wed 20/11/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 20 November 2019
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach’s film Kes, and the 51st of A Kestrel for a Knave, the Barry Hines novel it was based on. The story of Barnsley boy Billy Casper...
Marianka Swain
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is an institution in the States, running on Broadway since 2016 and...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
Stewart Lee is back on the road after three years, and he comes back wonderfully refreshed and on marvellous form with this double header, Tornado/Snowflake.Tornado, the first...
David Nice
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
The megastars are here at the Barbican, for an intensive three days in the case of the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, throughout the season as the hall shines an "Artist Spotlight"...
Markie Robson-Scott
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
“Talking cures and exploring the darkness of men’s souls – are you sure this is a career for a gentleman?” This is Vienna, 1906. Freud is exerting an influence, to the disapproval...
Katherine Waters
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
Because he dramatised power, Shakespeare never really goes out of fashion. Treatments of his plays do though, and the RSC’s Measure for Measure, a transfer from Stratford set in...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
Ophelia is one of Shakespeare's most enduring characters in both literature and art, and yet her part in Hamlet is limited...
Graham Fuller
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
A lumbering, barrel-chested hulk with a weirdly Ancient Egyptian wedge of hair, the eponymous clay monster of Paul ...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 18 November 2019
When it comes to the true jazz legends capable of filling concert halls with faithful fans, whom jazz festival programmers...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 18 November 2019
Although it conforms to a realistic chronology of events, this third season of Peter Morgan’s remarkable voyage around the...
Rachel Halliburton
Monday, 18 November 2019
How do you begin to dramatise one of the most extraordinary conversations of the 20th century between two of its most...
David Nice
Monday, 18 November 2019
If you're going to run a music festival with flair, it's not enough just to have a run of star performers who pop up for...
Owen Richards
Monday, 18 November 2019
Beck stands on the front cover of his new album Hyperspace with a vintage Toyota and Japanese text resplendent above. It’s...
Sunday, 17 November 2019
There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered...
Sebastian Scotney
Sunday, 17 November 2019
People who derive comfort from Classic FM’s strapline that European classical music is “The World's Greatest Music" are...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 17 November 2019
In a first for this column, what’s cropping up is a cassette reissue. The Clash’s third album is so familiar, going into...
Peter Quinn
Saturday, 16 November 2019
Jazz Voice unfailingly supplies a gigantic sugar-rush of auditory pleasure, and this year’s edition was no exception....
Boyd Tonkin
Saturday, 16 November 2019
Like almost everything that it touches these days, English National Opera’s autumn season of shows rooted in the Orpheus...
Jasper Rees
Saturday, 16 November 2019
In Peru in 1985, Joe Simpson - then 25 - and his 21-year-old climbing partner Simon Yates were descending the remote Siula...

★★★★★ THE CROWN, SERIES 3, NETFLIX If you want binge TV, there's none finer

★★★★ O/MODERNT SOLOISTS, SONORO ENSEMBLE Pure instrumental poetry

★★ STRAY DOGS, PARK THEATRE No fire in historic Berlin-Akhmatova encounter

★★★★ TED GIOIA: MUSIC - A SUBVERSIVE HISTORY An informative, giddying ride

★★★★ JAZZ VOICE Dreamy reminiscences, nifty footwork & blazing energy at EFG London Jazz Fest

disc of the day

Blu-ray: The Golem

1920 film featuring the Jewish folktale monster delivers an ambiguous message

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Vienna Blood, BBC Two review - psychoanalysis and murder in turn-of-the-century Vienna

Set in a thrilling era, Steve Thompson's adaptation of Frank Tallis's Liebermann novels fails to excite

The Crown, Series 3, Netflix review - if you want binge TV, there's none finer

Peter Morgan's royal saga has a new cast as the Windsors negotiate the turbulent 1960s


'Shakespeare is mistakenly considered something for the elite': director Claire McCarthy on 'Ophelia'

Upcoming adaptation shines a new light on Shakespeare's famous tragic maiden

Blu-ray: The Golem

1920 film featuring the Jewish folktale monster delivers an ambiguous message

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

new music

Herbie Hancock, Barbican EFG London Jazz Festival review – the musical chameleon is still searching at 79

Despite some longueurs, the multi-skilled bandleader remains an irresistibly joyful force

CD: Beck - Hyperspace

Eclectic enigma continues his late-career form with an audio odyssey

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Clash - London Calling

The cassette rematerialises for the 40th anniversary of Strummer and co’s breakthrough double album


Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - much more than glitz and glamour

Players and conductor on top form, John Adams in his latest major work slightly less so

O/Modernt Soloists, Sonoro Ensemble, Wimbledon International Music Festival review - pure instrumental poetry

Hugo Ticciati programmes superbly, but the choral side lets the peerless players down

Classical CDs Weekly: Donnacha Dennehy, Handel, Strauss

Historical and Biblical tragedies set to music, plus three character-driven tone poems


Orphée, English National Opera review – through a screen darkly

Matters of life and death reflected in Glass and Cocteau's myth

Mrs Peachum's Guide to Love and Marriage, Mid Wales Opera review - scaled down seediness, with a swing

Toxic femininity takes centre stage in the outrageous essence of The Beggar's Opera

Der Freischütz, Barbican review - Gothic chills rooted in flesh and earth

Two outstanding leads make for a memorable concert-staging


Dear Evan Hansen, Noël Coward Theatre review - this social outcast will steal your heart
A stirring new musical tackles missed connections in the internet age
Measure for Measure, RSC, Barbican review - behind the times
Stratford transfer makes much of contemporary resonance but fails to deliver
Stray Dogs, Park Theatre review – no fire in this historic encounter
The script misses all that was distinctive about Berlin and Akhmatova's meeting


Concerto/Enigma Variations/Raymonda Act III, Royal Ballet review - time to cheer the corps de ballet

Three revivals from the mid-Sixties allow the rank and file to shine

The deathless Alicia Alonso, in person

Remembering the woman who was Cuban ballet's legend and monster


Tim Minchin, Eventim Apollo review - fabulous triumph of rhyme and reason

Age has not withered the ginger Ninja comic, but there is an intruiging new tone


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

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

visual arts

Charlotte Salomon: Life? or Theatre?, Jewish Museum London review - rallying against death

Set aside time to absorb the stunning work of this modernist painter murdered at Auschwitz

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, Saatchi Gallery review - worth its weight?

Blockbuster artefacts in show that cares more about visitor numbers than visitor experience

The Best Exhibitions in London

The capital's best exhibitions now


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