mon 27/06/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

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 Fighting Man”, as Mick Jagger dedicated the show to the...
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 latest in a line that stretches back to Eugene O’Neill...
Saskia Baron
Monday, 27 June 2022
There’s a sharp observation, delivered in Alan Bennet’s soft tones, that sums up the reputation of the painter Eric Ravilious: “Because his paintings are so accessible, I don’t...
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 really, I think this is his 20th). On his own label,...
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 residents included Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, John Lennon...
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 Xiaoyuan Fu give at the Two Moors Festival, an avian...
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...
Robert Beale
Friday, 24 June 2022
Manchester Collective were back on home ground last night in the tour of a programme featuring the first performances of a...
Katie Colombus
Friday, 24 June 2022
When did life become so theoretical? In the penultimate track of her new album, Home, before and after, Regina Spektor plays...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 23 June 2022
Figuratively, “Tselane” is Blk Jks’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Both songs begin quietly and move through passages of turbulence...
Kathryn Reilly
Thursday, 23 June 2022
In a world seemingly devoid of joy, Hollie Cook's fourth album is a very welcome salve indeed. It’s not just the deliciously...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Slamming the door on experience comes with repercussions in A Doll's House, Part 2, the thrilling Broadway entry from...
Stephen Walsh
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Will Erich Korngold, the great cinema composer, ever be recognised as a great composer for the live theatre? Probably not,...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Is gig theatre the latest sugar rush? Okay, it ups the brain’s serotonin levels and charges around your body like a crazy...
 

★★★★★ VIVIAN MAIER: ANTHOLOGY, MK GALLERY A brilliant amateur photographer who was almost lost to the world

★★★ 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

★★★★ REGINA SPEKTOR - HOME, BEFORE AND AFTER Sincerity made entertaining

★★ VIOLET, MUSIC THEATRE WALES/BRITTEN-PEARS ARTS Well performed, but to what end?

★★★ A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2, DONMAR WAREHOUSE Noma Dumezweni nails it

disc of the day

Album: Damien Jurado - Reggae Film Star

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

tv

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'

film

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

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

Elvis review - Austin Butler shines in patchy biopic

Baz Luhrmann's portrait of the King doesn't cut below the surface

The Big Hit review - prisoners play 'Godot'

What can possibly go wrong?

new music

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

Music Reissues Weekly: Whatever You Want - Bob Crewe's 60s Soul Sounds

Proof there was more to the one-man music business than The Four Seasons

classical

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

opera

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

Die tote Stadt, Longborough Festival review - Korngold on the way back

Brilliant 1920 opera that might have shown the way forward

Otello, Grange Park Opera review - angels and demons

A charismatic Iago and radiant Desdemona anchor Verdi's tragedy

theatre

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
Bangers, Soho Theatre review - sizzling gig theatre
Loving account of two couples is perceptive, but a bit slender

dance

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

comedy

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

Books

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

Mapping the mindspace of all beings great and small

10 Questions for art historian and fiction writer Chloë Ashby

On sights, acts of seeing and book 'Wet paint', inspired by Manet’s 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère'

visual arts

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

In the Air, Wellcome Collection review - art in an emergency

History, politics and poetry abound in a show offering inspiration and agitation

latest comments

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...

I agree completely!

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters