fri 16/04/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Jenny Gilbert
Friday, 16 April 2021
Like the British high street, the once richly diverse landscape of dance in the UK is likely to look very different once lockdown is fully lifted. There will be losses, noticeably...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 16 April 2021
On first sight, Citizen Lane's appeal may seem limited to those with an Irish connection or an interest in fine art. But director Thaddeus O'Sullivan turns what could have been a...
Robert Beale
Friday, 16 April 2021
Sir Mark Elder is back with the Hallé for the latest (and penultimate) filmed concert in their “Winter Season” of 2020 and 2021, including the world premiere of Huw Watkins'...
Joe Muggs
Friday, 16 April 2021
AJ Tracey is one of Brit rap’s aristocracy now. Along with the likes of Stormzy, Dave, J Hus and lately Headie One, he is massively bankable, with streams in the tens of millions...
Boyd Tonkin
Thursday, 15 April 2021
The Southbank Centre automatically stuck the trusty “Bohemian Rhapsodies” headline on this London Philharmonic Orchestra concert of Czech music streamed from the still-deserted...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 15 April 2021
On the 30th floor of a Tokyo apartment building, a charming little boy brushes his teeth, watched over by his smiling mother who sings to him gently. He’s full of joy - today his...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 15 April 2021
As Line of Duty aficionados debate the identity of H and wonder who DCI Joanne Davidson shares her DNA with, this new three-...
Mark Kidel
Thursday, 15 April 2021
The Master Musicians of Joujouka, described by William Burroughs as a “4000 year-old rock’n’roll band”, and recorded by...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 15 April 2021
The term most often used about Berlin director Angela Schanelec’s filmmaking seems to be “elliptical”, and her latest...
Sarah Collins
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Almost a year ago, in the midst of the first national lockdown, The Sunday Times broke the news that Boris Johnson had...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
What may have happened here is that an intriguing book has been turned into a not so great TV series. Too Close was Natalie...
Jessica Duchen
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
I can’t deny that it’s great to be able to experience a recital by Benjamin Grosvenor live from the Barbican despite...
India Lewis
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Fifty Sounds is translator Polly Barton’s first novel, conceived as part of Fitzcarraldo’s annual essay prize. The book...
Thomas H Green
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
11 Past the Hour opens with its title song, a delicious, twangy, string-laden Nancy Sinatra Bond theme that never was. The...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 12 April 2021
If American music has a royal family, it’s surely the Seeger clan. Charles, the patriarch, the composer, musicologist and...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Monday, 12 April 2021
There’s a line in “No Home”, the staggering centrepiece of Lady Dan’s debut album, that perhaps sums up the project. “Wolves...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Speaking to America’s Hit Parader magazine in August 1967, Frank Zappa said “If you want to learn how to play guitar, listen...
Tom Baily
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Since launching his directing career in 2011 with The Showdown, Park Hoon-jung has established himself as a promising...
Graham Fuller
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Catch Us If You Can, the 1965 road movie starring Barbara Ferris and the eponymous drummer and guiding force of the Dave...

★★★★ TRUE MOTHERS How many people does it take to raise a child?

★★★★ BENT COPPERS: CROSSING THE LINE OF DUTY, BBC TWO Astounding history of how the Met went rotten from within

★★★ BLU-RAY: I WAS AT HOME, BUT... Cold comfort in this story of family grief from Berlin director Angela Schanelec

★★★★ JONATHAN CALVERT AND GEORGE ARBUTHNOTT: FAILURES OF STATE A devastating exposé, slightly mistimed

★★★★ ISSERLIS, LPO, ELDER, SOUTHBANK CENTRE Songs of life and death

THE MASTER MUSICIANS OF JOUJOUKA A 4000-year-old rock'n'roll band

★★ IMELDA MAY - 11 PAST THE HOUR Irish star makes rare musical blunder into whiffy 'classical rock' and balladry

disc of the day

Album: AJ Tracey - Flu Game

West London's superstar rapper tries to find his mature style with mixed success


Too Close, ITV review - capable cast struggles with unrewarding material

Unconvincing TV treatment of Natalie Daniels novel

This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Netflix - the last word (for now)

Three decades on and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum mystery is still hot


True Mothers review - how many people does it take to raise a child?

Atmospheric but sentimental: Japanese auteur Naomi Kawase casts her gaze on adoption

Blu-ray: I Was at Home, But...

Cold comfort in this story of family grief from Berlin director Angela Schanelec

new music

Album: AJ Tracey - Flu Game

West London's superstar rapper tries to find his mature style with mixed success

The Master Musicians of Joujouka review - a 4000 year-old rock'n'roll band

Healing music from the Rif Mountains of Morocco

Album: Imelda May - 11 Past the Hour

Irish star makes a rare musical blunder into whiffy 'classic rock' and balladry on her latest


Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester online review - brassy, bouncy optimism

World premiere of Huw Watkins’ Second Symphony in filmed performance

Isserlis, LPO, Elder, Southbank Centre online review – songs of life and death

Lesser-known Czech passions preface a beloved old favourite

Benjamin Grosvenor, Barbican online review - black magic and golden-age gorgeousness

The British pianist's recital beautifully evokes romanticism in isolation


The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

More time needed in knocking this fascinating Brecht/Weill double bill into shape

L'heure espagnole, Grange Park Opera online review - seduction and sandwiches in 60 minutes

Ravel takes a Kensington lunchbreak, in an operatic updating for the YouTube generation

Siegfried, Göteborg Opera online review - a hero for our times

Staging and singing in sync for the Ring’s scherzo


Romeo and Juliet, National Theatre online review - a triumphant hybrid
Simon Godwin's debut film is part dressed-down rehearsal, part cinematic flourish
Living Newspaper, Edition 3, Royal Court online review – bleak news, sharp words
Third instalment of the irreverent series takes on Boris, star signs, and casual sexism
A Midsummer Night's Dream, SHAKE Festival livestream review - a star turn from Luisa Omielan makes this 'Bottom's Dream'
Jenny Caron Hall's production, with sister Rebecca starring, offers 'mechanical' treats


The Royal Ballet - variations on a comeback

How one major ballet company survived to dance another day

Best of 2020: Dance

In a perilous year, bright ideas and perseverance sometimes prevailed

The Nutcracker: an end-of-year obituary

It's been a rough ride for the seasonal cash cow. Here's how ballet companies coped


Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott: Failures of State review - a devastating exposé, slightly mistimed

Precipitous publication may mean this feat of research fails to make its mark

Polly Barton: Fifty Sounds review - what is lost in translation

How to understand a language if you don't understand yourself

Andrea Bajani: If You Kept a Record of Sins review - where blame, grief and discovery meet

Irresistibly spare narrative reckons with a mother’s death in Romania

visual arts

This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Netflix - the last word (for now)

Three decades on and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum mystery is still hot

Prix Pictet: Confinement review - a year in photographs

Prize-winning photographers respond to the pandemic

Pioneering Women, Oxford Ceramics Gallery online review - domestic pleasures

A survey of female potters explores ancient ubiquity and the allure of pure form

latest comments

The most sexually explicit song without a word...

just a wonderful watch. captivating, you become...

Agree wholeheartedly great performances and a...

Lovely review. I really enjoyed the film. The...

The accompaniments add so much.It's a lovely disc.

yes I really liked the vox clara, a lovely sound...

Intruder, terrible. None of the actors gel and "...

In the flashback to 1979. You showed a young...


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