sun 02/04/2023

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Graham Fuller
Sunday, 02 April 2023
In the Middle profiles10 football officials who referee and run the line of lower-league games in south-west London and north-east Surrey. Pondering what drives these apparently...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 02 April 2023
An original pressing of 1979’s Thrust fetches at least £1000. Its 1980 follow-up Thrust Too can be a relative bargain at around £400. The prices are partly explained by J Dilla...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 01 April 2023
Netflix’s hit show Drive to Survive has proved that F1 can grab ratings, but Villeneuve Pironi: Racing's Untold Tragedy (Sky Documentaries) is a more esoteric offering. It’s a...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 01 April 2023
The urge to redesign a heritage ballet is a curious one, given not just the expense but the fact that the main draw of an old ballet is the steps and the music, which stay the...
Alice Brewer
Saturday, 01 April 2023
In his mock-poetic manual Peri-Bathos (1728), Alexander Pope opens by describing the afflictions which beset inhabitants of the lower Parnassus. The aristocracy living further up...
Graham Rickson
Friday, 31 March 2023
 Debussy: Piano Works Volume 2 Dennis Lee (piano) (ICSM Records)I’m a huge fan of Colin Matthews’ idiomatic orchestral transcriptions of Debussy’s Préludes, so much so that...
David Nice
Friday, 31 March 2023
When your special guest is a young soprano with all the world before her, the total artist already, your programme might...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 31 March 2023
Here in Europe we mainly see subtle, lyrical Iranian films, targeted at international festivals or art house audiences, so...
Mark Kidel
Friday, 31 March 2023
Complicité, the adventurous theatre company led today by Simon McBurney, one of its founders, is now 40. Over the last four...
Gary Naylor
Friday, 31 March 2023
One wonders if Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan pondered long over their debut musical’s title. Silvio might invite...
Demetrios Matheou
Friday, 31 March 2023
There’s something about the Irish coastal village that makes filmmakers see it as a perfect locale for tales of human...
Cheri Amour
Friday, 31 March 2023
Maybe you’ve heard the Native American parable about the two wolves. An old Cherokee’s grandson is grappling with internal...
Alexandra Coghlan
Thursday, 30 March 2023
Handel’s Theodora – voluptuously beautiful, warm-to-the-touch music, yoked to a libretto of chilly piety about Christian...
Helen Hawkins
Thursday, 30 March 2023
Sierra Pettengill has made the politest angry film I have seen. It has an incendiary quality that comes precisely from its...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 30 March 2023
There’s something charmingly unassuming and humble about The Zombies. Nowadays their 1968 second album Odyssey and Oracle...
Jenny Gilbert
Wednesday, 29 March 2023
With all the talk – and, frankly, fear – around AI and the increasing dominance of the digital world, it’s fascinating to...
Robert Beale
Wednesday, 29 March 2023
Mansfield Park was written to be a country house opera – that kind where you have a smallish number of performers, no chorus...
Guy Oddy
Wednesday, 29 March 2023
1982 is only A Certain Ratio’s third album this century but it’s one that’s brimming with funky vibes that are more than...
Helen Hawkins
Tuesday, 28 March 2023
How much more is there left to be said about the excellence of Succession? It’s back for a final season, and devotees will...

★★★★ SISSOKO SEGAL PARISIEN PEIRAN - LES EGARES Delicate musical conversations

★★★★★ SUCCESSION, SEASON FOUR, SKY ATLANTIC Powerful beginning for the endgame


★★★★ THEODORA, ARCANGELO, COHEN, BARBICAN Gloriously dark and sober

★★★ THE COW WHO SANG A SONG INTO THE FUTURE A sensually strange eco-fable

★★★★★ LAW OF TEHRAN Visceral Iranian police thriller

★★★ THE DEAD CITY, ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA Strong dream world, weak love story

★★★★ BLU-RAY: KAMIKAZE HEARTS Provocative 1986 docudrama about the adult entertainment industry

★★★★★ AFTER IMPRESSIONISM, NATIONAL GALLERY An impressive tour de force

THE BARRACUDAS - DROP OUT WITH THE BARRACUDAS Garage-psych-punk-surf rockers


disc of the day

Album: boygenius - The Record

Boygenius’ debut takes three generation-defining songwriters and forges an almighty collective


Succession, Season Four, Sky Atlantic review - powerful beginning for the endgame

Patriarch vs pretenders: a primal story that's never been more compellingly told

Great Expectations, BBC One review - modernised, muddied and muddled

Steven Knight gives the Dickens classic a Peaky Blinders feel


In the Middle review - the true grit of grassroots referees

Canny football doc addresses a spectrum of social issues

Law of Tehran review - visceral Iranian police thriller

Life on the mean streets of urban Iran brought vividly to life

God's Creatures review - Irish drama with a touch of Greek tragedy

Emily Watson and Paul Mescal shine as a reunited mother and son

new music

Music Reissues Weekly: McNeal and Niles - Thrust, Wilbur Niles and Thrust - Thrust Too

Ohio funk rarities with surprising links to the state’s new wave scene

Album: boygenius - The Record

Boygenius’ debut takes three generation-defining songwriters and forges an almighty collective

Album: The Zombies - Different Game

Rock as comforting as an old pair of slippers, in the best possible way


Classical CDs: Fireworks, floods and unpleasant glimpses

Classical chamber music, pianistic impressionism and two intriguing box sets

Williams, Dunedin Consort, Truscott, Wigmore Hall review - star soprano, total teamwork

An exquisite and subtle Handel feast focusing on his early Roman works


Theodora, Arcangelo, Cohen, Barbican review - gloriously dark and sober

A chilly story gains plenty of human warmth in this vivid account

Mansfield Park, RNCM, Manchester review - bringing out the best

Costume drama in music, with a bit of a surprise

The Dead City, English National Opera review - strong dream world, weak love story

Taxing lead roles bravely taken, but Korngold's life-over-death dynamic doesn't quite work


Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Complicité, Barbican review - murder in the forest
The veteran theatre company tackles a rich and passionate novel
Berlusconi, Southwark Playhouse Elephant review - curious new musical satire
A reprehensible man treats women badly, but the political magic is left entirely unexplored
Black Superhero, Royal Court review - ambitious, but messy
Debut play about sex, race and queerness is a disappointing mishmash


Cinderella, Royal Ballet review - the first British ballet learns the language of flowers

Plant life blooms everywhere you look in Frederick Ashton's earliest full-evening ballet

Tom Dale Company, The Place review - immersive and genre-busting

Dazzling, ingenious, thought provoking - a big thumbs-up to the digital revolution

'You want to cry from loving to do it so much' - Lynn Seymour 1939-2023

Remembering the unique ballerina who injected me with her poison


Colin Herd and Maria Sledmere: Cocoa and Nothing review - arts of sinking

Herd and Sledmere perform the highs and lows of poetry in a despairingly witty collection

Seraphina Madsen: Aurora review - the tarot won’t save us

Homage to the history of the dark arts and the witchy women who realised them

Margaret Atwood: Old Babes in the Wood review - bookending the short story

Semi-autobiographical tales of loss and love sit oddly among snails and aliens

latest comments

Loved this. Can't wait for a sequel to come out

What a wonderful dancer/actress she was! She...

Not a single song out of the 40 is mentioned....

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