wed 10/08/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 10 August 2022
Colin Hoult: The Death of Anna Mann, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★★Anna Mann - actress, singer, welder (you’ve got to have a back-up in this business, darling) - is the monstrous...
Barney Harsent
Wednesday, 10 August 2022
The last time Danger Mouse (Brian Burton to his mum) dropped a hip hop album, it was 2005’s The Mouse & The Mask, a witty, beaty, big and bouncy collaboration with the late,...
Aleks Sierz
Tuesday, 09 August 2022
Has the pandemic made us more angry? Although Francesca Martinez’s debut play, which is at the National Theatre, was programmed before COVID, its belated opening has not dampened...
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 –...
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...
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....
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...

★★ 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

disc of the day

Album: Danger Mouse & Black Though - Cheat Codes

A thrilling reminder of what hip-hop can be when you go back to your roots with absolute focus


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: Danger Mouse & Black Though - Cheat Codes

A thrilling reminder of what hip-hop can be when you go back to your roots with absolute focus

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


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


All of Us, National Theatre review - revelatory, but problematic
Francesca Martinez’s debut play about disability politics entertains – and frustrates
Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: The Last Return / Psychodrama / Exodus
Three shows at the Traverse take in gritty realism and no-holds-barred farce


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: Colin Hoult / Nick Helm / Susie McCabe

A sad adieu, a pandemic experience and the awfulness of hen dos

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


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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