tue 23/07/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Sebastian Scotney
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
Josh Ritter is in his early forties. He has a two-decade career with 10 studio albums (and, incidentally, a First World War novel) to his name. He has come a long way from trying...
Alexandra Coghlan
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
Secrets, and the voluptuous, sensory pleasures they conceal, may unite Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, but far more divides two works that make...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
Chinese director Jia Zhangke has made a masterful career from following the changes that his native land has undergone in the 21st century, catching the speed of its transition...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 22 July 2019
This year’s Proms for children were entitled “Off to the Moon”, and audiences were invited on a musical space voyage to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. The format was a...
Katherine Waters
Monday, 22 July 2019
Light creeps under the church door. Entering as a slice of burning white, it softens and blues into the stone interior, seeming to make the walls glow from the inside. ...
Owen Richards
Monday, 22 July 2019
With sapphire blue waters, year-round sun and architecture that spans centuries and cultures, it’s little wonder that Malta is a favourite location for Hollywood. To celebrate its...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 22 July 2019
Finding snapshots to characterise Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign and its aftermath is a tall order. There are so...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 21 July 2019
Eighty years ago this summer, Neville Chamberlain’s indifference to the peoples of Czechoslovakia – “a quarrel in a far away...
Peter Quantrill
Sunday, 21 July 2019
In cricket, timing is everything. Played a fraction early and that silky cover drive finds a batsman out to lunch as the...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 July 2019
“As much as I love New York City, it’s all too obvious that Cleveland is about to become the musical focal point that the...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Sunday, 21 July 2019
If there was a downer during the giddy, gleeful Glasgow stop of Gossip’s recent run of shows, it was only when front woman...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 20 July 2019
Robert Holman’s 1986 Bush Theatre play – seen most recently in London at the Donmar Warehouse in 2012 – makes for a...
Gavin Dixon
Saturday, 20 July 2019
A new commission, a Romantic tone poem and a choral spectacular – standard fare for the First Night of the Proms....
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 20 July 2019
In Tell It to the Bees, sex is aberrant unless it’s conducted by a straight married couple. Since Annabel Jankel’s low-key...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 20 July 2019
 Stewart Goodyear: Callaloo, Piano Sonata; Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue Stewart Goodyear (piano), Chineke! Orchestra/...
Russ Coffey
Saturday, 20 July 2019
The first thing you notice about Guesswork is the sound. Or rather, what's missing: there are none of the usual...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 19 July 2019
Die Zauberflöte rarely attracts the plain cooks of the operatic world. Mozart’s farewell opera chucks so many highly-spiced...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 19 July 2019
One of the most memorable moments in Ron Howard’s documentary about Luciano Pavarotti is one of its earliest scenes. It’s a...
Sarah Kent
Friday, 19 July 2019
The City of London is an ecological disaster. Around Bank, Mansion House and Cannon Street there’s scarcely a green leaf to...

★★★★ PROM 2, BELL, BAMBERG SO, HRUSA Bohemian rhapsody, and refinement

★★★ DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL High jinks in the Grand Mozart Hotel

★★★ TELL IT TO THE BEES Taboo love in 1950s Scotland in Annablel Jankel's low-key drama

★★★★★ LIGHTS, CAMERA, MALTA! A spectacular celebration of film history

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: PETER LAUGHNER Tribute to the American underground catalyst

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY Cross-cultural pianism, Decca treasures, a powerful Russian symphony

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Ash Is Purest White

Love in a gangster milieu, set against the changes of the Chinese century

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The Day We Walked on the Moon, ITV review - it was 50 years ago to the day

You've heard it all before, but this was an entertaining ride

8 Days: To the Moon and Back, BBC Two review - intimate peek at life in lunar capsule

Insightful doco-drama combines re-enactments with real cockpit audio


DVD/Blu-ray: Ash Is Purest White

Love in a gangster milieu, set against the changes of the Chinese century

Tell It to the Bees review - taboo love in 1950s Scotland

A woman doctor changes the lives of a struggling factory worker and her young son

new music

Josh Ritter, Union Chapel review - strong songs and a boyish smile

The folk artist on fine form, with support act Ida Mae at a fascinating stage

CD: School Of Language - 45

Field Music’s David Brewis probes Donald Trump

Reissue CDs Weekly: Peter Laughner

Major box-set tribute to the important American underground catalyst


Prom 3, CBeebies: A Musical Trip to the Moon review - a celebration of the Apollo 11 landing

Little education value, but this slick, high-energy show was a hit with the young audience

Prom 2, Bell, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Hrůša review – Bohemian rhapsody, and refinement

Sumptuously sophisticated playing from a Czech-German partnership

Prom 1, BBCSO, Canellakis review - space-age First Night

Programme lacks logic, but choral spectacular opens the season in style


Die Zauberflöte, Glyndebourne Festival review – high jinks in the Grand Mozart Hotel

Some delicious singing cuts through fanciful upstairs-downstairs frolics

Pavarotti review - enjoyable but superficial survey of a superstar

Ron Howard's portrait of the fabled tenor leaves his inner life unexamined


The Night of the Iguana, Noël Coward Theatre review - Clive Owen and Lia Williams burn bright
Star cast deliver a terrific revival of Tennessee Williams's last masterpiece
The Best Plays in London
What to see where and until when: theartsdesk's stage tips
Equus, Trafalgar Studios review - passionate intensity
Lean and hungry brilliance in Ned Bennett's production of Peter Shaffer


Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras, Sadler's Wells review - storming opening to flamenco festival

Sara Baras confirms flamenco as a dynamic and innovative force

Mari review - bittersweet drama with flair

Unusual mash-up of styles creates a strangely compelling film

The Mother, QEH review - Natalia goes psycho

Osipova is mesmerising in bleak dance-drama about maternal mental health


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

Helen Schjerfbeck, Royal Academy review - watchful absences and disappearing people

Retrospective of Finnish artist turns on mortality and absence

Yorkshire Sculpture International review - Hepworth and Moore loom large

A new festival seals Yorkshire's bid to be Britain's home of sculpture


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