mon 20/05/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Adam Sweeting
Monday, 20 May 2019
In 2010, Maxine Peake starred in The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, but this new dramatisation of Lister’s life has been gestating in Sally Wainwright’s brain for 20 years,...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 20 May 2019
Al Murray's Pub Landlord character has been around since the mid-1990s. As such, it's a wonder that Murray has managed to reinvent the embittered, xenophobic loudmouth so many...
Nick Hasted
Monday, 20 May 2019
Martial arts mayhem, Shaolin philosophy, a tribe of masked hip hop warriors emerging from the mist of Staten Island, a Funkadelic-Parliament collective sprawling through the music...
Nick Hasted
Monday, 20 May 2019
Much of Rokia Traoré’s set tonight comprises folk songs about Mali’s warrior kings, connecting with her country’s fabulously wealthy, proudly powerful past. They suit this...
Russ Coffey
Monday, 20 May 2019
Some say that every successful rock star's career can be divided into three phases. First comes the youthful exuberance. Next, there's mature experimentation. Finally, the artist...
Saskia Baron
Sunday, 19 May 2019
This is a toothsome treat for Sunday nights and one of those rare occasions when the BBC has got hold of the kind of nifty comedy series that Netflix usually pumps out. What...
Ellen McDougall
Sunday, 19 May 2019
I’ve wanted to direct Thornton Wilder’s Our Town for a long time.The play is beautifully written and its form feels not...
Joseph Walsh
Sunday, 19 May 2019
There’s a touch of Fellini’s 8 ½ in Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film. It’s a forlorn, confessional tale, with Antonio Banderas...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 19 May 2019
This March, a real-estate office in Miami Beach, Florida, put a parcel of prime seafront land on the market. A vacant estate...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 19 May 2019
It was inevitable that Rod Stewart’s distracting solo adventures would eventually kill off Faces, the band he fronted. Less...
Saskia Baron
Sunday, 19 May 2019
It would be great to herald this low-budget drama about an elderly drag queen and his friendship with a young gay singer-...
Thomas H Green
Sunday, 19 May 2019
Shows by Gravity & Other Myths fall into the realm of “contemporary circus”. It’s an off-putting moniker, bringing to...
Joe Muggs
Sunday, 19 May 2019
It's five years since Steven Ellison aka Flying Lotus released an album, and it's not entirely clear how far he's moved...
Joseph Walsh
Saturday, 18 May 2019
Who would have thought that Ken Loach could make a film more heart-wrenching than I, Daniel Blake? His new feature, co-...
Liam Byrne
Saturday, 18 May 2019
When you dedicate your life to studying and performing on a musical instrument that essentially went extinct at the end of...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 18 May 2019
Most of the facts about the Atlantic slave trade are well known; what is less easily understood is how history can make a...
Markie Robson-Scott
Saturday, 18 May 2019
“Do you know why I’m respected?” demands Ursula (Carmiña Martinez), a Wayuu matriarch in La Guajira in northern Colombia, of...
Peter Quinn
Saturday, 18 May 2019
While some vocalists build an entire career on a 'one-timbre-fits-all' approach, one of Claire Martin's greatest strengths...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 18 May 2019
 Mahler: Symphony No 7 Budapest Festival Orchestra/Ivan Fischer (Channel Classics)“It is my best work and it has a...

★★★★ PHAEDRA, LINBURY THEATRE From confusing passion to blazing afterlife

★★★★ DAVID HAREWOOD: PSYCHOSIS AND ME, BBC TWO Actor confronts his painful past

★★★★ JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM Mayhem in Manhattan

★★★ WHITE PEARL, ROYAL COURT Comic racial stereotypes

★★★★★ DVD/BLU-RAY: MAURICE EM Forster adaptation hits home with new maturity

★★★★★ BENJAMIN GROSVENOR, BARBICAN Virtuosity at its classiest

disc of the day

CD: Sting - My Songs

Mr Sumner updates his impressive back catalogue...slightly

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Gentleman Jack, BBC One review - the revolutionary life of Anne Lister

Suranne Jones shines in Sally Wainwright's swashbuckling dramatisation

What We Do In the Shadows, BBC Two review - black comedy vampire spin-off from cult movie

Squabbling neck nibblers raise the undead in spritely sitcom

David Harewood: Psychosis and Me, BBC Two review - actor confronts his painful past

The 'Homeland' star explores the mental health crisis he suffered in his twenties


Cannes 2019: Pain and Glory review - a dour, semi-autobiographical portrait

Pedro Almodóvar bares all with middling results in his twenty-first feature

Tucked review - dispiriting British drag queen drama

Danny la Rue's ghost returns to haunt Brighton's piers

Cannes 2019: Sorry We Missed You review - essential Loach drama

New film shows the real cost of zero-hour contracts and fear-inducing big data

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Ronnie Lane

The ‘Just For a Moment’ box set tracks what happened after Faces

CD: Flying Lotus - Flamagra

Californian beat scene monarch continues his cosmic drift

Claire Martin, Ronnie Scott’s - swinging hard in Soho

Lightly worn virtuosity and self-deprecating humour from vocal tour de force


First Person: Liam Byrne on bringing Versailles to the City's 'Culture Mile'

The viola da gamba player on pleasures at the Barbican's free Sound Unbound festival

Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Schumann, Tamara Stefanovich

Austro-German symphonies and a multinational piano recital

Benjamin Grosvenor, Barbican review - virtuosity at its classiest

The British pianist shines bright in subtle Schumann and old-school Liszt


Phaedra, Linbury Theatre review - from confusing passion to blazing afterlife

Henze's near-death experience gives this skewed mythology extraordinary life

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

Semele, Monteverdi Choir, EBS, Gardiner, Alexandra Palace review - Handel's cornucopia lavishly served

No 'secular oratorio' in these hands, but an ultimately electrifying opera


First Person: Ellen McDougall on finding the commonality in the American classic 'Our Town'
The director explains what drew her to the season-opener this summer at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
Gravity & Other Myths: Backbone, Brighton Festival 2019 review - eyeboggling and very human circus show
Australian troupe dazzle with balletic acrobatics, stunning precision and teamwork
salt., Royal Court review - revisiting the Atlantic slave trade
One woman's journey to explore the slave trade is both personal and provocative


Within the Golden Hour/Medusa/Flight Pattern, Royal Ballet review - the company shows its contemporary face

Osipova is astonishing as ever, but Medusa the ballet misses its mark

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

Mitten wir im Leben sind, De Keersmaeker, Queyras, Rosas, Sadler's Wells review - Bach-worthy genius

Outwardly austere, inwardly vibrant life-and-death journey through the six Cello Suites


Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

visual arts

58th Venice Biennale review - confrontational, controversial, principled

Forcefully curated biennale which can overwhelm artists, sometimes purposefully

Cathy Wilkes, British Pavilion, Venice Biennale review - poetic and personal

Deeply personal sculptural installation muses on different generations of women and passing time

Fetes and Kermesses in the Time of the Brueghels, Musée de Flandre review - all the fun of the fair

Bruegel's heirs star in a low key but revelatory exhibition in the Flemish countryside

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