sun 26/06/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 26 June 2022
In 1965, Bob Crewe was living alongside Central Park in New York’s Dakota building. At various times, the block’s other residents included Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, John Lennon...
David Nice
Saturday, 25 June 2022
Semi-standing ovation at a lunchtime concert in a London church? Predictable, perhaps, from the first recital I heard George Xiaoyuan Fu give at the Two Moors Festival, an avian...
Izzy Smith
Saturday, 25 June 2022
Mieko Kawakami is the champion of the loner. Since achieving immense success in the UK with her translated works, she has become an indie fiction icon for her modern, visceral...
Peter Quinn
Saturday, 25 June 2022
An artist with a myriad of strings to his bow – gifted wordsmith, multi-instrumentalist, captivating storyteller – what enables James Vincent McMorrow’s singularly personal songs...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 24 June 2022
Strictly Ballroom aside, I’ve never been entirely persuaded by Baz Luhrmann. Once you rip open the plush packaging of his films, you often just find satin and tissue paper inside...
David Nice
Friday, 24 June 2022
Best new opera in years, they said – don’t ask who – after the Aldeburgh Festival premiere of Tom Coult’s Violet. I’d have been happy in Hackney had it been as good as, say,...
Valeriy Sokolov
Friday, 24 June 2022
A fortnight ago I performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Aurora Orchestra, joining them and their Principal...
Sebastian Scotney
Friday, 24 June 2022
High culture...low life. Emmanuel Courcol’s film The Big Hit (Un Triomphe in France) is a 105-minute experiment in what...
Robert Beale
Friday, 24 June 2022
Manchester Collective were back on home ground last night in the tour of a programme featuring the first performances of a...
Katie Colombus
Friday, 24 June 2022
When did life become so theoretical? In the penultimate track of her new album, Home, before and after, Regina Spektor plays...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 23 June 2022
Figuratively, “Tselane” is Blk Jks’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Both songs begin quietly and move through passages of turbulence...
Kathryn Reilly
Thursday, 23 June 2022
In a world seemingly devoid of joy, Hollie Cook's fourth album is a very welcome salve indeed. It’s not just the deliciously...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Slamming the door on experience comes with repercussions in A Doll's House, Part 2, the thrilling Broadway entry from...
Stephen Walsh
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Will Erich Korngold, the great cinema composer, ever be recognised as a great composer for the live theatre? Probably not,...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Is gig theatre the latest sugar rush? Okay, it ups the brain’s serotonin levels and charges around your body like a crazy...
Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Porcupine Tree’s members have said they don’t know if their 11th album and this autumn’s North American–European tour will...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 21 June 2022
The devil, in Verdi’s Otello, doesn’t quite have all the best tunes. Desdemona trumps him there. But the arch-manipulator...
Sarah Kent
Tuesday, 21 June 2022
The story is riveting. A nanny living in New York and Chicago spent her spare time wandering the streets taking photographs...
Richard Wilson
Tuesday, 21 June 2022
In today’s near-normal times it is easy to forget how hard COVID-19 had hit the music industry, especially for touring...

★★★ A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2, DONMAR WAREHOUSE Noma Dumezweni nails it

★★★★★ VIVIAN MAIER: ANTHOLOGY, MK GALLERY A brilliant amateur photographer who was almost lost to the world

★★★★★ HOLLIE COOK - HAPPY HOUR The album that summer 2022 so desperately needs

★★★ BLK JKS, MOTH CLUB Johannesburg’s art-rockers are more straightforward live

★★★★ THE BIG HIT When prisoners play 'Godot', what can possibly go wrong?


★★★★ DIE TOTE STADT, LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL Korngold on the way back

★★★ BANGERS, SOHO THEATRE Loving account of two couples is perceptive, but a bit slender

disc of the day

Album: James Vincent McMorrow - The Less I Knew

Sixth album from multifaceted Dubliner hits peak melodicism


Suspect, Channel 4 review - a stylised remake of a Danish psychological drama

James Nesbitt returns as another troubled policeman with a dark back-story (and matching eyebrows)

Sherwood, BBC One review - a traumatic journey through a painful past

James Graham's drama exposes wounds that never healed from the 1980s miners' strike

Borgen: Power and Glory, Netflix review - Birgitte Nyborg is back, more fascinating than ever

The Danish series about a top woman politician is still smarter than 'The West Wing'


Elvis review - Austin Butler shines in patchy biopic

Baz Luhrmann's portrait of the King doesn't cut below the surface

The Big Hit review - prisoners play 'Godot'

What can possibly go wrong?

Blu-ray: Double Indemnity

Billy Wilder's cold-blooded yet sultry classic defines film noir

new music

Music Reissues Weekly: Whatever You Want - Bob Crewe's 60s Soul Sounds

Proof there was more to the one-man music business than The Four Seasons

Album: James Vincent McMorrow - The Less I Knew

Sixth album from multifaceted Dubliner hits peak melodicism

Album: Regina Spektor - Home, before and after

Sincerity made entertaining through quirks, pathos and orchestral backing


George Fu, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - high intellect and visceral shocks

Chopin the modernist, Rzewski the electric in totally satisfying recital

Hughes, Manchester Collective, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester review - new work and stunning singing

Edmund Finnis song cycle gets its launch with passion, anguish and consolation


Violet, Music Theatre Wales/Britten-Pears Arts review - well sung and played, but to what end?

Anna Dennis shines, but composer Tom Coult and librettist Alice Birch play at anti-opera

Die tote Stadt, Longborough Festival review - Korngold on the way back

Brilliant 1920 opera that might have shown the way forward

Otello, Grange Park Opera review - angels and demons

A charismatic Iago and radiant Desdemona anchor Verdi's tragedy


A Doll's House, Part 2, Donmar Warehouse review - Noma Dumezweni nails it
Broadway entry from 2017 is the rare sequel that richly delivers
Bangers, Soho Theatre review - sizzling gig theatre
Loving account of two couples is perceptive, but a bit slender
King Lear, Shakespeare's Globe review - eviscerates emotionally while illuminating a society rotten with lies
The disconnect between rhetoric and genuine meaning feels very contemporary


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

Like Water for Chocolate, Royal Ballet review - confusing and ill-conceived

Christopher Wheeldon's usual flair deserts him in his latest three-act story ballet


Ricky Gervais, SuperNature, Netflix review - a provocateur at work

An equal opportunities offender delivers a masterclass in meta comedy

Andy Zaltzman, Soho Theatre review - satire on the hoof

Setting the world to rights, one joke at a time

Brandon Wardell, Soho Theatre review - US comic wings it

UK debut show is disjointed and uneven


Philip Ball: The Book of Minds review - thinking about the box

Mapping the mindspace of all beings great and small

10 Questions for art historian and fiction writer Chloë Ashby

On sights, acts of seeing and book 'Wet paint', inspired by Manet’s 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère'

visual arts

Vivian Maier: Anthology, MK Gallery review - what an amazing eye!

The brilliance of an amateur photographer who was almost lost to the world

Venice Biennale 2022 review - The Milk of Dreams Part 2: The Arsenale

This wildly ambitious mega-exhibition unravels in spectacular style

In the Air, Wellcome Collection review - art in an emergency

History, politics and poetry abound in a show offering inspiration and agitation

latest comments

Writing for the show was inconsistent throughout...

I think William Hurt was a fabulously talented...

THE MILK OF NIGHTMARES... or so it seems Having...

Aaron you are right to ask the question about Pat...

I agree completely!


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