fri 28/02/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Graham Fuller
Friday, 28 February 2020
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is windblown, spare, taut, and sensual – a haunted seaside romantic drama, set in the 18th century, that makes most recent films and series dressed in...
Florence Hallett
Friday, 28 February 2020
For David Hockney, drawing is born out of familiarity: his portraits both express and fulfil the urge to know someone deeply and well. In his 60-year career, he has returned again...
Robert Beale
Friday, 28 February 2020
Honouring Beethoven in Manchester is a united enterprise, at least between the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic, two symphony orchestras that have worked out a series of Beethoven...
Joseph Walsh
Friday, 28 February 2020
Back in 2017, writer-director Eliza Hittman won over audiences with her beautiful coming-of-age drama Beach Rats. Her latest film, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, is a...
Rachel Halliburton
Friday, 28 February 2020
This raunchy, gleefully cynical production takes one of Thomas Middleton’s most famous tragedies and turns it into a Netflix-worthy dark comedy. Where the themes of incest,...
Jill Chuah Masters
Friday, 28 February 2020
Watching Dark Waters, the latest film from director Todd Haynes (Carol, Far from Heaven), I kept thinking — what’s the opposite of a love letter? The film is based on the work of...
Jessica Duchen
Friday, 28 February 2020
Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss are not the composers you'd hear at a typical chamber music concert. Their early efforts...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 28 February 2020
Ahir Shah has delivered some very good comedy by performing as a man who knows he is right about everything – that's what a...
Liz Thomson
Friday, 28 February 2020
“Fire and Rain”. Who doesn’t recall James Taylor’s first number one 50 years ago! Born in Carolina and a “graduate” of the...
Jenny Gilbert
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Mention Isadora Duncan and the best response you’re likely to get is “Wasn’t she that dancer who died when her scarf got...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Simon Brodkin is best known for his cheeky Cockney wideboy character Lee Nelson, and for pranking the famous – notably...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Judging by her debut album, Malmö singer-songwriter Alice Boman’s frosted-glass musical aesthetic has the odd hint of Mazzy...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Norwich is not the first place most people think of as a hub of riveting music but it’s where female duo Sink Ya Teeth hail...
David Nice
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
When Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski first bounced on to the concert scene, he seemed part will-o-the-wisp, part jack-in-...
Sarah Kent
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Italian journalist Roberto Saviano still lives in fear of his life 11 years after writing Gomorrah, which explores how...
Hassan Abdulrazzak
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
You are at a party having a good time when someone gives you a glass of champagne. You take one and then another and soon...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
The rage and bitterness surrounding the Brexit brouhaha have made it immune to comedy and satire, but perhaps change is in...
Marianka Swain
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
The theatre gods rained down not fire and pestilence, but a 45-minute technical delay on opening night of this substantially...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Since Back in Time for Dinner in 2015, this BBC Two social history strand in which families travel into a recreated past to...

★★★★ SINK YA TEETH - TWO Norfolk post-punkers push their sound toward a dancefloor-friendly second album

★★★★ THE WINDSORS, SERIES 3, CHANNEL 4 Perfect timing for return of the bogus royals

★★★ ALICE BOMAN, UNION CHAPEL Swedish singer-songwriter confounds expectations

★★★ SIMON BRODKIN, THE STABLES, MILTON KEYNES Comic casts off his Lee Nelson characters

★★★★ SIMON TRPČESKI, BARBICAN  From hushed pianistic magic to percussive terror

★★★ ISADORA NOW, BARBICAN THEATRE A little piece of history

FIRST PERSON Hassan Abdulrazzak on the real-life drama behind American deportation to the UK

★★★ PUSH Lifting the lid on the housing crisis

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The Windsors, Series 3, Channel 4 review - perfect timing for return of the bogus royals

Harry Enfield's Prince Charles tries to show leadership to his farcical band of ninnies

Back in Time for the Corner Shop, BBC Two review - open all hours with the Ardern family

Engrossing recreation of the lives of Sheffield's Victorian shopkeepers

Flesh and Blood, ITV review - Vivien's new love affair throws a cat among the family pigeons

Francesca Annis and Imelda Staunton in a twisty drama of secrets and lies


Portrait of a Lady on Fire review – love unshackled

Céline Sciamma's spellbinding costume drama has no room for a Mr. Darcy or Heathcliff

Berlinale 2020: Never Rarely Sometimes Always review - raw and unflinching abortion drama hits home

Plus Abel Ferrara's Jungian nightmare and Decker's shrieking 'Shirley'

Dark Waters review - an ominous drama with plenty of backbone, but not enough flesh

Mark Ruffalo stars as a remarkable American hero in the latest whistleblower flick

new music

Alice Boman, Union Chapel review - Swedish singer-songwriter confounds expectations

A bumpier ride than the recent debut album ‘Dream On’

Album: Sink Ya Teeth - Two

Norfolk post-punkers successfully push their sound forward on a dancefloor-friendly second album

Album: Sergio Mendes - In the Key of Joy

A heart-warming salute to the legendary septuagenarian's music


Hallé, Elder, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, review - fiery Beethoven tribute

Manchester puts its people on parade in another joint special

Simon Trpčeski, Barbican review - a charismatic chameleon

A Brahms labyrinth, glittering Liszt and Russians alternating melancholy with madness


Luisa Miller, English National Opera review - Verdi in translation makes a stylish comeback

Musical splendours peak in a tenor aria to die for and a moving last act

theartsdesk Q&A: soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn

Returning to ENO to sing Verdi's Luisa Miller, a great singer-actor reflects

Les vêpres siciliennes, Welsh National Opera review - spectacular, silly, but some great music

Verdi's reluctant grand opera colourfully staged, brilliantly played, unevenly sung


Women Beware Women, Shakespeare's Globe, review – wittily toxic upgrade of a Jacobean tragedy
In the #Metoo era, the exploitation of the female characters is particularly resonant
The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre review - Moses musical goes big and broad
This mammoth stage adaptation is more splashy than spiritual


Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre review - a little piece of history

Attempt to revive the spirit of Isadora Duncan is of academic interest, little more

Alina, Sadler's Wells review - I think therefore I dance

An unusual hybrid show gives a glimpse into the mind of a great ballerina

Message in a Bottle, Peacock Theatre review - a hiphop singalong

A show that brings streetdance and the songs of Sting to bear on the refugee crisis is far too jolly


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

David Hockney: Drawing from Life, National Portrait Gallery review - an anatomy of love

The artist's close friends star in the first exhibition of his drawings for over 20 years

Steve McQueen, Tate Modern review – films that stick in the mind

Memorable artist's films by the award winning director

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