thu 04/06/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Liz Thomson
Thursday, 04 June 2020
As news bulletins compere events in America to 1968, the mental jukebox spins almost inevitably to “Abraham, Martin and John”, first recorded by Dion – the price of a new record...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
For better or worse, the lockdown may be easing in the UK but there’s no sign of any gig action, even on the far distant horizon. So it’s back to our screens for all that, and...
Florence Hallett
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
The death of Christo, aged 84, was announced on Sunday, marking the end of a visionary and flamboyant artistic career. Best known for huge, ephemeral projects like the Wrapped...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
It’s impossible to tell whether this reality-doc series (C4) came to praise Best Western hotels or kill it off entirely. Some viewers have been weeping with laughter at the David...
Richard Bratby
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60 minute lunchtime piano recital from the Wigmore Hall would...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
It’s too early for a definitive account of the Covid-19 pandemic, and this was very much a Sky News version of what we’ve been through so far. Although it seems the virus has...
Joe Muggs
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
Will Westerman is not afraid of sounding retro. It's clear his influences are diverse, from jazz fusion to the bedroom proto...
Gabriel Prokofiev
Tuesday, 02 June 2020
For most people a turntable, or record player is used to play back old vinyls bought from a market or second hand store, or...
Kathryn Reilly
Tuesday, 02 June 2020
So what exactly is all the fuss about? For those of us from a cinema-deprived area, it’s been a long wait for the homevideo...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 01 June 2020
Great idea to use a symphony orchestra as the basis for a TV drama, because all of human life is there. Not to mention death...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 01 June 2020
Experiencing All Things Being Equal is akin to taking a trip through The Time Tunnel. Although the songs and the recordings...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 31 May 2020
Some things really never change. After a blatant cheat perpetrated by a well-connected lout, one of the humblest pilgrims in...
Daniel Baksi
Sunday, 31 May 2020
Moyra Davey’s biographical note, included in Fitzcarraldo Editions’ copy of Index Cards, describes “a New York-based artist...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 31 May 2020
Ghana was visited by two British musicians in the early Eighties. One was Mick Fleetwood, who recorded the Visitor album in...
Charlie Stone
Sunday, 31 May 2020
Keiichiro Hirano’s A Man has all the trappings of a gripping detective story: a bereaved wife, a dead man whose name belongs...
India Lewis
Sunday, 31 May 2020
For the average female millennial, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is the perfect film to watch in lockdown. Brought up on...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 30 May 2020
The Vast of Night’s premise scarcely guarantees originality. Non-science-fiction buffs scoping Amazon’s film listings will...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 30 May 2020
 Korngold: Violin Concerto, String Sextet Andrew Haveron (violin), RTÉ Concert Orchestra/John Wilson, Sinfonia of...
Florence Hallett
Saturday, 30 May 2020
Salvador Dalí’s house at Portlligat on the Costa Brava is straight out of the pages of a lifestyle magazine, its sunbaked...

★★★★ KEIICHIRO HIRANO: A MAN The best kind of thriller

★★★★★ PARASITE Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winner justifies all its accolades

★ MOYRA DAVEY: INDEX CARDS Fragments of the artist

SONIC BOOM - ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL The shock of the familiar on solo album from former Spacemen 3 mainstay

★★★ PHILHARMONIA, CHANNEL 4 Music, mayhem and madness as Parisian orchestra gets a new conductor

CHRISTO & JEANNE-CLAUDE: Forty years of wrapping from two artists in a visionary partnership

★★★★★ THE VAST OF NIGHT Teenage sleuths track visitors from afar in an impeccable low-budget indie

FIRST PERSON: GABRIEL PROKOFIEV  on 14 years of his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra

★★★ THE LONDON MASTABA, SERPENTINE GALLERIES Christo's floating oil drums question the purpose of public art

disc of the day

Album: Dion - Blues With Friends

The Wanderer returns to his roots


Philharmonia, Channel 4 review - death on the podium

Music, mayhem and madness as Parisian orchestra gets a new conductor


DVD/Blu-ray: Parasite

Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winner justifies all its accolades

Blu-ray/DVD: Little Women

A fresh new adaptation is a fantasy in clothes and feminism

The Vast of Night review - perfectly paranoid

Teenage sleuths track visitors from afar in an impeccable low-budget indie

new music

Album: Dion - Blues With Friends

The Wanderer returns to his roots

New Music Lockdown 9: Chic, Laura Marling, Billy Bragg, Steel Panther, Wendy James and more

From Los Angeles to Wakefield, the latest guide to new music events you can enjoy from home

Album: Westerman - Your Hero is not Dead

High-gloss Eighties sonics conceal chasmic emotional depths


Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

Comfort and joy as live performance returns to top chamber music venue - at a distance

First Person: Gabriel Prokofiev on 14 years of his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra

The composer reflects on a 21st century classic, newly recorded

Philharmonia, Channel 4 review - death on the podium

Music, mayhem and madness as Parisian orchestra gets a new conductor


Classical Music/Opera direct to home 12 - partying at a distance

Festivals cope with live online events and past fare

The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Dutch National Opera, OperaVision review - fairy-tale good and evil made real

Rimsky-Korsakov's myth resonates in the highest musical and production standards

Avoiding meltdown from lockdown: Michael Chance on The Grange Festival's strategy for survival

The countertenor and mastermind of a major summer opera event weighs up the future


This House, National Theatre at Home review – timely revival of brilliant House of Commons drama
James Graham acutely perceives the obsessions and motivations of our times
Theatre Lockdown Special 7: Party politics and a Broadway titan or two
Early James Graham joins various Broadway legends, Irving Berlin and Jerry Herman amongst them
Larry Kramer: 'I think anger is a wonderful useful emotion'
Remembering the AIDS activist who wrote The Normal Heart and the screenplay for Women in Love


'If they had been any closer my face would have misted up': filming 'Men at the Barre'

The director Richard Macer had exclusive access to the male stars of the Royal Ballet. He describes what he discovered

The Thread, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - Greek folk and contemporary unite

Russell Maliphant breathes fresh life into Hellenic tradition

Palermo, Palermo review - free to view Pina

The Pina Bausch Foundation releases the first in a projected series of digital recordings


Desiree Burch, Soho Theatre On Demand review - fantastical storytelling

California comic on Burning Man, sex, race – and LSD

Lockdown Comedy 2: where to get your laughs this week

Live stand-up recordings and podcasts

Jerry Seinfeld, Netflix review - not bad for a swansong

US comic says this may be his last stand-up show


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

visual arts

Christo (1935-2020) - 'Beauty, science and art will always triumph'

One of the great visionaries of our era, Christo believed absolutely in art for art's sake

Dalí Theatre-Museum, Figueres, virtual tour review - tantalising but unsatisfactory

The magic of Dalí's private world is lost in its virtual form

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