tue 17/09/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Rob Brydon, Lee Mack and David Mitchell are the host and team captains respectively of Would I Lie to You?, the long-running BBC One panel game. Now they are touring together in...
Ellie Porter
Monday, 16 September 2019
You might think that being first on the bill with a half-hour slot at 1.15pm would be an affront to a band who’d had a 12-times platinum album and ruled the 90s airwaves, but if...
Jessica Duchen
Monday, 16 September 2019
While the Proms were ringing out the old season, the Wigmore Hall ushered in the big celebration of 2020: the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth. The venue’s year-...
David Nice
Monday, 16 September 2019
Any festival would be proud and honoured to end with the great Elisabeth Leonskaja playing the last three Beethoven piano sonatas. Here the Everest was swiftly scaled as the tenth...
Katie Colombus
Monday, 16 September 2019
For a band mostly known as a brilliantly ludicrous cocktail of other’s people’s sound-styles, the Simulation Theory tour is proof that Muse have become musical legends in their...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 16 September 2019
Simon Rattle has a knack for unearthing large-scale orchestral works that pack a punch. Olivier Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … (Illuminations of the Beyond …) was completed in...
Mark Kidel
Monday, 16 September 2019
It is a truth perhaps not quite but almost universally accepted that Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, beloved of GSCE...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 16 September 2019
One question springs immediately to mind on hearing that Romesh Ranganathan’s new stand-up show, The Cynic’s Mixtape, is...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 16 September 2019
Swedish singer Tove Lo appeared at a time when female physical sexuality was being used as a raw, blunt weapon in pop, when...
Gavin Dixon
Sunday, 15 September 2019
The BBC put social and ethnic diversity at the heart of this Last Night programme. The concert opened with a new work, by...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 15 September 2019
This is a book about experiences that go beyond reading about art. Martin Gayford’s 20 short essays about press trips and...
Graham Rickson
Sunday, 15 September 2019
Martinů's The Greek Passion is a bold choice as a season opener, all the more so given that Opera North are staging the...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 15 September 2019
Last week in central London, the Covent Garden branch of the book and music chain Fopp was selling CD sets branded as “5...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 14 September 2019
At first, the opening episode of Sky 1’s enticing new drama Temple looked like it was going to be mostly concerned with a...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 14 September 2019
People who idly use the phrase “it’s like living in a war zone” when considering their domestic mess should see Waad al-...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 14 September 2019
An excellent director makes a rare misstep with Amsterdam, in which a compelling if tricksy play is given an arch and...
Markie Robson-Scott
Saturday, 14 September 2019
“You’re so meticulous,” says Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) to her teenage daughter Jill (impressive newcomer Yvla Bjørkaas Thedin...
Katherine Waters
Saturday, 14 September 2019
Elizabeth Bernholz, known on stage as Gazelle Twin, comes straight from a line of musical visionaries – rebels and...
Owen Richards
Saturday, 14 September 2019
The Shock of the Future is for anyone who's watched a music biopic and thought "that's not how it works!" Directed and co-...

FOR SAMA Besieged, bombed and defiant in Syria

TEMPLE, SKY 1 Mark Strong leads powerful cast in fascinating medical thriller


THE SHOCK OF THE FUTURE Retro French synth drama focuses on the music over character

★★★ THE KING OF HELL'S PALACE, HAMPSTEAD THEATRE Chinese scandal freezes the blood

★★★★ THE GREEK PASSION, OPERA NORTH Good versus evil in rural Greece

disc of the day

CD: Tove Lo - Sunshine Kitty

Forthright relationship-centred lyricism combined with elegant electronic pop to winning effect

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Temple, Sky 1 review - down in the tube station at midnight

Mark Strong leads powerful cast in fascinating medical thriller

Suicidal: In Our Own Words, Channel 5 review - why are so many men killing themselves?

Harrowing and heartbreaking documentary in which six male mental health patients open up

Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History, BBC Four review - Ulster's bitter sectarian war revisited

Meticulous and horrifying account of 30 years of terror and political chaos


For Sama review - besieged, bombed, and defiant in Syria

A young mother's video diary captures the daily horror of the civil war

Phoenix review - Norwegian family tragedy with an autobiographical slant

Mesmerising child performers but Camilla Strøm Henriksen's debut doesn't quite deliver

The Shock of the Future review - for the music nerds

Retro French synth drama focuses on the music over character

new music

BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park review – Pet Shop Boys, Westlife and Status Quo deliver the hits

Cheery nostalgia is the name of the game at this annual crowdpleaser

Muse, 02 review - bombastic Brit-rock with a sci-fi theme

Instrumental genius and a brilliantly ludicrous cocktail of styles

CD: Tove Lo - Sunshine Kitty

Forthright relationship-centred lyricism combined with elegant electronic pop to winning effect


Beethoven Festival Weekend, Wigmore Hall review 1 - sparkle and charisma versus creative overkill

A peerless opening recital is followed by some curatorial oddities

Beethoven Festival Weekend, Wigmore Hall review 2 - total mastery in tone and depth

Perfect sonorities from ensembles, profundity from the peerless Elisabeth Leonskaja

LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall review – visions of the beyond

Serene meditations from Messiaen, energised by the joyous sound of birdsong


'This goes beyond music and drama': tenor Nicky Spence on Martinů's 'The Greek Passion'

On his Christ-playing character in Opera North's new production of a Czech masterpiece

Don Jo, Grimeborn review - conceptual style over musical substance

Queer take on Mozart shines interesting light on the story, but casts music in the shade


Amsterdam, Orange Tree Theatre review - suffocatingly mannered
A potentially compelling play is done in by its structure and an unhelpful staging
What Girls Are Made Of, Soho Theatre review - euphoric gig-theatre
Cora Bissett recalls the highs and lows of being a teenage Britpop star


Alvin Ailey, Programme C review - black, beautiful, brilliant

America's No.1 rounds off its triumphant visit with a diddly-doo-wop

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Sadler's Wells review - Still more Revelations

America's favourite dance ticket shows us how it's done

Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet, Sadler's Wells review - heart-stopping drama

The plot isn't perfect, but this bad romance still packs a punch


Romesh Ranganathan, Brighton Dome review - transgressive, edgy and very likeable

The TV favourite hits the ground running at the start of his Cynic's Mixtape tour


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

Foragers of the Foreshore - London's mudlarks on show

The director of Totally Thames introduces this year's festival, including an exhibition of mudlarks and their finds

Artists in Amsterdam, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a slight but evocative sketch

Amsterdam was Europe's economic hub in the 17th century, a fact reflected in its art

Edinburgh Festival 2019 reviews: Below the Blanket / Samson Young: Real Music

Two Edinburgh shows meld music, sound and visual art to beguiling effect


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