mon 24/01/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Nice
Monday, 24 January 2022
History’s most grotesque act of cynicism has to be the model ghetto the Nazis mocked up for the cameras in Terezin/Theresienstadt in October 1944, several days before transporting...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 24 January 2022
America in Crisis revisits an exhibition staged in 1969 soon after Richard Nixon was elected President. Pictures taken by 18 Magnum photographers including Elliott Erwitt and Mary...
Jessica Duchen
Monday, 24 January 2022
This remarkable evening should really have been more remarkable still. The unfortunate pianist Cédric Tiberghien took an official pre-travel Covid test that obliged him to drop...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 24 January 2022
Fiona Monbet is a phenomenal violinist with a huge expressive range. Her credentials, above all in jazz, are impeccable: the late Didier Lockwood once declared the Franco-Irish...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 23 January 2022
What’s now been titled The 1959 Sessions represents an unreleased studio album completed by the Stan Tracey Trio on 5 and 8 June 1959 at Decca’s London studio at Broadhurst...
Justine Elias
Sunday, 23 January 2022
Champion (1949), one of many boxing films of the 1930s and 1940s, made a sculpture – and a star – of Kirk Douglas. In one of the few non-fight scenes, Douglas, as middleweight...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 22 January 2022
There has been no shortage of documentaries about king Beach Boy Brian Wilson, not to mention the 2014 bio-drama Love &...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 22 January 2022
Mr. E’s music examines hellish depths, but always climbs back towards the light. Electro-Shock Blues (1998) was soon...
Jenny Gilbert
Friday, 21 January 2022
Neglected classics, whether books, plays or ballets, are usually neglected for a reason, and so it is with the three-act...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 21 January 2022
Director Guillermo del Toro has described Nightmare Alley as “a straight, really dark story”, lacking the supernatural...
Marianka Swain
Friday, 21 January 2022
One of the many theatrical casualties of Omicron in December was the official UK opening of Moulin Rouge!, the stage version...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 21 January 2022
Memory Box is that rare thing, a glimpse into a lost world from its traumatised inhabitants. Made by the Lebanese artist-...
Harry Thorfinn-George
Friday, 21 January 2022
Around 2017, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, known professionally as Earl Sweatshirt, said he wanted to push his music in a more...
Femi Elufowoju Jr
Thursday, 20 January 2022
I find that my experience of living as a Black man in the UK cannot help but inform the way I approach my work and never...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 20 January 2022
In 2019, Russell Howard was all set to celebrate his 20th year in comedy by going on a world tour. Covid put paid to that,...
Liz Thomson
Thursday, 20 January 2022
“I didn’t even know what I was writing about. It was just sent to me”, John Mellencamp has said of Strictly A One-Eyed Jack...
Gary Naylor
Wednesday, 19 January 2022
There's a lot of True Crime stuff about, so it's hardly a surprise to see Stephen Dolginoff's 2003 off-Broadway musical back...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 19 January 2022
Virtual “mixtapes” are not proper albums. Their purpose is often to whet the appetite. Nowhere is this more so than in US...
Sebastian Scotney
Tuesday, 18 January 2022
“It mustn’t be a surface thing. You have to put in the work,” Janet Baker once said. Sandrine Piau’s Wigmore recital of...

★★★ RAYMONDA, ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET, COLISEUM Creaky old standard, lavishly restored to health

STAN TRACEY TRIO - THE 1959 SESSIONS Previously unheard studio album by British jazz great

★★★★ CHAMPION Kirk Douglas stars in dark and brutal 1949 boxing flick, out on Blu-ray

'MY OWN BACK STORY HAS BEEN INTEGRAL TO MY APPROACH' Theatre director Femi Elufowoju Jr. takes on his first opera

★★★ LONG PROMISED ROAD Latest attempt to probe the fragile genius of Brian Wilson


disc of the day

Album: Fiona Monbet – Maelström

Brilliant violinist moving to a bigger canvas


Rules of the Game, BBC One review - feminist workplace drama topples into farce

Screenwriter Ruth Fowler's characters turn into caricatures

Witch Hunt, All 4 review - dark deeds and dirty money

A tangled web of power, skulduggery and lies

The Apprentice, Series 16, BBC One review - will they never learn?

Welcome return of Lord Sugar and his gang of hopefuls


Blu-ray: Champion

The bruising film noir that put Kirk Douglas's name in lights

Nightmare Alley review - a dazzling trip through a heart of darkness

Bradley Cooper shines in Guillermo del Toro's lurid pulp fiction

new music

Album: Fiona Monbet – Maelström

Brilliant violinist moving to a bigger canvas

Music Reissues Weekly: Stan Tracey Trio - The 1959 Sessions

Welcome appearance of a previously unreleased studio album by the British jazz great


Total Immersion: Music for the End of Time review - miracles from the house of the dead

Czech-Jewish composers murdered by the Nazis live again in magnificent performances

LPO, Canellakis, Royal Festival Hall review - ecstatic sonorities at full pelt

Ideal chemistry of orchestra and conductor in a truncated but glorious concert

Sandrine Piau, David Kadouch, Wigmore Hall review - the joy is in the detail

Superb pianist and programme-builder in perfect partnership with the great soprano


Total Immersion: Music for the End of Time review - miracles from the house of the dead

Czech-Jewish composers murdered by the Nazis live again in magnificent performances

First Person: Femi Elufowoju Jr. on directing Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

A theatre director's take on his first opera as he rehearses in Leeds

Nabucco, Royal Opera review - high passion but low drama

Atmospheric but ambiguous production, given extra weight by cast of rich voices


Best of 2021: Dance

There was gold among the rubble in this wreck of a year for dance

Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker!, Sadler's Wells Theatre review - new candy, but the nuts are off

This is designer Anthony Ward’s Nutcracker! with multiple exclamation marks


One-Woman Show review - Liz Kingsman's spot-on spoof

Comic does a deep dive into Fleabag territory

Best of 2021: Comedy

One masterpiece, and a celebration of the great outdoors


Best of 2021: Books

Our top fiction titles from this year

The Holiness of Sex: Leonard Cohen's Biblical Theology

Harry Freedman, author of a new book about Leonard Cohen's spirituality, considers the singer's attitude to gettin' it on

Peter Robison: Flying Blind review – a story of decline and crawl

The galling account of the 737 MAX Boeing tragedies

visual arts

America in Crisis, Saatchi Gallery review – a country in jeopardy

Political upheaval in America, 1969 and 2021

Paula Rego: The Forgotten, Victoria Miro review - relentless focus

A selection of later work is more than a coda to Tate's recent retrospective

Best of 2021: Visual Arts

Our highlights of the year just gone

latest comments

I was the original historical adviser on this...

Agree 100%. What happened to the writing and...

Stopped watching this sort of ideological twaddle...

The Dutch press is reporting that there is a Klem...

we went to the performance on 17th and confirm...

Ha ha - I fail to see how people can't understand...


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