thu 18/08/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

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 top, and how traumatised he is by life: "sitting on my...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 18 August 2022
Jake Lambert, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★Jake Lambert warms up the audience by describing how much he enjoyed lockdown (despite a relationship break-up), and he suspects that...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
Dystopian theatre takes many forms — but this is the first which is a jury-room drama. Dawn King has previously explored the world of double-think and the use of fear and fake...
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 wonderfully responsive orchestra with a distinctive...
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-shows and even The Masked Magician to pull back the...
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 opera. This year we have had just one – Garsington...
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...
Cyrille Dubois
Tuesday, 16 August 2022
The year 2024 will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of the phenomenal Gabriel Fauré. For Tristan Raës and me,...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 16 August 2022
Randy Feltface, Assembly George Square ★★★★ Despite being made of felt, with a gash for a mouth and two googly eyes,...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 16 August 2022
Buster Keaton made his name in a series of two-reel shorts made from 1917 onwards; The Saphead, from 1920, was his...
David Nice
Monday, 15 August 2022
“Variety is the spice of life! Vive la difference!,” chirrups the ensemble at the end of this giddying double bill. And...
Helen Hawkins
Monday, 15 August 2022
The gifted writer-director Stefan Golaszewski (Him and Her, Mum) has surpassed himself with his latest drama series,...
Juliette Bretan
Monday, 15 August 2022
The businessman in Heinrich Maria Davringhausen’s Der Schieber (The Profiteer), 1920-1921 sits several floors above the city...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 15 August 2022
Ania Magliano, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★Ania Magliano is debuting at the Fringe with Absolutely No Worries If Not, an...
Simon Thompson
Monday, 15 August 2022
What happens when great musicians play weak music? I couldn’t help but think about that while I listened to the musicians of...
Tim Cumming
Monday, 15 August 2022
Celebrating, if that is the right word, his 75th year, Loudon Wainwright III offers us his 26th studio album in 52...

★★★★★ COUNTING AND CRACKING, EIF 2022 Ambitious, powerful, but sadly under-attended

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

★★★ BLU-RAY: THE SAPHEAD Buster Keaton's intermittently entertaining feature debut

EDINBURGH FRINGE 2022 - RANDY FELTFACE / SARAH KEYWORTH / ANDREW MAXWELL A puppet tells it like it is, an outbreak of silliness and political gags

★★★★★ LA VOIX HUMAINE / LES MAMELLES DE TIRESIAS, GLYNDEBOURNE Visual and aural beauty, strong performances, in a stunning double-bill from Laurent Pelly

★★★★ RUSALKA, EIF 2022 Total triumph for replacement water-nymph Elin Pritchard

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

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

disc of the day

Album: Aitch - Close to Home

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


Marriage, BBC One review - a brilliantly executed drama series with a big heart

Nicola Walker and Sean Bean triumph as a couple in a marital minefield

Murder in Provence, ITV review - a little light sleuthing amid fabulous French scenery

Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll make an urbane crime-solving duo


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

Nope review - more a nope than a yep

Jordan Peele fails to reach his own extremely high bar, with this so-so genre mashup

new music

Album: Aitch - Close to Home

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

Album: Hot Chip - Freakout/Release

Electro-pop perennials latest is slick but contains delicious songwriting

Album: Loudon Wainwright III - Lifetime Achievement

Give him the cup: Loudon Wainwright marks his 75th year with his 26th studio album


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

Prom 39, Hartwig, BBCSO, Oramo review - bright and breezy followed by a curate's egg

Turnage and Vaughan Williams scintillate, but the soul of Elgar remains out of reach

First Person: tenor Cyrille Dubois on recording all Fauré's songs

Chapter and verse on a fascinating project, already much acclaimed here


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


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
Room, Edinburgh International Festival 2022 review - decadent, extravagant, and somewhat mystifying
James Thierrée joyfully collides together dance, mime, acrobatics, music and more - but what does it all mean?


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: 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

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 reviews: Randy Feltface / Sarah Keyworth / Andrew Maxwell

A puppet tells it like it is, an outbreak of silliness and political gags


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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