thu 18/10/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Nice
Thursday, 18 October 2018
Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years. The...
Marianka Swain
Thursday, 18 October 2018
The most thrilling revivals interrogate a classic work, while revealing its fundamental soul anew. Marianne Elliott’s female-led, 21st-century take on George Furth and...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 18 October 2018
In 2017, playwright Nina Raine's Consent, an excellent National Theatre play about lawyers and rape victims, was hugely successful, winning a West End transfer, as well as...
Richard Bratby
Thursday, 18 October 2018
There’s always a special atmosphere when the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra returns to Birmingham Town Hall, and it’s not just because of the building’s Greek Revival...
Russ Coffey
Thursday, 18 October 2018
Think of Karen "MØ" Andersen and you may well picture one of her smash hit videos. "Lean On", for instance, where the singer gyrates to a Bollywood/ house mashup. Or "Kamikaze"...
Ralph Moore
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
A three-hour show? There’s no doubt that The Smashing Pumpkins give good bang for the buck but it’s rare to see a band of this size and stature play for more than two hours in...
Saskia Baron
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
What do you do after playing Doctor Who, the dream dad of the nation, quirky and compassionate, the adult who every child...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
The “portmanteau” form of film-making is almost guaranteed to deliver patchy results, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the...
Steve O'Rourke
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
For the first time in the 15-year history of Call of Duty games, the developer Treyarch has decided to completely do away...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Thanks heavens not all police officers spend their time trying to find “hate crime” on Twitter, or not going to the...
Guy Oddy
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
There is no doubt that the hippies of the late Sixties and early Seventies gifted the world a horde of beautiful music...
Matt Wolf
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Shakespeare exists to be refracted and filtered through the age in which he is presented. So there's every good reason for...
Marina Vaizey
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
You had to keep your eyes skinned. Was that Iris Murdoch or AS Byatt, Kingsley Amis or John Banville, Margaret Atwood or Val...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
“There’s a lot of weirdness I didn’t want explained,” Paul Schrader reveals at one point in a new director’s commentary to...
David Nice
Monday, 15 October 2018
Its roots are in an emotional truth: Matthew Lopez saw the film, then read the book, of Howards End when he was 15 and 11...
Robert Beale
Monday, 15 October 2018
Edward Gardner was back amongst friends when he opened the Hallé’s Thursday series concerts. This was the place where he...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 15 October 2018
The Edinburgh Fringe does throw up some oddities – in comedy shows, of course, but also in its dishing out of awards. And so...

★★★★ CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4 Less is more

★★★★ LFF 2018: THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS Wild West tales, and Redford and Jackman

★★★★ SMASHING PUMPKINS, WEMBLEY ARENA Corgan and company deliver the goods

★ YOKO ONO - WARZONE Back catalogue doesn't become any more appealing

★★★★ INFORMER, BBC ONE Keeping tabs on terror

★★ THERE SHE GOES, BBC FOUR Mining disability for family comedy?

disc of the day

MØ - Forever Neverland

The quirky Dane's new LP contains moments of loveliness

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There She Goes, BBC Four review - mining disability for family comedy?

Writer Shaun Pye's family experience makes for less than parental paradise

Informer, BBC One review - keeping tabs on terror

Going underground with the Confidential Informant Programme

Barneys, Books and Bust Ups, BBC Four review - the Booker Prize at 50

The award's half-century has brought scandals aplenty, welcome publicity pay-offs, too


DVD/Blu-ray: The Comfort of Strangers

Paul Schrader channels Pinter and McEwan in mesmeric tale of Venetian macabre

1945 review - Hungarian holocaust drama

Overly artful Hungarian drama tackles the aftermath of World War Two

DVD: A Moment in the Reeds

Intimate gay-themed Finnish indie drama muses on what it means to belong

new music

MØ - Forever Neverland

The quirky Dane's new LP contains moments of loveliness

Smashing Pumpkins, Wembley Arena review - Corgan and company deliver the goods

Nineties alt-rockers reconstitute to shine a light on all the hits and more

CD: Yoko Ono - Warzone

Yoko revisits her back catalogue but doesn’t make it any more appealing


Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

Sheer heart attack in Prokofiev's Sixth Symphony crowns a rich and varied programme

CBSO, Leleux, Birmingham Town Hall review - oboe extraordinaire

Who needs a baton when you've got an oboe? Charisma carries the day in ersatz Haydn and bona fide Bizet

Hallé, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – drama and humanity

Happy return and powerful results in Strauss and Janáček


Porgy and Bess, English National Opera review - strength in depth on Catfish Row

A heroic cast steers Gershwin's masterpiece home in style

Solomon, Royal Opera review - an awkward compromise of a performance

Handel's oratorio given a handsome but frustrating account

Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

New work excepted, this second Southbank concert from Germans and Latvians shone


Company, Gielgud Theatre review - here's to a sensational musical rebirth
Marianne Elliott's gender-swapped Sondheim is a revelation
Stories, National Theatre review - comic conception capers
Nina Raine's follow-up to her very big hit Consent is often funny but rarely deep
The Best Plays in London
What to see where and until when: theartsdesk's stage tips


Carlos Acosta: A Celebration, Royal Albert Hall

Candid images of retired ballet legend on stage

'It’s more fun to dance in a tutu': Tory Dobrin of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The artistic director of the Trocks explains how he keeps his ballet parodists on their toes

theartsdesk in Riga - 43,290 Latvians sing and dance for their country

Individual souls conjoined with a passionate belief in peace and music achieve miracles


Ivo Graham, Soho Theatre review - the perils of growing up

Going deep into personal material unearths lots of laughs

Nish Kumar, Soho Theatre review - the state we're in

He's angry – but he has a lot to be angry about


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review – less is more

Solo rations have been relegated from this benchmark war series

FIFA 19 review - the best just got a bit better

It looks and plays great, but what’s new?

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, V&A review - gaming for all

A comprehensive look at gaming present and future has surprisingly broad appeal

visual arts

Modern Couples, Barbican review - an absurdly ambitious survey of artist lovers

Exhibition revises the notion of the artist as lone genius, but reveals little else

The Best Exhibitions in London

From the Turner Prize shortlist to the future of gaming: our guide to what to see in the city


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