sun 26/05/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 26 May 2019
My first, beguiling taste of Hiromi Kawakami’s fiction came when, in 2014, I and my fellow-judges shortlisted Strange Weather in Tokyo for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize....
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 26 May 2019
Debates about whether 1964’s Marnie presaged Alfred Hitchcock’s downslide as a force will run and run. It is however certain that it was the director’s last film scored by Bernard...
Mark Kidel
Sunday, 26 May 2019
Yousou N’Dour has come a long way from his cassettes with Super Etoile de Dakar, that wild mbalax energy, fed by the clatter of the high-pitched sabar drums, with vocals that...
Owen Richards
Saturday, 25 May 2019
Blessed with a red sunset and an adoring crowd, Noel Gallagher brought life to the ruins of Cardiff Castle. With support from fellow 90s alumnus Gaz Coombes, and Wales’s...
Veronica Lee
Saturday, 25 May 2019
They’re back and they’re looking and sounding good – and Spice Girls mania took over Dublin’s city centre for several hours before their concert yesterday. Hotels were booked out...
Joseph Walsh
Saturday, 25 May 2019
It has been ten years since Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan first debuted I Killed My Mother at the Cannes Film Festival. A decade on he returns in competition with a title that...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 25 May 2019
Was it imagination or did The Waterboys’ audience at London’s Roundhouse, invited to sing along to “The Nearest Thing to Hip...
Demetrios Matheou
Saturday, 25 May 2019
Chilean Dominga Sotomayor’s third feature is a beautifully crafted example of the kind of Latin drama that is slow-burn and...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 25 May 2019
 Bartók: Complete String Quartets Quatuor Diotima (Näive)Technical infallibility is now a non-negotiable when it comes...
Tim Cumming
Saturday, 25 May 2019
Soundwalk Collective is a multi-disciplinary audio-visual collective founded by Stephan Crasneanscki, a musical psycho-...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 24 May 2019
By some strange alignment of the stars, Peter Sellars’s staged version of Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 24 May 2019
Rocketman opens with its hero in flamboyant stage costume stomping into a drab group therapy session. Pulling the sparkling...
Owen Richards
Friday, 24 May 2019
Oh Sees have long been touted of as the perfect festival band. Their racuous, high-tempo rock'n'roll always riles up the...
Jenny Gilbert
Friday, 24 May 2019
The first surprise is that this hasn’t been done before. The poems that comprise TS Eliot’s Four Quartets are so embedded...
Joseph Walsh
Friday, 24 May 2019
Like Snowpiercer before it, Bong Joon-ho’s rage-fuelled satire Parasite puts class inequality squarely in its sights. This...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 24 May 2019
Most people know Emily Atack from The Inbetweeners, where she played Charlotte, the object of Will's desire. More recently,...
Mark Kidel
Friday, 24 May 2019
Anatole Litvak’s The Night of the Generals (1967), beautifully restored here to 4K, is a tortuous and at times entertaining...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 23 May 2019
Rokia Traoré’s passage through this year’s Brighton Festival has been central, binding it to her Malian identity in a series...
Boyd Tonkin
Thursday, 23 May 2019
You seldom hear a Champions League-level roar of approval at the Wigmore Hall. Last night, though, Igor Levit drew a throaty...


★★★★★ SUMMER OF ROCKETS, BBC TWO Pride and prejudice in 1950s Britain

★★★★★ CANNES 2019: ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD Sun-soaked black comedy

★★★★★ THE LEHMAN TRILOGY, PICCADILLY THEATRE Stunning chronicle of determination & dollars

★★★★★ FOUR QUARTETS, BARBICAN TS Eliot's poems staged with dance & music are a revelation

★★★★★ OH SEES, TRAMSHED, CARDIFF Revelations from chameleonic San Francisco rockers

★★★ ROCKETMAN Elton John musical settles old scores and pulls out all the stops

disc of the day

CD: Youssou N'Dour - History

Golden voice of Africa: over-produced

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Summer of Rockets, BBC Two review - pride and prejudice in 1950s Britain

Real-life experiences make Stephen Poliakoff's Cold War drama ring true

Heathrow: Britain's Busiest Airport, ITV review - 80 million passengers but not much action

Fifth season of meandering documentary gets off to an uneventful start


Cannes 2019: Matthias & Maxime review - a gently charming new drama

Xavier Dolan shows a new level of maturity with his tale of male friendship and more

Too Late To Die Young review - an absorbing, Chilean coming-of-age

The idealism of a green community holds little allure for a teen on the brink of adulthood

Rocketman review - fabulous musically but a tad miserable too

Elton John settles old scores and pulls out all the stops

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bernard Herrmann

The music for Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Marnie’ finally gets the treatment it deserves

CD: Youssou N'Dour - History

Golden voice of Africa: over-produced


Classical CDs Weekly: Bartók, Bruckner, Busoni

Hungarian string quartets, a late romantic symphony and an epic piano concerto

Los Angeles Master Chorale, Gershon, Sellars, Barbican review – embodiments of remorse

Grandeur, and fussiness, in Peter Sellars' staging of a choral masterwork

Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review – full-spectrum Bach from a prodigious talent

The Russian-born Berliner delivers gripping pianistic theatre


Donnerstag aus Licht, Pascal, RFH review – indulgent genius at work

Me, myself and I on stage: the trinity of Stockhausen, Michael and Jesus

First Person: Conductor Maxime Pascal on Stockhausen at the Southbank Centre

The man in control of a cosmic opera tonight on its visionary German composer

La Damnation de Faust, Glyndebourne review – bleak and compelling makeover

Berlioz's Romantic Everyman seen in a sobering light


Superhoe, Brighton Festival 2019 review - a darkly vital one-woman show
Nicôle Lecky's raw, persuasive play about sex work, social media and female empowerment
ANNA, National Theatre review - great thriller, shame about the tone
Intriguing Cold War thriller is thoroughly immersive, but lacks a convincing sense of history


Four Quartets, Barbican Theatre review - ultimate stage poetry

TS Eliot's poems staged with dance and music are a revelation

Tribe//Still I Rise, Brighton Festival 2019 review - an evening of poetic movement

Convincing choreography based on the poetry of Maya Angelou

Traptown, Wim Vandekeybus/Ultima Vez, Brighton Festival 2019 review - obscure to the point of ridiculous

An uneasy and inaccessible evening of performance that searches for abstraction but gets lost in its own concept


Ruby Wax, Brighton Festival 2019 review - how to be human

An evening of laughs alongside real lessons in mindfulness and neurology


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

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

visual arts

Manga, British Museum review - stories for outsiders

Enormous exhibition on the Japanese art of graphic stories

The Best Exhibitions in London

The capital's best exhibitions now

Anish Kapoor, Lisson Gallery review - naïve vulgarity and otherworldly onyx

Duds and gems in mixed show of paintings and sculptures

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