sat 02/07/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Rachel Halliburton
Saturday, 02 July 2022
Pinocchio is one of our most irreverent metamorphosis stories, and in this visually ingenious blend of film and stage performance it’s given a particularly modern twist. Rosana...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 02 July 2022
 Beethoven, Berg, Bartók: Violin Concertos Frank Peter Zimmermann Berliner Philharmoniker/Daniel Harding, Kirill Petrenko, Alan Gilbert (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 01 July 2022
As the world lurches ever deeper into multiple manifestations of chaos, writer-director Peter Kosminsky’s new drama about cyber-warfare taps into the prevailing climate of unease...
Gary Naylor
Friday, 01 July 2022
We’re in New York City, in an upscale loft apartment, with that absence of stuff that speaks of a power to acquire anything. There are paintings on the walls, but we see only...
India Lewis
Friday, 01 July 2022
The title of Katya Adaui’s debut collection in English is taken from one of the 12 short stories it contains: an allusion to the depths hidden below the surface, which is also one...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 01 July 2022
Joe Lycett’s career was on an upward trajectory when he took on hosting duties on The Great British Sewing Bee, and the crafting show delivered a whole new audience for his live...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 01 July 2022
In a week when all kinds of people were going bonkers over an octogenarian playing songs from over 50 years ago to tens of...
Barney Harsent
Friday, 01 July 2022
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” That’s the rule, right? Unless, of course, what happens is that you form a pop-rock...
Caspar Gomez
Thursday, 30 June 2022
Last days of June 2022, I sit in my writing hut. My liver is radioactive jelly, my nose reinforced concrete, my leg muscles...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 30 June 2022
Nitram, Australian director Justin Kurzel’s deeply disturbing film about the man responsible for the Port Arthur massacre in...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 30 June 2022
Rowan Atkinson’s strange little comedy (written by Will Davies) is the story of Trevor Bingley, a rather pitiable late-...
David Nice
Thursday, 30 June 2022
Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, a stunning Elsa in this Royal Opera season's revival of Wagner’s Lohengrin, was the lure to...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 30 June 2022
“The historic, the prehistoric, the natural, architectural, geological, ornithological, or on the side of its folklore,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
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...

THE ARTS DESK IN ZURICH Forging a brilliant new Ring: an unforgettable 'Rheingold'

★★★★ GWENNO - TRESOR Claustrophobia, folkiness and Cornish-language vocals rub shoulders

★★★★★ GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL 2022 The biggest, wildest, most extensive Glastonbury 2022 report of them all

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

★★ THE FELLOWSHIP, HAMPSTEAD THEATRE Strong clashes, too little drama

★★ WE (NOUS) Nothing much happens in Alice Diop's documentary portrait of the Paris periphery

★★★ DAMIEN JURADO - REGGAE FILM STAR US artist's latest is opaque, but also often intriguing

Q&A: CHRISTOPHER PURVES On communicating everything from Handel to George Benjamin

★★★★ STANISLAV ASEYEV: IN ISOLATION - DISPATCHES FROM OCCUPIED DONBAS Journeys through space and time in Ukraine

disc of the day

Album: Imagine Dragons - Mercury - Act 2

The Vegas pop-rockers start brightly, but soon fade on their overlong sequel


The Undeclared War, Channel 4 review - how would the UK cope with a devastating cyber-attack?

Peter Kosminsky's drama probes the secret world of GCHQ's techno-spooks

Man vs Bee, Netflix review - or should it be Bee vs Bean?

Rowan Atkinson's new comic character is no Blackadder

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)


Nitram review - chilling drama based on the Port Arthur gunman

Caleb Landry Jones in an extraordinary performance as a man-child without empathy

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

new music

The Bobby Lees, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham review - rock’n’roll like it should be

Screaming feedback, howling vocals and a thumping beat suggest that rock’n’roll is still very much alive

Album: Imagine Dragons - Mercury - Act 2

The Vegas pop-rockers start brightly, but soon fade on their overlong sequel

Glastonbury Festival 2022: an unexpurgated odyssey around the best party on the planet

The biggest, wildest, most extensive Glastonbury 2022 report of them all


Classical CDs: Nightingales, seasons and practical jokes

A pair of luxury orchestra own-label releases, plus French piano music and a contemporary composer grappling with time and space

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

Chopin the modernist, Rzewski the electric in totally satisfying recital


Così fan tutte, Royal Opera review - vibrant youth and vocal beauty

Lithe cast and conducting unfazed by over-egged production, at least until the bitter end

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


The Fellowship, Hampstead Theatre review - strong clashes, too little drama
Roy Williams’s latest is a tribute to the children of the Windrush generation


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


Joe Lycett, Eventim Apollo review - prankster goes long-form

Former Sewing Bee host tells a complicated tale

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


Katya Adaui: Here Be Icebergs review - odd relations

Beguiling stories of families, familiars, guns and red hair

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

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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