mon 20/05/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Demetrios Matheou
Monday, 20 May 2019
WARNING - CONTAINS SPOILERS! And so it’s over. Eight years of thrilling, fantastical, often emotionally devastating, in some senses ground-breaking television, has reached the...
Katherine Waters
Monday, 20 May 2019
There's children screaming in a nearby playground. Their voices rise and fall, swell and drop. Interspersed silences fill with the sound of running, the movement and cacophony...
Russ Coffey
Monday, 20 May 2019
Musical odd couples don't come much stranger than Sting and Shaggy. Last night, at the Roundhouse, that didn't stop the rock star playing yin to the reggae man's yang. ...
Peter Quantrill
Monday, 20 May 2019
Mid-career, moving ever further away from composing for concert platform and church towards the stage, Berlioz found himself unsure where his take on Faust belonged. In the end he...
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,...
Joseph Walsh
Monday, 20 May 2019
This year, Cannes has been adamantly defending traditional cinema, with more than a few jibes at Netflix (who remain persona non grata at the festival), but that hasn’t stopped...
Nick Hasted
Monday, 20 May 2019
Much of Rokia Traoré’s set on Saturday night comprised folk songs about Mali’s warrior kings, connecting with her country’s...
Saskia Baron
Monday, 20 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...
Saskia Baron
Monday, 20 May 2019
This is a real passion project; British filmmaker Andy Dunn spent years building up a relationship with the late American...
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...
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...
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....
Katie Colombus
Sunday, 19 May 2019
Once the self proclaimed poster girl for mental illness, Ruby Wax has evolved her stand up act, because, as she puts it, “...
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...

★★★ RUBY WAX, BRIGHTON FESTIVAL 2019 How to remain real in an inhuman world

★★★★ BIRDS OF PASSAGE The marijuana boom of the Seventies from the standpoint of the Wayuu

★★★★ CLAIRE MARTIN, RONNIE SCOTT'S Lightly-worn virtuosity and self-deprecating humour

★★★ THOMAS HARRIS: CARI MORA Hannibal's creator returns with a mixed bag of horrors

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: RONNIE LANE 'Just for a Moment' box set follows his post-Faces progress

FIRST PERSON: LIAM BYRNE On bringing Versailles to the Barbican's Sound Unbound festival

disc of the day

CD: Sting - My Songs

Mr Sumner updates his impressive back catalogue... slightly

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Game of Thrones, Sky Atlantic, Series 8 Finale review – who will sit on the Iron Throne?

HBO’s epic saga ends a controversial final season on a high

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

Suranne Jones shines in Sally Wainwright's swashbuckling dramatisation

Cannes 2019: Too Old to Die Young - nightmarish LA noir

'Neon Demon' director Nicolas Winding Refn turns to TV with Miles Teller


Cannes 2019: Too Old to Die Young - nightmarish LA noir

'Neon Demon' director Nicolas Winding Refn turns to TV with Miles Teller

Last Stop Coney Island review - the life and photography of Harold Feinstein

Affectionate documentary portrait of a neglected American pioneer of street photography

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

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

new music

Sting and Shaggy, Roundhouse review - wilfully uncool and irrepressibly good fun

An unexpectedly boombastic evening from pop's most unlikely partnership

Rokia Traoré: Dream Mandé: Bamanan Djourou, Brighton Festival 2019 review – traditions soar free

Rokia Traoré takes Mali's music on a slow dance to transcendence

Chamber Music, Brighton Festival 2019 review - Wu-Tang Clan depths divined

The social and musical roots of the Wu-Tang Clan's debut discussed


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


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

Berlioz's Romantic Everyman seen in a sobering light

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


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


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

An evening of laughs alongside real lessons in mindfulness and neurology

Andy Hamilton, Brighton Festival 2019 review - gently amusing night of reminiscence

Comedy writing perennial spends an evening answering audience questions


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

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

Duds and gems in mixed show of paintings and sculptures

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

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