sat 19/01/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Graham Fuller
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Very much a woman of today, the Catholic Stuart heroine (Saoirse Ronan) of Mary Queen of Scots frequently hacks her way out of a thicket of power-hungry males, enjoys it when her...
Kieron Tyler
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Trio reset the dial to what jazz fusion sought to do when it emerged, and do so in such a way that it’s initially unclear whether they are a jazz-...
Guy Oddy
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Why You So Crazy is a woozy, disorientating and spaced-out affair with a similar understated production to the Dandy Warhols last album, 2016’s Distortland. Long gone is the brash...
Marina Vaizey
Friday, 18 January 2019
The multi-costumed Lucy Worsley is television marmite, loved or loathed: her gesticulating enthusiasm can grate, as can her stream of bland platitudes. Typically the title is...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 18 January 2019
As the January chill began to bite around the Barbican, Sir Mark Elder and the Britten Sinfonia summoned memories of spring and summer – but of sunny seasons overshadowed by the...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 18 January 2019
The tortuous road to addiction and back again – or maybe not – makes for a faintly tedious experience in Beautiful Boy, notwithstanding the committed performances...
Aleks Sierz
Friday, 18 January 2019
Nadia Fall is a good thing. Her appointment as the artistic director of this venue, with her first season having begun in...
Robert Howarth
Friday, 18 January 2019
I’m here in Leeds at the end of five weeks of quite intense rehearsals for Opera North's new production of Mozart's The...
Liz Thomson
Friday, 18 January 2019
Well this is a treat. Darren Morrissey and Greg Marshall, London-based Dubliners who began their musical life in the fair...
Boyd Tonkin
Thursday, 17 January 2019
As Wigmore Hall audiences really ought to know, silence can be golden. Especially at the close of Schubert’s Winterreise, as...
Tom Birchenough
Thursday, 17 January 2019
There’s a stark power to Jack Gamble’s production of DH Lawrence’s The Daughter-in-Law, which has transferred to the Arcola’...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 17 January 2019
Perhaps inspired by the success of the revived Hawaii Five-O, CBS and Universal have gone back to the Eighties, and back to...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 17 January 2019
Its Dali-esque sleeve image captures Goes West perfectly. Over its 10 instrumental tracks, the music drifts inwards from...
Tim Cornwell
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
A road tunnel through the Alps, stretching underneath Mont Blanc: Tel (Shaun Mason) is ploughing home to London in a...
Veronica Lee
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
There's a story in James Acaster's superb new show at the Phoenix Theatre which hangs on him being the first UK comic to...
Rachel Halliburton
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Theatrical alchemy is eternally slippery. On paper Rosenbaum’s Rescue at the Park Theatre looks like an excellent...
Tim Cumming
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
It’s not often that music of this kind gets a release outside of Morocco, and Arc Music and the producer/musicians must be...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta and Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony: few other conductors could get away with...
Jasper Rees
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
How much more is there to say about the thrills and spills of midlife? Cold Feet made a surprisingly nimble return to ITV a...

★★★★ ABDESSELAM DAMOUSSI AND NOUR EDDINE - JEDBA Mesmerising musical ecstasies from Morocco

★★★★ DVD/BLU-RAY: UNDER THE TREE A devastating suburban satire

★★★ MAGNUM P.I., SKY 1 Slick and formulaic remake of Eighties original


★★ ROSENBAUM'S RESCUE, PARK THEATRE Curiously solid Jewish drama

★★★★★ JAMES ACASTER, PHOENIX CINEMA A masterclass in comedy

disc of the day

CD: The Dandy Warhols - Why You So Crazy

Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s crew get spaced out

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Magnum P.I., Sky 1 review - slick and formulaic remake of Eighties original

Jay Fernandez updates the Tom Selleck role in Hawaii-based drama

Cold Feet, Series 8, ITV review - mortality lite

The cast return once more to pull sad faces and silly faces


Mary Queen of Scots review - Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie excel

A worthy historical drama that sinks under its own weight

Beautiful Boy review - well-acted but a slog

Steve Carell and the astounding Timothée Chalamet can't enliven meth addict memoir

DVD/Blu-ray: Under the Tree

Summer in Iceland and the living's not easy: a devastating suburban satire

new music

theartsdesk Q&A: Hedvig Mollestad, Norway's bridge between heavy metal and jazz

The genre-busting guitarist talks about new album 'Smells Funny', a rotting eyeball and more

CD: The Dandy Warhols - Why You So Crazy

Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s crew get spaced out


Murrihy, Britten Sinfonia, Elder, Barbican review – a country feast

Rejuvenated Brahms adorns a fine pastoral picnic

Winterreise, Gerhaher, Huber, Wigmore Hall review - wintry beauty

A peerless double-act take their latest Schubertian journey

LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Bartók dances, Bruckner sings

Intense but deeply personal accounts of two musical monoliths


'Bringing things to life is what opera is all about': Robert Howarth on a 'Magic Flute' with a difference

Opera North's Mozart conductor on taking a careful look at a masterpiece

The Queen of Spades, Royal Opera review - uneven cast prey to overthought concept

Two stories painstakingly interwoven, but the dark heart of Tchaikovsky/Pushkin falters

Best of 2018: Opera

A year more remarkable for high musical values than any wealth of great UK productions


The Unreturning, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - hymn to home
Frantic Assembly's latest is a moving meditation on war and masculinity
The Daughter-in-Law, Arcola Theatre review - searing simplicity
DH Lawrence's tragically inflected 1913 tale of family relationships powerfully told


Swan Lake, English National Ballet, London Coliseum review - a solid, go-to production

Traditional stagings don't come much more satisfying than Derek Deane's for ENB

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Sadler's Wells - vivid, enchanting

Refreshed classic production delights with energy, storytelling and live Tchaikovsky

The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - a still-magical tale of two couples

Peter Wright's balance of story-telling and classical dance lacks only elan from the pit


James Acaster, Phoenix Theatre review - a masterclass in comedy

The stand-up's show is his most personal yet

The Catherine Tate Show Live, Wyndham's Theatre review - sketch show favourites on stage

Catchphrases galore and great fun from the queen of sketch comedy


Battlefield V review - WWII on an epic scale

The veteran series returns for another ambitious tour of duty

Red Dead Redemption 2 review - the cowboy drama makes a triumphant return

An ambitious Wild West odyssey that matches epic scale with benchmark skill

visual arts

Best of 2018: Art

Reputations restored and revised: a look back at some of this year's best art shows

Edwin Landseer / Rachel Maclean, National Gallery review - a juxtaposition of opposites

The Monarch of the Glen refreshed by a Scottish political satirist

Māris Briežkalns Quintet, EFG London Jazz Festival 2018 review - a Rothko symphony

Latvian players and composers homage a great artist they can call their own

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