tue 21/01/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Sue Gaisford
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Just when you thought Christmas was well and truly over, along comes another box of delights. And there isn’t a disappointment in it. If it were nuts, there’d be nothing but...
David Nice
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Not long after noon on Sunday, strange bells began ringing. In just 11 bars, Bach summons pairs of flutes, oboes and violas da gamba against pizzicato strings and continuo to...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Stephen King’s novels have generated an impressive lineage of successful adaptations. This HBO treatment (on Sky Atlantic) of his 2018 novel The Outsider, developed by Richard...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Concert programmes that set out to tell us a story can prove a mixed blessing. Yes, it’s valuable and stimulating to find ideas, and narratives, embodied in the musical flow. But...
Mark Kidel
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Dennis Hopper’s first starring role, in Night Tide from 1961, as a naïve but curious young sailor bewitched by a siren, offers a strange mirror to his role as the evil Frank Booth...
Miranda Heggie
Monday, 20 January 2020
Celtic Connections, Scotland’s annual festival of folk, world and fusion music, has been brightening up dreich Glasgow Januaries since its inception in 1994. Originally proposed...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 20 January 2020
#Beethoven250 is in full swing at the Barbican. Like most venues, they are keen to show a different side to the composer in...
Nadine Meisner
Monday, 20 January 2020
It’s no surprise that audiences love John Cranko’s Onegin, with its vividly economical narrative (close to Tchaikovsky’s...
Marianka Swain
Monday, 20 January 2020
“Take our country back!” is the rallying cry of the self-identified “real” Americans gathered to protest the arrival of...
Richard Bratby
Monday, 20 January 2020
“Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound” wrote Gustav Mahler of his Eighth Symphony. “There are no...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 20 January 2020
Musical comedy siblings Nicola and Rosie Dempsey (Flo and Joan were their grandmother and great-aunt's names) get along very...
Nick Hasted
Monday, 20 January 2020
Remembrance of clubs past motivates Neil Tennant at 65. The melancholy and wit which gave ambiguity and amused bite to the...
Jessica Payn
Sunday, 19 January 2020
"The deaf don’t believe in silence. Silence is the invention of the hearing." This is one of two author’s "Notes" to Ilya...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 19 January 2020
Commercially, The Beloved’s peak years kicked off in autumn 1989 when their electro house-pop began its chart run. The band...
Daniel Lewis
Sunday, 19 January 2020
Like many writers, Jeet Thayil is a bit of an outsider. And, if his track record is anything to go by, he has been happy to...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 18 January 2020
Terrence Malick returns to his former greatness following three features of unscripted, all-star poesy, with this sombre...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 18 January 2020
If nothing else, you’d want to tune in to Cobra (Sky 1) for its cast. Robert Carlyle is steely and decisive as Prime...
Robert Beale
Saturday, 18 January 2020
Finding one piece for marimba soloist and string orchestra would tax the powers of many concert planners, never mind coming...
Saturday, 18 January 2020
There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered...


★★★ EMINEM - MUSIC TO BE MURDERED BY Slim Shady's surprise return is patchily potent

★★★ COBRA, SKY 1 Robert Carlyle's Tory prime minister battles internal and external crises

★★★★★ A HIDDEN LIFE Terrence Malick's raptures find solid ground in a forgotten stand against fascism

★★★★★ DEBORAH ORR: MOTHERWELL A complex study of a family, childhood, and a town transformed

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY Enough sonatas for a year, a young cellist faces the inevitable, and festive fun from Vienna

disc of the day

Blu-ray: Night Tide

Surreal sorcery from a Californian original, an early role from Dennis Hopper

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The Outsider, Sky Atlantic review - double trouble in small-town Georgia

The terror mounts in gripping Stephen King adaptation

Cobra, Sky 1 review - entertaining mix of political mischief and cosmic chaos

Robert Carlyle's Tory prime minister battles internal and external crises

Messiah, Netflix review - con-artist or the Second Coming?

It's sometimes sluggish, but it keeps asking provocative questions


Blu-ray: Night Tide

Surreal sorcery from a Californian original, an early role from Dennis Hopper

A Hidden Life review - Nazism stoically refused

Terrence Malick's raptures find solid ground in a forgotten stand against fascism

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

new music

Celtic Connections 2020, Glasgow review - fine feast of Scottish music

Global traditions come together in Scotland's annual musical melting pot

Album: Pet Shop Boys - Hotspot

PSB find nostalgic reveries in the dancefloor's shadows

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beloved - Where It Is

Charming collection of what the electro house-popsters were up to before the hits


Bach Sunday with the Suzukis, RAM / Appl, AAM, Milton Court review - father, son and Holy Ghost

From the grandest beginnings of the B Minor Mass at lunchtime to solo cantatas at night

Blomfield, Philharmonia, Salonen, Barbican review - sounds of a troubled truce

Three idiosyncratic works tell one story of the world in 1945

Beethoven Discovery Day, Batiashvili, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review – reassessing a rarity

Soloists, chorus and orchestra shine in a rarely heard oratorio


Sukanya, RFH review - Ravi Shankar's bright-eyed, varied fable

Fine performances, but crude miking suggests this would work better as a chamber opera

prisoner of the state, Barbican review - beauty, but where is the drama?

David Lang's efficient homage to Beethoven can't eclipse the original

'Divinity is all around us': soprano Susanna Hurrell on Ravi Shankar's 'Sukanya'

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Indian master's birth with a return to his opera


Rags: The Musical, Park Theatre review - a timely, if predictable, immigrant tale
Current events lend urgency to this historical work
Les Misérables, Sondheim Theatre review - join in our crusade
New blood courses through the West End's longest-running musical
Scrounger, Finborough Theatre review - uncomfortable play tackles disability discrimination
Athena Stevens confronts the challenges faced by wheelchair-users


English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala, Coliseum review - a fine celebration

ENB raises a toast to its past and future in an evening of nostalgia and high style

Onegin, Royal Ballet review - vivid and intelligent dance drama

The production may feel old-fashioned, but Cranko's graphic dance images still have power to startle

Resolution 2020, The Place review - new dance for a new decade

You take your chances with this annual bran tub of novice choreography


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

Best of 2019: Visual Arts

The exhibitions we loved most over the past 12 months

Caravaggio & Bernini, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - high emotion in 17th century Rome

Painting and sculpture vie for supremacy in the eternal city

Dora Maar, Tate Modern review - how women disappear

Stunning photographs and fabulous photomontages by overlooked and elusive artist

latest comments

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