tue 18/09/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Matthew Wright
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
Norwegian-Danish singer Live Foyn Friis (for English-speaking readers, Live is her first name) has released six albums, and leads several different ensembles, scattered...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
Winterreise brings out the best from Ian Bostridge, and the worst. His dedication to understanding and communicating its complex and harrowing text is everywhere apparent, and...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
You might consider it odd that a man whose wife spends half the year in Hong Kong without him hasn’t managed to get around to catching a plane from Heathrow to visit her in the...
David Kettle
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
Of the Edinburgh International Festival’s three productions by 2018’s resident company, Paris’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, The Prisoner is the most gnomic, the most...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
It is a pleasure to report on the continuing success of the Saffron Opera Wagner project. The organisation was formed in 2013, and since then has presented concert performances of...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
Swiss director Marcel Gisler’s film tells a story that is hardly new – but neither, sadly, is it old, as in about a thing of the past. That professional football continues to be...
Stephen Walsh
Monday, 17 September 2018
What lunatic would ever have the idea of turning War and Peace into an opera? Well, maybe if you, a composer, had found...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 17 September 2018
A tradition seems to have been invented. First nights of the LSO’s seasons with Sir Simon Rattle as its Music Director start...
Graham Rickson
Monday, 17 September 2018
Puccini’s Tosca isn’t a subtle work, and this, Opera North’s fourth production since the company’s founding in 1978, is...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 17 September 2018
Bananas is Malcolm Middleton’s first solo album to be built around guitar, bass, drums and all that stuff since 2009’s...
Adam Sweeting
Sunday, 16 September 2018
It may be a sign of the times that the two lead performances in Killing Eve are female, with Jodie Comer fizzing...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 16 September 2018
During their original 1980 to 1984 lifespan as a recording unit, Soft Cell issued three albums, a mini-album, eleven singles...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 16 September 2018
Although he’s regularly performed it live, hearing the studio version of Glen Matlock’s take on Scott Walker’s “Montague...
Ismene Brown
Saturday, 15 September 2018
“What is it about Mozart?” wondered the legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter, pointing out the composer's frightening...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 15 September 2018
Annemarie Jacir’s third feature may have picked up a subtitle, “The Wedding Invitation”, for international distribution, but...
Mark Kidel
Saturday, 15 September 2018
Formats are second nature to TV: the BBC and Eagle Rock’s Classic Albums will run and run. Like all formats, there’s always...
Peter Culshaw
Saturday, 15 September 2018
The latest in Peter Culshaw’s occasional updates in the best of new global music features unreleased tracks from forthcoming...

★★★★ CLASSIC ALBUMS: AMY WINEHOUSE – BACK TO BLACK, BBC FOUR How the singer's second album made musical gold out of the blues

★★★★ CD: MALCOLM MIDDLETON - BANANAS Scotland's mordant romantic returns to roots

★★★★ WAJIB Annemarie Jacir’s father-and-son drama speaks widely of its Palestinian world

★★★★ KILLING EVE, BBC ONE Sisters are doing it for themselves in semi-comic spy caper

★★★★ TOSCA, OPERA NORTH 40th anniversary production of Puccini's 'shabby little shocker'

★★★ AN ADVENTURE, BUSH THEATRE Deeply felt show about love, marriage and migration

★★★★ LSO, RATTLE, BARBICAN Birtwistle, Holst, Turnage and Britten in the season opener

disc of the day

DVD: Mario

Keeping the game straight: Swiss youth drama tells how football treats its gay players

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Strangers, episode 2, ITV review - conspiracy theories multiply

Hong Kong locations may be the real stars of this tortuous thriller

Killing Eve, BBC One review - the dying game

Sisters are doing it for themselves in semi-comic spy caper

Classic Albums: Amy Winehouse - Back to Black, BBC Four review - suffering turned into song

How the singer's second album made musical gold out of the blues


DVD: Mario

Keeping the game straight: Swiss youth drama tells how football treats its gay players

Wajib review - poignant, profound humanism

Annemarie Jacir’s father-and-son drama speaks widely of its Palestinian world

Lucky review - fabled character actor stars in his own obituary

Harry Dean Stanton's valedictory performance isn't enough to save this movie

new music

10 Questions for singer Live Foyn Friis

Charismatic Norwegian singer on her journey through genre

CD: Malcolm Middleton - Bananas

Scotland's great mordant romantic returns to his songwriting roots

Reissue CDs Weekly: Soft Cell

‘Keychains & Snowstorms’ is a benchmark box-set reconfiguration of Messrs Almond and Ball’s hit-making years


Ian Bostridge, Thomas Adès, Wigmore Hall review - haunting, brutal Schubert

A Winterreise of psychological intensity, but too often taken to ghoulish extremes

LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall review - a mixed bag of British composers

Birtwistle, Holst, Turnage and Britten in the 2018/19 season opening concert

Elisabeth Leonskaja, Wigmore Hall review - Mozart and Webern, anyone?

Fascinating recital of aesthetic crunches from the Russian master pianist


Parsifal, Saffron Opera Group review - drama and focus

Amateur company continues its run of dramatically compelling Wagner

War and Peace, Welsh National Opera review - an Operation Barbarossa that comes off

Not quite a masterpiece but a great aural and visual spectacle

Tosca, Opera North review - exciting update, strong on sonic thrills

40th anniversary production of Puccini's 'shabby little shocker'


The Prisoner, National Theatre review - Peter Brook's latest falls sadly flat
The British master-director settles for vaguely Beckett-inflected bafflement
An Adventure, Bush Theatre review - epic but flawed
Deeply felt show about love, marriage and migration doesn’t quite work
Foxfinder, Ambassadors Theatre review - too ponderous by half
One time fringe success flounders in West End upgrade


'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

Enter theartsdesk / h Club Young Influencer of the Year award

In association with The Hospital Club's h.Club100 Awards, we're looking for the best cultural writers, bloggers and vloggers


The League of Gentlemen Live Again!, Sunderland Empire review - going local for local people

Sketch group back on the road for the first time since 2005

Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Rose Matafeo review

Edinburgh Comedy Award winner has a wonderfully daft show

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 reviews: Rosie Jones/ Marcus Brigstocke/ Alice Snedden

More from the world's biggest and best arts festival


Marvel's Spider-Man review - fandom fodder at its finest

Swinging in the city with the arachnid avenger

h Club 100 Awards: Video games - pioneers with heart and soul

High tech meets high calibre in this year’s list of gaming’s brightest sparks

Jurassic World Evolution review - manage a dinosaur theme park and make a killing

A comprehensive management sim where you feed the exhibits, the punters and your bank balance

visual arts

Renzo Piano, Royal Academy review - worth the effort

Church spires informed the shape of the Shard

h 100 Awards: Art, Design and Craft - making art public

Showcasing the strength of British visual culture, and the people bringing it to public attention

The Best Exhibitions in London

From Murillo to Monet and beyond: our favourite shows to see now


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