sun 29/11/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Saskia Baron
Sunday, 29 November 2020
The BFI has done an excellent job of giving La Haine the 4k restoration treatment under the vigilant eye of the film’s cinematographer, Pierre Aïm. From the opening...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 29 November 2020
Fifty years after their first album The Garden Of Jane Delawney was issued in April 1970, Trees seem to be better known than when they were active. Despite Françoise Hardy’s cover...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 28 November 2020
As with so much in these unprecedented times, online performance is evolving, and fast: different approaches are becoming established formats. Some go ultra intimate – raw...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 28 November 2020
A top-rank cast swims against the tide in Uncle Frank, writer-director Alan Ball's well-intentioned but fatally contrived film that presumably contains more than a trace of the...
Avi Avital
Saturday, 28 November 2020
The mandolin is an instrument everybody has heard of without necessarily knowing much about it. Its history has been written by lovers of the instrument, often amateur players who...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 28 November 2020
 Berliner Philharmoniker/Kirill Petrenko: Music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Franz Schmidt, Rudi Stephan (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)Kirill Petrenko’s supposed...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 28 November 2020
Tankus the Henge are one of Britain’s most energized, entertaining and spirit-raising live bands. If they were allowed to...
Bernard Hughes
Friday, 27 November 2020
After a brief interlude of concerts with a live audience, we are back to streamed events from empty halls (though many...
Joseph Walsh
Friday, 27 November 2020
You can practically smell the fumes coming off Thomas Vinterberg’s latest drama Another Round, known in Denmark simply as "...
Joe Muggs
Friday, 27 November 2020
Miley Cyrus has always been, broadly, A Good Thing. A Top Pop Star. A sassy, funny, puritan-scaring, omnisexual chaos monkey...
David Nice
Thursday, 26 November 2020
Colette’s sharply fantastical libretto for Ravel’s second one-act opera imagines wrongs exercised upon objects and animals...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 26 November 2020
Many have struggled to bring a new slant to the horror genre, but writer-director Brandon Cronenberg has managed it with...
Barney Harsent
Thursday, 26 November 2020
Gary Barlow’s Music Played By Humans is, in all but name, a Christmas album. Mixing big-band jazz, Latin and pop, it’s an...
Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Published in June 2016, J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy became a best-seller around the time of that November’s...
Harry Thorfinn-George
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
During the first lockdown in March, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong took the time to reflect “on the things that matter...
Tuesday, 24 November 2020
The infamous border wall. Prolonged detention. Children in cages. Even as Biden's election promises a sea change in Trump's...
Graham Fuller
Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Stylistically, Waxworks (1924) was the apogee of German Expressionist cinema in that it was the last pure distillation of...
Jenny Gilbert
Monday, 23 November 2020
Theatres are currently banned from moving scenery and props about on stage and you might expect this to present a major...
David Nice
Monday, 23 November 2020
“After black and gloomy night, the sun shines all the brighter,” sings hero Ariodante after a life-threatening bout of...

★★★ ANOTHER ROUND Delight and despair

★★★★ POSSESSOR Startling vision of corporate assassination from director Brandon Cronenberg

★★★★ L'ENFANT ET LES SORTILEGES, VOPERA, LPO, REYNOLDS Ravel and Colette reimagined

★★★ MILEY CYRUS - PLASTIC HEARTS Miley's ever-shifting sound alights on a Big Eighties aesthetic

★★★★ CLAYTON, FRANK-GEMMILL, SCO, KUUSISTO ONLINE Small but beautifully formed

disc of the day

Blu-Ray: La Haine

Burning all illusions: Matthieu Kassowitz's incendiary take on the French dispossessed gets a handsome restoration


Arena - Fela Kuti: Father of Afrobeat, BBC Two review - the music that never dies

Intimate and in-depth portrait of West Africa's great cultural icon

The Good Lord Bird, Sky Atlantic review - picaresque account of the myth of John Brown

Ethan Hawke leads an outlandish ride through American history

Offended by Irvine Welsh, Sky Arts review - are we seeing the end of free speech?

'Trainspotting' author examines the insidious march of cancel culture


Blu-Ray: La Haine

Burning all illusions: Matthieu Kassowitz's incendiary take on the French dispossessed gets a handsome restoration

Uncle Frank review - well-acted but painfully contrived

Alan Ball film largely wastes a wonderful cast

Another Round review - delight and despair

Mads Mikkelsen stars in Thomas Vinterberg’s alcohol-fumed tragicomedy

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Trees - 50th Anniversary box set

Four-disc fantasia dedicated to the mind-blowing British folk-rockers

Dua Lipa's Studio 2054 - pop sensation locked into the spectacle

Dua Lipa has truly found her musical personality this year - but does it come through in performance?

Album: Tankus the Henge - Luna Park!

Festival favourites' third album delivers an exuberant selection of stompers


First Person: Avi Avital on 'Art of the Mandolin'

Master of an exquisite instrument turns to works written specifically for it

Clayton, Frank-Gemmill, SCO, Kuusisto online review – small but beautifully formed

Music of style and substance presented in an enticing online package

Má Vlast, Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov online review – finest silk for Velvet Revolution anniversary concert

Smetana's national epic comes up fresh and meaningful in a miraculous online happening


L'enfant et les sortilèges, VOPERA, LPO, Reynolds online – Ravel and Colette reimagined

Through the laptop screen and what the child found there, in a brilliant take on a classic

The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's indictment of capitalism in a vibrant new production

Ariodante, Royal Opera online review – stylish, but confined

Accomplished ensemble tries its best to cross the footlights in livestream-only Handel


15 Heroines, Jermyn Street Theatre online review - putting the women back into Greek myth
Scorching adaptation of Ovid is a welcome theatrical respite from lockdown
Death of England: Delroy, National Theatre review - a furious if fleetingly seen sequel
Opening and closing night were the same for vital solo show
Little Wars, Union Theatre online review - richly emotional, but formulaic
Lillian Hellman meets a handful of other female greats in an imaginary dinner party


The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's indictment of capitalism in a vibrant new production

The Royal Ballet: Live, Within the Golden Hour review - stunning, joyous dance

Setback? What setback? Restrictions seem to push this company to ever greater things

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - onward and upward

Carlos Acosta sets out his stall as artistic director of BRB


Extract: 'On Loneliness' by Fatimah Asghar, from 'The Good Immigrant USA'

One of 26 powerful essays on being made to feel other in today's America

Nicole Krauss: To Be a Man review - first short-story collection from the award-winning novelist

Love, complicity, the burden of the past: ten stories with a wide-ranging focus

Andrey Kurkov: Grey Bees review - light Ukrainian odyssey, with bite

Journey of a beekeeper lays bare the simultaneous severity and stupidity of conflict

visual arts

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer, Barbican Art Gallery review - mould-breaker, ground-shaker

A crash course in the life and times of an iconoclast and muse

Sin, National Gallery review - great subject, modest show

A small gathering can't do justice to this fabulous topic

latest comments

Yikes. I get that you don't like the synth-based...

One of the best rock interviews I've read in some...

Ronnie's is being screened on BBC Four...

Ugh. She's unbearable. Please, no.


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