wed 28/09/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Helen Hawkins
Wednesday, 28 September 2022
From underneath the messy ash-white thatch of hair, a strange mooing suddenly issues: Sir Kenneth Branagh is wrestling with Boris Johnson’s odd way of saying the “oo” sound. It’s...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 28 September 2022
A dead pigeon. A dead squirrel. A dead fox. Lots of maggots – very much alive. I might be describing your worst nightmare (throw in a rat or two and it would be very close to mine...
Nick Hasted
Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Twenty-four hours in the life of a Korean woman, Sangok (Lee Hyeyoung), are caught in scenes which feel like real time in Hong Sangsoo’s latest. Moments and personal connections...
Joe Muggs
Wednesday, 28 September 2022
It’s a minor tragedy that Yeah Yeah Yeahs arrived just in time to be bundled in with a spurious “new rock revolution,” because they were so much more than rock. The Strokes, The...
David Nice
Tuesday, 27 September 2022
“What about the communication with the audience?” asked violinist and impresario Bjarte Eike in his First Person piece for theartsdesk. “How can a 'normal' concert be turned into...
Sarah Kent
Tuesday, 27 September 2022
Remember Gangnam Style, the music video that went viral in 2012? PSY’s cheeky lyrics and daft moves attracted 1.6 billion hits on YouTube, sparked dozens of parodies and turned...
Harriet Mercer
Tuesday, 27 September 2022
In 2019 Australia endured the hottest, driest year since records began and their bushfire season escalated with...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 27 September 2022
Károly Makk’s Love (Szerelem) is full of silences and absences, this 1971 film’s premise as simple as its title is banal.The...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 26 September 2022
Can a play peak too soon? That's the quandary that attends the Old Vic airing of Eureka Day, Jonathan Spector's on-...
Rachel Halliburton
Monday, 26 September 2022
It probably tells you all you need to know about Igor Levit that when a mobile phone pinged just before his encore, he...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 26 September 2022
I have powerful memories of performances by Marina Abramović. Back in 1977 at Documenta in Kassel, Germany, she and her then...
David Nice
Monday, 26 September 2022
No gods, ancient Egyptian or otherwise; no sinister priest along the lines of Russia’s antichrist Patriarch Kiriil, sending...
Jonathan Geddes
Monday, 26 September 2022
Presumably before setting out on their current tour the Big Moon smashed a few mirrors, walked under some ladders and...
Nick Hasted
Monday, 26 September 2022
Lambchop’s 1997 breakthrough album took its title from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Borrowing The Bible is a more...
David Nice
Sunday, 25 September 2022
Schoenberg’s “Song of the Wood Dove” takes up a mere 11 of the 100 minutes of his epic Gurrelieder, though it’s a crucial...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 25 September 2022
The British music weeklies were clear about where the Sound-On-Sound LP and its singles fitted into the current musical...
David Nice
Saturday, 24 September 2022
In its three weeks of world-class events, Muskfest Berlin has managed to be all things to all people – like a mini-Proms...
Veronica Lee
Saturday, 24 September 2022
In case you're not au fait with Mumsnet, the title of Daisy May Cooper's follow-up creation to the stupendous This Country...
Gary Naylor
Saturday, 24 September 2022
Lisa has lost an hour in a (somewhat contrived) temporal glitch. As a consequence, her world is always sliding off-kilter,...

★★★★ SIDNEY A loving homage documentary portrait of Hollywood's first black superstar

★★★★ LAMBCHOP - THE BIBLE Kurt Wagner's prayer for a crumbling US offers spiritual salves

HILARY MANTEL 1952-2022 'The first thing I do when I wake up is write'

★★★ GURRELIEDER, LPO, GARDNER, RFH Everything in place, but still something’s missing

ABEL SELAOCOE The South African cellist and rising star of World and Classical on his debut album

THE ARTS DESK AT MUSIKFEST, BERLIN Orchestral and choral rainbows around the clock

★★★★ THE BIG MOON, ORAN MOOR, GLASGOW Partying prevails despite band's bad luck

★★★ CLUTCH, BUSH THEATRE Odd Corsa couple drive in fourth for comedy, second for pathos

★★★ THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISSOCIA, THEATRE ROYAL STRATFORD EAST The landscape of mental health explored in surreal comedy

BILL NELSON'S RED NOISE - ART / EMPIRE / INDUSTRY The Yorkshire maverick moves forward


disc of the day

Album: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down

A return even more triumphant than we dared hope from NYC's finest power trio


This England, Sky Atlantic review - how Boris's No 10 got Covid wrong

Kenneth Branagh gets Boris (mostly) right, but what does this docudrama hope to achieve?

Am I Being Unreasonable?, BBC One review - comedy thriller delivers the gags

Daisy May Cooper's new show is promising, looking set to get darker

'The first thing I do when I wake up is write.' Hilary Mantel, 1952-2022

An interview with the novelist the morning after she won the Man Booker Prize for the first time


In Front of Your Face review - a day in the life

An ex-actress's return to Seoul is beatific and drunkenly raw, in Hong Sangsoo's latest

Blu-ray: Love (Szerelem)

Love in a totalitarian regime: Károly Makk’s masterpiece returns

Juniper review - a classic role for Charlotte Rampling

A grandmother in New Zealand faces up to death, a grandson to life

new music

Album: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down

A return even more triumphant than we dared hope from NYC's finest power trio

The Big Moon, Oran Mor, Glasgow review - partying prevails despite band's bad luck

The quartet's pop and indie blend was in fine fettle

Album: Lambchop - The Bible

Spiritual salves and soulful dismay in Kurt Wagner's prayer for a crumbling America


Purcell's Playhouse, Bevan, Barokksolistene, Eike, Purcell Room review - kaleidoscopic delights

Vivacious British soprano shares the communicative spirit of her Norwegian colleagues

Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review - titanic talent shows his lighter side

Dazzling range in mastery of tone and technique

Gurrelieder, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - everything in place, but still something’s missing

Schoenberg's epic of love, death, afterlife and earthly regeneration sold a bit short


Aida, Royal Opera review - dour but disciplined

Uniformly good cast, idiomatic conducting, production rigidly consistent in khaki

The Makropulos Affair, Welsh National Opera review - complexity realised brilliantly on the stage

Janáček’s collisions spark an evening of powerful conflict


Eureka Day, Old Vic review - fun if not entirely fulfilling
Dissent in the ranks in uber-timely American comedy
The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - wild trip gets a welcome revival
A woman confronts her neuroses in a phantasmagorical world full of fun and fear
'The first thing I do when I wake up is write.' Hilary Mantel, 1952-2022
An interview with the novelist the morning after she won the Man Booker Prize for the first time


theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival 2022 - body and soul in perfect balance

Completion of the city’s big Dante project with 'Paradiso' is only one of three wonders

The Rite of Spring, Pina Bausch/École des Sables, Sadler's Wells review - explosive and disturbing

At last, the pan-African production of Bausch's landmark choreography arrives on the London stage


Kim Noble, Soho Theatre review - final part of trilogy about loneliness

You'll need a strong stomach for the comedy-performance art overlap of 'Lullaby for Scavengers'

Dave Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2022

Australian and American stand-ups leave the Fringe victorious


Bronwyn Adcock: Currowan review - a fire foretold, a warning delivered

Stories of surviving Australia’s worst bushfire

'The first thing I do when I wake up is write.' Hilary Mantel, 1952-2022

An interview with the novelist the morning after she won the Man Booker Prize for the first time

Ken Auletta: Hollywood Ending - Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence review - if the tide had turned in 2002...

The renowned American writer had earlier come close to revealing the truth about Weinstein

visual arts

Hallyu! The Korean Wave, V&A review - frenetic but fun

Learn how to succeed, South Korean style, right across the cultural board

Marina Abramović: Gates and Portals, Modern Art Oxford and Pitt Rivers Museum review - transcendence lite

The grandmother of performance art induces deep breathing and a slow heartbeat

Winslow Homer: Force of Nature, National Gallery review - dump the symbolism and enjoy the drama

Hot topics like slavery and colonialism given the ambiguous treatment

latest comments

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