fri 10/04/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Russ Coffey
Thursday, 09 April 2020
Laura Marling has always loved to weave the textures of '70's Laurel Canyon folk-rock into her music. Never before, though, has she evoked the spirit of David Crosby and Joni...
Marianka Swain
Thursday, 09 April 2020
The National Theatre’s online broadcasts got off to a storming start with One Man, Two Guvnors – watched by over 2.5 million people, either on the night or in the week since its...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 09 April 2020
Given the times, theartsdesk’s New Music section is starting weekly round-ups of new streaming fare tob liven the spirits and entertainingly pass the time during this lockdown....
Joseph Walsh
Thursday, 09 April 2020
The world might have changed drastically in the wake of Covid-19, but thankfully those hyperactive, candy-coloured Trolls haven’t. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake are back as...
Bernard Hughes
Thursday, 09 April 2020
When I saw that the Berlin Philharmonic had thrown open the doors to its virtual concert hall the thing that most interested me was to see some Karajan. When I was a child in the...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 09 April 2020
Creating the opening episode of a new comedy series is like flipping pancakes with one hand while playing the Moonlight Sonata with the other. You have to introduce your...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 09 April 2020
“They say we all have a beast locked up inside of us,” a character observes early in this Korean crime movie. Monsters are...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 09 April 2020
She’s an ordinary young woman, and she really doesn’t know what to think. After all, things are way out of control. She...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 09 April 2020
ZZ Top always seemed like a Texan version of Status Quo. It turns out, from watching this entertaining but hardly revelatory...
Liz Thomson
Thursday, 09 April 2020
This is the perfect album for these dark and dislocating times, a delicious slice of folk-Americana, 10 beautifully crafted...
Jasper Rees
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
John Prine, who has died at the age of 73 from a Covid 19-related illness, was one of the great American folk poets. Having...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
The talk is of an “economy in ruin [with] unemployment through the roof”: a précis of Britain in lockdown? In fact, this is...
Joe Boyd
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
When it comes to making records, I love deadlines. Embarking on an open-ended project, particularly with the infinite number...
David Nice
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
One way to look at Stravinsky's celebrated collaboration with W H Auden and Chester Kallman is as a numbers opera in nine...
Sarah Collins
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
When Amer Deghayes departed for Syria in a truck leaving from Birmingham, a worker from a youth arts organisation in...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
When the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany was liberated by the British 11th Armoured Division...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
Director Oleg Stepchenko’s follow-up to his 2014 yarn Forbidden Kingdom swaps the latter’s Transylvania for a fantastical...
Nick Hasted
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
Their debut’s title was a disillusioned shrug, and for most of the 19 years since Is This It, The Strokes have continued...
Matt Wolf
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
One of the most blistering stage performances in recent memory gets a renewed lease on life with the streaming of the 2019...

★★★★ WONDERLAND, HAMPSTEAD THEATRE A major play about the miners

REMEMBERING JOHN PRINE One of the great American singer-songwriters

★★★ THE STROKES - THE NEW ABNORMAL New York rock saviours swagger into middle-age

JOE BOYD'S RECORDING HEAVEN Legendary producer on making Damir Imamović’s Singer of Tales

★★★★★ MARK TOWNSEND: NO RETURN A masterclass in journalism

★★★ RETURN TO BELSEN, ITV Jonathan Dimbleby retraces his father's journey to a nightmare world

★★ THE IRON MASK Preposterous multi-national fantasy

★★★ THE RAKE'S PROGRESS, COMPLICITÉ Well-projected journey from pastoral to madhouse

disc of the day

Album: Laura Marling - Song for our Daughter

The introspective troubadour evokes the spirit of Joni Mitchell on this captivating album


Alma's Not Normal, BBC Two review - bare-knuckle comedy pilot hits the spot

Great cast and outsized characters in Sophie Willan's new creation

Return to Belsen, ITV review - Jonathan Dimbleby retraces his father's journey to a nightmare world

Are the terrible lessons of the Holocaust in danger of being forgotten?

Ozark, Series 3 review, Netflix - money-laundering saga hits new heights

A superb cast and powerful writing are making this show a classic


Trolls World Tour review - a visual spectacle full of toe-tapping tunes

Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return as the diminutive heroes that just can't stop

The Beast review - bad cop blues

Corrupt Korean detectives duel familiarly over a serial killer

The Iron Mask review - preposterous multi-national fantasy

Oleg Stepchenko's film is a weird mix of Chinese folklore, bogus history and atrocious dubbing

new music

Album: Laura Marling - Song for our Daughter

The introspective troubadour evokes the spirit of Joni Mitchell on this captivating album

New Music Lockdown Livestream Special 1: Miley Cyrus, Metallica, Diplo and more

First weekly round-up of Corona lockdown streams from music-land

ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas, Netflix review - riffs, drugs and rodeos

Documentary on Texan rockers never really gets under the hood but is still passingly enjoyable


Berlin Philharmoniker, Karajan, Digital Concert Hall review - a captivating musical time capsule

Online archive captures a conducting titan in Brahms's 'Ein Deutsches Requiem'

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 5 - orchestral manoeuvres in the light

Filleted Bach, Beethoven and Ravel, complete anthemic Sibelius

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Prokofiev, A Tale of Two Violas

Weighty piano sonatas from Germany and Russia, plus a disc of string duets


The Rake's Progress, Complicité online review - well-projected journey from pastoral to madhouse

Big, bold approach to time-travelling Stravinsky misses out on nuance

The Turn of the Screw, Opera North, OperaVision review - claustrophobic visions of terror and beauty

Strongly-cast revival keeps the ambiguities of Henry James's ghost story in play

Le nozze di Figaro, Garsington Opera, OperaVision review - natural comedy, musical sublimity

Durable period setting enshrines perfect characterisations. Plus a Handel special


Jane Eyre, National Theatre at Home review - a fiery feminist adaptation
Sally Cookson's take on Brontë is innately theatrical and ferociously resonant
Gators, Tramp Productions online review - the glittering dark
Gloriously surreal monologue about everyday anxieties in extraordinary circumstances
Wonderland, Hampstead Theatre online review - a major play about the miners
Beth Steel award-winner makes for muscular, eerily apposite fare


Rumpelstiltskin, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - spins an engaging yarn for young audiences

balletLORENT provides a sunnier take on the the Brothers Grimm

Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre review - a little piece of history

Attempt to revive the spirit of Isadora Duncan is of academic interest, little more


Blu-ray: Buster Keaton - Three Films, Vol. 2

Technical brilliance and belly laughs: three features from a great director at his peak

Lazy Susan, Soho Theatre On Demand review - sketch duo's ingeniously plotted show

Freya Parker and Celeste Dring examine male behaviour


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

10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Multidisciplinary thinking at a multidisciplinary festival in a time of crisis

Among the Trees, Hayward Gallery review - a mixture of euphoria and dismay

Our complex relationship with trees explored to powerful effect


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