wed 20/02/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Miranda Heggie
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
For its first ever performance in this country, the Symphony Orchestra of India - formed in only 2006 - kicked off its UK tour in spectacular style at Symphony Hall, Birmingham...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
It was TV gold-dust. The original seven series of Only Fools and Horses were broadcast on BBC One from 1981-1991, and a string of Christmas specials kept the show running until...
Saskia Baron
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Time once again to roll out that line about the road to hell being paved with good intentions. The creators of All in a Row, a new play at Southwark Playhouse about the last...
Owen Richards
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
A British boys boarding school in the 1980s. Not the most obvious setting for a romantic comedy, especially one based on the most famous romcom of all, Cyrano de Bergerac. But for...
Demetrios Matheou
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
When the world is as crazy as it is right now, its political life dominated by dolts and villains, it needs a new kind of hero. That’s why Americans are embracing an octogenarian...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
David Ireland is a playwright who likes to jolt his audience and Cyprus Avenue, a dark absurdist comedy about an Ulster unionist afraid of losing his identity, does just that....
Bernard Hughes
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
The first visual impression of Monday’s Wigmore Hall song recital was of the marked height difference between Irish soprano...
Sebastian Scotney
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Joshua Redman's Still Dreaming Quartet is a project surrounded by an abundance of facts, context and backstories. Jazz folk...
Mark Kidel
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
John Mayall is not just the dean of British blues fans, but he has done as much for the genre as anyone else around, from...
David Nice
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Ripeness is sometimes all. 80-year-old Martin Sherman's recent play, receiving its UK premiere at canny Park Theatre, says...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
The arc of Daniil Trifonov’s reputation has soared and then, to some ears, stalled in a familiar modern way. Russian...
Matt Wolf
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Against the grimmest of backdrops, generosity and even grace can be possible. That's the eternally uplifting message of Come...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Sheeps, the sketch comedy threesome, had never really gone away but when they performed Live and Loud Selfie Sex Harry...
Heather Neill
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Remembering meeting Harley Granville Barker when casting him as Marchbanks in Candida, Shaw described the 23-year-old as, "...
Mark Kidel
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Back in 2017, The Foo Fighters did a surprise pre-Glastonbury gig at Frome’s Cheese & Grain, a rather soulless shed near...
Joseph Walsh
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
As journalists and critics were enjoying the unseasonably balmy weather in Berlin at the 69th Film Festival, all were...
Kieron Tyler
Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Lyrics such as “are we hunting for life among misery, Satan have pity on my long distress” and “we’re on a ship of fools,...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 18 February 2019
It’s 1945 and World War Two is nearly over. Somewhere in England, Fiona Symonds (“Feef” to her friends) is training to be a...
David Nice
Monday, 18 February 2019
It seems an almost indecent luxury to have heard two top mezzos in just over a week with so much to express, backed up by...
 

★★★★ TRIFONOV, LSO, RATTLE Russian style with French chic (and cheek)

★★★★★ GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM, PARK THEATRE Gay history sifted for compact drama

★★★★ TANA FRENCH: THE WYCH ELM A lucky man and his downfall

★★★★ SHEEPS, SOHO THEATRE Sketch comedy with a touch of the surreal

THE RITE OF SPRING/GIANNI SCHICCHI, OPERA NORTH Unlikely, satisfying pairing

★★ BAPTISTE, BBC ONE Detective from 'The Missing' gets his own hand-me-down show

★★★ A PRIVATE WAR Rosamund Pike burns with passion in well-meaning biopic

★★ TRAITORS, CHANNEL 4 Cold War thriller fails to reach room temperature

★★★★★ ELĪNA GARANČA, MALCOLM MARTINEAU, WIGMORE HALL Towards transcendence

WHAT A BANAL BERLINALE Usually thoughtful festival has a distinctly off year

disc of the day

CD: John Mayall - Nobody Told Me

Them dirty blues should not be too clean

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

tv

Traitors, Channel 4 review - Cold War thriller fails to reach room temperature

Battling Stalin's secret infiltration of Whitehall

Catastrophe, Channel 4, series 4 finale review - sitcom saves the best till last

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney go out on a grief-stricken, hope-filled cliffhanger

film

On the Basis of Sex review – real-life legal drama

Felicity Jones is ground-breaking lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a feelgood with smarts

Director Toby Macdonald: 'Comedy is something people need at the moment'

Old Boys director talks about adapting Cyrano de Bergerac into a boarding school

69th Berlin Film Festival round-up - what a banal Berlinale

Usually thoughtful festival has a distinctly off year with a programme of shoulder-shrugging cinema

new music

CD: John Mayall - Nobody Told Me

Them dirty blues should not be too clean

Lau, Cheese & Grain, Frome review - the dangerous charm of electronica

Folk giants brought down by electronic monster

classical

Tynan, Appl, Burnside, Wigmore Hall review - the music of domesticity explored in song

Wide-ranging duet recital covers the joys and trials of home and family

Elīna Garanča, Malcolm Martineau, Wigmore Hall review - towards transcendence

Perfect expression and technique in Schumann, Wagner and Mahler

opera

The Rite of Spring/Gianni Schicchi, Opera North review - unlikely but musically satisfying pairing

Odd-couple double bill of Stravinsky and Puccini with plenty to delight ear and eye

The Magic Flute, Welsh National Opera review - charming to hear, charmless to look at

Mozart's pantomime about Nature and Reason stuck in a box

Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The south-coast's arts extravaganza reveals its 2019 line-up

theatre

All in a Row, Southwark Playhouse, review - soapy and shrill pity party
Clumsy drama tries to raise sympathy for parents with a profoundly autistic child
Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court Theatre review - Stephen Rea is utterly compelling
David Ireland's dark, absurdist comedy about identity

dance

The Rite of Spring/Gianni Schicchi, Opera North review - unlikely but musically satisfying pairing

Odd-couple double bill of Stravinsky and Puccini with plenty to delight ear and eye

Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The south-coast's arts extravaganza reveals its 2019 line-up

Swan Lake, English National Ballet, London Coliseum review - a solid, go-to production

Traditional stagings don't come much more satisfying than Derek Deane's for ENB

comedy

Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The south-coast's arts extravaganza reveals its 2019 line-up

Adam Riches Is The Guy Who..., Drink, Shop & Do review - super-suave Lothario on the prowl

Immersive show examines male-female engagement in the #MeToo era

gaming

Battlefield V review - WWII on an epic scale

The veteran series returns for another ambitious tour of duty

Red Dead Redemption 2 review - the cowboy drama makes a triumphant return

An ambitious Wild West odyssey that matches epic scale with benchmark skill

visual arts

Don McCullin, Tate Britain review - beastliness made beautiful

The darkest, most compelling exhibition you are ever likely to see

Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory review, Tate Modern - plenty but empty

A major retrospective of the French post-impressionist is huge, but unilluminating

latest comments

In 2007 when I have a release the best damn thing...

Typically love your reviews... but you missed...

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters