sat 16/01/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Graham Rickson
Saturday, 16 January 2021
 Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen, Sinfonietta Lucy Crowe, Gerald Finley, Sophia Burgos London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Simon Rattle (LSO Live) You know this is...
Kathryn Reilly
Saturday, 16 January 2021
What’s all this? Female voices, guitars, a song lasting over four minutes… harmonies? Have Britain’s savviest social commentators gone soft? Fear not, their sixth album is wall-to...
Sebastian Scotney
Friday, 15 January 2021
Cerys Matthews is a best-selling author, award winning DJ and multi-million selling musician, singer, reciter... and broadcaster, originally from Wales. Her wide-ranging Sunday...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 15 January 2021
Noel Coward's 1941 comedy was one of the theatrical casualties of the first lockdown last March in a Richard Eyre-directed West End revival that aimed to mine the pain beneath...
Robert Beale
Friday, 15 January 2021
Jonathan Bloxham makes his debut as conductor with the Hallé Orchestra in the third of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts on film. It’s a poetry-connected programme in several...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 15 January 2021
When the concept album first properly took flight, in the late 1960s, before it became slave to the bloated artifice of prog-rock, it was an extension of the LSD-soaked times: “...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 14 January 2021
Veteran Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky has gone back to his beginnings for his latest film. The real-life events on...
Graham Fuller
Thursday, 14 January 2021
The Night Porter depicts the consuming sadomasochistic love affair of an SS officer, Max (Dirk Bogarde), and the Catholic...
Joseph Walsh
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
In 1964, Cassius Clay, NFL superstar Jim Nathaniel Brown, soul legend Sam Cooke and political firebrand Malcolm X gathered...
Tim Cumming
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
Back in 2013, the London-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist launched the first of a trilogy of albums...
David Nice
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
Born in exigency at the end of the First World War and soon kiboshed by the Spanish flu, The Soldier’s Tale as originally...
Laura De Lisle
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
The blurb for Peter Pan: The Audio Adventure, Shaun McKenna’s new adaptation of JM Barrie’s classic, tells us, with a hint...
Daniel Baksi
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
Postcapitalist Desire: The Final Lectures is a collection of transcripts, recording weekly group lectures delivered by Mark...
Guy Oddy
Tuesday, 12 January 2021
theartsdesk eases into 2021 with a Disc of the Day title, Himalayan Dream Techno, that will be hard to beat over the next 12...
Lydia Bunt
Monday, 11 January 2021
You go out for a walk and leave your devices at home; your head feels a little bit clearer. But when you get back and plonk...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 11 January 2021
In a much-depleted and truncated pantomime season that withered on the vine, the National Theatre's debut production of Dick...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 11 January 2021
The key tracks on Every Mover are “Play 'til Evening” and “Earthborne”. The first shimmeringly fuses anthemic, gospel-edged...
Adam Sweeting
Sunday, 10 January 2021
The discovery of a grotesque murder is the traditional way to begin a new series of Spiral, and this time around the cadaver...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 10 January 2021
Two of the four CDs in this set are of a live performance taped on 16 April 1964. The other pair of discs were recorded on 9...

★★★ ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI Regina King's directorial debut about a momentous meeting

★★★★ GILLAM, HALLE, BLOXHAM, HALLE ONLINE Turbulence, calm, and long, slow melodies 

★★★★ DEAR COMRADES! Retro drama based on the tragic June 1962 events in Novocherkassk 

★★★★ PETER PAN: THE AUDIO ADVENTURE The perfect bedtime story

★★★★ THE SOLDIER'S TALE, SCOTTISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Actor and violinist excel in this Stravinsky-Ramuz confection  

★★ BLITHE SPIRIT Cloth-eared Coward: Judi Dench tries, but adaptation still tanks

★★★★ SPIRAL, SERIES 8, BBC FOUR Final series of the show that's more than just a 'policier'

★★★★ SKYWAY MAN - THE WORLD ONLY ENDS WHEN YOU DIE Warm psychedelic Californian indie-gospel-country ruminations on the path to the beyond

disc of the day

Album: Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs

A searing scream in the face of Boris, the virus and the shit show that is 2020s Britain


Spiral, Series 8, BBC Four review - dark days in the City of Light

Final series of the show that's more than just a 'policier'

Steve McQueen: The Lost Movie, Sky Documentaries review - the classic motor racing film that never was

How fate conspired against the car-crazy star's Formula One movie

The Great, Channel 4 review - Russian history gets a whirl in the fictional blender

Screenwriter Tony McNamara refuses to let the facts stand in his way


Blithe Spirit review - cloth-eared Coward

Judi Dench tries, but Coward adaptation still tanks

Dear Comrades! review - Andrei Konchalovsky exposes the Soviet past

The tragic June 1962 events in Novocherkassk are the backbone of retro drama

Blu-ray: The Night Porter

Liliana Cavani's transgressive drama was widely misunderstood on its original release

new music

Album: Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs

A searing scream in the face of Boris, the virus and the shit show that is 2020s Britain

10 Questions for Musician and Broadcaster Cerys Matthews

Thoughts on an album which places poets centre-stage

Gillam, Hallé, Bloxham, Hallé online review - music of poetry

Turbulence, calm, and long, slow melodies in a concert commemorating 2020


Classical CDs: Janáček, Myaskovsky, Prokofiev, John Wilson

An arboreal opera, two Soviet symphonies and some rarely heard English string music

Gillam, Hallé, Bloxham, Hallé online review - music of poetry

Turbulence, calm, and long, slow melodies in a concert commemorating 2020


Best of 2020: Opera

With no touching from mid-March onwards, this art-form was hard hit - but ingenuity ruled

Royal Opera Christmas Concert online review – pajama party around the Nutcracker tree

Vivacious opera and cheesy carols under the lively baton of Mark Wigglesworth


Peter Pan: The Audio Adventure review - the perfect bedtime story
Sharon D Clarke and Olivia Colman sparkle in delightful radio play in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital
Best of 2020: Theatre
Out of pandemic-driven chaos and confusion came moments of clarity - and "Blindness"


Best of 2020: Dance

In a perilous year, bright ideas and perseverance sometimes prevailed

The Nutcracker: an end-of-year obituary

It's been a rough ride for the seasonal cash cow. Here's how ballet companies coped

The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's indictment of capitalism in a vibrant new production


Comedy podcasts round-up 2: from home and abroad

Lively chat, masterful spoofing and behind-the-scenes fun

Best of 2020: Comedy

Outdoor venues and podcasts to the rescue

Comedy podcasts round-up 1: from home and abroad

Conversation, fun facts and jokes


Mark Fisher: Postcapitalist Desire - The Final Lectures review - imagining the alternative

An eye-opening exploration of the relationship between capitalism and desire

Julia Bell: Radical Attention review - a clear rendering of our withering attention spans

Bell’s essay is timely and insightful, but how radical can small acts really be?


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