sun 08/12/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Joseph Walsh
Sunday, 08 December 2019
Best-known for his TV series Legion and Fargo, director Noah Hawley makes the leap to the big screen with an existential space drama based on true events, starring Natalie Portman...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 08 December 2019
“I was just released from the hospital…the doctor told me that the medicine can’t do me no good. They told me what I have is beyond medical science…he told me that what I have is...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 07 December 2019
Two young boys play by the water. Soon, one is dead. This enigmatic tragedy is the core of a four-decade Chinese saga of grief, guilt and love, at once intimately personal and...
Sebastian Scotney
Saturday, 07 December 2019
The cape, the banked-up synths and the glam have gone. Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Christmas Show consists of just the man, his piano and his stories and jokes, mostly about...
Liz Thomson
Saturday, 07 December 2019
It’s 10 years this month since Kate McGarrigle gave her last concert, the annual Christmas concert that meant so much to her, at the Royal Albert Hall. Next month, 18 January,...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 07 December 2019
 Josquin: Missa Mater Patris, Bauldeweyn: Missa Da pacem The Tallis Scholars/Peter Philips (Gimmell)Josquin's Missa Mater Patris is a late work, the composer's florid style...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 07 December 2019
“Trance boogie,” states My Baby frontwoman Cato van Dijck before submersing herself in the rising tribal rhythm of “...
Guy Oddy
Saturday, 07 December 2019
If there’s one man who has got the chutzpah to sing songs about the Baby Jesus while flashing the Devil’s horns, it’s Judas...
David Nice
Friday, 06 December 2019
Music and visual art, at least at the highest level, should go their own separate ways; put them together, and one form will...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 06 December 2019
Happily, Joe Barton’s tinglingly original thriller (BBC Two) finished as smartly as it began, not by any humdrum tying-up of...
Tom Baily
Friday, 06 December 2019
Blue periods can lead to golden streaks. Such is almost the case with Honey Boy, which Shia LaBeouf wrote during a court-...
Marianka Swain
Friday, 06 December 2019
We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 06 December 2019
Abba fans can already have an immersive dining/dancing/singing experience at the O2 in Mamma Mia! The Party, and now, almost...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 06 December 2019
Liam Payne is a Simon Cowell-manufactured pop star worth tens of millions off the back of music that’ll be regarded in a few...
Boyd Tonkin
Thursday, 05 December 2019
Benjamin Britten died on 4 December 1976. Last night’s Wigmore Hall concert, on the 43rd anniversary of his passing, proved...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 05 December 2019
Amidst the deluge of high-profile year-end releases, it would be a shame if the collective Oscar-bait noise drowned out...
Jenny Gilbert
Thursday, 05 December 2019
What price a pair of seats at the ballet? If you’re talking the latest starry Russian import then, with a few perks thrown...
Demetrios Matheou
Thursday, 05 December 2019
Edward Norton has wanted to adapt Motherless Brooklyn since Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed novel was first published 20 years...
Jonathan Geddes
Thursday, 05 December 2019
As the number of sweaty bodies increased towards the front of the Barrowland stage, IDLES singer Joe Talbot had a direct...


★★★ ABBA: SUPER TROUPERS THE EXHIBITION, O2 One for the supergroup's completists

★★★★ HAAS HOMMAGE À BRIDGET RILEY, LONDON SINFONIETTA, QEH Big commission complements a great Hayward Gallery exhibition

★★★★★ GIRI / HAJI, SERIES FINALE, BBC TWO A thriller, but much more besides

★★★ MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN Edward Norton's long-awaited screen adaptation of the noir novel

★★★★ THE WHO - WHO A bracing and bellicose return for the rock giants

disc of the day

CD: Rob Halford - Celestial

Judas Priest frontman spreads some Christmas cheer

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The Family Secret, Channel 4 review - lives destroyed by historic sexual abuse

Revelations from 25 years ago wreak havoc in Anna Hall's devastating film

Takaya: Lone Wolf, BBC Four review - enigmatic predator baffles boffins

Outcast of the islands poses intriguing questions about animal behaviour


Lucy in the Sky review - Portman falls from orbit

Space drama struggles to answer its own questions

So Long, My Son review - an intimate Chinese epic

Four decades of loss and love, scarred by the state

Honey Boy review - coming to terms with dad

Shia LaBeouf draws on childhood in bold family portrait

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5

After 15 years, the classic compilation series returns

Rufus and Martha Wainwright, A Not So Silent Night, RFH review - Christmas, family-style

Glittery guests celebrate the season and remember Kate McGarrigle


Classical CDs Weekly: Josquin, Tchaikovsky, Janet Sung

Colourful violin repertoire, 16th century mass settings and heady Russian romanticism

Haas Hommage à Bridget Riley, London Sinfonietta, Lubman, QEH review - vibrant abstraction

Big commission complements a great Hayward Gallery exhibition to near-perfection

Tynan, Clayton, Murray, Aurora Orchestra, Dean, Wigmore Hall review - Britten lives!

Words and music powerfully aligned in old favourites and a new discovery


Peter Grimes, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner, RFH review - more instrumental than vocal intensity

Superlative playing and conducting, some fine singing, but the protagonist is a bit peaky

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Sir Jonathan Miller

The legendary director lets rip

Death in Venice, Royal Opera review – expansive but intimate evocations

David McVicar brings light and movement to gloomy Venice, but holds psychological focus


Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it's game over for this chess play
The Cold War 'Match of the Century' fails to translate into compelling drama
The Boy Friend, Menier Chocolate Factory review - fun but featherweight
Period confection in three acts could use pruning


Svetlana Zakharova, Modanse, London Coliseum review - impeccably chic but soul-less

The Bolshoi star looks great but delivers zero emotion in new ballet about Coco Chanel

Coppélia, Royal Ballet review - a real charmer

Overdue revival of a sunny favourite

Acosta Danza, Sadler's Wells review - a dose of Cuban sun

Carlos Acosta's Cuban troupe are looking fine on their second time out


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

visual arts

Dora Maar, Tate Modern review - how women disappear

Stunning photographs and fabulous photomontages by overlooked and elusive artist

Eco-Visionaries, Royal Academy review - wakey, wakey!

Big issues raised, but not answered

Charlotte Salomon: Life? or Theatre?, Jewish Museum London review - rallying against death

Set aside time to absorb the stunning work of this modernist painter murdered at Auschwitz

latest comments

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I watched this Programme with my Wife and was...

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Stunning commentary, brought a tear to my eye and...

Great to see some comments critical of Brian...

This is pretty spot on. They have somehow grown...


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