fri 05/06/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Rachel Halliburton
Friday, 05 June 2020
An arrogant leader contemptuous of his people. Could there be a more perfect timing for Josie Rourke’s taut, visceral production of Coriolanus? As opinion polls reveal that...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 05 June 2020
Rustles of renewal are stirring in the Surrey woods where Grange Park Opera has built the splendid theatre that remains, for this summer, sadly out of bounds. Faced with the...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 05 June 2020
Reese Witherspoon has evolved into a growth industry on the new frontier of Big Television. Her production company Hello Sunshine has a heap of projects on the go with a range of...
Graham Fuller
Friday, 05 June 2020
A master at bringing neurotics to bilious life on screen, David Thewlis shines as a peevish, corrupt health inspector in Guest of Honour. There’s a perverse pleasure to be had in...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 05 June 2020
The Prettiest Curse is the third album by Spain’s indie-foursome Hinds and sees them take a substantial step up from the lo-fi, C86/Pastels’ like sound of their previous discs...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 04 June 2020
As we continue into a third month in lockdown, the arts continue to suggest ever-changing worlds beyond. The invaluable National Theatre at Home this week looks across the Thames...
Nick Hasted
Thursday, 04 June 2020
Woody Allen’s filmography, like Michael Caine’s, is remorseless, accepting mediocre work to mine more gems than most. Even...
Joseph Walsh
Thursday, 04 June 2020
It’s impossible to deny the sincerity with which Todd Robinson has approached the true story of William H. Pitsenbarger, a...
Liz Thomson
Thursday, 04 June 2020
As news bulletins compare events in America to 1968, the mental jukebox spins almost inevitably to “Abraham, Martin and John...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
For better or worse, the lockdown may be easing in the UK but there’s no sign of any gig action, even on the far distant...
Florence Hallett
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
The death of Christo, aged 84, was announced on Sunday, marking the end of a visionary and flamboyant artistic career. Best...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
It’s impossible to tell whether this reality-doc series (C4) came to praise Best Western hotels or kill it off entirely....
Richard Bratby
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
It’s too early for a definitive account of the Covid-19 pandemic, and this was very much a Sky News version of what we’ve...
Joe Muggs
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
Will Westerman is not afraid of sounding retro. It's clear his influences are diverse, from jazz fusion to the bedroom proto...
Gabriel Prokofiev
Tuesday, 02 June 2020
For most people a turntable, or record player is used to play back old vinyls bought from a market or second hand store, or...
Kathryn Reilly
Tuesday, 02 June 2020
So what exactly is all the fuss about? For those of us from a cinema-deprived area, it’s been a long wait for the homevideo...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 01 June 2020
Great idea to use a symphony orchestra as the basis for a TV drama, because all of human life is there. Not to mention death...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 01 June 2020
Experiencing All Things Being Equal is akin to taking a trip through The Time Tunnel. Although the songs and the recordings...

★★★★ WESTERMAN - YOUR HERO IS NOT DEAD High-gloss Eighties sonics conceal chasmic emotional depths

CHRISTO (1935-2020) 'Beauty, science and art will always triumph'

THEATRE LOCKDOWN SPECIAL 8: Tom Hiddleston reminds us of his stage roots, as does Christopher Walken as Captain Hook


★★★ THE LAST FULL MEASURE Peter Fonda's final performance bolsters true tale of heroism in conflict

★★★ A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORK Chalamet and other young stars keep Allen's latest Manhattan fantasy afloat

disc of the day

Album: Hinds - The Prettiest Curse

Spanish indie types beef up their sound to great effect


Guest of Honour review – the grip of guilt

David Thewlis rescues a mazy father-daughter melodrama

A Rainy Day in New York review - one of Woody's later, patchy ones

Chalamet and other young stars keep Allen's latest Manhattan fantasy afloat

The Last Full Measure review - exceptional performances elevate middling Vietnam war drama

Peter Fonda's final performance bolsters true tale of heroism in conflict

new music

Album: Hinds - The Prettiest Curse

Spanish indie types beef up their sound to great effect

Album: Dion - Blues With Friends

The Wanderer returns to his roots

New Music Lockdown 9: Chic, Laura Marling, Billy Bragg, Steel Panther, Wendy James and more

From Los Angeles to Wakefield, the latest guide to new music events you can enjoy from home


Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

Comfort and joy as live performance returns to top chamber music venue - at a distance

First Person: Gabriel Prokofiev on 14 years of his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra

The composer reflects on a 21st century classic, newly recorded

Philharmonia, Channel 4 review - death on the podium

Music, mayhem and madness as Parisian orchestra gets a new conductor


La voix humaine, Grange Park Opera online review – hanging on the telephone

Poulenc's technological tragedy proves eerily apt for lockdown lives

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 12 - partying at a distance

Festivals cope with live online events and past fare

The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Dutch National Opera, OperaVision review - fairy-tale good and evil made real

Rimsky-Korsakov's myth resonates in the highest musical and production standards


Coriolanus, National Theatre at Home review – gritty 21st century update
The power of the mob still resonates in a production that speaks powerfully to our times
Theatre Lockdown Special 8: A film star plays tough, and several familiar titles are examined anew
Tom Hiddleston reminds us of his stage roots, as does Christopher Walken as Captain Hook
This House, National Theatre at Home review – timely revival of brilliant House of Commons drama
James Graham acutely perceives the obsessions and motivations of our times


'If they had been any closer my face would have misted up': filming 'Men at the Barre'

The director Richard Macer had exclusive access to the male stars of the Royal Ballet. He describes what he discovered

The Thread, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - Greek folk and contemporary unite

Russell Maliphant breathes fresh life into Hellenic tradition

Palermo, Palermo review - free to view Pina

The Pina Bausch Foundation releases the first in a projected series of digital recordings


Desiree Burch, Soho Theatre On Demand review - fantastical storytelling

California comic on Burning Man, sex, race – and LSD

Lockdown Comedy 2: where to get your laughs this week

Live stand-up recordings and podcasts

Jerry Seinfeld, Netflix review - not bad for a swansong

US comic says this may be his last stand-up show


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

visual arts

Christo (1935-2020) - 'Beauty, science and art will always triumph'

One of the great visionaries of our era, Christo believed absolutely in art for art's sake

Dalí Theatre-Museum, Figueres, virtual tour review - tantalising but unsatisfactory

The magic of Dalí's private world is lost in its virtual form

latest comments

Seems like the reviewer was fixated on Joanne and...

What a wonderful tribute and so right. I only met...

ummm. Nope. This is by far Gaga's hardest dance...

I’ve just finished viewing episode 8 of what I...

"Art Desk" I'd re-listen to the album. I call it...

From which commnts we conclude that 'fans' can't...

Gillian Anderson's portrayal of Blanche is a tour...


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