tue 27/10/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Bernard Hughes
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
There’s an old rule in the theatre that you don’t have to go on if there are more people in the audience than on stage. Last night I counted less than 15 people listening in the...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Plenty of pedigree wattage has been packed into this slickly addictive new HBO drama (showing on Sky Atlantic). The twin headliners are affluent Manhattan couple Grace and...
David Nice
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Whatever happens next – and even in Tier 3 the Royal Liverpool Phlharmonic goes on playing to carefully distanced audiences – this will be remembered by all participants as a day...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
After Bassam Tariq's feature debut These Birds Walk was released at SXSW 2013, things seemed to slow down. The documentary about a runaway boy in Pakistan garnered strong reviews...
India Lewis
Monday, 26 October 2020
If you’re after a relaxing Sunday watch, Fyzal Boulifa’s Lynn + Lucy is not the one. It begins as a story of old friends in a small town and ends as a complex and uncomfortable...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 26 October 2020
Call him Ishmael, and the Zimbabwe-born, UK-based writer Zodwa Nyoni has done just that. That's the name of the solo character in Nyoni's slight but undeniably affecting 50-minute...
Stephen Walsh
Monday, 26 October 2020
Bach’s Goldberg Variations, written for harpsichord in about 1741 supposedly (or perhaps not) for a certain Johann Goldberg...
David Nice
Monday, 26 October 2020
Anyone mesmerized by the mosaics in seven of Ravenna’s eight Unesco world heritage sites may be surprised by the historical...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 26 October 2020
Elvis Costello’s was the last major concert before lockdown. At Hammersmith, I remember the feeling, a last hurrah as we...
Owen Richards
Sunday, 25 October 2020
With Netflix releasing Rebecca on Wednesday, who’d have thought that a kid’s film would be this week’s best adaptation about...
David Nice
Sunday, 25 October 2020
“Live music is back,” runs the Barbican's latest slogan, so treasure it and get out there while you can. Thursday evening in...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 25 October 2020
After Florian Schneider left Kraftwerk in 2008, Ralf Hütter was left in the driving seat. The pair had first been heard on...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 24 October 2020
When it was announced that Ben Wheatley would be directing a new version of Rebecca, his fans must have wondered what kind...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 24 October 2020
 Henrique Oswald: Piano Concerto, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 5 Clélia Iruzun (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra...
Sarah Kent
Saturday, 24 October 2020
“Black people, since the beginning of time, have always made things cool. Jazz, rock ’n’ roll… pick anything from a cultural...
Barney Harsent
Saturday, 24 October 2020
The cast list for Song Machine…, the seventh album from virtual virtuosos Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, is the size of...
Tom Birchenough
Friday, 23 October 2020
Intriguingly, Summer of 85 could have been François Ozon’s very first film. Back in the mid-Eighties the French director was...
Jessica Duchen
Friday, 23 October 2020
Bidding farewell to the Royal Festival Hall, Tasmin Little was at the very peak of her powers. It’s almost unthinkable that...
Rachel Halliburton
Friday, 23 October 2020
The Prohibition-era setting of The Great Gatsby brings an appropriately illicit feel to this bold decision to...

★★★★ SUMMER OF 85 Ozon's unforced gay youth romance has winning naturalness

★★★ ELVIS COSTELLO - HEY CLOCKFACE Good songs, poor intonation

CLASSICAL CDS Henrique Oswald, Saint-Saëns, Tilson Thomas, Smaro Gregoriadou

★★★★ THE SECRET GARDEN Jack Thorne brings another children's classic to life

★★★★ JUDITH HERRIN: RAVENNA Flashes of order and beauty in a chaotic world

KRAFTWERK When reissues are not reissues, from 'Autobahn' to 'The Mix'

★★★★ BRECON BAROQUE, PODGER Bach's Goldberg Variations recoloured by Chad Kelly

disc of the day

Blu-ray: Lynn + Lucy

A small town and a lifelong friendship gone sour


Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You, Apple TV+ review - his new album is a matter of life and death

Documentary takes an emotional journey through the past with the E Street Band

Roadkill, BBC One review - David Hare pokes under the floorboards of the Conservative party

Hugh Laurie plays an ambitious government minister with a shady history


Filmmaker Bassam Tariq: 'Great cinema doesn't need to be perfect - embrace the imperfections'

Director of 'Mogul Mowgli' discusses taking risks, and the differences between the British- and American-Asian experience

Blu-ray: Lynn + Lucy

A small town and a lifelong friendship gone sour

The Secret Garden review - blooming charming

Jack Thorne brings another children's classic to life

new music

Album: Elvis Costello - Hey Clockface

Good songs, poor intonation

Album: Gorillaz - Song Machine: Season One - Strange Timez

The virtual virtuosos' seventh album makes an impressively singular sound with many, many voices


Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – wide range of American voices

Music from the mid-20th century has colour but lacks a bit of snap

Northern Chords Festival, Church of St James and St Basil, Newcastle review - high. lucid and bright

From bouncing Haydn mass to Mendelssoh in chorale mode, a day of great performances

Brecon Baroque, Podger, Brecon Cathedral online review - Bach recoloured

Revealing Goldbergs arrangement superbly played


4/4, Royal Opera review – desire, loss and lunacy in four surprising acts

Allan Clayton and Richard Jones are kings of bedlam, but the rest has high style too

First Person: tenor Nicky Spence on working with Blackheath locals on screen Stravinsky

'The Rake's Progress' distilled and introduced by its star and community opera patron

Fidelio, Garsington Opera review - heart of darkness, light-filled liberation

Fine singers equalled by Philharmonia soloists in revelatory chamber-music Beethoven


The Great Gatsby, Immersive London review – a warm and electric tribute to the book
It's a true achievement to feel the chemistry of a cast whirring into action again
Quarter Life Crisis, Bridge Theatre review – slender and superficial
Return of one-woman show about growing up is disappointingly thin


The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage review - fireworks in the Garden

At long last, our premier ballet company is back in action. And it's dynamite

theartsdesk in Hamburg: Ghost Light - a ballet in the time of corona

How the city is showing the world a way through the live-performance impasse

'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

Ballet or cabaret, Zizi's passion was for performance - preferably with her husband


Judith Herrin: Ravenna review - flashes of order and beauty in a chaotic world

The once-great imperial city's mosaics and buildings have survived a turbulent time

Jenny Hval: Girls Against God review - a sticky dance through space and time

A surreal witches' flight through southern Norway

10 Questions for Poet and Critic Rebecca Tamás

On 'Strangers' and the urgent interconnectedness of the human and non-human

visual arts

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer, Barbican Art Gallery review - mould-breaker, ground-shaker

A crash course in the life and times of an iconoclast and muse

Sin, National Gallery review - great subject, modest show

A small gathering can't do justice to this fabulous topic

latest comments

Who was the photographer for this image? I love...

But let’s face it, “Ghosts” is a TOTAL rip off of...

Hendrix was more than a gifted guitar player....

He was a gifted guitar player,that's all.Guitar...

Ronnie Scott was my friend, my tenor sax player...

Hi Paul. I don't know if you are reading these...


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