thu 13/08/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Nick Hasted
Thursday, 13 August 2020
This seems a perfect project for Matteo Garrone, a director who has found new ways to conjure old Italian dreams, and invests even his most grimly realistic films with fairy tale...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 13 August 2020
Music awards shows are a strange beast: part window display, part industry conference and part party. Especially if you don’t have Brit Awards or Mercury Prize budget to create a...
David Nice
Thursday, 13 August 2020
Composer Gian-Carlo Menotti once asked rhetorically what society wanted of performing artists – “the bread of life or the after-dinner mint?” There were a couple of audience...
Mark Kidel
Thursday, 13 August 2020
Together for over 20 years and with a string of incredibly successful albums, the Scottish trio return with a ninth release that offers more of the relatively sophisticated...
Sam Marlowe
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
In a purgatorial summer, this boisterous, camp and chaotically charming musical is a tonic. It’s a winning combination of slick and slapdash, performed before a masked, socially...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
During World War Two, President Franklin D Roosevelt described the USA as “the arsenal of democracy”. Only a couple of decades later, Fidel Castro was busily turning Cuba, only...
Miranda Heggie
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
Lockdown, perhaps more than any other time, has amplified how modern technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Of...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
Although Metallica are screening a freshly recorded concert across America’s drive-in cinemas at the end of the month, we’re...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
One of the most evocative tracks on James Dean Bradfield’s second solo album is hardly his at all. The Manic Street Preacher...
Sarah Collins
Tuesday, 11 August 2020
TW: This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, antidepressants and self-harm We first meet Nora Seed, “nineteen...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 10 August 2020
It has taken a good half decade for the Dutch series Overspel (The Adulterer) to make it on to TV screens in the UK. Its 32...
Aleks Sierz
Monday, 10 August 2020
Wowee! Twenty weeks after the last time I set foot in a theatre, I was able to visit a venue once more. Hello again Donmar!...
Boyd Tonkin
Monday, 10 August 2020
As Dvořák’s "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka rose to its impassioned climax, Natalya Romaniw had to battle a helicopter...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 10 August 2020
It’s exciting to come to an album with no preconceptions and no context and find you fall immediately in love with it. Tanya...
Daniel Lewis
Sunday, 09 August 2020
Poet Sharon Dolin’s memoir Hitchcock Blonde ends (no spoilers) in the same way as the famous English director’s Vertigo...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 09 August 2020
Whether explicitly or indirectly, what’s written on a master tape box can tantalise. Revealing part of a picture creates a...
Graham Rickson
Sunday, 09 August 2020
Every great artist can have an off day, and the the best moments in Eureka’s latest collection of Buster Keaton features are...
David Nice
Saturday, 08 August 2020
Nostalgia of all kinds played a part in this summer evening’s divertissement. Some audience members were probably...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 08 August 2020
We first see Leigh (Frankie Box), the cheeky heroine of Scottish writer-director Eva Riley’s debut feature Perfect 10,...
 

★★★ CUBA: CASTRO VS THE WORLD, BBC TWO Turbulent life and times of El Comandante

NEW MUSIC UNLOCKED 5 Biffy Clyro, Rave the Vote, Little Simz and AJ Tracey

★★★★ THE TELEPHONE, SCOTTISH OPERA/CARGILL, RSNO, SØNDERGÅRD, EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL ONLINE Human emotions in digital form

★★★★ JAMES DEAN BRADFIELD - EVEN IN EXILE Manic Street Preacher finds moments of beauty in life of Chilean revolutionary

★★★★ MATT HAIG: THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY An uplifting modern parable

tv

AIM Awards 2020, SBTV review - a game attempt to rewire awards ceremonies

Without tables full of increasingly tipsy industry folk, how do awards work?

Cuba: Castro vs the World, BBC Two - turbulent life and times of El Comandante

How Fidel Castro exported revolution to the oppressed masses

The Adulterer, Channel 4 review - atmospheric, addictive and bingeworthy

This top-quality Dutch series from 2011-15 deserved to be seen sooner

film

Blu-ray: Buster Keaton: Three Films, Vol. 3

Three more full length comedies, mostly excellent

Perfect 10 review - a small movie with a big heart

Eva Riley's debut feature is by turns sentimental and spiky

An American Pickle review - sweet and sour screwball comedy

Seth Rogen doubles up for a time-hopping tale that sets the past against the present

new music

AIM Awards 2020, SBTV review - a game attempt to rewire awards ceremonies

Without tables full of increasingly tipsy industry folk, how do awards work?

Album: Biffy Clyro - A Celebration of Endings

Metal without doom and gloom

Album: James Dean Bradfield - Even In Exile

Manic Street Preacher finds moments of beauty in life of Chilean revolutionary

classical

Charles Owen, Fidelio Orchestra Café review - high-profile, robust romantics

Lucid Schumann, Chopin and Liszt from a master pianist

Classical CDs Weekly: William Dawson, Ulysses Kay, Janáček, Norwegian Trombone Ensemble

20th century American orchestral music, Czech pianism and four trombones

opera

The Encore, Opera Holland Park review - stylish return for a squad of old friends

A moving and delightful al fresco feast of opera favourites

Heart's Delight, Opera Holland Park review - a classy hour of operetta pops

Five fine singers and a small orchestra deliver hits at a high level

Moses und Aron, Komische Oper Berlin, OperaVision review – complex and powerful memorial

Schoenberg’s opera of unanswerable questions proves a fitting Holocaust epitaph

theatre

Fanny and Stella, Garden Theatre review - a saucy slice of queer history
This rambunctious fringe musical serves up a fascinating true story with charm and pizazz
Blindness, Donmar Warehouse review - a beautifully haunting parable
Simon Stephens and Juliet Stevenson create the perfect installation for our times
Imagine... My Name is Kwame, BBC One review - interesting but incomplete
Profile of Young Vic artistic director could go still further

dance

'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

Ballet or cabaret, Zizi's passion was for performance - preferably with her husband

Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch’s 'The Rite of Spring' review - an explosive African rite

Continents collide in a film documenting an inspired re-staging of a 20th-century masterpiece

'If they had been any closer my face would have misted up': filming 'Men at the Barre'

The director Richard Macer had exclusive access to the male stars of the Royal Ballet. He describes what he discovered

gaming

Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

visual arts

George IV: Art & Spectacle, The Queen's Gallery review - all is aglitter

A sumptuous display from the Royal Collection heralds a top class reopening

Khadija Saye: In This Space We Breathe, 236 Westbourne Grove review - a celebrated series finds new resonance

The artist's most celebrated works launch a new public art project in west London

The Golden Age of Modern Spanish Art, Colnaghi review - the sun shines in the City of Light

A celebration of little known Spanish painters as the London art world emerges again

latest comments

Thanks Ben - didn't realise that the Davis music...

Great review, I can't wait to receive my copy!...

Actually Donelly toured the UK in 2016 with Belly...

It was indeed an enjoyable evening and lovely to...

Hitler is recorded using his normal voice in...

Corrected, with thanks, since the author doesn't...

Complete tripe. The only thing I wonder about is...

newsletter

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