tue 29/11/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Peter Culshaw
Monday, 28 November 2022
Even those with the vaguest most tangential connection to pop music will be aware that K-Pop is all conquering, and the likes of BTS and BlackPink are on some metrics the most...
Mark Hudson
Monday, 28 November 2022
Looking back on the most exciting, atmospheric and musically challenging gigs I’ve seen to date, there are several contenders in each category. But for the distinction of THE MOST...
Sarah Connolly
Monday, 28 November 2022
The decision of Arts Council England to withdraw funding from the English National Opera and force it to move out of London is not only another hammer blow to the opera industry...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 28 November 2022
I bow to no one in my affection for Matilda the Musical onstage, which I've loved across multiple iterations, from Stratford-upon-Avon to the West End and Broadway, and numerous...
Aleks Sierz
Monday, 28 November 2022
What is the best way of talking about the Middle East? Should plays take a documentary or verbatim approach, all the better to educate and inform, or is there another path, with...
Boyd Tonkin
Monday, 28 November 2022
Half a century ago, Michael Tippett’s A Child of our Time felt inescapable. For a youth-choir singer in the London of that period, his wartime “modern oratorio” supplied a...
Barney Harsent
Monday, 28 November 2022
“All of this music, it’s nothing to do with the listener,” Stormzy announced to Louis Theroux in a recent TV interview. “All...
Nick Hasted
Sunday, 27 November 2022
Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel is an even more brightly entertaining puzzle picture, revelling in the old-fashioned...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 27 November 2022
Mary Gauthier’s first tour in more than three years landed at London’s Union Chapel on Saturday, concluding with another...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 27 November 2022
Any reminder of the greatness of Love is welcome, and Expressions Tell Everything does this in fine style. A box set, it...
David Nice
Saturday, 26 November 2022
Looking for a sparkly operatic musical, well sung and played, slick and saturated in a range of mainstream styles that stop...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 26 November 2022
You expect gross-out movies to send your hands flying in front of your eyes. But Luca Guadagnino's ludicrous Bones and All...
Bernard Hughes
Saturday, 26 November 2022
This collaboration between two young and exciting ensembles, the choir Sansara and the United Strings of Europe, had its...
Saskia Baron
Saturday, 26 November 2022
Nanny is being marketed as a horror movie, and arachnophobes should certainly beware, but it’s also a stylish...
India Lewis
Saturday, 26 November 2022
Arriving to the second night of two shows in the same venue, you would expect it to be a little quieter. But Wet Leg’s...
Gary Naylor
Saturday, 26 November 2022
Just about the three toughest tricks to pull off in the theatre are making a musical, making a family show and making...
Rachel Halliburton
Saturday, 26 November 2022
It begins in darkness. All that can be heard is the sound of a human struggling painfully for breath so that even before the...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 26 November 2022
On a dreary evening in our dark winter of discontent, a couple of hours spent in the company of The Manhattan Transfer was a...
Kieron Tyler
Saturday, 26 November 2022
Choosing packs a punch – the effect of which lingers. What’s captured by these 11 songs comes across as unfiltered,...


★★★ SARA PASCOE, ASSEMBLY HALL, TUNBRIDGE WELLS Her most personal show to date

★★★★ WET LEG, 02 FORUM KENTISH TOWN Eclectic glee from an emerging band

★★★★ HENRY V, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE Anatomy of a violent, murky world of leadership

★★★ WEYES BLOOD - AND IN THE DARKNESS, HEARTS AGLOW Part Two of US musician's album trilogy gently holds its own

RIP WILKO JOHNSON (1947-2022) Snug-bar confessions in an epic encounter with the Bard of Canvey Island

disc of the day

Album: Stormzy - This Is What I Mean

Heartbreak and hope: the rapper, singer songwriter bares his soul on his third album


1899, Netflix review - Atlantic voyage turns into cosmic nightmare

Another mind-bending trip from the creators of 'Dark'

Blood, Sex & Royalty, Netflix review - yo, bros, get down with the GOAT, Henry VIII

Netflix aims a hip hop historical drama about Anne Boleyn at the Young Adult audience

The White Lotus, Season 2, Sky Atlantic review - the sizzling hit drama moves to Italy, but with less fizz

Sex has replaced cultural cringe as the show's new focus, though it's mostly offstage


Matilda the Musical review - a dizzying, smartly subversive delight

Matthew Warchus's glorious stage show sparkles anew onscreen

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery review - grand, class-conscious escapism

Daniel Craig’s detective Benoit Blanc returns for more fizzing, elite-skewering fun

Bones and All review - eat, don't heat

'Call Me By Your Name' star and director reunite to unsavoury effect

new music

Remembering Wilko: unforgettable encounters with the Dr Feelgood guitarist

Following the death of the legendary musician, our writer recalls the most disturbing gig he's ever been to

Album: Stormzy - This Is What I Mean

Heartbreak and hope: the rapper, singer songwriter bares his soul on his third album


A Child of Our Time, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - the spirit still moves

With forces of this calibre, Tippett's 'modern oratorio' retains its power

Hewitt, Hallé, Schuldt, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - lightening the gloom

Precise and telling results in Britten, Mozart, Strauss and Thorvaldsdottir


An open letter from Dame Sarah Connolly and colleagues to Arts Council England

The mezzo is joined by an operatic who's who in a plea to save English National Opera

It’s a Wonderful Life, English National Opera review - Capra’s sharp-edged sentiment smothered in endless schmaltz

A committed company show, but Jake Heggie’s operatic musical is irredeemably shallow

The Rake's Progress, Royal Academy of Music review - Hogarth's Rake enters the digital age

Energy and ideas (so many ideas) from this playful production, but where's the emotion?


Baghdaddy, Royal Court review - Middle-Eastern magic realism
New play about an Iraqi exile and his daughter is strong if a bit messy
Elf, Dominion Theatre review - hit musical revival slays it again
Buddy the Elf charms everyone on either side of the fourth wall
Henry V, Shakespeare's Globe review - anatomy of a violent, murky world of leadership
The play is stripped down to expose sinister undercurrents of nationalism and honour-culture


English National Ballet: Ek, Forsythe, Quagebeur review - two masters, two marvels

ENB shows its range in a devastating new Rite of Spring from Mats Ek, and pop heaven from William Forsythe

Birmingham Royal Ballet: Into the Music, Sadler's Wells review - a visual and aural feast

Beethoven rules the day in a fine mixed bill, and an overlooked choreographic master belatedly takes a bow

Light of Passage, Royal Ballet review - a new full-evening work by Crystal Pite is eloquent and moving

Proof, once again, that ballet has the muscle to tackle big topics


Helen Bauer, Soho Theatre review - rollicking show about how to be a modern woman

Feminism from a different angle, as 'Madam Good Tit' flies in from the Fringe


Patti Smith: A Book of Days review - adding to Insta's debris

The punk legend's archive of selfies, birthday greetings, and apothegms

Derek Owusu: Losing the Plot review - the finest perfume

Smells and scent bind this poetic study of identity and diaspora

Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of the Imagination, Science Museum review - travel to a galaxy not so far away

The glitzy Science Museum show fails to impress, but its accompanying book inspires

visual arts

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Tate Modern review - a forest of huge and imposing presences

Smell the sisal and feel small in the company of giant hangings

Things, Musée du Louvre, Paris review - the still life brought alive

Monumental Paris art show asks questions about the nature of things

Donna Fleming: Apocalypse, The Pie Factory, Margate review - personal passions and intense feelings

Six years of work expressed through mercurial changes of medium

latest comments

I was also there, aged 16. Yes Wilko was amazing...

Beautifully directed , superb performances and a...

This is one of the most boring films I have seen...

Cracking and extremely perceptive review – biased...

Goodness me, make-up have done a remarkable job...

I know. But their reference point is the Beach...


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