sun 23/02/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Some menus never change. In 1910, the Loyal British Waiters Society came into being, prompted by “xenophobic resentment at the dominance of foreigners in the restaurant trade”....
Daniel Baksi
Sunday, 23 February 2020
With the publication of her first work, Waiariki (1975), Patricia Grace became the author of the first ever collection of short stories by a Māori woman. In the four-and-a-half...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 23 February 2020
For record buyers, Bona Rays left limited evidence for their existence. One single was issued by the aptly named Mystery Records in 1981. Pressed in a limited quantity by the...
Joe Muggs
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Grimes is hilarious. For all the grandiose conceptualism, apocalyptic visions, high tech sonic manipulation, outré costumes, modish witchery, multiple personas, arch media baiting...
David Nice
Saturday, 22 February 2020
In Beethoven anniversary year, there are three ways to enhance our ongoing concert dialogues with the composer beyond the bog-standard overture-concerto-symphony format: complete...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 22 February 2020
Apparently network executives initially reacted with alarm to the premise of Hunters, Amazon’s new big-ticket series chiefly (though by no means entirely) notable for hosting Al...
Jonathan Geddes
Saturday, 22 February 2020
As Gaz Coombes noted around the halfway point of Supergrass’s Barrowland set “the last time we were here it was to say...
Markie Robson-Scott
Saturday, 22 February 2020
“It’s cool to see a car crash or a gunshot wound, it’s exciting.” Emergency medical technician Juan Ochoa, 17, loves his...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 22 February 2020
It’s hard enough to imagine hip hop set to the songs of Sting, but a hip hop show in which 27 songs by Sting laid end to end...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 22 February 2020
 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 1-32 Igor Levit (Sony)“Beethoven paid no attention at all to the conventions of his own time...
Guy Oddy
Saturday, 22 February 2020
To anyone out of their teens or without a grasp of the Korean language, BTS are probably an unknown quantity. Yet, they are...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 21 February 2020
There are any number of ways to perform A Number, Caryl Churchill’s bleak and beautiful play about a father and three of who...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 21 February 2020
Leif Ove Andsnes’s long-term partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra has already yielded rich fruit, and the Mozart...
Graham Fuller
Friday, 21 February 2020
Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner’s disquieting fifth feature, and her first English language one, Little Joe is a sci-fi...
David Nice
Friday, 21 February 2020
So many performances of Mahler's most theatrical symphony every season, so few conductors who have something radically fresh...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 21 February 2020
Jack London’s original novel was a brutal and Darwinian account of a dog's life in the Klondike during the gold rush at the...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 21 February 2020
While it is only right that Birmingham is finally getting well-deserved credit as the well-spring and self-proclaimed Home...
Russ Coffey
Friday, 21 February 2020
Ozzy Osbourne stands on the front cover of his new album grinning mischievously in a horror-style bowler hat and cane. ...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 20 February 2020
The Black Lives Matter movement is such an important international protest that it is odd how few contemporary plays even...

★★★★ NAPALM DEATH, O2 INSTITUTE, BIRMINGHAM The Grindcore progenitors hit the spot



★★★ THE CALL OF THE WILD How big-hearted Buck became leader of the pack

★★★★ OZZY OSBOURNE - ORDINARY MAN The Prince of Darkness defies his (health) demons for a late-career high

★★★★ LITTLE JOE Jessica Hausner's exquisite sci-fi allegory about conflicted motherhood

★★★★ A NUMBER, BRIDGE THEATRE A dream team dazzles anew

disc of the day

CD: Grimes - Miss Anthropocene

Grandiose ideas and production, with the same old nerdy Grimes in there somewhere

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Hunters, Amazon Prime review - bringing God's justice to Nazis in America

Al Pacino's commanding performance anchors this unusual hybrid

How To Stay out of Jail, Channel 4 review – a bold rehabilitation programme from Durham police

Touching and insightful film about offenders trying to seize a second chance

Royal History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley, BBC Four review - is this version more valid than anyone else's?

Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell are spun in the pop-history blender


Midnight Family review - a thrilling documentary set in Mexico City

Luke Lorentzen's intimate film tells the inside story of a family and their private ambulance service

Little Joe - trouble in the greenhouse

Jessica Hausner's exquisite sci-fi allegory about conflicted motherhood

The Call of the Wild review - how big-hearted Buck became leader of the pack

Jack London's brutal fable gets a family-friendly makeover

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bona Rays

Lost British punk from 1978 hits the racks for the first time

CD: Grimes - Miss Anthropocene

Grandiose ideas and production, with the same old nerdy Grimes in there somewhere


Aimard, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Roth, RFH review - Beethoven as avant-gardist

Only connect: works up to two centuries apart meet and argue in vital programming

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Bruckner, Notice Recordings

Definitive box sets of sonatas and symphonies, plus striking new music from a US independent label

Andsnes, Mahler Chamber Orchestra Soloists, Wigmore Hall review - conversations with Mozart

The Norwegian pianist and friends show us the Austrian master in sunlight and shadow


Luisa Miller, English National Opera review - Verdi in translation makes a stylish comeback

Musical splendours peak in a tenor aria to die for and a moving last act

theartsdesk Q&A: soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn

Returning to ENO to sing Verdi's Luisa Miller, a great singer-actor reflects

Les vêpres siciliennes, Welsh National Opera review - spectacular, silly, but some great music

Verdi's reluctant grand opera colourfully staged, brilliantly played, unevenly sung


A Number, Bridge Theatre review - a dream team dazzles anew
Roger Allam and Colin Morgan refashion Caryl Churchill's contemporary classic
Pass Over, Kiln Theatre review - fierce critique of racist brutality
Waiting for Godot meets Exodus in American drama about Black Lives Matter
La Cage aux Folles [The Play], Park Theatre review - half-cock farce
Embarrassing period piece needs a lift from better comic timing than this


Message in a Bottle, Peacock Theatre review - a hiphop singalong

A show that brings streetdance and the songs of Sting to bear on the refugee crisis is far too jolly

The Cellist/Dances at a Gathering, Royal Ballet review - A grand love affair with a cello

The relationship between a great musician and her instrument, vividly imagined in dance

Bluebeard, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells review - bleak but ground-breaking

This 1977 take on Bartok's murderous opera was a watershed for European theatre


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

latest comments

I should add my apology to Mr Sandy himself.

Thankyou Pauline for picking up my unintended...

Just a point of correction: The choreographer's...

Moronic American here who agrees with your review...

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