sat 24/02/2024

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Sarah Kent
Saturday, 24 February 2024
At the turn of the 20th century, London’s smart set queued up to get their portraits painted by American-born artist John Singer Sargent. Sitting for him was a performance, a way...
Gary Naylor
Saturday, 24 February 2024
Is there a healthier sound than that of laughter ringing round a theatre? There are plenty of opportunities to test that theory in Tinuke Craig’s riotous revival of The Big...
Tom Carr
Saturday, 24 February 2024
There are few bands who can claim to operate in a similar visionary style as Everything Everything. Since their 2010 debut Man Alive, the Manchester group have played in a space...
Miranda Heggie
Friday, 23 February 2024
An opera about a day in the life of Karl Marx doesn’t exactly sound like a barrel of laughs. But then so much of Jonathan Dove’s witty 2018 work proves that things are not always...
Helen Hawkins
Friday, 23 February 2024
In 2017, two years after Hir premiered, Taylor Mac was awarded a “Genius Grant” and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for drama. The new production of Hir at the Park demonstrates...
Markie Robson-Scott
Friday, 23 February 2024
Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is given a new lease on life in Mexican director Michel Franco’s moving, complex film, full of fine performances.Saul (a wonderful Peter...
Gary Naylor
Friday, 23 February 2024
You do not need to be Einstein to feel it. If the only dimension missing is time, 75% of a place’s identity can invade your...
Mert Dilek
Thursday, 22 February 2024
Less than three years after her magnificent Macbeth, Yaël Farber returns to the Almeida with another Shakespeare tragedy....
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 22 February 2024
I first saw Bill Bailey at least 30 years ago in the cabaret tent at Glastonbury Festival, the audience lying on hessian...
Mert Dilek
Thursday, 22 February 2024
Doom and gloom, we are told, may have abounded in the classical underworld, but Hadestown suggests otherwise. Returning to...
Jon Turney
Thursday, 22 February 2024
Consider a chimp peeling a stick which it will poke into a termite nest. It strikes us as a human gesture. Our primate...
Tim Cumming
Thursday, 22 February 2024
Glitterbeat is home to a wildly eclectic and reliably brilliant world of artists, from Korea’s Park Jiha via Slovenia’s...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Real life is a helluva lot scarier right now than you might guess from the performative theatrics on display in the new West...
Demetrios Matheou
Wednesday, 21 February 2024
It’s awards season in the film world, which means that we’re currently swamped by hyperbolic shows of love and respect –...
Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Wim Wenders’ latest narrative film Perfect Days might seem an uncommonly mellow work by the maker of Alice in the...
Sarah Kent
Wednesday, 21 February 2024
The downstairs of the Whitechapel Gallery has been converted into a ballroom or, rather, a film set of a ballroom. From time...
Joe Muggs
Wednesday, 21 February 2024
It must be kind of unreal living in the Stereolab universe.A band of geeky introverts, beloved of the type of hairclip-and-...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 20 February 2024
This three-part drama arrives trailing clouds of big-byline glory. Michael Sheen directed and produced it (as well as making...
Helen Hawkins
Tuesday, 20 February 2024
It’s tempting to see the second gala created by Ukrainian-born Ivan Putrov as a reflection of the shift in Ukraine’s...



★★★★ DANCE FOR UKRAINE GALA, PALLADIUM A satisfying mix of stars and young hopefuls

★★ THE WAY, BBC ONE Michael Sheen's ode to Port Talbot stretches credulity

THEARTSDESK Q&A: WIM WENDERS ON PERFECT DAYS The German director explains why he made a drama about a Tokyo toilet cleaner

★★★★★ KIN, SERIES 2, BBC ONE Dublin becomes a war zone in Peter McKenna's addictive drama

★★★★ JERZY SKOLIMOWSKI Visually striking early works from an iconoclastic Polish director

★★★★ ZINEB SEDIRA: DREAMS HAVE NO TITLES, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY A disorientating mix of fact and fiction

★★★ MGMT - LOSS OF LIFE US art-rock duo see the lighter side of pessimism

★★★ PAUL FOOT, SOHO THEATRE Personal show from the absurdist comic


disc of the day

Album: Everything Everything - Mountainhead

The visionary art-rock group return with dystopian, yet creative and well-earned follow-up


The Way, BBC One review - steeltown blues

Michael Sheen's ode to Port Talbot stretches credulity

Kin, Series 2, BBC One review - when crime dynasties collide

Dublin becomes a war zone in Peter McKenna's addictive drama

The New Look, AppleTV+ review - lavish period drama with more width than depth

Ben Mendelsohn's tender performance as Dior anchors the spectacle in emotional truth


Memory review - love, dementia and truth

Michel Franco directs Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard in a complex, painful love story

theartsdesk Q&A: Wim Wenders on 'Perfect Days'

The German director explains why he made a drama about a Tokyo toilet cleaner

new music

Album: Everything Everything - Mountainhead

The visionary art-rock group return with dystopian, yet creative and well-earned follow-up

Album: Aziza Brahim - Mawja

Afro-Iberian blues and grooves from the activist Sahrawi songwriter

Album: Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love

Strange and beautiful dream transmissions from the weird world of Stereolab


Fung, BBC Philharmonic, Weilerstein, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - clever and comical

First UK performance of new cello concerto by Katherine Balch given with uncanny skill

Malofeev, BBCSO, Lintu, Barbican review - finesse as well as fireworks

Youthful pianist and senior composers offer excitement and bravura


Marx in London, Scottish Opera review - the humour of history made manifest

A capital production of an unexpectedly comic opera

Cavalleria Rusticana/Aleko, Opera North review - a new foil for Mascagni

Overlapping casting in two tragedies of infidelity and jealousy

Così fan tutte, Opera North review - a safe bet

Voices and personalities in balance and contrast in revived Albery production


The Big Life, Stratford East review - big-hearted musical brings the joy and honours the past
Revived 20 years on, this Windrush musical lands differently, but is still wonderfully entertaining
Hir, Park Theatre review - incendiary production for Taylor Mac's rich absurdist family drama
Felicity Huffman, heading a superb cast, is a force of nature


Dance for Ukraine Gala, London Palladium review - a second rich helping of international dancers

Ivan Putrov's latest gala was a satisfying mix of stars and young hopefuls

Dark With Excessive Bright, Royal Ballet review - a close encounter with dancers stripped bare

The Royal's Festival of New Choreography launches with an unforgettable walk in the dark


Bill Bailey: Thoughtifier, Brighton Centre review - offbeat adventures with a whirling, erudite mind

Bailey's fusion of studied musicality and off-the-wall wordplay remains one-of-a-kind

Jessica Fostekew, Soho Theatre review - age is just a number

Landmark birthday prompts some musings


Tom Chatfield: Wise Animals review - on the changing world

A compelling account of how we use technology – and how it uses us

Sheila Heti: Alphabetical Diaries review - an A-Z of inner life

Heti goes far beyond a gimmick in this work of surprising and moving insight

David Harsent: Skin review - our strange surfaces

A fine poet pens a set of resilient expressions and elegant introspections

latest comments

It is on release in the UK from today, Friday 23

Apologies to Fiona. I now think she's right, and...

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Where can I see this new film?

Tremendous- edge of seat all the way, characters...

Love this show and that review is spot on.

Excellent review perfect, great series hope there...


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