sat 19/10/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Nice
Saturday, 19 October 2019
Advance publicity overstated the case for The Mask of Orpheus. "Iconic"? Only to academics and acolytes, for British audiences haven't had a chance to see a production since ENO's...
Joseph Walsh
Saturday, 19 October 2019
Angelina Jolie is back again with those cut-glass cheekbones and ink-black wings, reprising her role as the self-proclaimed ‘Mistress of Evil’, in Joachim Rønning’s nauseating...
Bernard Hughes
Saturday, 19 October 2019
Some of the greatest pieces of the string orchestra repertoire are based on pre-existing pieces: the fantasias by Tippett and Vaughan Williams, on Corelli and Tallis respectively...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 19 October 2019
 Gabriela Montero: Piano Concerto No 1, ‘Latin Concerto’, Ravel: Concerto in G Gabriela Montero (piano), The Orchestra of the Americas/Carlos Miguel Presto (Orchid Classics)...
Mark Kidel
Saturday, 19 October 2019
PJ Harvey is not just a consummate rock musician but a multi-talented artist, who has re-invented herself throughout her career. She paints and makes sculpture, has participated...
Ismene Brown
Friday, 18 October 2019
The magnificent, controversial Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso, who asserted that she would live to 200, died yesterday in Havana, aged nearly 99. Legends are always well protected...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 18 October 2019
Well here’s an interesting one. We’ve been up to our eyebrows in Eurocops for the past few years, but this Anglo-Japanese...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 18 October 2019
Clean Break, the theatre company that specialises in working with women in the criminal justice system, is doing a lot of...
Graham Fuller
Friday, 18 October 2019
It isn’t provable whether adultery is more accepted in French bourgeois life than in that of other countries, but French...
Robert Beale
Friday, 18 October 2019
Changes from the artists originally advertised can bring some happy discoveries. Sir Mark Elder, though present in the...
Kieron Tyler
Friday, 18 October 2019
It’s unfortunate that LAHS’s opening track is titled “Holding Pattern” as the album only achieves lift off with its ninth...
Tom Baily
Thursday, 17 October 2019
Another unnecessary sequel: we’re used to this sort of thing. The film knows it, too, as lead dork Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg...
Demetrios Matheou
Thursday, 17 October 2019
Early in the political drama Official Secrets, Keira Knightley’s real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun watches Tony...
Ellie Porter
Thursday, 17 October 2019
Having exploded on to the scene like a cross between Queen and My Chemical Romance, Derby’s young glam-rock upstarts the...
Miranda Heggie
Thursday, 17 October 2019
It remains some of the most terrifying music ever written. Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony - the composer’s portrayal of the...
Jonathan Geddes
Thursday, 17 October 2019
When Richard Hawley arrived onstage, he had a confession to make. “I like to talk”, he declared, before adding “and play...
Jill Chuah Masters
Thursday, 17 October 2019
Dust off the record player: Idris Elba’s Eighties comedy In the Long Run (Sky 1) has returned for a second series. Loosely...
David Nice
Wednesday, 16 October 2019
There's something about the very opening of a Mahler symphony which gives you an idea of how the rest of the performance...
Saskia Baron
Wednesday, 16 October 2019
It’s an uncomfortable feeling to find oneself completely at odds with an audience in a cinema, but it happens. The recent...

★★★ [BLANK], DONMAR WAREHOUSE Strong but dispiriting

★★★★★ NON-FICTION Adultery spices up digitisation drama

THE DEATHLESS ALICIA ALONSO, IN PERSON Remembering the woman who was Cuban ballet's legend and monster

★★ ALLAH-LAS - LAHS Underwhelming fourth album from the previously sprightly Los Angeles quartet

★★★★ EHNES, HALLÉ, GABEL, BRIDGEWATER HALL, MANCHESTER Happy unexpected discoveries

★★★★★ GIRI/HAJI, BBC TWO Inspired Anglo-Japanese thriller makes compulsive viewing

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Giri/Haji, BBC Two review - inspired Anglo-Japanese thriller makes compulsive viewing

Two worlds collide after synchronous murders in London and Tokyo

In the Long Run, Series 2, Sky 1 review - Idris Elba's warm-hearted comedy returns

An entertaining brew of culture clash, social commentary and belly laughs


Maleficent: Mistress of Evil review - fantasy follow-up falls flat

Angelina Jolie's charms aren't enough to carry Disney sequel

Non-Fiction - adultery spices up digitisation drama

Sexual fidelity is as believable as the digitally derived "truth" in Olivier Assayas's latest

Zombieland: Double Tap review - dead dull redo

Stunted sequel fails to add to the 2009 original

new music

CD: PJ Harvey - All About Eve (Original Music)

Moody soundscapes from West End play

CD: Allah-Las - LAHS

Underwhelming fourth album from the previously sprightly Los Angeles quartet

The Struts, O2 Forum Kentish Town review - a masterclass in pleasing an audience

There's no shortage of love for the Derby glam-rockers at this wildly entertaining show


Glennie, Lubbe, Ticciati, O/Modernt, Kings Place review - a Pergolesi-based dud

Expressive Schoenberg masterpiece the best of slim pickings

Classical CDs Weekly: Gabriela Montero, Ravel, Caroline Shaw, Edith Hemenway

Contemporary chamber music from the United States, plus a new concerto from a Venezuelan pianist


The Mask of Orpheus, English National Opera review - amorphous excess

Daniel Kramer's camp carnival defuses any focus in Birtwistle's bruising score

The Cunning Little Vixen, Welsh National Opera review - family night in the forest

Janáček’s life cycle comes up fresh and inspiring after four decades

Orpheus in the Underworld, English National Opera review – ENO goes to hell

Offenbach's sparkling operetta is well sung, but this production is dead on arrival


[Blank], Donmar Warehouse review - strong but dispiriting
Alice Birch's new play prioritises form over content, and is depressingly reactionary
Solaris, Lyric Hammersmith review - moving and finely cerebral
David Greig’s dream-drama of cosmic loneliness is sci-fi at its most philosophical
A History of Water in the Middle East, Royal Court review - feminist dreams and passions
New lecture about British imperialism is energetically engaging, but rather slender


The deathless Alicia Alonso, in person

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

Cross Currents/Monotones II/Everyone Keeps Me, Linbury Theatre review - the Royal Ballet finds the missing link

In exploring the road not taken, the Royal Ballet turns up treasures old and new

Dada Masilo's Giselle, Sadler's Wells review - bold, brutal, unforgiving

Startling cultural retread of the romantic ballet, set in a South African village


Elf Lyons, Komedia, Brighton review - bonkers, brilliant and a bit of bare bum

An endearing personal journey into why guinea pigs hate their loving, attentive owners

Rob Beckett, St David's Hall, Cardiff review - a mixed bag of observations

Scattergun approach yields both killer lines and tame misses

DVD: Do Not Adjust Your Set / At Last The 1948 Show

What the Pythons did first: the remnants of two iconic 1960s shows, restored with respect


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

Rembrandt's Light, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a film-maker out of time?

A novel collaboration between curators and cinematographer Peter Suschitzky

Gauguin Portraits, National Gallery review - me, myself and I

The French artist didn't revolutionise portraiture, he was too interested in himself

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