sun 25/07/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 25 July 2021
The book included with this splendid box set dedicated to British jazz innovator Chris Barber includes a series of quotes paying tribute to his standing. Billy Bragg says "Chris...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 24 July 2021
Mamma Mia! hovers unhelpfully over every frame of Off the Rails, a road movie of sorts in which three women make a music-fueled pilgrimage to Mallorca to honour the wishes of a...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 24 July 2021
“My worst fear? What am I scared of?” Amy Winehouse ponders. She pauses thoughtfully: “Myself.”Ten years to the day since she died, Reclaiming Amy, Marina Parker’s documentary,...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 24 July 2021
Anne-Marie Nicholson is a hard-working young woman from Essex whose career description is “Global Girl-next-door Pop Star”. She has incrementally worked her way there, attended...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 23 July 2021
You can rely on M Night Shyamalan to deliver supernatural shocks and freakish events, but the alternative-reality nature of his projects demands suspension of disbelief. It’s...
David Nice
Friday, 23 July 2021
Play it straight and you’ll get more laughs: that’s the standard advice on great operatic comedies like the masterpieces of the Gilbert & Sullivan canon, Britten’s Albert...
Liz Thomson
Friday, 23 July 2021
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 50 years since I splurged a day’s Saturday pay on For Everyman, Jackson Browne’s...
Helen Hawkins
Thursday, 22 July 2021
What’s in a name? In Benedict Lombe’s incendiary debut play at the Bush Theatre, the answer to this question...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 22 July 2021
All events are products of a series of preceding events. Or is life just a chain of coincidences? And if so, what’s the...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 22 July 2021
The sleeve splices Little Richard and Sam Cooke in an archaic, explosive burst of ecstasy. Neo-soul star Leon Bridges’ third...
Ismene Brown
Thursday, 22 July 2021
So it wasn’t Cinderella but Hamlet who was first out of the post-lockdown starting blocks – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much...
Saskia Baron
Wednesday, 21 July 2021
Earlier this year, Steve McQueen addressed the forgotten history of black British people through the Small Axe dramas he...
Joe Muggs
Wednesday, 21 July 2021
For 25 years now, LA label Stones Throw records has become one of the most reliable brands in music. It began with, and has...
Laura De Lisle
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
There just isn’t enough there, with ANNA X. Daniel Raggett’s production is the third and final of the RE:EMERGE season at...
David Nice
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
Instant sell-out would have been guaranteed if the Royal Opera had advertised this as “Cardiff Singer of the World finalist...
Rachel Halliburton
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
If you’re looking for a distraction from the apocalyptic headlines that seem to be the norm right now, then it may appeal to...
Nell Whittaker
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
In the opening poem of Samantha Walton's 2018 collection, Self Heal, the speaker is on the tube, that evergreen...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
What we don’t learn about filmmaker Harry Birrell is as tantalising as what is actually revealed during the course of Matt...
Tim Cumming
Monday, 19 July 2021
What is the Shadow Kingdom and how do you gain access to it? In Bob Dylan’s case, it may be found in the film noir classics...
 

★★★★ LAVA, BUSH THEATRE Debut work from Benedict Lombe is a red-hot poem of protest

★★★★ RIDERS OF JUSTICE Anders Thomas Jensen directs Mads Mikkelsen in brilliantly genre-busting black comedy

★★★ HAMLET, WINDSOR THEATRE ROYAL Leaping out of time from Gandalf to Hamlet - athletic thespianism from Sir Ian McKellen 

★★★★ LE COMTE ORY, GARSINGTON OPERA High musical style and broad dramatic comedy

★★★★ UPRISING, BBC ONE Powerful documentary about the New Cross fire

★★★★ JACKSON BROWNE - DOWNHILL FROM EVERYWHERE Over 50 years later and Browne keeps the faith

disc of the day

Album: Anne-Marie - Therapy

Homegrown pop star's second is predictable to the max

tv

Uprising, BBC One review - powerful documentary about the New Cross fire

How a tragic teenage birthday party led to protests calling for police reform

Baptiste, Series 2, BBC One review - powerful comeback for the sorrowful French detective

Another knotty missing-persons mystery from Harry and Jack Williams

film

Off the Rails review - go for the scenery, not the script

'Mamma Mia!' wannabe features lots of Blondie but very little sense

Old review - time flies in tropical island mystery

Alternative-reality holiday from hell is not M Night Shyamalan's finest hour

Riders of Justice review - revenge, coincidence and the meaning of life

Anders Thomas Jensen directs Mads Mikkelsen in brilliantly genre-busting black comedy

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Chris Barber - A Trailblazer's Legacy

Fond box-set tribute to the significant British blues and jazz visionary

Album: Anne-Marie - Therapy

Homegrown pop star's second is predictable to the max

classical

Classical CDs: wolves, woodwinds and a masonic funeral

A great pianist celebrates a significant birthday, plus music for solo winds and a rare French ballet score

East Neuk Festival 2021 / Benjamin Baker, Fidelio Orchestra Café review – singing in the rain

Superlative visitors take us from Kurtág shocks to a stunning Fanny Mendelssohn quartet

Carducci Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - complexity and depth

Programme of short quartets showcases an impressive sensitivity to texture and mood

opera

Le Comte Ory, Garsington Opera review - high musical style and broad dramatic comedy

Rossini can take the high jinks of Cal McCrystal in a deliciously cast romp

Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance, Royal Opera review – breathtaking young talent

Nine superb voices, with varying degrees of polish, in four operatic scenes

theatre

Lava, Bush Theatre review - poetic writing, mesmerically performed
Debut work from Benedict Lombe is a red-hot poem of protest
Hamlet, Windsor Theatre Royal review - the age is out of joint
Leaping out of time from Gandalf to Hamlet - athletic thespianism from Sir Ian McKellen
ANNA X, Harold Pinter Theatre review - lacking in substance
Emma Corrin and Nabhaan Rizwan perk up one-dimensional drama about a Russian conwoman

dance

Beauty Mixed Programme, Royal Ballet review - no dancers? No problem

The company's 90th anniversary celebration triumphs over setbacks

theartsdesk Q&A: choreographer Christopher Scott

The creator of the sizzling dance scenes for 'In The Heights' on how they came about

Solstice, English National Ballet, RFH review - a midsummer treat

A grand summer picnic at the Southbank Centre

comedy

Comedy Shindig, Melbourne Hall review - Jason Manford headlines opening night

Summer season of outdoor shows off to a terrific start

Jimmy Carr, Palace Theatre review - rape gags and risible claims

The jokes are relentless, but so is the misogyny

Mark Thomas, Soho Theatre review - new state-of-the-nation show

Post-Brexit Britain under the spotlight

Books

Samantha Walton: Everybody Needs Beauty review - the well of the world

Can a person be healthy if their environment is not?

Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing review – core writing from England's regions

A rich cross-section of new and northern writing to right the wrongs of regional imbalance

Adam Mars-Jones: Batlava Lake review - pride and prejudice in the Kosovo War

Conflict through the eyes of an irritable British Army engineer

visual arts

Karla Black, Fruitmarket, Edinburgh review - airy free-for-all

A retrospective of the abstract sculptor highlights her idiosyncracies

Ben Nicholson: From the Studio, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester review - domestic bliss

Still life takes the foreground in a long-awaited survey of the painter's career

latest comments

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