mon 30/01/2023

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Helen Hawkins
Monday, 30 January 2023
Frantic Assembly’s Othello, originally co-developed with the Lyric in 2008, is back in its third iteration, and it’s still not exactly the play you studied at school or saw other...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 30 January 2023
This concert was advertised as the completion of an Elgar symphony cycle, though in the absence of the reconstructed Third, that meant the second of two. Both were planned with...
Aleks Sierz
Monday, 30 January 2023
Ever been to a queer club? You know, drag cabaret night at Madame Jojo’s, or the Black Cap or Her Upstairs. No? Well, not to worry – the Royal Court’s latest provides a fabulously...
Robert Beale
Monday, 30 January 2023
Ben Gernon’s calm and clear way of conducting an orchestra (something he once told me he’d observed in the work of his mentor, Colin Davis) is good to watch and, I would guess,...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 30 January 2023
Reflections on how the past relates to now suffuse The Candle and the Flame. The album’s closing track is “When I Was a Young Man.” When he was 21, sings Robert Forster, “I wrote...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 29 January 2023
“Ka Huma” by Ivo Nilakreshna sounds as if a jazz band was taking on rock ’n’ roll. There’s a swing and sway, busy rhythm guitar and a lead female voice singing a yearning melody....
David Nice
Sunday, 29 January 2023
It’s coming up for two years since some of us watched the first three seasons of what’s increasingly coming to seem like...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 28 January 2023
Spielberg sometimes directed The Fabelmans through a film of tears, as he recreated his cinema’s origins. Lightly...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 28 January 2023
 Roger Norrington: The Complete Erato Recordings (Erato)Richard Osborne’s booklet essay contains some telling words...
Sebastian Scotney
Saturday, 28 January 2023
A Short Diary, a duo album for piano and drums, contains music of astonishing directness, calm and concentration. The story...
Helen Hawkins
Friday, 27 January 2023
A film telling just the story of photographer Nan Goldin’s campaign against Purdue Pharmacy would have been worth the ticket...
David Nice
Friday, 27 January 2023
There’s life in the old overture-concerto-symphony format yet – especially if the conductor not only shapes every phrase but...
Gary Naylor
Friday, 27 January 2023
There’s a chance – a slim one – that you haven’t seen Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s farce about a farce that, as...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 27 January 2023
Seventy-eight years ago, on January 27,1945, Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Red Army. The iconic images...
Helen Hawkins
Friday, 27 January 2023
Imagine what would have happened if the young Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel were cabin-mates on a transatlantic liner. The...
David Nice
Thursday, 26 January 2023
The Castalian String Quartet is half what I remember, but only literally: while viola-player Charlotte Bonneton and cellist...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 26 January 2023
A sprawling French-made drama set in the early days of the First World War in 1914, Women at War tells the stories of a...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 26 January 2023
Ambient is everywhere now. After a quiet (lol) 2000s, when it rather disappeared into the cracks, perhaps tarred with the...
Alastair Davey
Wednesday, 25 January 2023
Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library are displayed as a monumental survey of Spanish art from Antiquity...

★★★ WOMEN AT WAR, NETFLIX Contrasting stories entwine during the chaos of World War One

★★★★★ ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED Nan Goldin's fight against the makers of Oxycontin is as gutsy as her work in Laura Poitras’s superb documentary

 NOISES OFF, PHOENIX THEATRE Much revived classic farce gains in poignancy

★★★★ CHARLIE & STAN, WILTON'S MUSIC HALL A celebration of silent-movie antics & daft gags

★★★★ THE LAST STAGE The first feature film to be made in Auschwitz-Birkenau

★★★★ JANSEN, LSO, NOSEDA, BARBICAN Pain offset by sheer beauty

disc of the day

Album: Robert Forster - The Candle and the Flame

At an uncertain time, the former Go-Between takes stock


DVD: Babylon Berlin, Season Four

Golden threads through a labyrinth of Weimar Republic corruption

Stewart, Sky Documentaries review - touching and insightful portrait of Scottish race ace

Fascinating documentary explores the triumphs and tragedies of motor racing


The Fabelmans review - Spielberg remembers with wit and wonder

The director's early life examined with understated, almost unconscious need

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed review - superb documentary about a campaigning artist

Nan Goldin's fight against the makers of Oxycontin is as gutsy as her work

The Last Stage review - a former prisoner returns to the death camp

The first feature film to be made in Auschwitz-Birkenau gets restored and re-released

new music

Album: Robert Forster - The Candle and the Flame

At an uncertain time, the former Go-Between takes stock

Music Reissues Weekly: Padang Moonrise - The Birth of the Modern Indonesian Recording Industry

Eye-opening compilation where knowing the context is essential

Album: Sebastian Rochford, Kit Downes - A Short Diary

An album of grieving. And solace. And real class


Ólafsson, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - spirit of delight

A curate's-egg turn from the Icelandic pianist in Schumann followed by magisterial Elgar

Gerhardt, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - calm and clear conducting

Maybe not perfect, but when things worked, they worked beautifully

Classical CDs: Symphonies, suppers and knitting needles

Two conductors celebrated, plus accordion, bass trombone and string quartet


First Person: soprano Soraya Mafi on why Glyndebourne's tour cancellation is disastrous

Though Arts Council England has partly reinstated English National Opera's grant, its cuts still have devastating consequences for the regions

Least Like the Other, Irish National Opera, Linbury Theatre review - the harrowing of Rosemary Kennedy

Composer Brian Irvine, director/designer Netia Jones and top performers mesmerise

A Child in Striped Pyjamas, The Cockpit review - a brave tackling of a Holocaust story

The celebrated novel is brought to the stage by a young composer with ambition


Othello, Lyric Hammersmith review - Frantic Assembly's high-energy take on the Moor
Shakespeare's tragedy as a tight thriller, with its racist elements fully exposed
Sound of the Underground, Royal Court review - loud and triumphantly proud
New play about the queer club scene is a fabulous extravaganza
Noises Off, Phoenix Theatre review - much revived classic farce gains in poignancy
Sure it's overly familiar, but, 40 years on, the laughs keep coming


Julie Cunningham & Co, Sadler's Wells review - a fine piece of work, with added spice

The other Cunningham stakes out their territory in contemporary dance, and the non-binary debate

Swan Lake, English National Ballet, Coliseum review - the story of a deluded prince

The corps de ballet take the laurels in Derek Deane's dependably fine production

Best of 2022: Dance

It might not be business as usual, but memorable work has come through


Alex Edelman, Menier Chocolate Factory review - London run for unmissable off-Broadway hit

How a Jewish standup found the funny side of a roomful of white nationalists

Best of 2022: Comedy

The Edinburgh Fringe was back - and so were some memorable shows


'I let it emerge': an interview with Fiona Benson on the cusp of the TS Eliot Prize announcement

The poet discusses her new book, mayflies, motherhood, and memory

Jaan Kross: A Book of Falsehoods review - plague, power and deception in 16th century Tallinn

At last, the translation of volume three in the Estonian master's great historical trilogy

Best of 2022: Books

Our top titles before we turn the page on another year

visual arts

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed review - superb documentary about a campaigning artist

Nan Goldin's fight against the makers of Oxycontin is as gutsy as her work

Spain and the Hispanic World, Royal Academy review - a monumental survey

The refurbishment of New York's Hispanic Society provides a unique opportunity to see its treasures

Best of 2022: Visual Arts

Museums and galleries are no longer afraid of giving women major shows

latest comments

Not all the audience! I thought it was tedious.

I agree with Colette’s comment above. It’s great...

thanks for a nicely in depth review with some...

Sorry Paul, but the 1991 Hammersmith Experience...

To me it is one of the great ones, while L...

While.Overall enjoying the review/ insight to...


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