wed 29/06/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 29 June 2022
I live in Brixton, south London. A few days ago, the borough’s aptly named Windrush Square hosted events which celebrated the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their...
Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 29 June 2022
It takes some confidence for a first-time feature director to interrupt her essentially realistic first feature with a splash of psychedelic abstraction, but Jacqueline Lentzou...
Hugh Barnes
Wednesday, 29 June 2022
Stanislav Aseyev is a Ukrainian writer who came in from the cold. Until the spring of 2014, he was an aspiring poet and novelist based in the eastern Donbas region: when, however...
Sarah Kent
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
Director Alice Diop read an article by Pierre Bergounioux in which he described how he began writing to draw attention to his overlooked neck of the woods – Correze, in central...
David Nice
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
Could this be the summer Bayreuth finally sees a new Ring production that comes anywhere near its last great epic success, Harry Kupfer’s, which ran from 1988-92? If so, it’s been...
David Nice
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
He’s the most haunting, at times terrifying Wozzeck I’ve seen, in Richard Jones's Welsh National Opera baked-bean-factory production, and the funniest Falstaff. When we met in his...
Guy Oddy
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
The last time that Paolo Nutini was on the public stage, he was knocking out fine blue-eyed soul and having substantial hits...
Tim Cumming
Monday, 27 June 2022
A few spots of rain greeted the arrival of the Rolling Stones on BST Hyde Park’s stage on Saturday night, and after “Street...
Tom Birchenough
Monday, 27 June 2022
For sheer extremes of family dysfunction Theresa Rebeck’s Mad House must be aiming to set new records in American drama. The...
Saskia Baron
Monday, 27 June 2022
There’s a sharp observation, delivered in Alan Bennett’s soft tones, that sums up the reputation of the painter Eric...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 27 June 2022
American singer-songwriter Damien Jurado is both prolific and enigmatic. His latest album follows too many to count (OK, not...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 26 June 2022
In 1965, Bob Crewe was living alongside Central Park in New York’s Dakota building. At various times, the block’s other...
David Nice
Saturday, 25 June 2022
Semi-standing ovation at a lunchtime concert in a London church? Predictable, perhaps, from the first recital I heard George...
Izzy Smith
Saturday, 25 June 2022
Mieko Kawakami is the champion of the loner. Since achieving immense success in the UK with her translated works, she has...
Peter Quinn
Saturday, 25 June 2022
An artist with a myriad of strings to his bow – gifted wordsmith, multi-instrumentalist, captivating storyteller – what...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 24 June 2022
Strictly Ballroom aside, I’ve never been entirely persuaded by Baz Luhrmann. Once you rip open the plush packaging of his...
David Nice
Friday, 24 June 2022
Best new opera in years, they said – don’t ask who – after the Aldeburgh Festival premiere of Tom Coult’s Violet. I’d have...
Valeriy Sokolov
Friday, 24 June 2022
A fortnight ago I performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Aurora Orchestra, joining them and their Principal...
Sebastian Scotney
Friday, 24 June 2022
High culture...low life. Emmanuel Courcol’s film The Big Hit (Un Triomphe in France) is a 105-minute experiment in what...

★★★★★ GEORGE FU, ST MARTIN-IN-THE-FIELDS High intellect and visceral shocks

★★★★ JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW - THE LESS I KNEW The Dubliner hits peak melodicism

★★★ MAD HOUSE, AMBASSADORS David Harbour magnificent in Theresa Rebeck's family drama

★★★★ ERIC RAVILIOUS: DRAWN TO WAR A lovingly crafted documentary portrait

★★★ ELVIS Austin Butler shines but Baz Luhrmann's portrait of the King doesn't cut below surface

★★★★ MIEKO KAWAMAKI: ALL THE LOVERS IN THE NIGHT The raw relatability of loneliness

disc of the day

Album: Paolo Nutini - Last Night in the Bittersweet

Scottish blue-eyed soul man comes back rocking


Suspect, Channel 4 review - a stylised remake of a Danish psychological drama

James Nesbitt returns as another troubled policeman with a dark back-story (and matching eyebrows)

Sherwood, BBC One review - a traumatic journey through a painful past

James Graham's drama exposes wounds that never healed from the 1980s miners' strike

Borgen: Power and Glory, Netflix review - Birgitte Nyborg is back, more fascinating than ever

The Danish series about a top woman politician is still smarter than 'The West Wing'


Moon, 66 Questions review - captivating daughter-father drama

An outstanding debut by the Greek New Wave director Jacqueline Lentzou

We (Nous) review - a low-key look at life in the suburbs of Paris

Nothing much happens in Alice Diop's documentary portrait of the periphery

Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War review - a lovingly crafted documentary portrait

In love and war: one of England's great watercolourists reappraised

new music

Album: Paolo Nutini - Last Night in the Bittersweet

Scottish blue-eyed soul man comes back rocking

The Rolling Stones, BST Hyde Park review - let it rock!

Who can match The Rolling Stones firing on all cylinders? No one, that’s who

Album: Damien Jurado - Reggae Film Star

US artist's latest is singular to the point of opaque, but also often intriguing


George Fu, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - high intellect and visceral shocks

Chopin the modernist, Rzewski the electric in totally satisfying recital

Hughes, Manchester Collective, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester review - new work and stunning singing

Edmund Finnis song cycle gets its launch with passion, anguish and consolation


theartsdesk in Zurich - forging a brilliant new Ring

Gianandrea Noseda, Andreas Homoki and top cast dazzle in an unforgettable 'Rheingold'

theartsdesk Q&A: bass-baritone Christopher Purves on communicating everything from Handel to George Benjamin

The great singing actor on his best experiences - including Zurich Opera's new Ring

Violet, Music Theatre Wales/Britten-Pears Arts review - well sung and played, but to what end?

Anna Dennis shines, but composer Tom Coult and librettist Alice Birch play at anti-opera


The Fellowship, Hampstead Theatre review - strong clashes, too little drama
Roy Williams’s latest is a tribute to the children of the Windrush generation
Mad House, Ambassadors Theatre review - David Harbour is magnificent in Theresa Rebeck's family drama
Bravado support from a cantankerous Bill Pullman practically steals the show
A Doll's House, Part 2, Donmar Warehouse review - Noma Dumezweni nails it
Broadway entry from 2017 is the rare sequel that richly delivers


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

Like Water for Chocolate, Royal Ballet review - confusing and ill-conceived

Christopher Wheeldon's usual flair deserts him in his latest three-act story ballet


Ricky Gervais, SuperNature, Netflix review - a provocateur at work

An equal opportunities offender delivers a masterclass in meta comedy

Andy Zaltzman, Soho Theatre review - satire on the hoof

Setting the world to rights, one joke at a time

Brandon Wardell, Soho Theatre review - US comic wings it

UK debut show is disjointed and uneven


Stanislav Aseyev: In Isolation - Dispatches from Occupied Donbas review - journeys through space and time in Ukraine

How the separatist republic became lost in its nostalgia for a largely imaginary past

Philip Ball: The Book of Minds review - thinking about the box

Mapping the mindspace of all beings great and small

visual arts

Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War review - a lovingly crafted documentary portrait

In love and war: one of England's great watercolourists reappraised

Vivian Maier: Anthology, MK Gallery review - what an amazing eye!

The brilliance of an amateur photographer who was almost lost to the world

Venice Biennale 2022 review - The Milk of Dreams Part 2: The Arsenale

This wildly ambitious mega-exhibition unravels in spectacular style

latest comments

Thanks for calling out the implausibility. By the...

Writing for the show was inconsistent throughout...

I think William Hurt was a fabulously talented...

THE MILK OF NIGHTMARES... or so it seems Having...

Aaron you are right to ask the question about Pat...


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