fri 14/05/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Boyd Tonkin
Thursday, 13 May 2021
In 1992 Martin Amis published a story, “Career Move”, in which the writers of sensational screenplays with titles like Decimator and Offensive from Qasar 13 read their work to...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 13 May 2021
In the UK, we usually get a peek inside The Villages in Florida every four years, when intrepid reporters take to their golf carts in the retirement community to test the water in...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 13 May 2021
The issue of public inquiries into the conduct of the military is in the headlines again, with a current focus on Northern Ireland, but at the centre of screenwriter Robert Jones’...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 13 May 2021
“The Changingman” came to sound a little rich in the years after it introduced Stanley Road, as Weller settled into a style which grew atrophied enough to define “Dadrock”. The...
Florence Hallett
Thursday, 13 May 2021
When Turner’s Modern World opened at Tate Britain last autumn only to close again days later, we might have felt then an echo of sensations and sentiments powerfully expressed in...
Nick Hasted
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Anxiety, injustice and desperate disorder are the themes of these six disparate noirs. In one, The Dark Past, Lee J. Cobb’s psychiatrist draws a crude diagram of the brain with a...
Lydia Bunt
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
In the first short story of Lucy Caldwell’s collection Intimacies, “Like This”, one of the worst possible things that could...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
With over eight million copies sold in its 50-year lifespan, Déjà Vu was, as Cameron Crowe writes in the booklet...
Peter Quantrill
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
The drunkard in spring; the lonely man in autumn; the long goodbye. Mahler’s last song-cycle often seems to embody solitude...
Charlie Stone
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
"Trompe-l’œil," explains the director of the Institut de Peinture in Brussels, “is the meeting of a painting and a gaze,...
Miranda Heggie
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Marking its 40th anniversary, this year’s Ryedale Festival kicked off with an online-only spring series ahead of the main...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Tuesday, 11 May 2021
From her indie roots to the Grammy-winning angular art-rock of her self-titled 2014 album and the new wave glam of...
Tom Baily
Monday, 10 May 2021
Watching Milestone, a new Netflix original directed by Ivan Ayr, I was reminded of the films of the great Iranian director...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 10 May 2021
Nancy Mitford's 1945 literary sensation looks poised to be the TV talking point of the season, assuming the first episode of...
Jessica Duchen
Monday, 10 May 2021
We may not be in the EU any more, but geographically and culturally we can celebrate being part of Europe as much as we...
India Lewis
Monday, 10 May 2021
China Room, Sunjeev Sahota’s third novel, is a familiar, ancestral tale: the story of Mehar, living in late 1929 in rural...
Barney Harsent
Monday, 10 May 2021
Blues legends Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside have long provided inspiration for singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 09 May 2021
At the end of 1976 Al Stewart talked to Melody Maker, contrasting how he was seen in America and the UK. He was in Los...
Bernard Hughes
Saturday, 08 May 2021
This Philharmonia concert from the Royal Festival Hall comprised three masterworks of English music, following a (welcome)...

★★★ MAYLIS DE KERANGAL: PAINTING TIME An ode to the art of trompe-l’œil is no more than the sum of its parts

★★★★ THE BLACK KEYS - DELTA KREAM The blues-rock duo return to their roots

★★★★ SUNJEEV SAHOTA: CHINA ROOM A tale of separate, related lives

★★★★★ SONS OF KEMET - BLACK TO THE FUTURE Shabaka’s jazzers for BLM

★★★★★ RYEDALE SPRING FESTIVAL Music and visuals combine in this seasonal celebration

★★★★ THE PURSUIT OF LOVE, BBC ONE Extravagantly entertaining Nancy Mitford

REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: AL STEWART - YEAR OF THE CAT Box-set version of the US bestseller raises unanswered questions

disc of the day

Album: Paul Weller - Fat Pop (Volume 1)

Waking up the nation after lockdown


Danny Boy, BBC Two review - when law and war collide

Iraq war drama is powerful but lop-sided

The Pursuit of Love, BBC One review - extravagantly entertaining

Nancy Mitford novel makes a smashing small screen transfer

BBC Young Musician 2020 Finale, BBC Four review - poise versus extraterrestrial ecstasy

After a year's wait, three finalists serve up first-rate professionalism - and something more


Some Kind of Heaven review - a Florida retirement community yields its secrets

Quietly poetic documentary about 'Disneyland for retirees'

Blu-ray: Columbia Noir #3

Paranoia and betrayal drawn from life in post-war Hollywood crime spree

Milestone review - parable of an aging trucker

Ivan Ayr's second feature touches on dark themes but doesn't go deep enough

new music

Album: Paul Weller - Fat Pop (Volume 1)

Waking up the nation after lockdown

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Déjà Vu 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

California combo's fabled second album gets a monster 4-disc reissue

Album: St Vincent - Daddy's Home

Real-life nostalgia fuels a funk-soul reinvention


Ryedale Spring Festival online review - sowing the seeds of live music

Music and visuals combine in this seasonal celebration

Europe Day Concert, St John's Smith Square online review – celebrating in style

Portuguese tenor Luis Gomes shines bright in a lively multinational programme


Europe Day Concert, St John's Smith Square online review – celebrating in style

Portuguese tenor Luis Gomes shines bright in a lively multinational programme

Christa Ludwig, 1928-2021: a selective tribute

The German mezzo-soprano embraced the light and the dark at a transcendental level

The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

More time needed in knocking this fascinating Brecht/Weill double bill into shape


Being Mr Wickham, Original Theatre Company online review - an uncontroversial apologia
Adrian Lukis proves himself far better at portraying Austen's rake than he is at writing him
Money, Southwark Playhouse online review - ethical dilemmas for the Zoom generation
A vivid and credible production that is also limited by its form
Tarantula, Southwark Playhouse online review – spine-tingling love and trauma
Philip Ridley’s new monologue is a dazzling masterclass in storytelling


The Royal Ballet - variations on a comeback

How one major ballet company survived to dance another day

Best of 2020: Dance

In a perilous year, bright ideas and perseverance sometimes prevailed

The Nutcracker: an end-of-year obituary

It's been a rough ride for the seasonal cash cow. Here's how ballet companies coped


Sam Riviere: Dead Souls review – whip-smart literary satire with a techno tinge

A poet-turned-novelist hunts for the real thing in an age of fakes

Lucy Caldwell: Intimacies review - exploring the empty spaces

Double-edged stories capture the mingled pains and pleasures of femininity

Maylis de Kerangal: Painting Time review - safer in simulation

An ode to the art of trompe-l’œil is no more than the sum of its parts

visual arts

Turner's Modern World, Tate Britain review - the universal artist

The great painter resists the confines of his own era, despite Tate's best efforts

Points of Departure, Brighton Festival 2021 review - Ray Lee's harbour-based sound art impresses

At Shoreham's working port, something strangely wonderful is happening

Rachel Whiteread: Internal Objects, Gagosian Gallery review - apocalyptic sheds

A triumphant change of direction from the queen of casting

latest comments

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