wed 12/05/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
With over eight million copies sold in its 50-year lifespan, Déjà Vu was, as Cameron Crowe writes in the booklet accompanying this compendious four-CD edition, “one of the most...
Peter Quantrill
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
The drunkard in spring; the lonely man in autumn; the long goodbye. Mahler’s last song-cycle often seems to embody solitude; a resigned, earthly counterpart to the transcendent...
Charlie Stone
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
"Trompe-l’œil," explains the director of the Institut de Peinture in Brussels, “is the meeting of a painting and a gaze, conceived for a particular point of view, and defined by...
Miranda Heggie
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Marking its 40th anniversary, this year’s Ryedale Festival kicked off with an online-only spring series ahead of the main festival later this summer. With any luck, by then, the...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
From her indie roots to the Grammy-winning angular art-rock of her self-titled 2014 album and the new wave glam of MASSEDUCTION, St Vincent has refused to allow her work to be...
Tom Baily
Monday, 10 May 2021
Watching Milestone, a new Netflix original directed by Ivan Ayr, I was reminded of the films of the great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. This story about an aging truck driver...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 10 May 2021
Nancy Mitford's 1945 literary sensation looks poised to be the TV talking point of the season, assuming the first episode of...
Jessica Duchen
Monday, 10 May 2021
We may not be in the EU any more, but geographically and culturally we can celebrate being part of Europe as much as we...
India Lewis
Monday, 10 May 2021
China Room, Sunjeev Sahota’s third novel, is a familiar, ancestral tale: the story of Mehar, living in late 1929 in rural...
Barney Harsent
Monday, 10 May 2021
Blues legends Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside have long provided inspiration for singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 09 May 2021
At the end of 1976 Al Stewart talked to Melody Maker, contrasting how he was seen in America and the UK. He was in Los...
Bernard Hughes
Saturday, 08 May 2021
This Philharmonia concert from the Royal Festival Hall comprised three masterworks of English music, following a (welcome)...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 08 May 2021
 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 30-32 Boris Giltburg (Naxos)It's worth noting that Beethoven's final piano sonatas weren't...
Guy Oddy
Saturday, 08 May 2021
Shabaka Hutchings is a busy man. Not only does he head up the calypso-reggae-hip-hop-jazz mash-up that is Sons of Kemet,...
David Nice
Friday, 07 May 2021
I only saw Christa Ludwig twice live in concert, but those appearances epitomise her incredible dramatic and vocal rage as...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 07 May 2021
They stand in a row, nine of them, in a long, strange corridor between rows of stacked, palleted, planked wood and the red...
Asya Draganova
Friday, 07 May 2021
It seems fitting that Brighton, a city of youth culture and protest, is the starting point for a band like Squid. Their...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 06 May 2021
Sheds have flourished in lockdown: they’ve always been places to escape to and in the past year, when spruced up as home...
Thursday, 06 May 2021
Nearly a year has passed since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police on 25 May. Nearly 200 have passed since the...

★★★★ THE BLACK KEYS - DELTA KREAM The blues-rock duo return to their roots

★★★★★ SONS OF KEMET - BLACK TO THE FUTURE Shabaka’s jazzers for BLM

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: AL STEWART - YEAR OF THE CAT Box-set version of the US bestseller raises unanswered questions

★★★★ THE PURSUIT OF LOVE, BBC ONE Extravagantly entertaining Nancy Mitford

CHRISTA LUDWIG, 1928-2021 A selective tribute to the great German mezzo-soprano

★★★★ SUNJEEV SAHOTA: CHINA ROOM A tale of separate, related lives

★★★★ EUROPE DAY CONCERT, ST JOHN'S SMITH SQUARE Celebrating in style - Portuguese tenor Luis Gomes shines bright

disc of the day

Album: St Vincent - Daddy's Home

Real-life nostalgia fuels a funk-soul reinvention


The Pursuit of Love, BBC One review - extravagantly entertaining

Nancy Mitford novel makes a smashing small screen transfer

BBC Young Musician 2020 Finale, BBC Four review - poise versus extraterrestrial ecstasy

After a year's wait, three finalists serve up first-rate professionalism - and something more

Line of Duty, Series 6 Finale, BBC One review - crafty ending leaves wriggle room for a sequel

Jed Mercurio's harsh verdict on police corruption gives no grounds for optimism


Milestone review - parable of an aging trucker

Ivan Ayr's second feature touches on dark themes but doesn't go deep enough

Blu-ray: Raw

Bloody, compelling French horror in Julia Ducournau's feature debut

Blu-ray: The Chalk Garden

Who wouldn't want Deborah Kerr as a nurturing governess?

new music

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Déjà Vu 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

California combo's fabled second album gets a monster 4-disc reissue

Album: St Vincent - Daddy's Home

Real-life nostalgia fuels a funk-soul reinvention

Album: The Black Keys – Delta Kream

The blues-rock duo return to their roots for an off-the-cuff covers album


Ryedale Spring Festival online review - sowing the seeds of live music

Music and visuals combine in this seasonal celebration

Europe Day Concert, St John's Smith Square online review – celebrating in style

Portuguese tenor Luis Gomes shines bright in a lively multinational programme


Europe Day Concert, St John's Smith Square online review – celebrating in style

Portuguese tenor Luis Gomes shines bright in a lively multinational programme

Christa Ludwig, 1928-2021: a selective tribute

The German mezzo-soprano embraced the light and the dark at a transcendental level

The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

More time needed in knocking this fascinating Brecht/Weill double bill into shape


Being Mr Wickham, Original Theatre Company online review - an uncontroversial apologia
Adrian Lukis proves himself far better at portraying Austen's rake than he is at writing him
Money, Southwark Playhouse online review - ethical dilemmas for the Zoom generation
A vivid and credible production that is also limited by its form
Tarantula, Southwark Playhouse online review – spine-tingling love and trauma
Philip Ridley’s new monologue is a dazzling masterclass in storytelling


The Royal Ballet - variations on a comeback

How one major ballet company survived to dance another day

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


Maylis de Kerangal: Painting Time review - safer in simulation

An ode to the art of trompe-l’œil is no more than the sum of its parts

The Pursuit of Love, BBC One review - extravagantly entertaining

Nancy Mitford novel makes a smashing small screen transfer

Sunjeev Sahota: China Room review - separate, related lives

A tale of mystery and suffering across countries and generations

visual arts

Points of Departure, Brighton Festival 2021 review - Ray Lee's harbour-based sound art impresses

At Shoreham's working port, something strangely wonderful is happening

Rachel Whiteread: Internal Objects, Gagosian Gallery review - apocalyptic sheds

A triumphant change of direction from the queen of casting

This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Netflix - the last word (for now)

Three decades on and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum mystery is still hot

latest comments

This could be the worst new science fiction of...

I have loved Keeping Faith. What a tragic but...

This was a truly heartbreaking and horrendous...

the cgi was soo good but the acting was so bad...

Couldn't be bothered to read the rest of this...

Only just watched this series (in one go!) Sasha...

As if Alan Partridge wrote a review.


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