sat 06/06/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Veronica Lee
Saturday, 06 June 2020
This engaging sitcom created by comedian Holly Walsh has had a long gestation: this, the pilot episode, was first broadcast back in 2017 but Walsh's pregnancy meant that the six-...
Veronica Lee
Saturday, 06 June 2020
Simon Bird's feature film debut as a director is a gentle, warm-hearted look at a mother and son's strained relationship as they are forced to spend the summer holidays together...
Ian Page
Saturday, 06 June 2020
My latest recording with The Mozartists is the first in a seven-volume series [reviewed by Graham Rickson in his Classical CDs Weekly column] exploring the so-called “Sturm und...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 06 June 2020
 Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Rêverie et caprice, La mort d'Ophélie, Sara la baigneuse Utah Symphony/Thierry Fischer, with Philippe Quint (violin) (Hyperion)Just two big...
Sebastian Scotney
Saturday, 06 June 2020
Swallow Tales is a great album. It took three musicians fewer than five hours on one afternoon in New York studio in March 2019 to make. But there again, it also took them more...
David Nice
Friday, 05 June 2020
As more musicians emerge from lockdown to conduct, play and sing in audience-less venues - ongoing kudos to the Wigmore Hall for its weekday lunchtime concerts, a fixure for so...
Rachel Halliburton
Friday, 05 June 2020
An arrogant leader contemptuous of his people. Could there be a more perfect timing for Josie Rourke’s taut, visceral...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 05 June 2020
Rustles of renewal are stirring in the Surrey woods where Grange Park Opera has built the splendid theatre that remains, for...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 05 June 2020
Reese Witherspoon has evolved into a growth industry on the new frontier of Big Television. Her production company Hello...
Graham Fuller
Friday, 05 June 2020
A master at bringing neurotics to bilious life on screen, David Thewlis shines as a peevish, corrupt health inspector in...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 05 June 2020
The Prettiest Curse is the third album by Spain’s indie-foursome Hinds and sees them take a substantial step up from the lo-...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 04 June 2020
As we continue into a third month in lockdown, the arts continue to suggest ever-changing worlds beyond. The invaluable...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 04 June 2020
Woody Allen’s filmography, like Michael Caine’s, is remorseless, accepting mediocre work to mine more gems than most. Even...
Joseph Walsh
Thursday, 04 June 2020
It’s impossible to deny the sincerity with which Todd Robinson has approached the true story of William H. Pitsenbarger, a...
Liz Thomson
Thursday, 04 June 2020
As news bulletins compare events in America to 1968, the mental jukebox spins almost inevitably to “Abraham, Martin and John...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
For better or worse, the lockdown may be easing in the UK but there’s no sign of any gig action, even on the far distant...
Florence Hallett
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
The death of Christo, aged 84, was announced on Sunday, marking the end of a visionary and flamboyant artistic career. Best...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
It’s impossible to tell whether this reality-doc series (C4) came to praise Best Western hotels or kill it off entirely....
Richard Bratby
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60...

★★★★ CORIOLANUS, NATIONAL THEATRE AT HOME Gritty 21st century update

★★★★ LA VOIX HUMAINE, GRANGE PARK ONLINE Hanging on the telephone

★★★ A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK Chalamet and other young stars keep Allen's latest Manhattan fantasy afloat

★★★ HINDS - THE PRETTIEST CURSE Spanish indie types beef up their sound

★★★★ LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, AMAZON In every dream home a heartache

disc of the day

Album: John Scofield, Steve Swallow, Bill Stewart - Swallow Tales

Trust and empathy between musicians built up over decades


The Other One, BBC One review - entertaining odd-couple sitcom

Two women discover they're half-sisters when their dad dies

Little Fires Everywhere, Amazon Prime review - in every dream home a heartache

Mother and daughter duo shatter the calm of affluent Ohio


Days of the Bagnold Summer review - wry suburban drama

Simon Bird's feature film debut as director

Guest of Honour review – the grip of guilt

David Thewlis rescues a mazy father-daughter melodrama

A Rainy Day in New York review - one of Woody's later, patchy ones

Chalamet and other young stars keep Allen's latest Manhattan fantasy afloat

new music

Album: John Scofield, Steve Swallow, Bill Stewart - Swallow Tales

Trust and empathy between musicians built up over decades

Album: Hinds - The Prettiest Curse

Spanish indie types beef up their sound to great effect

Album: Dion - Blues With Friends

The Wanderer returns to his roots


The music of isolation: conductor Ian Page on 18th century 'Sturm und Drang'

Inspiring mind behind the Mozartists marks the launch of a seven-volume series

Classical CDs Weekly: Berlioz, Markus Reuter, The Mozartists

A seminal French symphony, a contemporary string quartet and stormy music from the 18th century

Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

Comfort and joy as live performance returns to top chamber music venue - at a distance


Classical music/Opera direct to home 14 - sound and vision at the highest level

Esoteric Berlin delights, two fine UK concerts, vivid Puccini and classical awards for all

La voix humaine, Grange Park Opera online review – hanging on the telephone

Poulenc's technological tragedy proves eerily apt for lockdown lives

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 12 - partying at a distance

Festivals cope with live online events and past fare


Coriolanus, National Theatre at Home review – gritty 21st century update
The power of the mob still resonates in a production that speaks powerfully to our times
Theatre Lockdown Special 8: A film star plays tough, and several familiar titles are examined anew
Tom Hiddleston reminds us of his stage roots, as does Christopher Walken as Captain Hook
This House, National Theatre at Home review – timely revival of brilliant House of Commons drama
James Graham acutely perceives the obsessions and motivations of our times


'If they had been any closer my face would have misted up': filming 'Men at the Barre'

The director Richard Macer had exclusive access to the male stars of the Royal Ballet. He describes what he discovered

The Thread, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - Greek folk and contemporary unite

Russell Maliphant breathes fresh life into Hellenic tradition

Palermo, Palermo review - free to view Pina

The Pina Bausch Foundation releases the first in a projected series of digital recordings


Desiree Burch, Soho Theatre On Demand review - fantastical storytelling

California comic on Burning Man, sex, race – and LSD

Lockdown Comedy 2: where to get your laughs this week

Live stand-up recordings and podcasts

Jerry Seinfeld, Netflix review - not bad for a swansong

US comic says this may be his last stand-up show


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

visual arts

Christo (1935-2020) - 'Beauty, science and art will always triumph'

One of the great visionaries of our era, Christo believed absolutely in art for art's sake

Dalí Theatre-Museum, Figueres, virtual tour review - tantalising but unsatisfactory

The magic of Dalí's private world is lost in its virtual form

latest comments

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