sat 04/04/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 04 April 2020
Armchair theatre-lovers rejoice. During the lockdown, the National Theatre is streaming a selection of its past hits for free for one week at a time. These shows, originally...
Owen Richards
Saturday, 04 April 2020
Horror has always been a good vehicle for satire, from John Carpenter’s They Live to Jordan Peele’s Get Out. Some metaphors opt for the subtle precision of a surgical knife, and...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 04 April 2020
 Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas Fazil Say (Warner Classics)“This is a 605 minute piece containing 32 sonatas.” There's some bewildering verbiage from pianist Fazil Say...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 04 April 2020
Talk about a great big melting pot! The eighth studio album by the man born 36 ago as Andrew Heissler in Bloomington, Indiana, and known to the world as Pokey LaFarge digs deep...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 03 April 2020
You may have seen Lazy Susan's excellent BBC pilot last year; now a series has been commissioned from Freya Parker and Celeste Dring so we can look forward to more sketches,...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 03 April 2020
Netflix’s ReMastered series is one of the streaming channel’s undersung gems. Launching in 2018, when Tricky Dick and the Man in Black first aired, it has proved to be a solidly...
David Nice
Friday, 03 April 2020
Feeling stir-crazy right now? Imagine being confined to one room with a half-crazed housekeeper, two dysfunctional kids and...
Marina Vaizey
Friday, 03 April 2020
Mirrors and windows, looking at ourselves or out into the world, reflecting the culture or making it: compare and contrast....
Kieron Tyler
Friday, 03 April 2020
Filmic. Lushness balanced with intimacy. Ren Harvieu’s follow-up to 2012’s Top Five Through The Night is crammed with wide-...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 02 April 2020
“The whole world is just tilting at the moment,” we’re told near the end of Wild, the Mike Bartlett play from summer...
Joseph Walsh
Thursday, 02 April 2020
With over one hundred books to her name and several hugely popular TV spin-offs, including the Tracy Beaker adventures,...
Steven Osborne
Thursday, 02 April 2020
How fast the world can change. What seemed unimaginable just weeks ago, the effective shuttering of our societies, is now a...
Mark Kidel
Thursday, 02 April 2020
Ravi Shankar was one of the giants of 20th century music. A musician, composer and teacher, he had an extraordinarily...
Demetrios Matheou
Thursday, 02 April 2020
After his two mysterious, tightly-coiled and idiosyncratic first features, Neighbouring Sounds and Aquarius,...
Mark Kidel
Thursday, 02 April 2020
Purity Ring, the Canadian duo, are purveyors of simple yet sophisticated dream pop. Corin Roddick makes synth tracks at one...
Sebastian Scotney
Wednesday, 01 April 2020
“Jazz people,” one commentator has written this week “are amongst the most adaptable of our species as life mirrors art and...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 01 April 2020
Could this mock-mythic journey, emulating the trek homewards to Ithaca of Homer’s hero Odysseus, really be the final series...
David Nice
Wednesday, 01 April 2020
Less than six months ago Prague’s most prestigious concert hall, the neo-Renaissance Rudolfinum, was all glittering lights...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 01 April 2020
The UK-wide lockdown has thrown the cinematic release schedule into chaos. Some films are postponed indefinitely, while...

★★★★ REN HARVIEU - REVEL IN THE DRAMA The soulful voice of Salford takes control

★★★★ MARK KERMODE'S SECRETS OF CINEMA, BBC FOUR The undying allure of the spying game

★★★★ LAZY SUSAN, SOHO THEATRE ON DEMAND Sketch duo's ingeniously plotted show

★★★★ REMASTERED: TRICKY DICKY AND THE MAN IN BLACK, NETFLIX Dynamic saga of music and politics

FIRST PERSON: STEVEN OSBORNE on free piano lessons from quarantine



Pen15, Sky Comedy review - the horror of adolescent schooldays revisited

Thirty-somethings Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle revisit their Y2K pubescence


The Platform review - timely, violent and effective

New Netflix high-concept horror skewers capitalism

Four Kids and It review – a family friendly yarn that needs more magic

Jacqueline Wilson’s contemporary update is a so-so Blytonesque adventure

Bacurau review – way-out western

Sonia Braga and Udo Kier star in a genre mash-up with lashings of spaghetti sauce

new music

ReMastered: Tricky Dicky and the Man in Black, Netflix review - dynamic saga of music and politics

Riveting hour-long documentary about Johnny Cash's White House concert in 1970

Album: Ren Harvieu - Revel In The Drama

Almost a decade on from ‘Through The Night’, the soulful voice of Salford takes control


Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Prokofiev, A Tale of Two Violas

Weighty piano sonatas from Germany and Russia, plus a disc of string duets

Czech Philharmonic Benefit Concert online review – profound musicianship in sombre masked fundraiser

Three violinists, two cellists, four pianists and a harpist play superbly to an empty hall


The Turn of the Screw, Opera North, OperaVision review - claustrophobic visions of terror and beauty

Strongly-cast revival keeps the ambiguities of Henry James's ghost story in play

Le nozze di Figaro, Garsington Opera, OperaVision review - natural comedy, musical sublimity

Durable period setting enshrines perfect characterisations. Plus a Handel special

Classical music/Opera direct to home: 3 - Two Jenůfas

If you want searing music-drama, Janáček's are the place to start - but choose carefully


One Man, Two Guvnors, National Theatre at Home review – bliss, utter comic bliss
NT Live version of this masterpiece of farce is now available for free
Wild, Hampstead Theatre online review - timelier than anticipated
Mike Bartlett's 2016 play chimes with our topsy-turvy times
The Croft, Original Theatre online review – give me the remote
Original Theatre’s tartan gothic thriller is complex but also a bit overwrought


Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre review - a little piece of history

Attempt to revive the spirit of Isadora Duncan is of academic interest, little more

Alina, Sadler's Wells review - I think therefore I dance

An unusual hybrid show gives a glimpse into the mind of a great ballerina


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

10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Multidisciplinary thinking at a multidisciplinary festival in a time of crisis

Among the Trees, Hayward Gallery review - a mixture of euphoria and dismay

Our complex relationship with trees explored to powerful effect


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