fri 15/10/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Friday, 15 October 2021
Remembering the months of lockdown, I can’t be the only person to thrill to this play’s opening lines, “When shall we three meet again?”, a phrase evocative enough to be borrowed...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 15 October 2021
There is a three song segment midway through Manic Street Preachers’ set which suddenly ramps everything up. For this brief while, the performance and response in the sold-out,...
David Nice
Friday, 15 October 2021
Returning to LSO St Luke’s, formerly a beacon in the darkness of semi-lockdown for the lucky few allowed to feast upon the London Symphony Orchestra from the gallery, felt the...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 15 October 2021
"I can't sleep": So goes the fateful opening line of White Noise, the Suzan-Lori Parks play disturbing enough to spark many a restless night in playgoers who are prepared to take...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 15 October 2021
Chris Martin has talked, not for the first time, of this finally being the Coldplay era of “no rules or fear”. Swedish pop producer Max Martin (The Weeknd, Taylor Swift) gives...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 14 October 2021
This record is a heck of a metatextual experience to listen to. In releasing his debut album, 24 year old Finneas O’Connell is attempting to step out of the shadow of one of the...
Jenny Gilbert
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Two households, both alike in dignity … and both launching their respective seasons with a production of Kenneth MacMillan’s...
Jonathan Geddes
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Time waits for no band, as Maximo Park’s lively singer Paul Smith opined early into his band’s set. “I am young and I am...
Miranda Heggie
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
With a few extra dates to her rescheduled UK tour, Scottish folk legend Karine Polwart returned to Birmingham Town Hall with...
Boyd Tonkin
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Outside Wales – even, perhaps, within it – few students will have run across the verse of Gwerful Mechain. The free-spirited...
Rachel O'Riordan
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a vicious, sad and extraordinary play. On the surface, Martin McDonagh's play, first seen 25...
Liz Thomson
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Oh boy, there’s nothing like slipping on an old pair of jeans and cowboy boots. That’s the comfy feeling you get from the...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
If it ain’t broke… on tour and in the Glyndebourne summer festival, Mariame Clément's production of Don Pasquale has...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Todd Haynes’ documentary about the Velvet Underground has to be one of the better uses of time by a film-maker during the...
Anna Parker
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Marcin Wicha’s mother Joanna never talked about her death. A Jewish counsellor based in an office built on top of the rubble...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Mariya Saakyan’s 2006 debut feature is bookended by grainy footage of what looks like a fire-ravaged diary, the distressed,...
Markie Robson-Scott
Monday, 11 October 2021
It’s Christmas 1971 in New Prospect, a suburb of Chicago, and pastor Russ Hildebrandt has plans for time alone with Frances...
Bernard Hughes
Monday, 11 October 2021
I’ve always loved the sound of two-piano music: the amazing range of available textures, the interplay of parts and the...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 11 October 2021
Tickets for Jason Manford's Like Me went on sale in 2019 but the tour had to be put on hold as events unavoidably...
 

★★★★ MAXIMO PARK, SAINT LUKE'S AND THE WINGED OX, GLASGOW A new line-up and album has rejuvenated the artful rockers

★★★★ ROMEO & JULIET, BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET/ROYAL BALLET Storming season start

★★★★ TWO-PIANO GALA, KINGS PLACE Five pianists, two pianos, too many pieces

FIRST PERSON: RACHEL O'RIORDAN ON 'THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE' 

★★★★ FINNEAS - OPTIMIST Brother and collaborator of a big star steps out on his own

disc of the day

Album: Coldplay - Music Of The Spheres

Universalist faith inspires earthbound sounds

tv

DVD/Blu-ray: Maigret - The Complete Series

Entertaining, idiomatic Simenon adaptation, brilliantly cast

Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy, Sky Arts review – too much and not enough

Programme does its best to shine a light on the bleak Wessex writer

Schumacher, Netflix review - authorised version of the life of an F1 legend

Portrait of German race ace doesn't dig deep enough

film

The Velvet Underground review - Todd Haynes tunnels through band history

Ingeniously composed documentary portrait, with John Cale the definitive star

Blu-ray: The Lighthouse (Mayak)

Subdued, elegiac meditation on wartime life in the Caucasus

Gabriela Montero, Kings Place review - improvising to a Chaplin classic is the icing on a zesty cake

Grabbing the audience and never letting go at the start of the London Piano Festival

new music

Manic Street Preachers, Brighton Dome review - solid gig occasionally explodes to another level

Politically literate Welsh pop-rockers still have fire in their bellies

Album: Coldplay - Music Of The Spheres

Universalist faith inspires earthbound sounds

Album: Finneas - Optimist

Brother and collaborator of one of the biggest stars on earth steps out on his own

classical

Tamestit, LSO, Ticciati, LSO St Luke's review - viola as chameleon, palpitating Brahms

Razor-sharp Walton complements an airborne, detailed account of a great symphony

Two-Piano Gala, Kings Place review - five pianists, two pianos, too many pieces

Captivating Mozart and Schubert offset by note-heavy Ravel and Rachmaninov

Gabriela Montero, Kings Place review - improvising to a Chaplin classic is the icing on a zesty cake

Grabbing the audience and never letting go at the start of the London Piano Festival

opera

Don Pasquale, Glyndebourne Tour review - winning comeback for a sturdy veteran

Sweet spots abound in Donizetti's much-loved sugar-daddy romp

First Person: director Frederic Wake-Walker on Glyndebourne's new 'Fidelio'

Tracing the problems of staging Beethoven's only opera over five years

Jenůfa, Royal Opera review - Janáček scours the soul again in a compelling new take

Equality of greatness from Asmik Grigorian and Karita Mattila in a striking context

theatre

Macbeth, Almeida Theatre review – vivid, but much too long
Saoirse Ronan makes her UK stage debut in Yaël Farber’s testosterone-fest
White Noise, Bridge Theatre review - provocative if not always plausible
Suzan-Lori Parks has tweaked her Off Broadway play to mixed results
First Person: Rachel O'Riordan on the enduring power of a sad, funny, and extraordinary play
The director on the renewed power of Martin McDonagh's 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane' 25 years on

dance

The Midnight Bell, New Adventures, Sadler's Wells review - dance theatre at its most compelling

Matthew Bourne hits his stride in an engrossing picture of lovelessness in 1930s London

RIP dancer and photographer Colin Jones - obituary

Dubbed the George Orwell of photojournalism, Jones married Lynn Seymour

comedy

Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre review - an amusing, if dated, revival of the Coward classic

Jennifer Saunders delivers a fine turn as the celebrated Madame Arcati

Anuvab Pal, Soho Theatre review - Empire and Bollywood collide

Shaggy dog story with some history thrown in

Books

Mary Wellesley: Hidden Hands review - passion in the parchment

Medieval manuscripts and their forgotten artist-authors come to life

Marcin Wicha: Things I Didn’t Throw Out review - the stories told by stacks of stuff

Connecting a mother's helpless love of things with questions of presence and personhood

Jonathan Franzen: Crossroads review - can goodness ever be its own reward?

The first volume of Franzen's new family saga leaves you wanting more

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