sun 21/04/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Katherine Waters
Sunday, 21 April 2019
By fifteen Ummulbanu Asadullayeva — or Banine, to call her by the name under which she wrote and translated — had already lived more than most of us will in a lifetime. She’d...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 April 2019
Torso Hell tells the story of an American soldier whose limbs were blown off in Vietnam. Amazingly, he and his buddies survived, and in the ensuing medical chaos his arms and legs...
Asya Draganova
Sunday, 21 April 2019
In the End, the final album by Limerick band the Cranberries arrives three decades after they first formed and just over a year after Dolores O’Riordan’s unexpected death. As a...
Alexandra Coghlan
Saturday, 20 April 2019
Whips, scourges, sinews, blood and pus: where Bach’s two Passions lament from a contemplative distance, Handel’s plunges right to the bone, to the cruel, tortured death that is...
David Nice
Saturday, 20 April 2019
While Bach's and Handel's Passions have been driving thousands to contemplate suffering, mortality and grace, this elegy for black lives lost over a century ago also chimes...
Miranda Heggie
Saturday, 20 April 2019
For the final instalment of their three Matthew Passions this Holy Week, Ex Cathedra gave a large scale performance of Bach’s oratorio in their home town on Birmingham, after...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 20 April 2019
The decades-long stage relationship between Judi Dench and Trevor Nunn translates to surprisingly little with Red Joan. This...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 20 April 2019
 Gabriel Jackson: The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ Emma Tring (soprano), Guy Cutting (tenor), Choir of Merton...
Russ Coffey
Friday, 19 April 2019
Indie-rock sure ain't what it used to be. These days boys-with-guitar bands sound no less manufactured than actual...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Friday, 19 April 2019
This year, says Gary Barlow, marks 30 years since five boys walked into a room in Manchester and auditioned for what would...
Katherine Waters
Friday, 19 April 2019
Peer down the glassy dark and you’ll see them. White bubbles trapped in the frozen lake which appear to be rising to the...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 19 April 2019
Tommy Tiernan is something of an institution in his native Ireland, as a stand-up comic, newspaper columnist, sometime chat...
David Nice
Friday, 19 April 2019
"Them" - the "loro" of the title (with a further play on “l’oro”, gold) - denotes the mostly sleazy opportunists willing to...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 19 April 2019
Get The Blessing are a band whose music never fails to conjure up images of someone like Steve McQueen driving along a...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 19 April 2019
There aren’t many musicians to catch the ear of a substantial community of music lovers that includes both metalheads and...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 18 April 2019
Bananarama are one of the most successful girl groups of all time. Consisting of Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward, the band’s...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 18 April 2019
Chimerica is a stage-to-screen adaptation that has certainly kept up with the times. When it opened at the Almeida back in...
Marianka Swain
Thursday, 18 April 2019
For her swansong, departing Donmar Artistic Director Josie Rourke goes Swinging Sixties in this stylish but flawed revival...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 18 April 2019
Mel Gibson’s vile drunken rants a decade ago, his 63 years and the price of both inform his role as cop Brett Ridgeman....

★★★★ LORO Hedonism must have an end in Sorrentino's Berlusconi fantasia


★★★★ TAKE THAT, SSE HYDRO, GLASGOW Capes and cameos in 30th anniversary spectacular

★★★★ CLIMATE CHANGE: THE FACTS, BBC ONE How much reality can humankind bear?

★★★★ RODRIGO Y GABRIELA - METTAVOLUTION Mexican guitar duo return to the fray with gusto

THEARTSDESK Q&A: BANANARAMA The indestructible girl group on singing, clubbing, post-punk, Lemmy, George Michael and much more

★★★★ GET BLESSING, HARE & HOUNDS, BIRMINGHAM West country cats lay down some jazzy sounds

disc of the day

CD: The Cranberries – In the End

It’s all over now, as the Cranberries bow out

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Climate Change: The Facts, BBC One review - how much reality can humankind bear?

What's driving climate change and how long we have to do something about it

Chimerica, Channel 4 review - fake news, true drama

Added Trump: Lucy Kirkwood’s play takes a revisionary path to the screen

Trust Me, Series 2, BBC One review - hospital killer chiller

Beware the angel of death stalking the wards


Red Joan review - Judi Dench can't lift lumbering espionage drama

Trevor Nunn serves up a clunky slice of history

Loro review – hedonism must have an end

Toni Servillo brilliant again as Sorrentino’s singular Berlusconi

Dragged Across Concrete review - Mel Gibson's hard-boiled high

S. Craig Zahler takes the Lethal Weapon buddy cop movie to hell

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Terry Allen

‘Pedal Steal + Four Corners’: outstanding collection of the Texas-born polymaths’s aural plays

CD: The Cranberries – In the End

It’s all over now, as the Cranberries bow out

CD: Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Balance

Manufactured rock at its blandest


Brockes-Passion, AAM, Egarr, Barbican review - fleshly Handel for our earthbound times

Neglected oratorio offers a seasonal alternative to Bach

Classical CDs Weekly: Gabriel Jackson, Lansing McLoskey, 12 Ensemble

Two new choral works and a disc of contemporary string music


SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill, Isango Ensemble, Linbury Theatre - evocative and essential lyric theatre

Compelling fantasia about black South Africans drowned in a World War 1 disaster

Faust, Royal Opera review - fusty Gounod still dances

Lively conducting and a last-minute replacement keep this hellish cabaret on its toes

Franco Fagioli, Il Pomo d’Oro, Birmingham Town Hall review - flair and flamboyance

Virtuoso countertenor shines in music from Handel and his contemporaries


SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill, Isango Ensemble, Linbury Theatre - evocative and essential lyric theatre
Compelling fantasia about black South Africans drowned in a World War 1 disaster
Sweet Charity, Donmar Warehouse review - Sixties style over substance
Design dominates in Josie Rourke's farewell production
Three Sisters, Almeida Theatre review - middle of the road with flashes of magic
Chekhov classic from the team behind the West End hit Summer and Smoke


Tommy Tiernan, Shepherd's Bush Empire review - playful and poetic

Star of Derry Girls on sex, religion and politics

Angela Barnes, Blackheath Halls review - a pessimist turning the tables

From the personal to the political in gag-filled show

Aziz Ansari, Eventim Apollo review - show follows his #MeToo moment

US comic tackles race, politics and relationships


The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

Anthem review - singing praises? More like a cautious nod

A rocky start for a new franchise that offers potential and problems in equal measure

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

visual arts

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now, Gagosian Gallery review - old master, new ways

One of the most mysterious paintings ever made inspires an exploration of the self-portrait

Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, British Museum review - compassion in the age of anxiety

Norway's greatest painter revealed as a master printmaker

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