wed 26/02/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Hassan Abdulrazzak
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
You are at a party having a good time when someone gives you a glass of champagne. You take one and then another and soon the party is over.  You get in the car to go home...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
The rage and bitterness surrounding the Brexit brouhaha have made it immune to comedy and satire, but perhaps change is in the wind. Channel 4’s bogus royal family is back after a...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Since Back in Time for Dinner in 2015, this BBC Two social history strand in which families travel into a recreated past to experience ways in which society, leisure and...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
“Everybody lies," says property developer Tony to his PA and secret lover Natalie. “Even your mum probably.” And of course he’s not wrong.Sarah Williams’s drama, showing over four...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
This concert represented the British leg of the NHK Symphony Orchestra’s European tour. Tokyo’s radio orchestra is Japan’s flagship ensemble, and they are fine advocates for the...
Jenny Gilbert
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
It’s common to see the term “vanity project” applied to self-produced shows by ballet stars, but Alina – the first such London venture by Alina Cojocaru – was quite the opposite...
David Nice
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Startlingly high levels of expression and focused fire made this rich concert worthy of the dedicatee who radiated those...
Demetrios Matheou
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Lest anyone believe that Parasite was the only ground-breaking foreign language film of the past year, Céline...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Though set in a handsomely-realised 1912, many of The Winslow Boy’s period details seem disconcertingly contemporary, from...
Ariana Neumann
Monday, 24 February 2020
It was during my first week at Tufts University in America, when I was 17, that I was told by a stranger that I was Jewish....
Matt Wolf
Monday, 24 February 2020
This latest musical theatre exercise in “geek chic” has been an American phenomenon: a show propelled by social media that...
Joseph Walsh
Monday, 24 February 2020
There’s an undeniable romance to mid-'90s New York. Absent of the chirp of mobile phones, or the swirl of social media, it...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 24 February 2020
The exhibition starts on the Barbican’s lift doors, which are emblazoned with photographs from the show. They include one of...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 24 February 2020
The comic book of Locke and Key, written by Joe Hill (son of horror writer Stephen King) and illustrated by Gabriel...
Tim Cumming
Monday, 24 February 2020
Recent politics surround the EU and nationhood, fantasies of Irish Sea bridges and trading borders more porous than...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 24 February 2020
It has been seven years since Alexei Sayle last toured, with radio shows and books detaining him elsewhere, but he's back...
Joe Muggs
Monday, 24 February 2020
Around the turn of the millennium, when Dan Snaith started releasing music – initially as Manitoba, then Caribou, and...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Some menus never change. In 1910, the Loyal British Waiters Society came into being, prompted by “xenophobic resentment at...
Daniel Baksi
Sunday, 23 February 2020
With the publication of her first work, Waiariki (1975), Patricia Grace became the author of the first ever collection of...

★★★ GRIMES - MISS ANTHROPOCENE Grandiose ideas and production

★★★★★ MASCULINITIES, BARBICAN A must-see exhibition on gender identity

★★★★ MIDNIGHT FAMILY A thrilling documentary set in Mexico City

★★★ LOCKE & KEY, NETFLIX Comic book adaptation struggles to find its focus

★★★★ ALEXEI SAYLE, OXFORD PLAYHOUSE Return of the political bruiser

★★★★ PATRICIA GRACE: POTIKI A searching examination of human nature

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: The Winslow Boy

Outstanding Rattigan adaptation, superbly cast and directed

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The Windsors, Series 3, Channel 4 review - perfect timing for return of the bogus royals

Harry Enfield's Prince Charles tries to show leadership to his farcical band of ninnies

Back in Time for the Corner Shop, BBC Two review - open all hours with the Ardern family

Engrossing recreation of the lives of Sheffield's Victorian shopkeepers

Flesh and Blood, ITV review - Vivien's new love affair throws a cat among the family pigeons

Francesca Annis and Imelda Staunton in a twisty drama of secrets and lies


Actress Noémie Merlant: 'This is something that hasn't been told yet'

The star of 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' talks about a film that asserts the female gaze, behind and in front of the camera

DVD/Blu-ray: The Winslow Boy

Outstanding Rattigan adaptation, superbly cast and directed

Berlinale 2020: My Salinger Year review - 70th edition of the festival opens in style

Sigourney Weaver channels Meryl Streep in Falardeau's charming feature

new music

Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - raising women's voices

Imelda May heads an eclectic line-up to reimagine an Ireland beyond the old patriarchies

CD: Caribou - Suddenly

The Canadian psyche-pop genre fuser further hones his craft

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bona Rays

Lost British punk from 1978 hits the racks for the first time


Gabetta, NHK SO, Järvi, RFH review - transparency and dynamism

Japan’s flagship ensemble brings clarity and focus under its powerful chief conductor

Joanna MacGregor, Adrian Brendel, Gildas Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - gold and silver

Generosity all round in this charity concert for the Royal Society of Musicians

Aimard, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Roth, RFH review - Beethoven as avant-gardist

Only connect: works up to two centuries apart meet and argue in vital programming


Luisa Miller, English National Opera review - Verdi in translation makes a stylish comeback

Musical splendours peak in a tenor aria to die for and a moving last act

theartsdesk Q&A: soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn

Returning to ENO to sing Verdi's Luisa Miller, a great singer-actor reflects

Les vêpres siciliennes, Welsh National Opera review - spectacular, silly, but some great music

Verdi's reluctant grand opera colourfully staged, brilliantly played, unevenly sung


Be More Chill, The Other Palace review - more exhausting than enlightening
American theatre phenomenon pushes buttons aplenty to diminishing effect
A Number, Bridge Theatre review - a dream team dazzles anew
Roger Allam and Colin Morgan refashion Caryl Churchill's contemporary classic


Alina, Sadler's Wells review - I think therefore I dance

An unusual hybrid show gives a glimpse into the mind of a great ballerina

Message in a Bottle, Peacock Theatre review - a hiphop singalong

A show that brings streetdance and the songs of Sting to bear on the refugee crisis is far too jolly

The Cellist/Dances at a Gathering, Royal Ballet review - A grand love affair with a cello

The relationship between a great musician and her instrument, vividly imagined in dance


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

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

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

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

latest comments

I should add my apology to Mr Sandy himself.

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