fri 26/04/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Robert Hollingworth
Friday, 26 April 2019
Leonardo da Vinci died 500 years ago on 2 May this year. We all know he was a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, pioneer of flight and anatomist – yet according to Vasari,...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 26 April 2019
The Mediterranean’s massacres of the refugee innocent come uncomfortably close to a lone female sailor in this stark parable of European helplessness and indifference.When German...
Richard Bratby
Friday, 26 April 2019
Just over a decade ago it was predicted by those supposedly in the know that Ilan Volkov would succeed Sakari Oramo as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra...
Marina Vaizey
Friday, 26 April 2019
The National Gallery is on a roll to expand ever further our understanding of western art, alternating blockbusters dedicated to familiar and bankable stars, with selections of...
Graham Rickson
Friday, 26 April 2019
This Blu-ray reissue brings sci-fi masterpiece Ikarie XB 1 back to its original visual glory, with the 1963 film presented here in the 4K restoration first shown at the...
Katherine Waters
Thursday, 25 April 2019
Paper is traditionally the medium though which artists think. Stray thoughts and experiments can be quickly tried out, pushed further or jettisoned. There are no penalties for...
Owen Richards
Thursday, 25 April 2019
The Earth’s mightiest defenders are back in a triumphant climax, 11 years in the making. Despite a three hour runtime and an...
Marianka Swain
Thursday, 25 April 2019
The joint is jumpin’ at Southwark Playhouse, now hosting an irresistible Fats Waller-inspired, Manhattan-set musical...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 25 April 2019
“Hey guys, it’s Kayla, back with another video. So, the topic of today’s video is being yourself.” Kayla Day (the wonderful...
David Nice
Thursday, 25 April 2019
All Bach is dance, a teacher once told me. The justifiable exaggeration switched on a light; leaping to the Brandenburg...
Ellie Porter
Thursday, 25 April 2019
When you’re off to Islington’s beautiful Assembly Hall for an evening of slinky French bossa nova, it’s something of a...
Katherine Waters
Thursday, 25 April 2019
It was in the early 2000s in a tiny, gritty Camden bar that I first saw Rodrigo y Gabriela live. Camden was less pretty then...
Thursday, 25 April 2019
 Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum ★★★★★ Daring, flair and elegance over 80 year. Until 14 JulyDon...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 25 April 2019
Mark Thomas issues a health warning for Check-Up: Our NHS at 70  at Battersea Arts Centre  – “This show...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Thursday, 25 April 2019
Look behind the lyrics of some of P!nk’s biggest hits, and you’ll see that those powerhouse vocals and big pop-rock choruses...
David Nice
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
On one level, it's about Biblically informed good and evil at sea, in both the literal and the metaphorical sense. On...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Suede finish “Sabotage”. It’s a mid-paced, elegant number set off by swirling, circling central guitar. Frontman Brett...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Nicôle Lecky’s one woman show Superhoe has added fire to the reputation of an already fast-rising actress and writer. Based...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
With the knife crime epidemic seemingly raging out of control, and the government at its clueless worst as it stumbles...

★★★★ EIGHTH GRADE Comedian Bo Burnham's powerful directorial debut pushes all the awkward buttons

★★★ SUEDE, BRIGHTON DOME Brett Anderson gives it full frontman chutzpah

★★★ BILLY BUDD, ROYAL OPERA Britten's drama of good and evil too much at sea

10 QUESTIONS Rising star of stage and screen Nicôle Lecky talks grime, feminism, sex work and more

★★★★ AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE A jazz-hot musical revue

★★★ RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, ITV Giving the nation's youth a sporting chance

★★★★★ AVENGERS: ENDGAME Iron Man and co. round off with a crowd-pleasing extravaganza

disc of the day

Blu-ray: Ikarie XB 1

Impressive restoration of a cerebral 1960s Czech space opera

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Run for Your Life, ITV review - giving the nation's youth a sporting chance

Can sport be a secret weapon in the battle against gangs and knife crime?

Looking for Rembrandt, BBC Four review - painter's biog is a mini-masterpiece

Tim Niel's three-part series delivers a richly rewarding climax

Climate Change: The Facts, BBC One review - how much reality can humankind bear?

What's driving climate change and how long we have to do something about it


Styx review - high seas, high stakes refugee nightmare

The refugee catastrophe becomes a lone yachtswoman's agonising moral crisis

Blu-ray: Ikarie XB 1

Impressive restoration of a cerebral 1960s Czech space opera

Avengers: Endgame review - Marvel save the biggest and best for last

Iron Man and co. round off with a crowd-pleasing extravaganza

new music

Nouvelle Vague, Islington Assembly Hall review - the dreamy bossa nova collective return

Producers Olivier Libaux and Marc Collin's French phenomenon gives the audience what it wants

Rodrigo y Gabriela, Roundhouse - sound and (new) noise

Mexican guitar duo suggest conceptual direction but still stun with energy

CD: P!nk - Hurts 2B Human

Idiosyncratic pop star plays with genres on eighth album


First Person: Robert Hollingworth on I Fagiolini's 'Leonardo - Shaping the Invisible'

Images reflected in music 500 years after the ultimate Renaissance man's death

CBSO, Volkov, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - Mahler goes Bauhaus

A Ninth Symphony stripped bare of schmaltz, in a thought provoking programme

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


Billy Budd, Royal Opera review - Britten's drama of good and evil too much at sea

Peerless protagonist among a crew sometimes lost on an infinite stage

SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill, Isango Ensemble, Linbury Theatre - evocative and essential lyric theatre

Compelling fantasia about black South Africans drowned in a World War One disaster

Faust, Royal Opera review - fusty Gounod still dances

Lively conducting and a last-minute replacement keep this hellish cabaret on its toes


Ain't Misbehavin', Southwark Playhouse review - a jazz-hot musical revue
Dancing, singing and plenty of swinging in this joyful tribute to Fats Waller
10 Questions for actress and playwright Nicôle Lecky
The rising star of stage and screen talks grime, feminism, sex work, Nicki Minaj and SENSE8
All My Sons, Old Vic review - starry but disappointingly uneven
Arthur Miller's classic family drama has one outstanding performance - and one dud


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

Victoria, Northern Ballet, Sadler's Wells - A queen re-instated, once again

The real Empress of India leaps from page to stage


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

Anthem review - singing praises? More like a cautious nod

A rocky start for a new franchise that offers potential and problems in equal measure


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters