mon 30/03/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Monday, 30 March 2020
With everyone in lockdown, observing physical if not social distancing, a story about isolation can have a particular resonance. And there are few places in the UK that are as...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 30 March 2020
We’ve all spent time considering our desert island discs, which is of course why the programme Roy Plomley devised one winter’s night in 1942 is still thriving. The choices are...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 30 March 2020
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been saturating the globe with its multi-format superheroes, leaving its DC rival looking clumsy and disorganised by comparison. However, DC’s “...
David Nice
Monday, 30 March 2020
Only the birds will be singing at country opera houses around the UK this summer. Glyndebourne seems over-optimistic in declaring that it might be able to launch in July; other...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 30 March 2020
Michelle Wolf, best known to UK audiences as the comic who upset Donald Trump with some smart barbs aimed at his staff at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner, has done...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 29 March 2020
Assassinate the President! Obliterate history by torching libraries and murdering historians! Crazy leaders and fake news are just a few of the subjects tackled by political...
David Nice
Sunday, 29 March 2020
He may no longer be the Berlin Philharmoniker's Chief Conductor, but by a combination of serendipity and foresight on the...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 29 March 2020
“My favorite in the place was Karen Dalton. She was a tall white blues singer and guitar player, funky, lanky and sultry....
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 28 March 2020
The Children’s Film Foundation began life in 1950, its brief to provide wholesome home-grown entertainment for Saturday...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 28 March 2020
“Friday night is Amami night” – that was the ad that ran from the 1920s through to the 1950s for a brand of “setting lotion...
Richard Williams
Saturday, 28 March 2020
A combination of chopped-up newsreel and fever dream, “Murder Most Foul” is Bob Dylan’s most striking piece of work in years...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 28 March 2020
Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour is back on home territory with her new film, and you’ll recognise much here from her...
Mark Kidel
Saturday, 28 March 2020
Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson’s reputation was much enhanced by the story – never substantiated – that he’d met with...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 28 March 2020
 Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier George Lepauw (piano) (Orchid Classics)How a pianist tackles the opening C major...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 28 March 2020
Dua Lipa's self-titled debut was unmistakably the sound of a musician feeling their way. It had all the flavours of trap,...
Tim Cumming
Friday, 27 March 2020
Miles – where to begin? Some 21st century revisionists find his art fatally tainted by his personal life, and his violent...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 27 March 2020
Imagine being trapped in your perfect home forever. It’s easy if you try now, as Vivarium’s allegory about property and...
Sam Marlowe
Friday, 27 March 2020
“Whipped cream with knives” is how Harold Prince, who directed the Broadway premiere of A Little Night Music in 1973,...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 27 March 2020
Eddie Vedder’s maturing from a mumbling, suspicious victim-star of grunge into a wise elder statesman leading the last...



SONDHEIM AT 90 SONGS: 5 - 'Every Day A Little Death'

★★★★ SAM BOURNE: TO KILL A MAN The woman who fought back

CLASSICAL MUSIC/OPERA DIRECT TO HOME 4 Rattle in Berlin and London concerts

★★★ THE PERFECT CANDIDATE Haifaa Al Mansoor seeks status for women in Saudi

★★★★★ BOB DYLAN - MURDER MOST FOUL A taste of the apocalypse

disc of the day

DVD: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol 2

More buried treasure from the CFF archive: a treat for young and old alike


Batwoman, E4 review - can Bruce Wayne's female cousin fill his bat-costume?

Ruby Rose plays Batwoman, Gotham City's newest saviour

Rock ‘n’ Roll Island: Where Legends Were Born, BBC Four review - remembering rock's big bang

Eel Pie Island was London's answer to the Cavern, but what emerged was less genteel

ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads, Netflix review - a story well told but marred by clichéd style

Robert Johnson: a pact with the devil? A myth de-constructed, yet enhanced


DVD: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol 2

More buried treasure from the CFF archive: a treat for young and old alike

The Perfect Candidate review - seeking status for women in Saudi

Haifaa Al Mansour follows 'Wadjda' with a new tale of female independence in Saudi Arabia

Vivarium review – housing ladder to hell

Sharp if limited horror allegory of property and parenthood

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Recording Is The Trip - The Karen Dalton Archives

The Dylan-approved folk-inclined stylist’s 1962 and 1963 recordings get another outing

Single: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul

A taste of the apocalypse


Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether

The conductor's recent interpretations from Berlin and London online for free

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Poulenc, Simon Höfele

Life-enhancing keyboard music, cheery sounds from Paris and a dazzling young trumpeter

Notes on a no-show - Nico Muhly

New dance inspired by his music was the first casualty of the darkened Sadler's Wells


Le nozze di Figaro, Garsington Opera, OperaVision review - natural comedy, musical sublimity

Durable period setting enshrines perfect characterisations. Plus a Handel special

Classical music/Opera direct to home: 3 - Two Jenůfas

If you want searing music-drama, Janáček's are the place to start - but choose carefully

Sondheim at 90 Songs: 2 - 'Epiphany'/'A Little Priest'

Is there a better climax to a musical first act than the terror-plus-wit in 'Sweeney Todd'?


The Croft, Original Theatre online review – give me the remote
Original Theatre’s tartan gothic thriller is complex but also a bit overwrought
Sondheim at 90 Songs: 5 - 'Every Day A Little Death'
A stinging duet from 'A Little Night Music' has a savagely funny power
Sondheim at 90 Songs: 4 - 'America'
Brilliant lyrics from the young composer offer a definitive take on migration


Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre review - a little piece of history

Attempt to revive the spirit of Isadora Duncan is of academic interest, little more

Alina, Sadler's Wells review - I think therefore I dance

An unusual hybrid show gives a glimpse into the mind of a great ballerina


Roy Hudd: 'I was just trying to make 'em laugh'

The most traditional of entertainers, who has died at 83, harked back to a vanished age


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

visual arts

10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Multidisciplinary thinking at a multidisciplinary festival in a time of crisis

Among the Trees, Hayward Gallery review - a mixture of euphoria and dismay

Our complex relationship with trees explored to powerful effect


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