sat 23/02/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Laura De Lisle
Saturday, 23 February 2019
"It's gonna be the best golf course in the world," a man in an Aertex shirt and a bright red baseball cap is assuring us. "The best. I guarantee it." You can tell he's the kind of...
Sarah Kent
Saturday, 23 February 2019
It doesn’t get better than this! Phyllida Barlow has transformed the Royal Academy’s Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries into a euphoric delight. Entering the space, you have to...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 23 February 2019
 Vyacheslav Artyomov: In Memoriam, Lamentations, Pietà, Tristia I (Divine Art)Born in 1940, Vyacheslav Artyomov trained as a physicist before switching to music. He joined...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 23 February 2019
How does the ever cherub-cheeked Alex Lawther keep getting served in pubs? That question crossed my mind during the more leisurely portions of Old Boys, an overextended English...
Jasper Rees
Saturday, 23 February 2019
Curfew (Sky One) is a new drama that begins as it means to go on, roaring from nought to 60 with a wildly implausible car chase. An electric blue McLaren is haring and weaving...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 23 February 2019
It's 18 years since the last Royal Trux album, but it might just as well be 18 months, so easily have they slipped back into their sound. OK, Neil Hegarty and Jennifer Herera have...
Alexandra Coghlan
Friday, 22 February 2019
Hel, heroine of Gavin Higgins and Francesca Simon’s new opera, is the illegitimate daughter of the Norse god Loki. In many...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 22 February 2019
There is no doubt that Peter Shaffer's Equus is a modern classic. But does that justify reviving this 1973 hit play in our...
Owen Richards
Friday, 22 February 2019
It’s always interesting to see how presenters make their presence known in documentaries. Louis Theroux hovers on the...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 22 February 2019
An entirely electric leading performance from the fast-rising Ukweli Roach is the reason for being for revisiting Jesus...
Heather Neill
Friday, 22 February 2019
Here's a recipe for a successful National Theatre production: take a well-loved classical comedy, employ an outstanding...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 22 February 2019
It’s another night in an emergency services dispatch room in Copenhagen. Policeman Asger Holm has been taken off active...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 21 February 2019
An angry little boy, in jail after stabbing someone, stands in a Beirut courtroom and tells the judge that he wants to sue...
David Nice
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Give me some air! Stop screaming at me! Those are not exclamations I'd have anticipated from the prospect of a Vienna...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Just when you think you may have heard (and seen) enough of Donald J Trump to last a lifetime, along comes Anne Washburn's...
Tim Cornwell
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Breathe in the love and breathe out the bullshit. After the Arcola Theatre's founder and artistic director Mehmet Ergen read...
Steve O'Rourke
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Did you play videogames back in 2010? If you did, there’s a reasonable chance you played Crackdown 2. Only a reasonable...
Laura De Lisle
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Bodies is the latest in Two's Company's series of what they deem "forgotten masterworks", this one making a less-than-...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen Time is an intoxicating cinematic collage-compilation that embraces social history – in...
 

★★ TARTUFFE, NATIONAL THEATRE Morality-heavy version of the comedy classic

★★★ JESUS HOPPED THE 'A' TRAIN, YOUNG VIC Shards of power amidst much that is overwrought

★★★ SLEEPING WITH THE FAR RIGHT, CHANNEL 4 Insightful but flawed documentary

★★★★ CAPERNAUM Sorrow, pity and shame in the Beirut slums

★★★★★ DVD: THE GUILTY Thrillingly tense police procedural that never leaves its one location

★★★★ EQUUS, THEATRE ROYAL STRATFORD EAST Thrilling physicality

★★★★ THE MONSTROUS CHILD, LINBURY THEATRE Fresh operatic mythology for teenagers

disc of the day

CD: Royal Trux - White Stuff

Purest impurity from the reformed dirty duo

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tv

Curfew, Sky One review - belt up for a budget-price Mad Max

Sci-fi car race stars Sean Bean, Phoebe Fox and a nasty virus

Sleeping with Extremists: The Far Right, Channel 4 review - insightful but flawed documentary

Alice Levine follows far right activist Jack Sen with mixed results

Traitors, Channel 4 review - Cold War thriller fails to reach room temperature

Battling Stalin's secret infiltration of Whitehall

film

Old Boys film review - short but not especially sweet

Cyrano de Bergerac is only faintly detectable in this protracted and tiresome comic adaptation

DVD: The Guilty

Thrillingly tense police procedural that never leaves its one location

Capernaum review - sorrow, pity and shame in the Beirut slums

Reality and fiction collide in Nadine Labaki's powerful exposé of Lebanese street children

new music

CD: Royal Trux - White Stuff

Purest impurity from the reformed dirty duo

CD: John Mayall - Nobody Told Me

Them dirty blues should not be too clean

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Artyomov, Mozart, Smith

Contemporary music from Denmark and Russia, and a master hornist tackles a favourite composer

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Ádám Fischer, Barbican review - ferocious Mahler 9 without inscape

Brutally brilliant playing, but inwardness only came at the end of this performance

Hussain, Symphony Orchestra of India, Dalal, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - new sounds from a new band

Vigorous, fresh playing from India’s only professional symphony orchestra

opera

The Rite of Spring/Gianni Schicchi, Opera North review - unlikely but musically satisfying pairing

Odd-couple double bill of Stravinsky and Puccini with plenty to delight ear and eye

The Magic Flute, Welsh National Opera review - charming to hear, charmless to look at

Mozart's pantomime about Nature and Reason stuck in a box

theatre

Eden, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - thoughtful commentary on people and principles
Hannah Patterson's new play is based on a true story, but stands firmly on its own two feet
Equus, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - thrilling physicality
Brilliant revival of the 1970s classic about pagan worship and repressed sexuality

dance

The Rite of Spring/Gianni Schicchi, Opera North review - unlikely but musically satisfying pairing

Odd-couple double bill of Stravinsky and Puccini with plenty to delight ear and eye

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

comedy

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

gaming

Crackdown 3 review - spectacular super-powered action that was great fun many years ago

Nearly a decade has passed since the last incarnation but little has changed in this stagnant shooter

Battlefield V review - WWII on an epic scale

The veteran series returns for another ambitious tour of duty

visual arts

Phyllida Barlow: Cul-de-sac, Royal Academy review - unadulterated delight

The most inspiring show of the year makes sculpture look easy

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

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