sat 26/09/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Laura De Lisle
Saturday, 26 September 2020
The first words of Sunnymead Court, a new play at the Tristan Bates Theatre, are ominous. “We are transitioning from human experiences to digital experiences.” Oof. Thankfully,...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 26 September 2020
So the Royal Ballet is to make a live comeback, for one night only, on 9 October. Fielding the entire company of 100 dancers, suitably distanced, the enterprise is being hailed as...
Danny Driver
Saturday, 26 September 2020
There’s an old saying that goes: if life deals you lemons, make lemonade. To say that the COVID-19 pandemic is a lemon would be a huge and trivial understatement – it has had a...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 26 September 2020
 Mahler: Symphony No. 7 Orchestre National de Lille/Alexandre Bloch (Alpha Classics)Mahler 5’s five movements trace a lucid journey from darkness to light, and No. 6’s tautly...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 25 September 2020
When the history of British theatre’s response to COVID-19 comes to be written, the names of two men will feature prominently: Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr. The “two Nicks” were...
Owen Richards
Friday, 25 September 2020
Beauty queen pageants have long been ripe for parody, from their plastic glamour to the Machiavellian competitiveness. Miss Juneteenth opts for a much more nuanced approach, using...
Marina Vaizey
Friday, 25 September 2020
A digital exhibition for digital times – and just right: as a reproductive medium, photographs can work brilliantly when...
David Nice
Friday, 25 September 2020
Songs of the beyond versus the profundity of the here and now struck very different depths in the Castalians’ evening...
Joe Muggs
Friday, 25 September 2020
This is a musical homecoming for Róisín Murphy, both geographically and figuratively. She may have been raised in Dublin and...
David Nice
Thursday, 24 September 2020
There was a rainbow over the Royal Festival Hall as I crossed one of the Hungerford foot bridges for the first time in six...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 24 September 2020
Building very promisingly on the achievement of his debut feature Lilting from six years ago, in Monsoon Hong Khaou has...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 24 September 2020
The graveyard of tedious musical vanity projects – and the bargain bins of many record shops – is filled with solo albums by...
Joseph Walsh
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
It’s no secret that Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation lays claim to more appearances on screen than any other...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
It’s fitting that there’s another run of Dave Simpson’s terrific play about Brighton’s favourite son, Max Miller (aka The...
Kieron Tyler
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
“Whoargh! Steady lads!” Under that headline, NME reported that Kevin Rowland had “announced his return to the music scene...
Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Sky’s 12-part documentary series The Movies is an unabashed celebration of American cinema. Barrages of clips make it an...
Kathryn Reilly
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
It will come as a surprise to nobody that the esteemed elders of rap haven’t got a good word to say about the (present)...
Bernard Hughes
Tuesday, 22 September 2020
My first time back in a concert hall since March was also, more significantly, the first time back for last night’s Wigmore...
James Dowsett
Tuesday, 22 September 2020
On Fire brings together a decade’s worth of dispatches from the frontline of the climate disaster – spanning the BP...

★★★★ MISS JUNETEENTH Directorial debut offers a ray of Texan sunshine



★★★★ HOLD STILL, NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY Snapshots from lockdown

★★★★★ ROISIN MURPHY - ROISIN MACHINE Delivering the disco goods

disc of the day

Album: Róisín Murphy - Róisín Machine

Murphy and long time Sheffield comrade deliver the disco goods


The Movies: The Seventies review - a mirror on malaise

Sky's Hollywood documentary series reaches the Watergate decade

A Special School, BBC Wales review - heartwarming film about special needs education

Lovingly made and inspiring new series shows what's possible for students with special needs

Extinction: The Facts, BBC One review - David Attenborough tells a devastating story

This horrifying prognosis on the future of our planet was essential viewing


Miss Juneteenth review - a ray of Texan sunshine

Debuting director Channing Godfrey Peoples brings some heart to pageantry

Monsoon review - like something almost being said

Developing the subtle palette of his debut 'Lilting', Hong Khaou's second feature broadens its horizons

Enola Holmes review – a new Sherlock-related franchise is afoot

Millie Bobby Brown gives the patriarchy what-for in a charming young adult adventure

new music

Album: Róisín Murphy - Róisín Machine

Murphy and long time Sheffield comrade deliver the disco goods

Album: Corey Taylor - CMFT

A wealthy, middle-aged rock star releases an insipid vanity project

theartsdesk Q&A: musician Kevin Rowland - 'it was painful to be misunderstood and misinterpreted'

To coincide with its reissue, the Dexys Midnight Runners lynchpin considers his solo album ‘My Beauty’


First Person: pianist Danny Driver on teaching online and the importance of music education

The challenges of top-level music lessons during the pandemic

Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Shostakovich, Chris Watson and Georgia Rodgers

A sprawling symphony, Soviet cello concertos and two new works based on field recordings

Castalian Quartet/Elizabeth Llewellyn, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - out of this world

A young string quartet and a glorious duo take us from the earthy to the sublime


Fidelio, Garsington Opera review - heart of darkness, light-filled liberation

Fine singers equalled by Philharmonia soloists in revelatory chamber-music Beethoven

Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

Ahead of the London Symphony Orchestra’s streaming next month, a privileged preview

La bohème, Scottish Opera – pandemic Puccini

Top-quality cast and players put on a potted version in a parking lot


Sunnymead Court, Tristan Bates Theatre review - a lovely lockdown romance
Socially-distanced dramedy is short and sweet, with a knockout performance from Remmie Milner
An Evening with an Immigrant, Bridge Theatre review – poetic and engaging
Masterly revival of Inua Ellams’s 2016 autobiographical one-man show


theartsdesk in Hamburg: Ghost Light - a ballet in the time of corona

How the city is showing the world a way through the live-performance impasse

'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

Ballet or cabaret, Zizi's passion was for performance - preferably with her husband

Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch’s 'The Rite of Spring' review - an explosive African rite

Continents collide in a film documenting an inspired re-staging of a 20th-century masterpiece


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

Hold Still, National Portrait Gallery review - snapshots from lockdown

An online exhibition offers a glimpse of life in Britain now

My Rembrandt review - hard cash and hubris

Characters historical and contemporary mingle in an entertaining portrait of the art world

George IV: Art & Spectacle, The Queen's Gallery review - all is aglitter

A sumptuous display from the Royal Collection heralds a top class reopening

latest comments

Yes truly a dud that I remember from the 60s. I...

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