tue 07/07/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Peter Quantrill
Tuesday, 07 July 2020
Documentaries like this one make me sentimental for a time, until about 25 years ago, when classical music was a more or less weekly presence on terrestrial TV. Now fast...
Daniel Lewis
Tuesday, 07 July 2020
You feel at times, while reading the collection Blue in Chicago, that Bette Howland might have missed her vocation. In another life, Howland – until recently almost completely...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 06 July 2020
The spoof “rockumentary” always sounds like a great idea, but it’s hard to pull off. Largely this is because rock stars are so divorced from reality that an element of self-parody...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 06 July 2020
After Unfollow the Rules: The Paramour Session and the #Quarantunes “robe recitals” comes the album: Unfollow the Rules, no longer stripped back (though everything's relative) but...
Markie Robson-Scott
Sunday, 05 July 2020
The journalistic addiction-memoir is a crowded genre these days: Details editor Dan Perez chronicles his massive intake of Vicodin and other opioids in As Needed for Pain; New...
Charlie Stone
Sunday, 05 July 2020
Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and sculptures of young girls clad in the uniform of the dance are signs of an artistic...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 05 July 2020
“Strange Destinies” is the first track. “Take your eyes off me Svengali” is its memorable opening phrase. Conjuring up Van...
Veronica Lee
Saturday, 04 July 2020
It was a weary and frustrated Dom Joly (★★) who left the stage after performing the first drive-in comedy show in the UK....
Demetrios Matheou
Saturday, 04 July 2020
If COVID-19 isn’t the only topic being tackled by creative folk at the moment, it certainly feels like it. That’s perfectly...
Peter Culshaw
Saturday, 04 July 2020
Peter Culshaw’s occasional global radio music show comes blinking into the light after lockdown, as MusicBox radio’s studio...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 04 July 2020
There’s sun and sand, and both are golden – but this is no holiday beach. Distantly, out of focus, you can make out a man...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 04 July 2020
 Holst: The Planets; Nielsen: Helios Overture Mythos (Bjarke Mogensen and Rasmus Schjaerff Kjøller, accordions) (Mythos...
David Thompson
Saturday, 04 July 2020
Mike Hodges arrived in cinema through television, including a stint on the rightly revered Granada Television current...
Russ Coffey
Saturday, 04 July 2020
If one song best captures the overall mood of XOXO, it's the Beatles-meets-country strains of "Living in a Bubble". The...
David Nice
Friday, 03 July 2020
It’s begun: very limited access to live music, the chance to sit before one or two players in the same room – as we were...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 03 July 2020
Lorraine Hansberry’s debut, A Raisin in the Sun, was the first drama written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway,...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 03 July 2020
Back Roads has languished largely unseen since its completion in 2017, and one can see why: lurid to the point of...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 03 July 2020
Werner Herzog’s appearance in The Mandalorian paid for this deadpan, documentary-like slice of extreme Japanese life,...
Rachel Halliburton
Friday, 03 July 2020
I knew what a Howard Hodgkin painting would look like before I ever saw one because of Nigel Slater. There’s a recipe in one...

DOM JOLY / DANIEL SLOSS, BRENT CROSS The Drive-In Club makes a little bit of history

★★★★ LES BLANCS, NT AT HOME Triumphant revival of forgotten classic

★★★★ HAMILTON, DISNEY+ Puts us all in the room where it happened

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY An accordion duo, operatic arias on solo cello and a fiery Russian symphony

THEARTSDESK Q&A: MIKE HODGES The British writer-director reflects on his thriller 'Black Rainbow', out on Blu-ray

 ★★★★★ DANCING AT DUSK: A MOMENT WITH PINA BAUSCH'S 'THE RITE OF SPRING' An inspired re-staging of a 20th century masterpiece

disc of the day

Album: Rufus Wainwright - Unfollow the Rules

A self-described second act by an artist who's already been through several


Being Beethoven, BBC Four review – from grubby kid to grumpy genius

Attention-span anxiety yields more insight into man than music

The Kemps: All True, BBC Two review - more self-promotion than self-mockery

Spandau Ballet-boys show willing but spoof rock-doc misses the point

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Sky Atlantic review - the good, the bad and the unspeakable

Shape-shifting Natalie Dormer wreaks havoc in a combustible 1930s Los Angeles


Homemade review - laughs, loss and madness in lockdown

Netflix showcases a collection of 17 short films that capture the isolated, but shared experiences of life during the pandemic

theartsdesk Q&A: filmmaker Mike Hodges

The British writer-director reflects on the making and meaning of his thriller 'Black Rainbow' as it bows on Blu-ray

Back Roads review - nice cheekbones, not much else

Alex Pettyfer's directing debut is more or less DOA

new music

Album: Rufus Wainwright - Unfollow the Rules

A self-described second act by an artist who's already been through several

Reissue CDs Weekly: Philip Rambow - The Rebel Kind

Making the case for ‘the eternal under-rated cult’

theartsdesk Radio Show 28 - Tony Allen tribute with guest Stephen Budd

Homage to the late Afro-beat legend, and interview about him with his friend and African music DJ Stephen Budd


Classical CDs Weekly: Holst, Nielsen, Piatti, Tchaikovsky

An accordion duo, operatic arias on solo cello and a fiery Russian symphony

‘We are still standing and planning for the brightest future we can’: Svend McEwan-Brown on the survival of a festival

East Neuk Festival Director finds generosity, humanity and a hunger for culture in a crisis


Classical music/Opera direct to home 19 – and two before a live audience

Finally, you can be in the room, or space, where it happens in two east London venues

The Opera Story: Episodes review - whimsical takes on lockdown life

Young London company offers snapshots of contemporary living

Classical music/Opera direct to home 17 - festive inventions

Celebrating a maverick conductor, two great artists in recital and home-grown ingenuity


Les Blancs, National Theatre at Home review – triumphant revival of forgotten classic
NT archive recording of Lorraine Hansberry’s last play is absolutely compelling
Toast, Lawrence Batley Theatre online review - pungent adaptation of Nigel Slater's autobiography
Food crimes of the Sixties and Seventies are revealed here as Michelin-starred memories
Theatre Lockdown Special 12: An American rarity, a British savoury, and fresh Apples
Nigel Slater is back, as is Richard Nelson's Apple family for a second time via Zoom


Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch’s 'The Rite of Spring' review - an explosive African rite

Continents collide in a film documenting an inspired re-staging of a 20th-century masterpiece

'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


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


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

Visual Arts Lockdown Special 4: half-way houses

Some galleries prepare to reopen, others remain closed; online still offers riches

Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro review - sublime isolation

One of the great painters of our time responds to life in lockdown

Shirley Baker: A Different Age, James Hyman Gallery review - the old at leisure

A little-known photographer and an overlooked subject take the spotlight

latest comments

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