thu 20/06/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Lisa-Marie Ferla
Thursday, 20 June 2019
With her timeless vocals and jazz-inflected folk melodies, it feels like a bit of Los Angeles songwriter Bedouine lives in the golden age of Hollywood. It’s a dichotomy she goes...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
John Malkovich is back in town - and he's starring in the most controversial play of the year. Trouble is, it might well also be the worst. When the subject of veteran American...
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Download is Britain’s premier metal festival, attended by all ages. Theartsdesk’s three person team offer up their reviews of one day each, as they navigated their way between...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
A Broadway show as melodically haunting and sophisticated as it is niche, The Light in the Piazza has taken its own bittersweet time getting to London. A separate European...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
As Russell T Davies’s doomsday odyssey reached its endgame on BBC One, feisty grandma Muriel (played by indestructible Anne Reid) got to deliver the moral of the story. With the...
Peter Quinn
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Camden’s Jazz Cafe reverberated to the sounds of a 50-year-old spiritual jazz classic last night, as saxist and MC Soweto Kinch and his quintet paid fulsome homage to NEA Jazz...
Katherine Waters
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Under a turbulent sky racked with jagged clouds suggesting bolts of lightning, pale figures hurl themselves into a spitting...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Irish playwright Dylan Coburn Gray's new play won the Verity Bargate Award in 2017, and his reward is a fine production of...
Sebastian Scotney
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Milton Nascimento is 76. Physically, he is quite frail; he had to be helped carefully onto the stage and then up into a high...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
In the Yorkshire town of Ackley Bridge, education is like war conducted by other means. As series three of the drama begins...
Joe Muggs
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Nineteen years, seven albums and untold side projects into their career, Hot Chip have for the first time enlisted outside...
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
 Frank Bowling, Tate Britain ★★★★★ Major retrospective of one of the greatest painters alive today. ...
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
London is the theatre capital of the world, with more than 50 playhouses offering theatrical entertainment. From the mighty...
Marina Vaizey
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
The surprisingly touching conclusion to BBC Two’s five-part chronicle of the Thatcher years was a masterpiece of...
David Nice
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Shoving a child-eating drag-queen witch into an oven can't be good for any kid's psyche. Director Timothy Sheader doesn't...
Katherine Waters
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
According to their mother, Luda (played by Madeleine Worrall, pictured below), each of the three sisters (pictured top)...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
I’m sure there’s an anthropologist out there writing a thesis on American teenagers’ coming-of-age rituals as performed in...
Miranda Heggie
Monday, 17 June 2019
Having played their first concert just four years ago, the Chineke! Orchestra gave a rousing, exuberant performance for an...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 17 June 2019
Frank Skinner walks onstage without introduction and a man in the audience gives him a friendly heckle by way of greeting....

★★★ CATE HASTE: PASSIONATE SPIRIT The racy life of Alma Mahler pacily related

ROGER WRIGHT ON OLIVER KNUSSEN Inspiring composer, conductor and mentor remembered

★★★★ CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM, QEH Spanish guitar and strong songs

★★★★ FRANCIS BACON: COUPLINGS, GAGOSIAN Sex and power in double figures

FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI 1923-2019 Recalling a two-day audience at the home of the great maestro

★★★ FRANK SKINNER, LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE Mixing some acid with the charm

THE BEST EXHIBITIONS IN LONDON Get your eye in with our recommendations

THE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON The Arts Desk's stage tips

disc of the day

CD: Bedouine - Bird Songs of a Killjoy

Timeless album of American folk from Syrian-born singer

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Blu-ray: Dazed and Confused

Richard Linklater's loose-limbed portrait of American teenagers in 1976 gets a deserved re-release

Franco Zeffirelli: 'I had this feeling that I was special'

Recalling a two-day audience at the home of the great maestro, who has died aged 96

Diego Maradona review - entertaining but skin-deep

Asif Kapadia concludes his trilogy of tragic idols with mixed results

new music

CD: Bedouine - Bird Songs of a Killjoy

Timeless album of American folk from Syrian-born singer

Download Festival: downpours can't dampen spirits at metal bonanza

Def Leppard, Slipknot, Tool and Slayer keep the riffs coming at the carnival of heavy rock

Soweto Kinch, Jazz Cafe review - instant karma in Camden

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a spiritual jazz classic


Classical CDs Weekly: Daniel Elms, Hindemith, Tchaikovsky

Hull encapsulated in sound, plus German violin sonatas and a tragic symphony

Roger Wright on Oliver Knussen: ‘his challenge to us all to remain curious lives on’

Inspiring composer, conductor and mentor remembered by Snape Maltings CEO


Hansel and Gretel, ENO, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - into the broomstick woods

Enchanting chamber-musical score, fine balance between fairytale and horror story

Franco Zeffirelli: 'I had this feeling that I was special'

Recalling a two-day audience at the home of the great maestro, who has died aged 96

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nevill Holt Opera review - sprinkled with musical fairy-dust

An innocent, joyful take on Britten's ambiguous fantasy


Bitter Wheat, Garrick Theatre review - Malkovich monologue is more chaff than wheat
The most controversial play of the year is shaping up to be the worst
The Light in the Piazza, RFH review - Broadway musical looks good and sounds even better
Renée Fleming and Dove Cameron align in starry London debut for six-time Tony-winner
Citysong, Soho Theatre review - big writing, big heart
A poetic journey through time and space in Dublin is beautifully written


Cinderella, English National Ballet, Royal Albert Hall review - big, bright and bankable

Christopher Wheeldon's glossy arena show suggests bigger isn't better

The Firebird triple bill, Royal Ballet review - generous programme with Russian flavour

Trio of substantial pieces offers something for everyone

San Francisco Ballet, Liang/Marston/Pita, Sadler's Wells - elemental, ethereal and kitschy, too

Visiting company mixes moods and climates in varied and variable mixed bill


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

Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a cut above

Excellent exhibition sheds light on linocuts of neglected Grosvenor School Modernists

The Best Exhibitions in London

The capital's best exhibitions now

Francis Bacon: Couplings, Gagosian Gallery review - sex and power in double figures

A small selection focuses on the painter's radical figure paintings

latest comments

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Hey Tim, Great interview and kudos to Scarlet for...

It was always daft, but well filmed, brilliantly...

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