mon 24/06/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Nice
Monday, 24 June 2019
If ever there was an instance of the great being the enemy of the good, it happened after all the live singing on Saturday night. This year we all remember, with sadness for his...
Stephen Walsh
Monday, 24 June 2019
Politics, in case you may not have noticed, has been in the air of late: questions of escape, release, borders, refugees, things like that. So WNO’s June season of operas about...
Boyd Tonkin
Monday, 24 June 2019
Cut almost anywhere into the lesser-known seams of Handel’s oratorios and you may strike plentiful nuggets of the purest gold. It may not be quite the case that Handel's ...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 24 June 2019
It has become routine to accuse Brexiteers of wanting to bring back the British Empire (though obviously it's OK to run an empire from Brussels), but the charge might more...
Richard Bratby
Monday, 24 June 2019
Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived. Anne Boleyn is number two on the list, so anyone who can remember even that much Tudor history can guess that Donizetti’s...
Joe Muggs
Monday, 24 June 2019
Don't let the presence of nerds' favourite Madlib on production duties fool you: this is a big bad bastard of a West Coast rap record. It's a cocaine-wholesaling, n-wording, gun-...
Stephanie Sy-Quia
Sunday, 23 June 2019
Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is written as a letter to his mother, who cannot read. She cannot read because, when she was five...
Liz Thomson
Sunday, 23 June 2019
While Elton John was picking up another bauble and tinkling the ivories in Paris, the world’s other Piano Man was heading to...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 23 June 2019
Like Lemmy, the bassist with their fellow London-based freaks Hawkwind, Pink Fairies crossed the bridge between the late-...
Thomas H Green
Sunday, 23 June 2019
Endlessly gigging Northern Irish performer Foy Vance's profile first rocketed after touring with fellow singer-songwriter Ed...
Jenny Gilbert
Saturday, 22 June 2019
The publicity said it would be dark. But who would have guessed The Mother would be this dark? With its tally of dead and...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 22 June 2019
 Mahler: Symphony No 10, completed and arranged for chamber orchestra by Michelle Casteletti Lapland Chamber Orchestra/...
Gavin Dixon
Saturday, 22 June 2019
Treatise by Cornelius Cardew is the defining work of the graphic notation movement. The score, completed in 1967, is made up...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 22 June 2019
Anyone who saw Félix Maritaud playing the angry activist Max in Robin Campillo’s Paris ACT UP drama 120 BPM will certainly...
Chloe Allen
Friday, 21 June 2019
“I want to be just like P!nk,” a little girl screams as the lights begin to dim and the introductory music grows louder. It’...
Peter Quantrill
Friday, 21 June 2019
The Barbican Hall hardly boasts the numinous acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral for which Vaughan Williams composed his...
David Nice
Friday, 21 June 2019
Is the terrifying past of Germany in 1933 also our future? Having had nightmares about the brilliant dystopian TV soap opera...
Ellie Porter
Friday, 21 June 2019
“You want heavy?” Metallica frontman James Hetfield already knows the answer to that question, and he and his three fellow...
David Nice
Friday, 21 June 2019
You should not die or be born on Svalbard, 1,985 kilometres above Norway's northernmost coast, and at 18 you work or leave...

★★★ THE MOTHER, QEH Osipova is mesmerising in bleak dance-drama about maternal mental health

★★★★★ METALLICA, TWICKENHAM STADIUM Heavy metal titans bring the noise

★★★★★ LSO, GUILDHALL SCHOOL, RATTLE, BARBICAN Patience pays off in sublime Bruckner

★★★★★ BILLY JOEL, WEMBLEY STADIUM The Entertainer delivers

★★★ THE DAMNED, COMÉDIE-FRANÇAISE, BARBICAN Slow-burn horrors in devastating images

★ BITTER WHEAT, GARRICK THEATRE Malkovich monologue is more chaff than wheat

disc of the day

CD: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana

Exploring the depths of Californian noir on ultra-accomplished rap album

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019 Final, BBC Four review - stage confidence, supportive set-up

Invidious to choose between different voices, but Andrei Kymach is a worthy winner

Beecham House, ITV review - a cartoon version of 18th century India

Murky colonial history reborn as melodramatic fantasy


DVD/Blu-ray: Sauvage

Raw authenticity and a visceral performance from Félix Maritaud give this French debut indelible power

Toy Story 4 review - fabulous return to the big screen

To infinity and a blonde...reappearance of Woody's sweetheart takes story in a different direction

The Captor review - Stockholm syndrome silliness

Farcical hostage crisis rescued by Rapace

new music

CD: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana

Exploring the depths of Californian noir on ultra-accomplished rap album

Billy Joel, Wembley Stadium review – The Entertainer delivers

A transport of delight away from current woes

Reissue CDs Weekly: Pink Fairies

‘The Polydor Years’ offers an unexpectedly low freak factor


Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Saint-Saëns, Noemi Gyori

An emotional symphonic farewell, two French symphonies plus music for flute and guitar

Treatise Project, Goldsmiths review - potent symbols reveal rich music potential

Cornelius Cardew’s graphic score inspires diverse readings, both free and literal


BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019 Final, BBC Four review - stage confidence, supportive set-up

Invidious to choose between different voices, but Andrei Kymach is a worthy winner

Brundibár, Welsh National Opera review - bittersweet children's opera from the ghetto

Theresienstadt operetta brilliantly sung, wittily staged

Belshazzar, The Grange Festival review – songs of freedom

A star choir shines in Handel's tale of luxury brought low


The Damned, Comédie-Française, Barbican review - slow-burn horrors in devastating images
Ivo van Hove reinvents Visconti's fable about a 1930s German House of Atreus
Bitter Wheat, Garrick Theatre review - Malkovich monologue is more chaff than wheat
The most controversial play of the year is shaping up to be the worst
Three Sisters, Maly Drama Theatre, Vaudeville Theatre review - a Chekhov of luminous clarity
Stagecraft skill and company playing meld seamlessly in Petersburg production


The Mother, QEH review - Natalia goes psycho

Osipova is mesmerising in bleak dance-drama about maternal mental health

Cinderella, English National Ballet, Royal Albert Hall review - big, bright and bankable

Christopher Wheeldon's glossy arena show suggests bigger isn't better

The Firebird triple bill, Royal Ballet review - generous programme with Russian flavour

Trio of substantial pieces offers something for everyone


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

Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a cut above

Excellent exhibition sheds light on linocuts of neglected Grosvenor School Modernists

The Best Exhibitions in London

The capital's best exhibitions now

Francis Bacon: Couplings, Gagosian Gallery review - sex and power in double figures

A small selection focuses on the painter's radical figure paintings

latest comments

Thanks Tim, that's done. However, I should point...

Can't quite believe what I'm reading in those...

I would be grateful in the future that if you are...

I was frustrated by the lack of infiormation on...

What a fantastic evening Thankyou billy ,...

Actually it's Movin' Out, I just checked. As to...

Fantastic show from start to over the...


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