fri 24/01/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Tom Birchenough
Friday, 24 January 2020
Uncle Vanya must surely be the closest, the most essential of Chekhov’s plays, its cast – just four main players who are caught up in its fraught emotional action, and four who...
Demetrios Matheou
Friday, 24 January 2020
Armando Iannucci’s move away from the contemporary political satires that made his name, first signalled by his bold, uproariously brilliant Death of Stalin, continues apace...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 24 January 2020
Matt Forde sets out his stall in Brexit: Pursued by a Bear from the first line: “We meet in diabolical circumstances.” These aren't good times, he says, with two major leaders in...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 23 January 2020
History plays should perform a delicate balancing act: they have to tell us something worth knowing about the past, that foreign country where they do things differently, and also...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 23 January 2020
The 18-year-old Japanese horror hit Ju-On (The Grudge) was remade once before, as – yes – The Grudge (2004), with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Now it's re-rebooted in this stylishly...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 23 January 2020
Since first getting together at the fag end of the 20th century, Black Lips have largely played the role of garage rockers with a hint of country and western about them. The songs...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Last night, I discovered the gasp index. Or maybe just re-discovered. The what? The gasp index. It's when you see a show...
Miranda Heggie
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Dubbed “classical music’s guitar hero”, the 36-year-old London based Montenegrin guitarist  Miloš Karadaglić – more...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
We hear plenty of debate about climate change and its disastrous potential, but the ballooning growth of the world’s...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
The race continues to create the most ridiculous cooking programme on TV. Channel 4’s new brainchild, Crazy Delicious, finds...
Sebastian Scotney
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
One can only marvel at the versatility of Ruby Turner. As a vocalist, she spans the whole blues/soul/ R&B spectrum, and...
Matt Wolf
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Armageddon would appear to be at the gates in Sam Steiner’s intriguing if ramshackle play, a co-production between Paines...
Sue Gaisford
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Just when you thought Christmas was well and truly over, along comes another box of delights. And there isn’t a...
David Nice
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Not long after noon on Sunday, strange bells began ringing. In just 11 bars, Bach summons pairs of flutes, oboes and violas...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Stephen King’s novels have generated an impressive lineage of successful adaptations. This HBO treatment (on Sky Atlantic)...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Concert programmes that set out to tell us a story can prove a mixed blessing. Yes, it’s valuable and stimulating to find...
Mark Kidel
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Dennis Hopper’s first starring role, in Night Tide from 1961, as a naïve but curious young sailor bewitched by a siren,...
Miranda Heggie
Monday, 20 January 2020
Celtic Connections, Scotland’s annual festival of folk, world and fusion music, has been brightening up dreich Glasgow...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 20 January 2020
#Beethoven250 is in full swing at the Barbican. Like most venues, they are keen to show a different side to the composer in...

★★★ THE WELKIN, NATIONAL THEATRE Maxine Peake struggles to make the voice of reason heard in feminist history play

★★★★ SCENES WITH GIRLS, ROYAL COURT New play about female friendship is refreshingly original and dazzlingly exciting

★★★★ BLACK LIPS - SING IN A WORLD THAT'S FALLING APART Atlanta garage rockers embrace their inner country and western souls

★★ THE GRUDGE Non-stop shocks wear out their welcome

disc of the day

Album: Black Lips - Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart

Atlanta garage rockers fully embrace their inner country and western souls

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Crazy Delicious, Channel 4 review - the most ridiculous cooking programme on TV ?

Heston Blumenthal's culinary deities encourage crackpot foodism

Chris Packham: 7.7 Billion People and Counting, BBC Two review - is it too late to get population growth under control?

Campaiging naturalist surveys the damage we're inflicting on our overcrowded planet

The Outsider, Sky Atlantic review - double trouble in small-town Georgia

The terror mounts in gripping Stephen King adaptation


The Personal History of David Copperfield review – top-drawer Dickens

Armando Iannucci’s colour-blind Copperfield is a veritable feast of comic acting

The Grudge review - non-stop shocks wear out their welcome

Rebooted reboot of Japanese horror hit turns terror into tedium

Blu-ray: Night Tide

Surreal sorcery from a Californian original, an early role from Dennis Hopper

new music

Album: Black Lips - Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart

Atlanta garage rockers fully embrace their inner country and western souls

Album: Ruby Turner – Love Was Here

Go and hear Ruby Turner perform live

Celtic Connections 2020, Glasgow review - fine feast of Scottish music

Global traditions come together in Scotland's annual musical melting pot


Bach Sunday with the Suzukis, RAM / Appl, AAM, Milton Court review - father, son and Holy Ghost

From the grandest beginnings of the B Minor Mass at lunchtime to solo cantatas at night

Blomfield, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - sounds of a troubled truce

Three idiosyncratic works tell one story of the world in 1945


Sukanya, RFH review - Ravi Shankar's bright-eyed, varied fable

Fine performances, but crude miking suggests this would work better as a chamber opera

prisoner of the state, Barbican review - beauty, but where is the drama?

David Lang's efficient homage to Beethoven can't eclipse the original

'Divinity is all around us': soprano Susanna Hurrell on Ravi Shankar's 'Sukanya'

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Indian master's birth with a return to his opera


Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre review - a superlative company achievement
Ian Rickson’s exemplary production relishes the nuances of Conor McPherson's adaptation
The Welkin, National Theatre review - women's labour is a pain
Maxine Peake struggles to make the voice of reason heard in feminist history play
Scenes with Girls, Royal Court review - feminist separatism 2.0
New play about female friendship is refreshingly original and dazzlingly exciting


English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala, Coliseum review - a fine celebration

ENB raises a toast to its past and future in an evening of nostalgia and high style

Onegin, Royal Ballet review - vivid and intelligent dance drama

The production may feel old-fashioned, but Cranko's graphic dance images still have power to startle

Resolution 2020, The Place review - new dance for a new decade

You take your chances with this annual bran tub of novice choreography


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

Best of 2019: Visual Arts

The exhibitions we loved most over the past 12 months

Caravaggio & Bernini, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - high emotion in 17th century Rome

Painting and sculpture vie for supremacy in the eternal city

Dora Maar, Tate Modern review - how women disappear

Stunning photographs and fabulous photomontages by overlooked and elusive artist

latest comments

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