thu 06/05/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

John Bungey
Wednesday, 05 May 2021
If you want to understand the psychic harm that prolonged lockdown can do to a man, then take a listen to Van Morrison's new 28-song set. Actually, you don't need to listen, the...
David Nice
Tuesday, 04 May 2021
“You have to be careful you’re not judging the piece,” cautioned a pearl-necklaced Nicholas Daniel, great oboist and winner of the 1980 BBC Young Musician (of the Year, as it then...
Laura De Lisle
Tuesday, 04 May 2021
It wasn’t Jane Austen’s subtlest move, naming her roguish soldier George Wickham. As countless GCSE English teachers have patiently read in generations of essays, his surname...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 04 May 2021
Raw opens with a bang, a distant figure on a remote country road stepping out in front of a car, causing it to crash into a tree. What’s really happened isn’t made clear until we’...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 03 May 2021
WARNING - CONTAINS SPOILERSHalf the fun of this series of Line of Duty has been the crescendo of conspiracy theories surrounding it, fuelled by the way creator Jed Mercurio has...
Rachel Halliburton
Monday, 03 May 2021
To accept or not accept a donation: that’s certainly the burning political question of the moment. So Isla van Tricht’s play Money – specially designed for Zoom – has proven more...
Boris Giltburg
Monday, 03 May 2021
About a year ago, in a distant pre-pandemic world, I remember walking down Edgware Road one cold London evening. I was...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 03 May 2021
What a pleasure it was to go to the first drive-in date of 2021 as Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club, produced in...
Aleks Sierz
Monday, 03 May 2021
I think I can safely say that polymath playwright Philip Ridley has had a good lockdown. In March last year, when The Beast...
Joe Muggs
Monday, 03 May 2021
It’s funny how the most high tech music can sound very traditional. In the case of producer / instrumentalist / occasional...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 02 May 2021
Carolyn Crawford’s “Ready or Not Here Comes Love” is a 1971 recording. It sounds like a Motown classic from 1968 or so – a...
Graham Fuller
Sunday, 02 May 2021
Enid Bagnold’s 1955 English play The Chalk Garden, a Broadway hit before it opened in the West End, is usually described as...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 01 May 2021
Kindred literary spirits who overlapped in any number of ways make for riveting stuff in Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 01 May 2021
Welcome to Commonworld, in the year 2143. It’s been built above the ruins of the old world, and the opening sequence of Sky...
Mark Kidel
Saturday, 01 May 2021
Sufjan Stevens is not only prolific, multi-talented and wide-ranging in his experimentation, but he never fails to make...
Robert Beale
Friday, 30 April 2021
Manchester’s Psappha have been proudly flying the flag of new and radical music right through the year of lockdown, and last...
Sebastian Scotney
Friday, 30 April 2021
“Thank you. I think I’ve told you everything. I do have a couple more tunes, but I’ll hold them back for next time – I...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 29 April 2021
 Tiny Revolutions With Tiff StevensonThis gem is now in its second series and the back catalogue is worth searching out...
Tunde Jegede
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
In this era when there is so much talk and discussion around crossing musical boundaries, diversity in music and inter-...

★★★★ TRUMAN & TENNESSEE: AN INTIMATE CONVERSATION Empathic documentary honours two literary legends

★★ INTERGALACTIC, SKY ONE Cosmic jailbreak yarn lacks dramatic weight


★★★★ ZIUR - ANTIFATE Fantastical industrial cabaret from the cellars of Berlin

★★★★ MARK WATSON'S CARPOOL COMEDY CLUB Strong kick-off to 2021 live comedy

BORIS GILTBURG On lockdown interruptions to filming Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas

★★★★★ RAW Bloody, compelling Frech horror in Julia Ducournau's feature debut

★★★★ TARANTULA, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE Spine-tingling love and trauma

★★★★ LINE OF DUTY, SERIES 6 FINALE, BBC ONE Jed Mercurio's harsh verdict on police corruption gives no grounds for optimism

NORTHERN SOUL'S CLASSIEST RARITIES VOL. 7 Essential series continues

disc of the day

Album: Van Morrison - Latest Record Project Volume 1

The king of Celtic soul suffers a bad case of lockdown blues


BBC Young Musician 2020 Finale, BBC Four review - poise versus extraterrestrial ecstasy

After a year's wait, three finalists serve up first-rate professionalism - and something more

Line of Duty, Series 6 Finale, BBC One review - crafty ending leaves wriggle room for a sequel

Jed Mercurio's harsh verdict on police corruption gives no grounds for optimism

Intergalactic, Sky One review - lovely CGI, shame about the drama

Cosmic jailbreak yarn struggles to convince


Blu-ray: Raw

Bloody, compelling French horror in Julia Ducournau's feature debut

Blu-ray: The Chalk Garden

Who wouldn't want Deborah Kerr as a nurturing governess?

new music

Album: Van Morrison - Latest Record Project Volume 1

The king of Celtic soul suffers a bad case of lockdown blues

Album: Ziúr - Antifate

Fantastical industrial cabaret from the cellars of Berlin

Reissue CDs Weekly: Northern Soul's Classiest Rarities Volume 7

Once again, the essential series comes up with the goods


BBC Young Musician 2020 Finale, BBC Four review - poise versus extraterrestrial ecstasy

After a year's wait, three finalists serve up first-rate professionalism - and something more

First Person: Boris Giltburg on lockdown interruptions to filming Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas

The Moscow-born Israeli pianist on an odyssey that took several unexpected turns

First Person: composer and Renaissance man Tunde Jegede on transcending genres

Crossing boundaries for Southampton's 'Mayflower 400: Voyages of the Heart' project


The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

More time needed in knocking this fascinating Brecht/Weill double bill into shape

L'heure espagnole, Grange Park Opera online review - seduction and sandwiches in 60 minutes

Ravel takes a Kensington lunchbreak, in an operatic updating for the YouTube generation

Siegfried, Göteborg Opera online review - a hero for our times

Staging and singing in sync for the Ring’s scherzo


Being Mr Wickham, Original Theatre Company online review - an uncontroversial apologia
Adrian Lukis proves himself far better at portraying Austen's rake than he is at writing him
Money, Southwark Playhouse online review - ethical dilemmas for the Zoom generation
A vivid and credible production that is also limited by its form
Tarantula, Southwark Playhouse online review – spine-tingling love and trauma
Philip Ridley’s new monologue is a dazzling masterclass in storytelling


The Royal Ballet - variations on a comeback

How one major ballet company survived to dance another day

Best of 2020: Dance

In a perilous year, bright ideas and perseverance sometimes prevailed

The Nutcracker: an end-of-year obituary

It's been a rough ride for the seasonal cash cow. Here's how ballet companies coped


Kate Lebo: The Book of Difficult Fruit review - a rich, juicy delight

Essays on tricky and fascinating fruits, food and medicine, pain and care

Michael Spitzer: The Musical Human review - charting our age-old relationship with music

The futility of capturing music with words shows in this beguiling attempt at “big history”

Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott: Failures of State review - a devastating exposé, slightly mistimed

Precipitous publication may mean this feat of research fails to make its mark

visual arts

This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Netflix - the last word (for now)

Three decades on and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum mystery is still hot

Prix Pictet: Confinement review - a year in photographs

Prize-winning photographers respond to the pandemic

Pioneering Women, Oxford Ceramics Gallery online review - domestic pleasures

A survey of female potters explores ancient ubiquity and the allure of pure form

latest comments

As if Alan Partridge wrote a review.

I loved this series. I think That the only place...

Agree with your comments + i thought that the...

I still have the original cassette issued by...

Fantastic interview, in terms of what Dan Has to...

Thanks for identifying 'in between days', it was...


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