tue 09/08/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Kettle
Tuesday, 09 August 2022
The Last Return, Traverse Theatre ★★★★★ Put a leafless tree prominently on stage – especially in an Irish play from an Irish company – and you’re asking for parallels to be drawn...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 09 August 2022
It is mid-way through the new Ring cycle, and we are taking lunch outside the old town hall on the high street in Bayreuth. Discussion at neighbouring tables is intense: “The Ring...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 09 August 2022
Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder!, Summerhall ★★★★★ What a pleasure to be in the audience for this terrific musical whodunnit, about best friends Kathy (Bronté Barbé )...
Boyd Tonkin
Monday, 08 August 2022
Danny Elfman – the punk rocker-turned-film composer behind Batman, Spider-Man, Edward Scissorhands and The Simpsons – reports that he felt sceptical when first approached to write...
David Kettle
Monday, 08 August 2022
In retrospect, all the clues were there. A star actor embarking on a new performance genre; a fresh reappraisal of one of Scotland’s cultural icons; a hi-tech production of...
Richard Bratby
Monday, 08 August 2022
Joseph Heller grew tired of being told that he’d never written anything as good as Catch 22. ‘Who has?’, he'd retort. In the same spirit, it’s futile to compare Gilbert and...
David Kettle
Monday, 08 August 2022
Boy, Summerhall ★★★★ Nature or nurture? It’s the perennial question behind so much in human development – and the central...
Mark Kidel
Monday, 08 August 2022
Boris are an eclectic Japanese band, with over 20 albums to their name. Following their creative instincts and often...
Veronica Lee
Sunday, 07 August 2022
 Les Dawson: Flying High, Assembly George Square ★★★ Any opportunity to watch impressionist Jon Culshaw at work is...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 07 August 2022
After a burst of gun-shot drumming, “Hot Coffee” instantly hits its groove. Simple but insistent guitar, a rubbery bass line...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 06 August 2022
Bankruptcy, rubble, rape and murder: Manhattan in the Seventies could be grim, as multiple New York punk memoirs make clear...
Helen Hawkins
Saturday, 06 August 2022
How old is Emile de Becque? Perhaps because my first Emile was the 1958 film version’s Rossano Brazzi, my vision of the...
Veronica Lee
Saturday, 06 August 2022
 Tiff Stevenson, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★ Tiff Stevenson doesn’t like labels, and is particularly irritated by how...
Gary Naylor
Saturday, 06 August 2022
Alexei Sayle, in his angry young man phase, once said that you can always tell when you’re watching a Shakespeare comedy,...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 06 August 2022
Give Them Wings is the biopic of Paul Hodgson, who seven months after he was born in 1965 was diagnosed with meningococcal...
Tom Carr
Saturday, 06 August 2022
With a title like The Alchemist’s Euphoria, Kasabian set senses tingling; anticipating something trippy with this seventh...
Mark Bromley
Friday, 05 August 2022
Television coverage of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend included footage filmed in the monochrome world of postwar...
Sebastian Scotney
Friday, 05 August 2022
The French seaside has been the setting for all kinds of summer holiday capers. We are used to the idea that this is a place...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 05 August 2022
This month’s reviews take in everything from New York new wave pop to apocalyptic electro to kitsch exotica. There are no...

THE MOVERS 1970-1976 Unstoppable South African groove machine gets another day in the sun

EDINBURGH FRINGE 'World king' as a young man in Boris III, and comedy legend Les Dawson

★★★ KASABIAN - THE ALCHEMIST'S EUPHORIA Ambitious but comfortable return in new line-up

★★★SOUTH PACIFIC, SADLER'S WELLS Strong singing in Daniel Evans's fast-paced production

★★★ RAF VILAR - CLICHE Expat Brazilian’s London-recorded second album could be more bold

★★ NIGHTCLUBBING: THE BIRTH OF PUNK ROCK IN NYC Mundane history of punk venue Max's

★★★★ HIT THE ROAD Panah Panahi’s accomplished, witty and humane road movie debut

★★ THE TEMPEST, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE Occasional gales of laughter drown out subtlety

★★★★ OUR ETERNAL SUMMER Tragedy taps authentic teenage emotions in Marseille

MARK BROMLEY The CEO of National Youth Brass Band celebrates a milestone in its history

disc of the day

Album: Boris - Heavy Rocks

Chaos and fury born in Japan


Murder in Provence, ITV review - a little light sleuthing amid fabulous French scenery

Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll make an urbane crime-solving duo

The Newsreader, BBC Two review - a drama series of welcome substance from Australia

It's 1986, and a Melbourne TV news team are battling rival stations and each other

The Control Room, BBC One review - twisty thriller set in an ultra-noir Glasgow

A mysterious woman caller turns an ambulance dispatcher's life inside out


Nightclubbing: The Birth of Punk Rock in NYC review - cheap thrills

Chasteningly mundane history of punk venue Max's, plus Sid Vicious' last stand

Give Them Wings review - down but not out in Darlington

Daniel Watson and Toyah Willcox shine as a disabled man and his doughty mam

Our Eternal Summer review - tragedy taps authentic teenage emotions in Marseille

Innocence ends abruptly for a group of school leavers in Emilie Aussel's promising directorial debut

new music

Album: Boris - Heavy Rocks

Chaos and fury born in Japan

Music Reissues Weekly: The Movers - Vol. 1 1970-1976

Unstoppable South African groove machine gets another day in the sun

Album: Kasabian - The Alchemist's Euphoria

Ambitious but comfortable return after testing times for Brit-Rock heavies Kasabian


Prom 27, Dinnerstein, National Youth Orchestra, Gourlay review - colour symphonies

A luscious musical tour with the cream of young players

First Person: Mark Bromley of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain celebrates a milestone in its history

This splendid institution's CEO explains its egalitarian role in the musical ecosystem


theartsdesk at the Bayreuth Festival Ring 2022 - a jumbled mess of ideas, some of them compelling

A Tarantino-style Ring cycle offers many inspired scenes, but little coherence or depth


Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: The Last Return / Psychodrama / Exodus
Three shows at the Traverse take in gritty realism and no-holds-barred farce
Burn, Edinburgh International Festival 2022 review - bold, risky, sometimes baffling
Strong constituent parts in Alan Cumming's Burns dance show - but do they add up?


theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival 2022 - body and soul in perfect balance

Completion of the city’s big Dante project with 'Paradiso' is only one of three wonders

The Rite of Spring, Pina Bausch/École des Sables, Sadler's Wells review - explosive and disturbing

At last, the pan-African production of Bausch's landmark choreography arrives on the London stage

The Car Man, Royal Albert Hall review - grand scale drama and decadence

An explosive restaging of the original dance drama


Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Tiff Stevenson / Seann Walsh / Rosie Holt

The world's biggest and best arts festival begins

Sikisa, Soho Theatre review - a confident debut

Gags range from dick pics to feminism and immigration law

Joe Lycett, Eventim Apollo review - prankster goes long-form

Former Sewing Bee host tells a complicated tale


Amalie Smith: Thread Ripper review - the tangled web we weave

AI meets Penelope meets Ada Lovelace in this meditation on text, tissue and textile

Phoebe Power: Book of Days review - the clack of walking poles, the clink of scallop shell

Powerful poems of pilgrimage, loss and belonging along the Camino de Santiago

Jessie Burton: The House of Fortune review - a muted, sensitive sequel

The ghosts gather as the miniaturist returns in Burton’s latest instalment

visual arts

Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War review - a lovingly crafted documentary portrait

In love and war: one of England's great watercolourists reappraised

Vivian Maier: Anthology, MK Gallery review - what an amazing eye!

The brilliance of an amateur photographer who was almost lost to the world


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