sat 24/08/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Graham Rickson
Saturday, 24 August 2019
 Bach: Keyboard Music Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) (Lawo Classics)There's so much to love about this Bach keyboard disc: namely attractive artwork, glowing sound and an...
Miranda Heggie
Saturday, 24 August 2019
 ”Cunts Are Still”.  Well, that got your attention, didn’t it? Not my words, merely the title of one of JARV IS’s new tracks. In case you didn’t get it, JARV IS is a...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Saturday, 24 August 2019
If there's a central motif to the sprawling, 18-track opus that is Taylor Swift’s seventh release - and it’s an album that references both Drake and Springsteen, so it's hard to...
David Nice
Friday, 23 August 2019
Puccini's and Abbé Prévost's glitter-seduced Manon Lescaut might have been inclined to linger longer in the salon of dirty old man Geronte if he'd served her up not his own...
Tom Birchenough
Friday, 23 August 2019
You can’t fail to feel the ghosts in Appropriate: they are there in the very timbers of the ancient Southern plantation house that is the setting for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s...
Bernard Hughes
Friday, 23 August 2019
Let us never tire of singing the praises of the Proms, nor ever take them for granted. For two months concerts, many of which would be the highlight of any ‘normal’ week, keep...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 23 August 2019
When Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin released the former’s stripped back, soul-bearing American Recordings in 1994 the impact was...
David Nice
Thursday, 22 August 2019
Love him or hate him, Lars von Trier has time and again made the unpalatable and the improbable real and shatteringly moving...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 22 August 2019
This is how Steven Knight pictured Peaky Blinders when he first set about creating it. “I was very keen not to do a...
Sebastian Scotney
Thursday, 22 August 2019
The Bauhaus school and its subsequent influence make an extraordinary story, and this film by Mat Whitecross, which has...
Ellie Porter
Thursday, 22 August 2019
"Would you mind if I jammed on my new... castanets?" We’re halfway through Eels’ triumphant set at Hammersmith's Eventim...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 22 August 2019
This album’s title began as a reaction to fractiousness under Trump, but gained more intimate meaning when drummer Janet...
Markie Robson-Scott
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
The BBC’s version of Love Island has familiar ingredients: ten 20-somethings, many with pale manicures and hair extensions,...
David Nice
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
So the Proms ignored the Berlioz anniversary challenge to perform his Requiem and serve up four brass bands at the points of...
Nick Hasted
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
The Almodovar who made his name as an all-out provocateur in the Eighties considers that wild art’s becalmed far side, in...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
After six years, associate director Robert Icke bids farewell to the Almeida Theatre. In this time he has pioneered...
Kieron Tyler
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
To Whom Buys a Record roams through 12 crisply recorded pieces confirming that jazz which isn’t shy of acknowledging its...
Markie Robson-Scott
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
Animal behaviourist Jo-Rosie Haffenden, who lives in Spain, has some very good dogs (and a charming toddler, who knows how...
Jessica Duchen
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
Time was, not long ago, when the very word “premiere” was enough to ensure a sizeable smattering of red plush holes in the...

★★★★ THE DOCTOR, ALMEIDA THEATRE Robert Icke's long goodbye

★★★★ BAUHAUS 100, BBC FOUR A fascinating centenary tale of God-like architects and punks

★★★ BREAKING THE WAVES, EDINBURGH FESTIVAL Great film makes a dodgy opera

★★★★ EELS, HAMMERSMITH APOLLO Dark, swampy and endlessly entertaining

★★★★ PROM 44: FINLEY, LSO & CHORUS, ORFEÓ CATALÀ, RATTLE Lurid inter-war triptych

★★★★ CD: SLEATER KINNEY - THE CENTER WON'T HOLD New ground found, with casualties

★★★★ PAIN AND GLORY Masterful meditation on age and art

disc of the day

CD: Taylor Swift - Lover

18 earnestly epic tracks from America's loved-up sweetheart

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Power, politics and Peaky Blinders - the Shelby family return for Series 5

Steam-punk gangsters invade the corridors of Westminster

Bauhaus 100, BBC Four review - a well-made film about the makers

A fascinating centenary tale of God-like architects and punks

Heartbreak Holiday, BBC One review - can it match up to Love Island?

Ten strangers and their not so achy-breaky hearts


Pain and Glory review - masterful meditation on age and art

Almodovar and Banderas reflect on fading glories

DVD/Blu-ray: The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

Mixed-race heritage condemns a striving youth in 1900 Australia

Transit review - existential nightmares for a German refugee

Christian Petzold eschews the conventions of Holocaust drama to create an edgy, unnerving thriller

new music

Edinburgh International Festival 2019: JARV IS

Pulp frontman brings expertly crafted songs and a tight, talented band to Leith Theatre

CD: Taylor Swift - Lover

18 earnestly epic tracks from America's loved-up sweetheart

CD: Tanya Tucker - While I'm Livin'

Solidly enjoyable reappearance from one of country'n'western's wild women


Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Christophersen, Mr McFall's Chamber

Baroque keyboard suites and Norwegian brass virtuosi. Plus penguins and a musical saw.

Prom 46: Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla review - brilliant programme, brilliant playing

Blend of familiar Elgar with undervalued Weinberg shows the Proms at its best


Making new waves: Royce Vavrek on forging a libretto from Lars von Trier

Missy Mazzoli's collaborator on their new operatic version of 'Breaking the Waves'


Appropriate, Donmar Warehouse review - fraught family reunion blisteringly told
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s 2013 play is tensely dark, as well as very funny
The Doctor, Almeida Theatre review - Robert Icke's long goodbye
Juliet Stevenson is brilliant in an ethical debate that is both thrilling and challenging
Edinburgh Fringe 2019 reviews: The Red/ Gone Full Havisham
More from the world's biggest and best arts festival


Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet, Sadler's Wells review - heart-stopping drama

The plot isn't perfect, but this bad romance still packs a punch

The Bright Stream, Bolshoi Ballet review - a gem of a comedy

Ratmansky and Shostakovich offer up old-fashioned fun with an undercurrent of sweetness

Spartacus, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House review - no other company could pull this off

Visiting Russians transform wooden material into muscular spectacle


Edinburgh Fringe 2019 review: Arabella Weir - Does My Mum Loom Big In This?

Fringe debut on her overbearing mother feels too polite to confront its own darkness


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

Edinburgh Festival 2019 reviews: Below the Blanket / Samson Young: Real Music

Two Edinburgh shows meld music, sound and visual art to beguiling effect

Black Sabbath: 50 years, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery review – not heavy going

Half a century of metal is celebrated in Sabbath's home city

Helen Schjerfbeck, Royal Academy review - watchful absences and disappearing people

Retrospective of Finnish artist turns on mortality and absence


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