fri 15/02/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Rachel Halliburton
Friday, 15 February 2019
Two men called "Massimo" face the audience, one very tall, one very, well, minimo. The tall Massimo (Tom Espiner, pictured below) sports wavy shoulder length blond hair and an...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 15 February 2019
The Arthurian legend’s tight fit as a Brexit allegory perhaps proves how timeless it is as, buried and bound in the earth by Merlin, Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) senses the land...
Marina Vaizey
Friday, 15 February 2019
The power of seeing was the bedrock of John Ruskin’s philosophy. In the bicentenary of his birth, a revelatory exhibition at Two Temple Place in London opens out the idea and...
Graham Fuller
Friday, 15 February 2019
Tides tells of fortysomething angst and camaraderie, though “tells” might be an exaggeration. In a concerted attempt to make a film with minimal incidents and structure, first-...
Marianka Swain
Thursday, 14 February 2019
This year’s unofficial Arthur Miller season – following The Price and ahead of All My Sons at the Old Vic and Death of a Salesman at the Young Vic – now turns to his 1980 work,...
Sebastian Scotney
Thursday, 14 February 2019
“My first recital in about a gazillion years in London!” wrote Sarah Chang a week ago for her 140,000 Twitter followers. “I usually work with orchestras whenever I'm in town so...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 14 February 2019
Women spend a lot of time gazing at themselves in the mirror in the Belgian auteur director Ivo van Hove's latest stage-to-...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 14 February 2019
Chaka Khan’s last album, 2007’s Funk This was billed as the Queen of Funk’s comeback after her 80s and 90s purple patch. But...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The striking cover for the Brighton Festival 2019 programme shouts out loud who this year’s Guest Director is. Silhouetted...
Gavin Dixon
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The Monteverdi Vespers are usually a grand affair, but Harry Christophers showed they can work just as well on a smaller...
Jasper Rees
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
When the third series ended with a car crash, I did wonder whether Catastrophe (Channel 4) should maybe think about calling...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
And so back to the windswept landscapes of the Shetland archipelago, where stoical DI Jimmy Perez is still keeping the bad...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside – well perhaps not, if Jellyfish is anything to go by. Set in Margate, this...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Let’s cut straight to the chase. Here are reviews of 48 records, running riot across genre boundaries and categorizations,...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
When Ladytron appeared in 1999, at a time when electronic music was glutted with pop-trance, Mitsubishis and superclubs,...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
There’s a rather sublime equilibrium to Arthur Miller’s 1968 play between the overwhelmingly heavy weight of history and a...
Alexandra Coghlan
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
You start off fighting it. Those arpeggios, the insistent reduction, simplification, repetition, the amplification of the...
Jessica Duchen
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Imagine for a moment that you are at, say, the Derby. It’s pretty good. But then in flies Pegasus, the mythical winged horse...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
In an interview with Fritz Lang towards the end of his life, he dismisses Human Desire as a film he was...

★★ SARAH CHANG, ASHLEY WASS, CADOGAN HALL - A virtuoso's disturbing 'inner game'

★★★ ALL ABOUT EVE, NOEL COWARD THEATRE Erratically arresting

★★★★★ CATASTROPHE, CHANNEL 4, SERIES 4 FINALE Sitcom saves the best till last

THEARTSDESK ON VINYL 47 The Beta Band, Ry Cooder, The Cardigans, Sgt. Pepper goes jazz and more

★★★ SHETLAND, SERIES 5, BBC ONE Uneven start to new season

★★★ CHAKA KHAN - HELLO HAPPINESS The Queen of Funk gets down with her latest comeback

BRIGHTON FESTIVAL LAUNCHES WITH GUEST DIRECTOR ROKIA TRAORÉ South-coast's arts extravaganza reveals its 2019 line-up

disc of the day

DVD: Tides

This beautifully shot boating-trip film needs bailing out with a bit of drama

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Catastrophe, Channel 4, series 4 finale review - sitcom saves the best till last

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney go out on a grief-stricken, hope-filled cliffhanger

Shetland, Series 5, BBC One review - uneven start to new season

Dismembered bodies, drugs and sex-trafficking... in Shetland?

Endeavour, Series 6, ITV review - reassuringly accomplished return of the brainy copper

Dexterous detection and psychological insights in satisfying season opener


The Kid Who Would Be King review - a timeless charmer

Old-fashioned values animate Joe Cornish's yearning Arthurian parable

DVD: Tides

This beautifully shot boating-trip film needs bailing out with a bit of drama

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

new music

CD: Chaka Khan - Hello Happiness

The Queen of Funk gets down with her latest comeback

Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The south-coast's arts extravaganza reveals its 2019 line-up

CD: Ladytron - Ladytron

Sterling and noisy comeback from Brit electro-pop dons


Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The south-coast's arts extravaganza reveals its 2019 line-up

Akhnaten, English National Opera review - still a mesmerising spectacle

ENO's most successful contemporary opera ever makes a triumphant return

Un ballo in maschera, Welsh National Opera review - opera as brilliant self-parody

Middle-period Verdi watchable, listenable and sometimes laughable


Berberian Sound Studio, Donmar Warehouse review – improves the original
This dark comedy raises disturbing questions about sound and intimacy
The American Clock, Old Vic review - Arthur Miller's musical history lesson drags
Rachel Chavkin's creative revival can't quite tame this sprawling epic
All About Eve, Noel Coward Theatre review - less a bumpy night than an erratically arresting one
Gillian Anderson and a superb Lily James headline Ivo van Hove's latest celluloid deconstruction


Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The south-coast's arts extravaganza reveals its 2019 line-up

Swan Lake, English National Ballet, London Coliseum review - a solid, go-to production

Traditional stagings don't come much more satisfying than Derek Deane's for ENB

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Sadler's Wells - vivid, enchanting

Refreshed classic production delights with energy, storytelling and live Tchaikovsky


Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The south-coast's arts extravaganza reveals its 2019 line-up

Adam Riches Is The Guy Who..., Drink, Shop & Do review - super-suave Lothario on the prowl

Immersive show examines male-female engagement in the #MeToo era


Battlefield V review - WWII on an epic scale

The veteran series returns for another ambitious tour of duty

Red Dead Redemption 2 review - the cowboy drama makes a triumphant return

An ambitious Wild West odyssey that matches epic scale with benchmark skill

visual arts

Don McCullin, Tate Britain review - beastliness made beautiful

The darkest, most compelling exhibition you are ever likely to see

Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory review, Tate Modern - plenty but empty

A major retrospective of the French post-impressionist is huge, but unilluminating

latest comments

Another British show ruined by it's rush to...

And why was Dan the man, on a mission to Shetland...

On what grounds is Akhnaten ENO's most successful...

Glad I didn't read this before watching the...

Endeavour...please get rid of that moustache

Bettany Huges, You claim to be a Historian, but...


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters