sun 26/01/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 26 January 2020
Those of us who have to toil and sweat with other languages often feel a twinge of envy when we meet truly bilingual folk. That ability to switch codes, seemingly without any fuss...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 26 January 2020
Fifty-nine years to the day, 24 January 1961, that a young college dropout named Robert Zimmerman clambered out of a car on the Manhattan end of the George Washington Bridge,...
James Dowsett
Sunday, 26 January 2020
In Clemens Meyer’s new collection of short stories Dark Satellites (translated from German by Kate Derbyshire), the lonely frequently enter into each other’s orbit. Their...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 26 January 2020
Since this column last caught up with the totemic California art-popsters Game Theory, band mainstay Gil Ray passed away. He died in January 2017. He had joined Game Theory as...
Gavin Dixon
Saturday, 25 January 2020
Jukka-Pekka Saraste doesn’t visit London much these days. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and there were rumours that he was in line for the top...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 25 January 2020
 Ginastera: Harp Concerto, Variaciones concertantes Sidsel Walstad (harp), Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Lawo Classics)Alberto Ginastera divided his...
Marina Vaizey
Saturday, 25 January 2020
Drums away: Stewart Copeland, drummer with The Police and a score of other groups, composer for films, video games and...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 25 January 2020
Robert Henke is to techno fans as Leo Fender and Les Paul are to rock lovers. The Ableton Live software which he co-created...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Saturday, 25 January 2020
The first album from the Boston-bred songwriter Squirrel Flower opens and closes with autobiographical songs. “I-80” opens...
Tom Birchenough
Friday, 24 January 2020
Uncle Vanya must surely be the closest, the most essential of Chekhov’s plays, its cast – just four main players who are...
Demetrios Matheou
Friday, 24 January 2020
Armando Iannucci’s move away from the contemporary political satires that made his name, first signalled by his bold,...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 24 January 2020
Cormac McCarthy’s two-hander, premiered at Chicago's mighty Steppenwolf Theatre in 2006, has by this point been everything...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 24 January 2020
Matt Forde sets out his stall in Brexit: Pursued by a Bear from the first line: “We meet in diabolical circumstances.” These...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 23 January 2020
History plays should perform a delicate balancing act: they have to tell us something worth knowing about the past, that...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 23 January 2020
The 18-year-old Japanese horror hit Ju-On (The Grudge) was remade once before, as – yes – The Grudge (2004), with Sarah...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 23 January 2020
Since first getting together at the fag end of the 20th century, Black Lips have largely played the role of garage rockers...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Last night, I discovered the gasp index. Or maybe just re-discovered. The what? The gasp index. It's when you see a show...
Miranda Heggie
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Dubbed “classical music’s guitar hero”, the 36-year-old London based Montenegrin guitarist  Miloš Karadaglić – more...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
We hear plenty of debate about climate change and its disastrous potential, but the ballooning growth of the world’s...

★★★★★ UNCLE VANYA, HAROLD PINTER THEATRE A superlative company achievement


★★★★ BLACK LIPS - SING IN A WORLD THAT'S FALLING APART Atlanta garage rockers embrace their inner country and western souls


★★★★ MATT FORDE, SOHO THEATRE Brexit and beyond

disc of the day

Album: Squirrel Flower - I Was Born Swimming

Autobiography and poetry on mesmerising debut

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Stewart Copeland's Adventures in Music, BBC Four review - an essay on the emotional power of music

The polymathic drummer explores the ways in which music can tell stories

Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting, BBC Two review - is it too late to get population growth under control?

Campaiging naturalist surveys the damage we're inflicting on our overcrowded planet

Crazy Delicious, Channel 4 review - the most ridiculous cooking programme on TV ?

Heston Blumenthal's culinary deities encourage crackpot foodism


The Personal History of David Copperfield review – top-drawer Dickens

Armando Iannucci’s colour-blind Copperfield is a veritable feast of comic acting

The Grudge review - non-stop shocks wear out their welcome

Rebooted reboot of Japanese horror hit turns terror into tedium

Blu-ray: Night Tide

Surreal sorcery from a Californian original, an early role from Dennis Hopper

new music

Gerde's Folk City at 60, The Iridium, New York City - a celebration of the legendary folk club

Remembering Gerde's, the Greenwich Village coffee house that drove the New York folk revival

Reissue CDs Weekly: Game Theory - Across The Barrier Of Sound

The Three O’Clock’s Michael Quercio joins the final iteration of Scott Miller’s art-popsters

Album: Squirrel Flower - I Was Born Swimming

Autobiography and poetry on mesmerising debut


Cargill, BBCSO, Saraste, Barbican review - less is more in Shostakovich

Wartime symphony presented with dark intensity, but new commission disappoints

Classical CDs Weekly: Ginastera, Messiaen, Saint-Saëns

Symphonies, concertos and tone poems from France and Argentina


Sukanya, RFH review - Ravi Shankar's bright-eyed, varied fable

Fine performances, but crude miking suggests this would work better as a chamber opera

prisoner of the state, Barbican review - beauty, but where is the drama?

David Lang's efficient homage to Beethoven can't eclipse the original

'Divinity is all around us': soprano Susanna Hurrell on Ravi Shankar's 'Sukanya'

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Indian master's birth with a return to his opera


Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre review - a superlative company achievement
Ian Rickson’s exemplary production relishes the nuances of Conor McPherson's adaptation
The Sunset Limited, Boulevard Theatre review - all talk, no theatre
Cormac McCarthy two-hander tries an audience's patience
The Welkin, National Theatre review - women's labour is a pain
Maxine Peake struggles to make the voice of reason heard in feminist history play


English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala, Coliseum review - a fine celebration

ENB raises a toast to its past and future in an evening of nostalgia and high style

Onegin, Royal Ballet review - vivid and intelligent dance drama

The production may feel old-fashioned, but Cranko's graphic dance images still have power to startle

Resolution 2020, The Place review - new dance for a new decade

You take your chances with this annual bran tub of novice choreography


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

Best of 2019: Visual Arts

The exhibitions we loved most over the past 12 months

Caravaggio & Bernini, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - high emotion in 17th century Rome

Painting and sculpture vie for supremacy in the eternal city

Dora Maar, Tate Modern review - how women disappear

Stunning photographs and fabulous photomontages by overlooked and elusive artist

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