wed 24/10/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Heather Neill
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
It has been said before: Macbeth's reputation for bad luck has more to do with the difficulty of bringing off a successful production than the supernatural elements in the play....
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Think Glastonbury, not Salzburg. It struck me at Milton Court last night that the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ebullient, rock’n’roll Mozart would go down a storm at the sort of...
David Kettle
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
It’s an undeniably quirky set-up: an elderly Spanish farmer who takes it upon himself to travel to America and walk – alone – the epic, 2,200-mile Trail of Tears, following the...
Bernard Hughes
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Joseph Phibbs is not the first composer to make an opera out of Strindberg’s Miss Julie, and it is not difficult to see the operatic appeal of this taut, passionate three-handed...
Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Jamil Dehlavi is a filmmaker whose work straddles two worlds. His native Pakistan is certainly the key element in the two early films on this BFI dual-format release – it follows...
David Nice
Monday, 22 October 2018
Supernatural wonders, consciously avoided in Rossini's enlightened tale of goodness rewarded La Cenerentola and unrealised by second-rank composer Isouard in his 1810 Cendrillon,...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 22 October 2018
Kings Place takes a broad and "curated" approach to season programming, and events often have to fit into very nebulous and...
Guy Oddy
Monday, 22 October 2018
It would seem that Micah P Hinson is a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He also gives the impression of a...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 21 October 2018
The intrepid philosopher Julian Baggini has travelled the world, going to academic conferences, interviewing scores of...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 October 2018
From 7.30pm on Thursday 19 January 1967, George Martin and The Beatles spent the next seven hours at the Abbey Road’s Studio...
Mark Kidel
Sunday, 21 October 2018
When, as an artist, you live under the power of a quasi-dictatorship, you choose to stay rather than go into exile, and you...
David Nice
Saturday, 20 October 2018
Why are great Wagnerian singers the most down-to-earth and collegial in the world of opera? Perhaps you have to be to master...
Demetrios Matheou
Saturday, 20 October 2018
It’s not for nothing that Alfonso Cuarón’s mercurial CV includes Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because this...
Boyd Tonkin
Saturday, 20 October 2018
You can always depend on Handel to turn verbal dross into musical gold. The chasm between lumbering doggerel and soaring...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 20 October 2018
Olivia Colman will in due course be appearing as Elizabeth II in The Crown, surely a role of a very different hue to her...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 20 October 2018
"What could possibly go wrong?" The question ends the first act of Wise Children, the debut venture from the new company...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 20 October 2018
 Bernstein: The Complete Naxos Recordings Marin Alsop (conductor) (Naxos)One of the best reasons for investing in this...

★★★ WISE CHILDREN, OLD VIC Emma Rice in fun if not quite top-flight form

THE ARTS DESK IN STOCKHOLM The Birgit Nilsson Prize unites two great Wagnerian sopranos

★★★★ JULIAN BAGGINI: HOW THE WORLD THINKS A whirlwind tour of ideas


★★★★★ LFF 2018: ROMA Alfonso Cuarón’s triumphant return to Mexico

★★★ CD: GAYE SU AYKOL - ISTIKLARLI HAYAL HAKIKATTIR Surf-guitar and Turkish tradition 

★★★★ THE TRIUMPH OF TIME AND TRUTH, HIGGINBOTTOM, KINGS PLACE Handel's music defeats plodding lyrics in a gem-studded rarity

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: The Blood of Hussain

Remarkable early films from Pakistan's Jamil Dehlavi bridge the political and the mystic

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There She Goes, BBC Four review - mining disability for family comedy?

Writer Shaun Pye's family experience makes for less than parental paradise

Informer, BBC One review - keeping tabs on terror

Going underground with the Confidential Informant Programme

Barneys, Books and Bust Ups, BBC Four review - the Booker Prize at 50

The award's half-century has brought scandals aplenty, welcome publicity pay-offs, too


DVD/Blu-ray: The Blood of Hussain

Remarkable early films from Pakistan's Jamil Dehlavi bridge the political and the mystic

Donkeyote review - a quiet revelation

Poignant documentary examining determination, resilience and the inevitability of ageing

LFF 2018: Roma review – Alfonso Cuarón’s triumphant return to Mexico

The Gravity director comes back down to Earth with a ravishing love letter to the women in his childhood

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Action

‘Shadows and Reflections’: classy box set celebration of the great, George Martin-supported Sixties band

CD: Gaye Su Aykol - Istiklarli Hayal Hakikattir

Surf-guitar blends with Turkish tradition


Lawson, London Sinfonietta, Kings Place Review – diverse explorations of time

A surprise late addition from Birtwistle is the highlight of wide-ranging programme


Juliana, Nova Music Opera, St John's Smith Square review - new version of a classic drama

Strindberg recast in the modern day is a showcase for young singing talent

Cendrillon, Glyndebourne Tour review - too many ingredients in the magic soup

Young singers risk getting lost in the clutter of Fiona Shaw's over-loaded production

theartsdesk in Stockholm: the Birgit Nilsson Prize unites two great Wagnerian sopranos

Nina Stemme does honour to her compatriot, who would have been 100 this year


Wise Children, Old Vic review - Emma Rice in fun if not quite top-flight form
Angela Carter adaptation strains to sustain its high spirits
A Guide For The Homesick, Trafalgar Studios review - warmly funny and deeply moving
Ken Urban's play is a psychological thriller crossed with a love story


Carlos Acosta: A Celebration, Royal Albert Hall

Candid images of retired ballet legend on stage

'It’s more fun to dance in a tutu': Tory Dobrin of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The artistic director of the Trocks explains how he keeps his ballet parodists on their toes

theartsdesk in Riga - 43,290 Latvians sing and dance for their country

Individual souls conjoined with a passionate belief in peace and music achieve miracles


Ivo Graham, Soho Theatre review - the perils of growing up

Going deep into personal material unearths lots of laughs

Nish Kumar, Soho Theatre review - the state we're in

He's angry – but he has a lot to be angry about


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review – less is more

Solo rations have been relegated from this benchmark war series

FIFA 19 review - the best just got a bit better

It looks and plays great, but what’s new?

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, V&A review - gaming for all

A comprehensive look at gaming present and future has surprisingly broad appeal

visual arts

Modern Couples, Barbican review - an absurdly ambitious survey of artist lovers

Exhibition revises the notion of the artist as lone genius, but reveals little else

The Best Exhibitions in London

From the Turner Prize shortlist to the future of gaming: our guide to what to see in the city


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