mon 22/04/2024

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Robert Beale
Monday, 22 April 2024
Billed as a “Viennese Whirl”, this programme showed that there are different kinds of music that may be known to the orchestral canon as coming from Vienna.For a start, there’s...
Helen Hawkins
Monday, 22 April 2024
What would happen if a notorious misogynist actually fell in love? With a glacial Danish librarian? And decided his best means of getting this woman’s attention was to ask his...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 22 April 2024
The previous solo piano solo album from Fred Hersch, one of the world’s great jazz pianists, was called Songs from Home, released on the New York indie jazz label Palmetto Records...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 April 2024
Three years ago, the release of Till Another Time 1988-1996 generated a thumbs up. A compilation of recordings by the Baltimore and/or New York-based Linda Smith it was, according...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 20 April 2024
“He do the police in different voices.” If ever one phrase summed up a work of fiction, and the art of its writer, then surely it is this description, by Charles Dickens in his...
David Nice
Saturday, 20 April 2024
Anyone who’d booked to hear soprano Sally Matthews or to witness the rapid progress of conductor Daniele Rustioni – the initial draw for me – could not have been disappointed in...
Cheri Amour
Saturday, 20 April 2024
For most people’s 40th birthday celebrations, they might get a few friends together, rustle up a cake, and toast to another...
Sarah Kent
Saturday, 20 April 2024
The first photograph was taken nearly 200 years ago in France by Joseph Niépce, and the first picture of a person was taken...
Ellie Roberts
Saturday, 20 April 2024
Taylor Swift’s unfathomable ability to articulate human emotion shines as brightly as ever in her latest double album The...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 19 April 2024
If you don't like sweary comics – Jonathan Pie uses the c-word liberally – then this may not be the show for you. In fact if...
Helen Hawkins
Friday, 19 April 2024
Richard Gadd won an Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2016 with material about being sexually abused by a man, in a set called...
David Nice
Friday, 19 April 2024
Virtuosity and a wildly beating heart are compatible in Richard Jones’s finely calibrated production of Renaissance woman...
Robert Beale
Friday, 19 April 2024
If ever more evidence were needed of Sir Mark Elder’s untiring zest for exploration and love of the thrill of live opera...
Justine Elias
Friday, 19 April 2024
Music, when the singer’s voice dies away, vibrates in the memory. In the hypnotic new Irish horror film All You Need Is...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 19 April 2024
Record Store Day is tomorrow! At theartsdesk on Vinyl we’ve been sent a selection of exclusive RSD goodies. Check out the...
Joe Muggs
Friday, 19 April 2024
As I sat down to write this review, the sun came out. It was a salutory reminder of the importance of context: where I’d...
Markie Robson-Scott
Thursday, 18 April 2024
Teenage Ulzii (Battsooj Uurtsaikh in an elegantly restrained performance) is looking after his little sister and brother in...
Helen Hawkins
Thursday, 18 April 2024
The Book of Clarence comes lumbered with the charge of being the new Life of Brian, an irreverent spoof of the life of...
Jon Turney
Thursday, 18 April 2024
Our home planet orbits the medium-size star we call the Sun. There are unfathomably many more stars out there. We accepted...

disc of the day

Album: Fred Hersch - Silent, Listening

A 'nocturnal' album - or is it just plain dark?


Baby Reindeer, Netflix review - a misery memoir disturbingly presented

Richard Gadd's double traumas are a difficult watch but ultimately inspiring

Anthracite, Netflix review - murderous mysteries in the French Alps

Who can unravel the ghastly secrets of the town of Lévionna?

Ripley, Netflix review - Highsmith's horribly fascinating sociopath adrift in a sea of noir

Its black and white cinematography is striking, but eventually wearying


Fantastic Machine review - photography's story from one camera to 45 billion

Love it or hate it, the photographic image has ensnared us all

All You Need Is Death review - a future folk horror classic

Irish folkies seek a cursed ancient song in Paul Duane's impressive fiction debut

If Only I Could Hibernate review - kids in grinding poverty in Ulaanbaatar

Mongolian director Zoljargal Purevdash's compelling debut

new music

Album: Fred Hersch - Silent, Listening

A 'nocturnal' album - or is it just plain dark?

Music Reissues Weekly: Linda Smith - I So Liked Spring, Nothing Else Matters

The reappearance of two obscure - and great - albums by the American musical auteur

The Songs of Joni Mitchell, Roundhouse review - fans (old and new) toast to an icon of our age

A stellar line up of artists reimagine some of Mitchell’s most magnificent works


Špaček, BBC Philharmonic, Bihlmaier, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - three flavours of Vienna

Close attention, careful balancing, flowing phrasing and clear contrast

Watts, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Bignamini, Barbican review - blazing French masterpieces

Poulenc’s Gloria and Berlioz’s 'Symphonie fantastique' on fire

Bell, Perahia, ASMF Chamber Ensemble, Wigmore Hall review - joy in teamwork

A great pianist re-emerges in Schumann, but Beamish and Mendelssohn take the palm


Banging Denmark, Finborough Theatre review - lively but confusing comedy of modern manners
Superb cast deliver Van Badham's anti-incel barbs and feminist wit with gusto
London Tide, National Theatre review - haunting moody river blues
New play-with-songs version of Dickens’s 'Our Mutual Friend' is a panoramic Victori-noir
Machinal, The Old Vic review - note-perfect pity and terror
Sophie Treadwell's 1928 hard hitter gets full musical and choreographic treatment


All You Need Is Death review - a future folk horror classic

Irish folkies seek a cursed ancient song in Paul Duane's impressive fiction debut

MacMillan Celebrated, Royal Ballet review - out of mothballs, three vintage works to marvel at

Less-known pieces spanning the career of a great choreographer underline his greatness

Carmen, English National Ballet review - lots of energy, even violence, but nothing new to say

Johan Inger's take on Carmen tries but fails to make a point about male violence


Lisa Kaltenegger: Alien Earths review - a whole new world

Kaltenegger's traverses space in her thoughtful exploration of the search for life among the stars

Heather McCalden: The Observable Universe review - reflections from a damaged life

An artist pens a genre-spanning work of tender inconclusiveness

Dorian Lynskey: Everything Must Go review - it's the end of the world as we know it

Authoritative account of how the apocalypse has always been just around the corner

visual arts

Fantastic Machine review - photography's story from one camera to 45 billion

Love it or hate it, the photographic image has ensnared us all

Yinka Shonibare: Suspended States, Serpentine Gallery review - pure delight

Weighty subject matter treated with the lightest of touch

Jane Harris: Ellipse, Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux review - ovals to the fore

Persistence and conviction in the works of the late English painter

latest comments

Couldn't agree more. THIS is the one to see to...

I watched it yesterday and it made feel like "Oh...

I saw this today at The Curve, why any theatre...

Y'all be giving out 100's like hotcakes, do y'all...

Seen in Oxford 9th April.  I agree entirely...


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