards. And so...
Tim Cumming
Monday, 15 October 2018
Karine Polwart has a stellar track record as a pop and folk songwriter and interpreter of traditional songs, from Malinky...
Markie Robson-Scott
Sunday, 14 October 2018
“When men fear the loss of what they know, they will follow any tyrant who promises to restore the old order.” Mary Treat,...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 14 October 2018
One marker arrived on 1 August 1981, when MTV began broadcasting. With its format based around screening pop videos,...

★★★★ LFF 2018: THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS Wild West tales, and Redford and Jackman

★★★★ CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4 Less is more

★★★★ SMASHING PUMPKINS, WEMBLEY ARENA Corgan and company deliver the goods

★★★★ INFORMER, BBC ONE Keeping tabs on terror

★ YOKO ONO - WARZONE Back catalogue doesn't become any more appealing

★★ THERE SHE GOES, BBC FOUR Mining disability for family comedy?

disc of the day

CD: Yoko Ono - Warzone

Yoko revisits her back catalogue but doesn’t make it any more appealing

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There She Goes, BBC Four review - mining disability for family comedy?

Writer Shaun Pye's family experience makes for less than parental paradise

Informer, BBC One review - keeping tabs on terror

Going underground with the Confidential Informant Programme

Barneys, Books and Bust Ups, BBC Four review - the Booker Prize at 50

The award's half-century has brought scandals aplenty, welcome publicity pay-offs, too


DVD/Blu-ray: The Comfort of Strangers

Paul Schrader channels Pinter and McEwan in mesmeric tale of Venetian macabre

1945 review - Hungarian holocaust drama

Overly artful Hungarian drama tackles the aftermath of World War Two

DVD: A Moment in the Reeds

Intimate gay-themed Finnish indie drama muses on what it means to belong

new music

Smashing Pumpkins, Wembley Arena review - Corgan and company deliver the goods

Nineties alt-rockers reconstitute to shine a light on all the hits and more

CD: Yoko Ono - Warzone

Yoko revisits her back catalogue but doesn’t make it any more appealing

CD: Karine Polwart – Laws of Motion

Powerful new songs on movement and migration from the award-winning singer


Hallé, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – drama and humanity

Happy return and powerful results in Strauss and Janáček

The Music of Harry Potter, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - orchestral wizardry

Quidditch match of two halves has enough magic to charm the Muggles

Classical CDs Weekly: Handel, William Howard, Professor Chill

Baroque harpsichords and modern love songs, plus some prehistoric bagpipes


Porgy and Bess, English National Opera review - strength in depth on Catfish Row

A heroic cast steers Gershwin's masterpiece home in style

Solomon, Royal Opera review - an awkward compromise of a performance

Handel's oratorio given a handsome but frustrating account

Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

New work excepted, this second Southbank concert from Germans and Latvians shone


Stories, National Theatre review - comic conception capers
Nina Raine's follow-up to her very big hit Consent is often funny but rarely deep
Company, Gielgud Theatre review - here's to a sensational musical rebirth
Marianne Elliott's gender-swapped Sondheim is a revelation
The Best Plays in London
What to see where and until when: theartsdesk's stage tips


Carlos Acosta: A Celebration, Royal Albert Hall

Candid images of retired ballet legend on stage

'It’s more fun to dance in a tutu': Tory Dobrin of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The artistic director of the Trocks explains how he keeps his ballet parodists on their toes

theartsdesk in Riga - 43,290 Latvians sing and dance for their country

Individual souls conjoined with a passionate belief in peace and music achieve miracles


Ivo Graham, Soho Theatre review - the perils of growing up

Going deep into personal material unearths lots of laughs

Nish Kumar, Soho Theatre review - the state we're in

He's angry – but he has a lot to be angry about


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review – less is more

Solo rations have been relegated from this benchmark war series

FIFA 19 review - the best just got a bit better

It looks and plays great, but what’s new?

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, V&A review - gaming for all

A comprehensive look at gaming present and future has surprisingly broad appeal

visual arts

Modern Couples, Barbican review - an absurdly ambitious survey of artist lovers

Exhibition revises the notion of the artist as lone genius, but reveals little else

The Best Exhibitions in London

From the Turner Prize shortlist to the future of gaming: our guide to what to see in the city


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