tue 19/10/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Rachel Halliburton
Tuesday, 19 October 2021
This is simultaneously a love story and an archaeology of hate, a sparky, spiky encounter between two individuals whose chemistry proves as destructive as it is explosive.Love and...
Laura De Lisle
Tuesday, 19 October 2021
“Careful, there’s a hole in the floor.” The warning’s an unusual one, passed along conscientiously by the stewards at the door of the tiny Orange Tree Theatre.The hole in question...
Mark Kidel
Tuesday, 19 October 2021
One of those films weighed down by a considerable reputation, La Dolce Vita (1960) is rarely taken as seriously as it should be. From the very first sequence in which a figure of...
David Nice
Monday, 18 October 2021
Neo-Nazis held a Trafalgar Square rally under the banner "Free Britain from Jewish Control" in the year of my birth; I had no idea until I watched Ridley Road. Most of us know...
Helen Hawkins
Monday, 18 October 2021
“You can’t kick a cow in Leenane without some bastard holding a grudge for 20 years,” sighs Pato Dooley (Adam Best) prophetically; he has already started making his escape from...
Graham Rickson
Monday, 18 October 2021
Leonard Bernstein’s one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti enjoyed a relatively trouble-free gestation, at least compared to his other stage works. Its seven short scenes last around 50...
Bernard Hughes
Monday, 18 October 2021
The Conway Hall in London has hosted chamber music concerts since it was built in 1929, and for 40 years this included a...
Harry Thorfinn-George
Monday, 18 October 2021
From underground curiosity to cult icon, now label head and superstar, Atlanta’s Young Thug has continued to reinvent...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 17 October 2021
Between August 1966 and November 1967, The Syn played 36 shows at London’s high-profile Marquee Club. In June and September...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 16 October 2021
Unless you happen to be a student of Italian language or culture, the significance of the 14th-century poet Dante Alighieri’...
Ismene Brown
Saturday, 16 October 2021
The cherry orchard in Anton Chekhov’s eponymous play is a classic MacGuffin, its existence a reason to stir the sorts of...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 16 October 2021
 Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions & other early works Andy Baker Orchestra, Avalon String Quartet (Cedille)...
Kathryn Reilly
Saturday, 16 October 2021
Wes Anderson and Jarvis Cocker do 1960s French pop – this frothy confection couldn’t be any more “art school” if it were...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 15 October 2021
Remembering the months of lockdown, I can’t be the only person to thrill to this play’s opening lines, “When shall we three...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 15 October 2021
There is a three song segment midway through Manic Street Preachers’ set which suddenly ramps everything up. For this brief...
David Nice
Friday, 15 October 2021
Returning to LSO St Luke’s, formerly a beacon in the darkness of semi-lockdown for the lucky few allowed to feast upon the...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 15 October 2021
"I can't sleep": So goes the fateful opening line of White Noise, the Suzan-Lori Parks play disturbing enough to spark many...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 15 October 2021
Chris Martin has talked, not for the first time, of this finally being the Coldplay era of “no rules or fear”. Swedish pop...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 14 October 2021
This record is a heck of a metatextual experience to listen to. In releasing his debut album, 24 year old Finneas O’Connell...

★★★★ JARVIS COCKER - CHANSONS D'ENNUI TIP-TOP An amusing French fancy

★★★★ CLEMENTS PRIZE, CONWAY HALL Newly-written string trios in competition

FIRE - FATHER'S NAME IS DAD; FLOWERMAN - RARE BLOOMS FROM THE SYN Definitive statements on the British psychedelic contenders

★★★★ BERNSTEIN DOUBLE BILL, OPERA NORTH Fractured relationships in song & dance

★★★ YOUNG THUG - PUNK Different eras of Young Thug come together nicely

★★★★ THE CHERRY ORCHARD, WINDSOR THEATRE ROYAL Ian McKellen's scene-stealing comic act is worth the ticket

PLAYWRIGHT CORDELIA LYNN On bringing together 'Love and Other Acts of Violence', her premiere at the Donmar Warehouse

★★★★ THE DANTE PROJECT, ROYAL BALLET A towering achievement

★★★★★ THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, LYRIC HAMMERSMITH Martin McDonagh's breakthrough play dazzles anew in matchless revival

disc of the day

Blu-ray: La Dolce Vita

Fellini's prescient vision of a paparazzi-dominated world


Ridley Road, BBC One review - Jewish community fights Nazi nightmare in 1960s London

Enlightenment about a resurgence of English Fascism wrapped up in a well-acted thriller

DVD/Blu-ray: Maigret - The Complete Series

Entertaining, idiomatic Simenon adaptation, brilliantly cast

Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy, Sky Arts review – too much and not enough

Programme does its best to shine a light on the bleak Wessex writer


Blu-ray: La Dolce Vita

Fellini's prescient vision of a paparazzi-dominated world

The Velvet Underground review - Todd Haynes tunnels through band history

Ingeniously composed documentary portrait, with John Cale the definitive star

Blu-ray: The Lighthouse (Mayak)

Subdued, elegiac meditation on wartime life in the Caucasus

new music

Album: Young Thug - Punk

Different eras of Young Thug come together nicely on long-awaited new album

Music Reissues Weekly: Fire - Father's Name Is Dad, Flowerman - Rare Blooms From The Syn

Definitive statements on the British psychedelic contenders

Album: Jarvis Cocker – Chansons d’Ennui Tip-Top

An amusing French fancy with a soupçon of inevitability


Clements Prize, Conway Hall review - newly-written string trios in competition

Varied works by young composers get a sympathetic reading

Classical CDs: Rediscovered orchestral jazz, natural trumpets and non-seasonal chamber music

An American original, zesty classical quartets and new music for piano

Tamestit, LSO, Ticciati, LSO St Luke's review - viola as chameleon, palpitating Brahms

Razor-sharp Walton complements an airborne, detailed account of a great symphony


Bernstein Double Bill, Opera North review - fractured relationships in song and dance

Heartbreak and strife from a pair of Leeds institutions

Don Pasquale, Glyndebourne Tour review - winning comeback for a sturdy veteran

Sweet spots abound in Donizetti's much-loved sugar-daddy romp

First Person: director Frederic Wake-Walker on Glyndebourne's new 'Fidelio'

Tracing the problems of staging Beethoven's only opera over five years


Love and Other Acts of Violence, Donmar Warehouse review - snappy and tightly intelligent but flawed
How do traumas from former generations affect how we behave in the present?
Rice, Orange Tree Theatre review - whip-smart, but unsure where it stands
Race and belonging are interrogated unevenly in this Australian drama


Bernstein Double Bill, Opera North review - fractured relationships in song and dance

Heartbreak and strife from a pair of Leeds institutions

The Dante Project, Royal Ballet review - a towering achievement

A stupendous score by Thomas Adès powers this inspiring undertaking


Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre review - an amusing, if dated, revival of the Coward classic

Jennifer Saunders delivers a fine turn as the celebrated Madame Arcati

Anuvab Pal, Soho Theatre review - Empire and Bollywood collide

Shaggy dog story with some history thrown in


Mary Wellesley: Hidden Hands review - passion in the parchment

Medieval manuscripts and their forgotten artist-authors come to life

Marcin Wicha: Things I Didn’t Throw Out review - the stories told by stacks of stuff

Connecting a mother's helpless love of things with questions of presence and personhood

Jonathan Franzen: Crossroads review - can goodness ever be its own reward?

The first volume of Franzen's new family saga leaves you wanting more

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