mon 16/05/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Graham Fuller
Monday, 16 May 2022
Life, opined Thomas Hobbes, is “nasty, brutish, and short”. In Gaspar Noé’s Vortex it’s not short enough for a dementia-afflicted octogenarian psychiatrist (Françoise Lebrun) and...
Caspar Gomez
Monday, 16 May 2022
My friend George claims to have nightmares about The Great Escape. In them he’s standing in an endless queue, never reaching the front, never entering the venue, and never seeing...
Rachel Halliburton
Monday, 16 May 2022
Jude is the kind of girl that no-one would want to mess with – she can dance like a demon to Eric Clapton, skewer an ego in seconds and hit an apple from thirty feet with a knife...
David Nice
Monday, 16 May 2022
As the final slew of episodes in the last series of Ozark begins, Marty and Wendy Byrde, ever more the Macbeths of Osage Beach, are “in blood stepp’d in so far” that we don’t much...
Gavin Dixon
Monday, 16 May 2022
Conductor and pianist came at Liszt from opposite directions last night. Michael Tilson Thomas is a venerable presence at the podium and has been Laureate Conductor of the London...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 16 May 2022
Andy Zaltzman comes on stage to deliver a short preamble to his show Satirist For Hire. Much of the hour is suggested by the audience as they choose subjects they want him to muse...
Robert Beale
Monday, 16 May 2022
Saturday’s concert by the BBC Philharmonic was in large measure about the Mahlers – Gustav and Alma. The former’s First...
Mark Kidel
Monday, 16 May 2022
There is so much gospel out there that it’s not easy to stand out above the crowd. Mavis Staples, with a distinctive voice...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 15 May 2022
“Ramonic buzzsaw impressionism guitars lovingly poured like a truckload of Quaker Oats over the indecipherable lyrical...
Nick Hasted
Sunday, 15 May 2022
The Driller Killer, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer form a self-descriptive yet...
Gary Naylor
Saturday, 14 May 2022
With tyrants licking their lips around the world and the question of how to respond to their threat growing ever more...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 14 May 2022
Onstage at The Old Market in Hove, New York’s Mykki Blanco has been waving around a knot of garlic bulbs as if it were a...
Katie Colombus
Saturday, 14 May 2022
The psychology of female desire in 1960s California, was a field awash with voyeurism and exploitation. This brilliant play...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 14 May 2022
 Mozart, Hummel and Vanhal – Bassoon Concertos Sophie Dervaux (bassoon/conductor), Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 14 May 2022
Kendrick Lamar is so breathlessly revered it’s sometimes hard to pull apart what’s going on in his records. It’s sometimes...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 13 May 2022
The real-life case of Michael Peterson and the death of his wife Kathleen in 2001 has generated a steady stream of TV...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 13 May 2022
Thanks to the pandemic, the planned tidal surge of Fidelio productions never quite happened during Beethoven’s anniversary...
Alexandra Coghlan
Friday, 13 May 2022
A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it domestic farce and a fever-dream fantasy of a song-cycle: Stravinsky’s Mavra (1922) and...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 13 May 2022
Everything Everywhere All at Once is one of those films that are guaranteed to make an audience feel their age. Unless...

★★★★★ CLUBBING WITH THE STONES: LIVE AT EL MOCAMBO One of the band's finest ever gigs sees the light of day

★★★★★ KENDRICK LAMAR The philosopher-king of hip hop culture ventures ever inwards

★★★★ THE STAIRCASE, NOW Colin Firth visits the dark side as suspected killer Michael Peterson

CLASSICAL CDS Poetry from a great bassoonist, Slavic jazz, and two fizzing collections of music for string orchestra

★★★ TRANSGRESSIVE RECORDS SHOWCASE, THE GREAT ESCAPE, BRIGHTON Let's Eat Grandma, The Waeve, Mykki Blanco and more set the south coast a-buzz

★★★ MAVRA/PIERROT LUNAIRE, LINBURY THEATRE A collision of musical worlds makes for an intriguing double-bill

disc of the day

Album: Mavis Staples and Levon Helm - Carry Me Home

Good enough gospel but a little too bland


Ozark, Series 4 Part 2, Netflix review - crumbling consciences and a last stand

No spoilers, hopefully: farewell to this superbly-acted corruption saga

The Staircase, NOW review - addictive dramatisation of real-life murder investigation

Colin Firth visits the dark side as suspected killer Michael Peterson

DI Ray, ITV review - Parminder Nagra battles killer gangs and cultural stereotypes

Cops afflicted by sexism, racism and box-ticking mediocrity


Vortex review – an old couple's road to nowhere

Gaspar Noé's unflinching depiction of dementia's merciless grip

Blu-ray: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Viscerally uncomfortable genre landmark shows a mundane murderer's daily rounds

Everything Everywhere All at Once review - brace yourself

Pick 'n' mix assortment of martial arts, sci fi, family drama, and existential angst

new music

The Great Escape 2022, Brighton, review - sunshine, queues, and thrilling new bands

Theartsdesk's intrepid duo spend a day trawling the multi-venue seaside festival for musical kicks

Album: Mavis Staples and Levon Helm - Carry Me Home

Good enough gospel but a little too bland

Music Reissues Weekly: 999 - A Punk Rock Anthology

Entry point compilation into the band who ‘seem to have lost control’


Vondráček, LSO, Tilson Thomas, Barbican review - mixed messages

Fine detail in Liszt and Mahler, but drama was lacking

Dandy, BBC Philharmonic, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - energy and fierce attention

Gustav and Alma Mahler, and pictorial music, are linked in a fascinating programme

Classical CDs: Double reeds, double pianos and double string orchestras

Poetry from a great bassoonist, Slavic jazz, and two fizzing collections of music for string orchestra


Fidelio, Insula Orchestra, Barbican review - truth and justice brought to light

Sturdy singing and human drama enrich a fuss-free staging of Beethoven's only opera

Mavra/Pierrot Lunaire, Linbury Theatre review - operatic madness tempered with plenty of method

A collision of musical worlds makes for an intriguing double-bill

Serse, The English Concert, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - star turns from five remarkable women

Emily D’Angelo’s Xerxes is king, but doesn’t eclipse other greats in a Handel masterpiece


Classical CDs: Toyshops, begging gods and a good year for Austrian music

Classical piano music, French symphonies and a big box of ballets

Dance for Ukraine, London Coliseum, online review - a gala to remember

Swiftly-assembled charity effort demonstrates dancers' engagement with the world

The Weathering/Solo Echo/DGV, Royal Ballet review - the dancer as chameleon

Strong one-act works by Kyle Abraham and Crystal Pite show the dancers at their adaptive best


Andy Zaltzman, Soho Theatre review - satire on the hoof

Setting the world to rights, one joke at a time

Brandon Wardell, Soho Theatre review - US comic wings it

UK debut show is disjointed and uneven

Stratagem With Alan Partridge, touring review - he's back as a lifestyle guru

Steve Coogan's creation doesn't quite hit the spot


Laura Beatty: Looking for Theophrastus review - adventures in psychobiography

A portrait of Lesbos and its ‘lost’ philosopher

Emily St John Mandel: Sea of Tranquility review - time travel, pandemics and the simulation hypothesis

A compelling and charming novel but the characters are a little thin

latest comments

Great review! I felt like I was the only one who...

... and what about David Hurley, ex-Kings Singer...

This is the oddest review I have ever read. She...

Totally agree. Just watched the episodes on Acorn...

This film tries to give the children, and the...


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