thu 29/10/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 29 October 2020
Neil Cross’s novel Burial was hailed for its skilful plotting and insightful characterisations, as well as its macabre atmosphere. Disappointingly, the author’s own adaptation of...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 29 October 2020
Due to COVID-related nonsense too tedious to relate, this month’s theartsdesk on Vinyl was delayed. But here it is, over 7500 words on new music on plastic, covering a greater...
Jessica Duchen
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
To plan a programme around The Tempest, its symbolism and the idea of evanescence, the fragility of the human condition, is one thing. To pull it off convincingly is quite...
Daniel Lewis
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Among the French composer Claude Debussy’s greatest and characteristically subtle innovations was to put the titles at the end of his pieces. He did this in his piano collection...
Guy Oddy
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Post-rock singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle and high-volume, sludge metal-heads Thou are not obvious musical collaborators, but with May Our Chambers Be Full, they really have...
Bernard Hughes
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
There’s an old rule in the theatre that you don’t have to go on if there are more people on stage than in the audience. Last night I counted less than 15 people listening in the...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Plenty of pedigree wattage has been packed into this slickly addictive new HBO drama (showing on Sky Atlantic). The twin...
David Nice
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Whatever happens next – and even in Tier 3 the Royal Liverpool Phlharmonic goes on playing to carefully distanced audiences...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
After Bassam Tariq's feature debut These Birds Walk was released at SXSW 2013, things seemed to slow down. The documentary...
India Lewis
Monday, 26 October 2020
If you’re after a relaxing Sunday watch, Fyzal Boulifa’s Lynn + Lucy is not the one. It begins as a story of old friends in...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 26 October 2020
Call him Ishmael, and the Zimbabwe-born, UK-based writer Zodwa Nyoni has done just that. That's the name of the solo...
Stephen Walsh
Monday, 26 October 2020
Bach’s Goldberg Variations, written for harpsichord in about 1741 supposedly (or perhaps not) for a certain Johann Goldberg...
David Nice
Monday, 26 October 2020
Anyone mesmerized by the mosaics in seven of Ravenna’s eight Unesco world heritage sites may be surprised by the historical...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 26 October 2020
Elvis Costello’s was the last major concert before lockdown. At Hammersmith, I remember the feeling, a last hurrah as we...
Owen Richards
Sunday, 25 October 2020
With Netflix releasing Rebecca on Wednesday, who’d have thought that a kid’s film would be this week’s best adaptation about...
David Nice
Sunday, 25 October 2020
“Live music is back,” runs the Barbican's latest slogan, so treasure it and get out there while you can. Thursday evening in...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 25 October 2020
After Florian Schneider left Kraftwerk in 2008, Ralf Hütter was left in the driving seat. The pair had first been heard on...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 24 October 2020
When it was announced that Ben Wheatley would be directing a new version of Rebecca, his fans must have wondered what kind...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 24 October 2020
 Henrique Oswald: Piano Concerto, Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 5 Clélia Iruzun (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra...

★★★ PHILHARMONIA, ROUVALI, RFH Wide range of American voices


★★★★ SUMMER OF 85 Ozon's unforced gay youth romance has winning naturalness

★★★★ LYNN + LUCY A small town and a lifelong friendship gone sour

★★★★★ NORTHERN CHORDS FESTIVAL, NEWCASTLE A brilliant day of shining performances

★★★★ JUDITH HERRIN: RAVENNA Flashes of order and beauty in a chaotic world

★★★★ THE UNDOING, SKY ATLANTIC New York elite rocked by scandal and murder

disc of the day

Album: Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - May Our Chambers Be Full

Unexpected post-rock/sludge metal collaboration yields fine results


The Sister, ITV review - half-baked dramatisation of esteemed novel

Neil Cross's 'Burial' falls on its face on telly

Bruce Springsteen's Letter to You, Apple TV+ review - his new album is a matter of life and death

Documentary takes an emotional journey through the past with the E Street Band


Filmmaker Bassam Tariq: 'Great cinema doesn't need to be perfect - embrace the imperfections'

Director of 'Mogul Mowgli' discusses taking risks, and the differences between the British- and American-Asian experience

Blu-ray: Lynn + Lucy

A small town and a lifelong friendship gone sour

The Secret Garden review - blooming charming

Jack Thorne brings another children's classic to life

new music

Album: Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - May Our Chambers Be Full

Unexpected post-rock/sludge metal collaboration yields fine results

Album: Elvis Costello - Hey Clockface

Good songs, poor intonation


Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall review - the stuff of dreams

A breathtaking recital from the Russian pianist, plus a special prize

Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – wide range of American voices

Music from the mid-20th century has colour but lacks a bit of snap

Northern Chords Festival, Church of St James and St Basil, Newcastle review - high, lucid and bright

From bouncy Haydn mass to Mendelssohn in chorale mode, a day of great performances


4/4, Royal Opera review – desire, loss and lunacy in four surprising acts

Allan Clayton and Richard Jones are kings of bedlam, but the rest has high style too

First Person: tenor Nicky Spence on working with Blackheath locals on screen Stravinsky

'The Rake's Progress' distilled and introduced by its star and community opera patron

Fidelio, Garsington Opera review - heart of darkness, light-filled liberation

Fine singers equalled by Philharmonia soloists in revelatory chamber-music Beethoven


The Great Gatsby, Immersive London review – a warm and electric tribute to the book
It's a true achievement to feel the chemistry of a cast whirring into action again
Quarter Life Crisis, Bridge Theatre review – slender and superficial
Return of one-woman show about growing up is disappointingly thin


The Royal Ballet: Back on Stage review - fireworks in the Garden

At long last, our premier ballet company is back in action. And it's dynamite

theartsdesk in Hamburg: Ghost Light - a ballet in the time of corona

How the city is showing the world a way through the live-performance impasse

'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

Ballet or cabaret, Zizi's passion was for performance - preferably with her husband


Gigantic Cinema: A Weather Anthology review - wild writing to stimulate the senses

An ambitious collection inspired by life's eternal backdrop

Judith Herrin: Ravenna review - flashes of order and beauty in a chaotic world

The once-great imperial city's mosaics and buildings have survived a turbulent time

Jenny Hval: Girls Against God review - a sticky dance through space and time

A surreal witches' flight through southern Norway

visual arts

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer, Barbican Art Gallery review - mould-breaker, ground-shaker

A crash course in the life and times of an iconoclast and muse

Sin, National Gallery review - great subject, modest show

A small gathering can't do justice to this fabulous topic

latest comments

Who was the photographer for this image? I love...

But let’s face it, “Ghosts” is a TOTAL rip off of...

Hendrix was more than a gifted guitar player....

He was a gifted guitar player,that's all.Guitar...

Ronnie Scott was my friend, my tenor sax player...

Hi Paul. I don't know if you are reading these...


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