fri 19/08/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Michael Volpe
Friday, 19 August 2022
“But what’s in it for you?” It was a simple enough question, asked by an accomplished opera singer. It stemmed from hearing that the new version of the Iford Arts opera company I...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 19 August 2022
It was the end of an era, as Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s bittersweet epic of the brilliantly devious Saul Goodman wound to a close. Hints of redemption were in the air,...
David Nice
Friday, 19 August 2022
Sibelius or Nielsen symphonies? Last night, with the Finn’s Seventh in the first half and the Dane’s “Inextinguishable” (No. 4) in the second, choice should have been impossible....
Veronica Lee
Friday, 19 August 2022
Joseph Parsons, The Mash House ★★★Joseph Parsons is wearing a Bristol City shirt for Equaliser, which is about being a gay man who loves football. Actually, he loves most...
Markie Robson-Scott
Friday, 19 August 2022
Back in 1995, the name Brandon Lee made the headlines. Not the Brandon Lee as in son of Bruce, who’d recently met his death on the set of The Crow, but a schoolboy who’d chosen to...
David Kettle
Friday, 19 August 2022
Ode to Joy (How Gordon Got to Go to the Nasty Pig Party), Summerhall ★★★★★You receive a glossary on your way in to James Ley’s high-voltage, high-camp Ode to Joy in the ancient,...
Mark Kidel
Friday, 19 August 2022
Demi Lovato doesn’t do things by halves. She has one of the most powerful voices around, as suited to the yang of punchy...
David Nice
Thursday, 18 August 2022
Essay-writing can be a great art, at least when executed by Hubert Butler of Kilkenny, on a par - whether you know his...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 18 August 2022
Dystopian theatre takes many forms – but this is the first which is a jury-room drama. Dawn King has previously...
Sebastian Scotney
Thursday, 18 August 2022
Very good things have come to pass as a result the Mingus Centennial in April this year. A light has been shone not just on...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 18 August 2022
Jake Lambert, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★Jake Lambert warms up the audience by describing how much he enjoyed lockdown (...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 18 August 2022
22 is a pretty young age to be jaded. But this album starts out with Mancunian rapper Aitch detailing how tough it is at the...
Sebastian Scotney
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
It does need saying: the RPO may receive less frequent plaudits than some of their London peers, but this is a fine and...
Gary Naylor
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
There’s nothing quite like magic, live, up close and personal. Sure there are the TV spectaculars, the casino resort mega-...
Christopher Lambton
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
It is quite some years, if not decades, since the Edinburgh International Festival had any claim to be a festival of staged...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
 Hal Cruttenden, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★ Hal Cruttenden is the kind of observational comic who talks about his...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
You know those people who claim to literally only like the very first music a band does at the start of their career, then...
David Nice
Tuesday, 16 August 2022
Two quirky concertos – one for orchestra, though it might also be called a sinfonietta – and a big symphony: best of British...
David Kettle
Tuesday, 16 August 2022
"I feel I owe you an explanation." That much James Thierrée concedes partway through his sprawling, freewheeling, dream-like...

EDINBURGH FRINGE 2022: HAL CRUTTENDEN / ZACH ZUCKER / THE DELIGHTFUL SAUSAGE Divorce the nice way, Las Vegas showtime, and an hour of silliness

★★★★ MINGUS DYNASTY, RONNIE SCOTT'S Official keepers of the flame at the temple of jazz

CYRILLE DUBOIS Chapter and verse on the tenor's fascinating project recording all Fauré's songs

★★★★ WONDERVILLE MAGIC AND CABARET Fast-paced show delivers the promised wonder

★★★★★ MARRIAGE, BBC ONE A brilliantly executed drama series with a big heart

★★★★ SALOME, BERGEN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, GARDNER, EIF 2022 Malin Byström offers presence and power as Strauss and Wilde's sex-crazed princess

★★★★ CASS MCCOMBS - HEARTMIND A beloved American singer-songwriter honours his dead

★★★★ ROOM, EIF 2022 James Thierrée joyfully collides together dance, mime, acrobatics, music and more

★★★ HOT CHIP - FREAKOUT / RELEASE Slick with delicious songwriting

disc of the day

Album: Demi Lovato - Holy Fvck

Surfing the F word with maximum energy


My Old School review - a Glasgow schoolboy and his elaborate hoax

Jono McLeod mixes animation and real-life interviews in a compelling documentary

Blu-ray: The Saphead

Buster Keaton's intermittently entertaining feature debut, with enticing extras

Eiffel review - sensuous secret history

Concocted romance gives the Eiffel Tower shaky but lavishly entertaining foundations

new music

Album: Demi Lovato - Holy Fvck

Surfing the F word with maximum energy

Album: Aitch - Close to Home

Manchester's great white hope on charming form as he grapples with meteoric success


Prom 42, Lisiecki, BBC Scottish SO, Dausgaard review - concerto partnership made in heaven

Lisiecki electrifies in Beethoven, but well-prepared Nielsen doesn’t quite storm the heights

theartsdesk at the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2022 - a safe space to reflect on horrors

Masha Gessen, Shostakovich and Shakespeare’s Prospero wrestle order from chaos

Prom 40, Moore, RPO, Petrenko review - orchestral clarity, and a persuasive trombonist

The RPO is sounding good after Vasily Petrenko's first season as Music Director


Salome, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner, Edinburgh International Festival 2022 review - orchestral majesty triumphs

Malin Byström offers presence and power as Strauss and Wilde's sex-crazed princess

La Voix humaine/Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Glyndebourne review - phantasmagorical wonders

Visual and aural beauty, strong performances, in a stunning double-bill from Laurent Pelly


Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Ode to Joy / Wilf
Two plays by Scottish writer James Ley set out to shock, provoke – and provide belly laughs too
The Trials, Donmar Warehouse review - chillingly compelling
A jury of young people hold their elders to account for climate change
Wonderville Magic and Cabaret - fast-paced show delivers the promised wonder
Leave memories of Paul Daniels at the door and embrace the sweet deception inside


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

The Car Man, Royal Albert Hall review - grand scale drama and decadence

An explosive restaging of the original dance drama


Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Joseph Parsons / Njambi McGrath / Josh Jones

A sporting life, colonial heritage, and a camp comic

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Jake Lambert / Bella Hull / Jack Harris

Searching for a friend, Gen Z laid bare, and teaching teachers

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Hal Cruttenden / Zach Zucker / The Delightful Sausage

Divorce the nice way, Las Vegas showtime, and an hour of silliness


Amalie Smith: Thread Ripper review - the tangled web we weave

AI meets Penelope meets Ada Lovelace in this meditation on text, tissue and textile

Phoebe Power: Book of Days review - the clack of walking poles, the clink of scallop shell

Powerful poems of pilgrimage, loss and belonging along the Camino de Santiago

Jessie Burton: The House of Fortune review - a muted, sensitive sequel

The ghosts gather as the miniaturist returns in Burton’s latest instalment


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