thu 02/04/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

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 end of the country, while crystalline-voiced Megan...
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 fruitful career that spanned nine decades and reached the...
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 we improvise our way through – we're uniquely qualified...
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 of The Trip (Sky 1)? Or will Steve Coogan and Rob...
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 and packed, smartly dressed audience for the Czech...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 01 April 2020
The UK-wide lockdown has thrown the cinematic release schedule into chaos. Some films are postponed indefinitely, while others have opted for direct digital releases. It’s not...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 01 April 2020
The cringe-making horror of adolescent schooldays is vividly re-lived in this US import (on Sky Comedy), but with a cunning...
Nick Hasted
Wednesday, 01 April 2020
Alongside the man he calls “the other half of my brain”, Flying Lotus, Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner sits near the heart of...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
As we are learning each day during lockdown, necessity is the mother of invention. In Channel 4's case, it is learning how...
Liz Thomson
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Available in Britain now on YouTube for only a couple of days, Elton John’s iHeart Living Room Concert for America was put...
Aleks Sierz
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
With everyone in lockdown, observing physical if not social distancing, a story about isolation can have a particular...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Since she burst onto the global scene in 2014 with her debut album, Chaleur humaine, Christine and the Queens' (aka Chris,...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
No composer since Stravinsky has defined his age as comprehensively as Krzysztof Penderecki, who died on Sunday aged 86....
Jessica Payn
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
South London-based publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions has once more been awarded the Republic of Consciousness Prize,...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Zed Nelson brings enormous humanity to this portrait of the changing identity of Hackney’s Hoxton Street as gentrification...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 30 March 2020
We’ve all spent time considering our desert island discs, which is of course why the programme Roy Plomley devised one...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 30 March 2020
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been saturating the globe with its multi-format superheroes, leaving its DC rival looking...
David Nice
Monday, 30 March 2020
Only the birds will be singing at country opera houses around the UK this summer. Glyndebourne seems over-optimistic in...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 30 March 2020
Michelle Wolf, best known to UK audiences as the comic who upset Donald Trump with some smart barbs aimed at his staff at...



★★★ THE CROFT, ORIGINAL THEATRE ONLINE Complex but overwrought

REMEMBERING PENDERECKI The Sixties radical who became the spiritual voice of Poland

★★★★ THE STEPH SHOW, CHANNEL 4 Magazine show debuts from host's front room

★★★★★ LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, OPERAVISION Natural comedy, musical sublimity

★★★ THE PERFECT CANDIDATE Haifaa Al Mansoor seeks status for women in Saudi

A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE Celebrating Greenwich Village, where the beat lives on

disc of the day

Album: Purity Ring - Womb

Diaphanous pop for difficult times


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

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


The Whalebone Box review - documentary through unreliable surrealism

A different kind of road trip with artist Andrew Kötting

DVD: The Street

Hoxton worlds: insightful, poignant documentary registers social change in a London community

DVD: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol 2

More buried treasure from the CFF archive: a treat for young and old alike

new music

Album: Purity Ring - Womb

Diaphanous pop for difficult times

Jazz musicians adapt to the lockdown - 'Welcome to our world!'

Our favourite musical initiatives from jazz musicians the world over

Album: Thundercat - It Is What It Is

Shadowy Californian dreams from bassist firing at full-blast


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

Remembering Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)

Sixties radical became the spiritual voice of Poland as elder statesman

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether

The conductor's recent interpretations from Berlin and London online for free


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

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 2 - 'Epiphany'/'A Little Priest'

Is there a better climax to a musical first act than the terror-plus-wit in 'Sweeney Todd'?


The Croft, Original Theatre online review – give me the remote
Original Theatre’s tartan gothic thriller is complex but also a bit overwrought
Sondheim at 90 Songs: 5 - 'Every Day A Little Death'
A stinging duet from 'A Little Night Music' has a savagely funny power
Sondheim at 90 Songs: 4 - 'America'
Brilliant lyrics from the young composer offer a definitive take on migration


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


Roy Hudd: 'I was just trying to make 'em laugh'

The most traditional of entertainers, who has died at 83, harked back to a vanished age


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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