sun 21/04/2024

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 April 2024
Three years ago, the release of Till Another Time 1988-1996 generated a categorical thumbs up. A compilation of recordings by the Baltimore and/or New York-based Linda Smith it...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 20 April 2024
“He do the police in different voices.” If ever one phrase summed up a work of fiction, and the art of its writer, then surely it is this description, by Charles Dickens in his...
David Nice
Saturday, 20 April 2024
Anyone who’d booked to hear soprano Sally Matthews or to witness the rapid progress of conductor Daniele Rustioni – the initial draw for me – could not have been disappointed in...
Cheri Amour
Saturday, 20 April 2024
For most people’s 40th birthday celebrations, they might get a few friends together, rustle up a cake, and toast to another turn around the sun. But when musician Lail Arad...
Sarah Kent
Saturday, 20 April 2024
The first photograph was taken nearly 200 years ago in France by Joseph Niépce, and the first picture of a person was taken in Paris by Louis Daguerre in 1838 (main picture)....
Ellie Roberts
Saturday, 20 April 2024
Taylor Swift’s unfathomable ability to articulate human emotion shines as brightly as ever in her latest double album The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology. The 31 track...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 19 April 2024
If you don't like sweary comics – Jonathan Pie uses the c-word liberally – then this may not be the show for you. In fact if...
Helen Hawkins
Friday, 19 April 2024
Richard Gadd won an Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2016 with material about being sexually abused by a man, in a set called...
David Nice
Friday, 19 April 2024
Virtuosity and a wildly beating heart are compatible in Richard Jones’s finely calibrated production of Renaissance woman...
Robert Beale
Friday, 19 April 2024
If ever more evidence were needed of Sir Mark Elder’s untiring zest for exploration and love of the thrill of live opera...
Justine Elias
Friday, 19 April 2024
Music, when the singer’s voice dies away, vibrates in the memory. In the hypnotic new Irish horror film All You Need Is...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 19 April 2024
Record Store Day is tomorrow! At theartsdesk on Vinyl we’ve been sent a selection of exclusive RSD goodies. Check out the...
Joe Muggs
Friday, 19 April 2024
As I sat down to write this review, the sun came out. It was a salutory reminder of the importance of context: where I’d...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 18 April 2024
Teenage Ulzii (Battsooj Uurtsaikh in an elegantly restrained performance) is looking after his little sister and brother in...
Helen Hawkins
Thursday, 18 April 2024
The Book of Clarence comes lumbered with the charge of being the new Life of Brian, an irreverent spoof of the life of...
Jon Turney
Thursday, 18 April 2024
Our home planet orbits the medium-size star we call the Sun. There are unfathomably many more stars out there. We accepted...
Tom Carr
Thursday, 18 April 2024
Thirty years, and over 75 million copies sold. It’s been a long journey from Nineties Seattle for Pearl Jam, the grunge...
David Nice
Wednesday, 17 April 2024
All three works in the second of this week’s Neville Marriner centenary concerts from the ensemble he founded vindicated...
Gary Naylor
Wednesday, 17 April 2024
One can often be made to feel old in the theatre. A hot take in a snappy 90 minutes (with video!) on the latest Gen Z...

★★★★ PLAYER KINGS, NOEL COWARD THEATRE Ian McKellen: a peerless theatrical knight

★★★★ PEARL JAM - DARK MATTER Immediate and ferocious


★★★ AN ACTOR CONVALESCING IN DEVON, HAMPSTEAD THEATRE Paul Jesson finds considerable poignancy in Richard Nelson's bespoke play

★★★ THE BOOK OF CLARENCE Larky jaunt through biblical epic territory


disc of the day

Album: Taylor Swift - The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology

Taylor Swift bares her soul with a 31-track double album


Baby Reindeer, Netflix review - a misery memoir disturbingly presented

Richard Gadd's double traumas are a difficult watch but ultimately inspiring

Anthracite, Netflix review - murderous mysteries in the French Alps

Who can unravel the ghastly secrets of the town of Lévionna?

Ripley, Netflix review - Highsmith's horribly fascinating sociopath adrift in a sea of noir

Its black and white cinematography is striking, but eventually wearying


Fantastic Machine review - photography's story from one camera to 45 billion

Love it or hate it, the photographic image has ensnared us all

All You Need Is Death review - a future folk horror classic

Irish folkies seek a cursed ancient song in Paul Duane's impressive fiction debut

If Only I Could Hibernate review - kids in grinding poverty in Ulaanbaatar

Mongolian director Zoljargal Purevdash's compelling debut

new music

The Songs of Joni Mitchell, Roundhouse review - fans (old and new) toast to an icon of our age

A stellar line up of artists reimagine some of Mitchell’s most magnificent works

Album: Taylor Swift - The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology

Taylor Swift bares her soul with a 31-track double album

theartsdesk on Vinyl: Record Store Day Special 2024

Annual edition checking out records exclusively available on this year's Record Store Day


Watts, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Bignamini, Barbican review - blazing French masterpieces

Poulenc’s Gloria and Berlioz’s 'Symphonie fantastique' on fire

Bell, Perahia, ASMF Chamber Ensemble, Wigmore Hall review - joy in teamwork

A great pianist re-emerges in Schumann, but Beamish and Mendelssohn take the palm

First Persons: composers Colin Alexander and Héloïse Werner on fantasy in guided improvisation

On five new works allowing an element of freedom in the performance


London Tide, National Theatre review - haunting moody river blues
New play-with-songs version of Dickens’s 'Our Mutual Friend' is a panoramic Victori-noir
Machinal, The Old Vic review - note-perfect pity and terror
Sophie Treadwell's 1928 hard hitter gets full musical and choreographic treatment
An Actor Convalescing in Devon, Hampstead Theatre review - old school actor tells old school stories
Fact emerges skilfully repackaged as fiction in an affecting solo show by Richard Nelson


All You Need Is Death review - a future folk horror classic

Irish folkies seek a cursed ancient song in Paul Duane's impressive fiction debut

MacMillan Celebrated, Royal Ballet review - out of mothballs, three vintage works to marvel at

Less-known pieces spanning the career of a great choreographer underline his greatness

Carmen, English National Ballet review - lots of energy, even violence, but nothing new to say

Johan Inger's take on Carmen tries but fails to make a point about male violence


Lisa Kaltenegger: Alien Earths review - a whole new world

Kaltenegger's traverses space in her thoughtful exploration of the search for life among the stars

Heather McCalden: The Observable Universe review - reflections from a damaged life

An artist pens a genre-spanning work of tender inconclusiveness

Dorian Lynskey: Everything Must Go review - it's the end of the world as we know it

Authoritative account of how the apocalypse has always been just around the corner

visual arts

Fantastic Machine review - photography's story from one camera to 45 billion

Love it or hate it, the photographic image has ensnared us all

Yinka Shonibare: Suspended States, Serpentine Gallery review - pure delight

Weighty subject matter treated with the lightest of touch

Jane Harris: Ellipse, Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux review - ovals to the fore

Persistence and conviction in the works of the late English painter

latest comments

Couldn't agree more. THIS is the one to see to...

I watched it yesterday and it made feel like "Oh...

I saw this today at The Curve, why any theatre...

Y'all be giving out 100's like hotcakes, do y'all...

Seen in Oxford 9th April.  I agree entirely...


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters