thu 30/06/2022

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Caspar Gomez
Thursday, 30 June 2022
Last days of June 2022, I sit in my writing hut. My liver is radioactive jelly, my nose reinforced concrete, my leg muscles marathon-cramped, and poisoned perspiration rolls down...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 30 June 2022
Rowan Atkinson’s strange little comedy (written by Will Davies) is the story of Trevor Bingley, a rather pitiable late-middle-aged man who finds a new job as a house-sitter for a...
David Nice
Thursday, 30 June 2022
Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, a stunning Elsa in this Royal Opera season's revival of Wagner’s Lohengrin, was the lure to sit through Jan Philipp Gloger's Mozart Così again (the...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 30 June 2022
“The historic, the prehistoric, the natural, architectural, geological, ornithological, or on the side of its folklore, Christian or heathen – the place teems with subject matter...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 29 June 2022
I live in Brixton, south London. A few days ago, the borough’s aptly named Windrush Square hosted events which celebrated the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their...
Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 29 June 2022
It takes some confidence for a first-time feature director to interrupt her essentially realistic first feature with a splash of psychedelic abstraction, but Jacqueline Lentzou...
Hugh Barnes
Wednesday, 29 June 2022
Stanislav Aseyev is a Ukrainian writer who came in from the cold. Until the spring of 2014, he was an aspiring poet and...
Sarah Kent
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
Director Alice Diop read an article by Pierre Bergounioux in which he described how he began writing to draw attention to...
David Nice
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
Could this be the summer Bayreuth finally sees a new Ring production that comes anywhere near its last great epic success,...
David Nice
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
He’s the most haunting, at times terrifying Wozzeck I’ve seen, in Richard Jones's Welsh National Opera baked-bean-factory...
Guy Oddy
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
The last time that Paolo Nutini was on the public stage, he was knocking out fine blue-eyed soul and having substantial hits...
Tim Cumming
Monday, 27 June 2022
A few spots of rain greeted the arrival of the Rolling Stones on BST Hyde Park’s stage on Saturday night, and after “Street...
Tom Birchenough
Monday, 27 June 2022
For sheer extremes of family dysfunction Theresa Rebeck’s Mad House must be aiming to set new records in American drama. The...
Saskia Baron
Monday, 27 June 2022
There’s a sharp observation, delivered in Alan Bennett’s soft tones, that sums up the reputation of the painter Eric...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 27 June 2022
American singer-songwriter Damien Jurado is both prolific and enigmatic. His latest album follows too many to count (OK, not...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 26 June 2022
In 1965, Bob Crewe was living alongside Central Park in New York’s Dakota building. At various times, the block’s other...
David Nice
Saturday, 25 June 2022
Semi-standing ovation at a lunchtime concert in a London church? Predictable, perhaps, from the first recital I heard George...
Izzy Smith
Saturday, 25 June 2022
Mieko Kawakami is the champion of the loner. Since achieving immense success in the UK with her translated works, she has...
Peter Quinn
Saturday, 25 June 2022
An artist with a myriad of strings to his bow – gifted wordsmith, multi-instrumentalist, captivating storyteller – what...

★★★ DAMIEN JURADO - REGGAE FILM STAR US artist's latest is opaque, but also often intriguing

★★★★ PAOLO NUTINI - LAST NIGHT IN THE BITTERSWEET Scottish soul man is back rocking

THE ARTS DESK IN ZURICH Forging a brilliant new Ring: an unforgettable 'Rheingold'

★★ WE (NOUS) Nothing much happens in Alice Diop's documentary portrait of the Paris periphery

★★★★ ERIC RAVILIOUS: DRAWN TO WAR A lovingly crafted documentary portrait

★★★ MAD HOUSE, AMBASSADORS David Harbour magnificent in Theresa Rebeck's family drama

Q&A: CHRISTOPHER PURVES On communicating everything from Handel to George Benjamin

disc of the day

Album: Gwenno - Tresor

Claustrophobia, folkiness and Cornish-language vocals rub shoulders


Man vs Bee, Netflix review - or should it be Bee vs Bean?

Rowan Atkinson's new comic character is no Blackadder

Suspect, Channel 4 review - a stylised remake of a Danish psychological drama

James Nesbitt returns as another troubled policeman with a dark back-story (and matching eyebrows)

Sherwood, BBC One review - a traumatic journey through a painful past

James Graham's drama exposes wounds that never healed from the 1980s miners' strike


Moon, 66 Questions review - captivating daughter-father drama

An outstanding debut by the Greek New Wave director Jacqueline Lentzou

We (Nous) review - a low-key look at life in the suburbs of Paris

Nothing much happens in Alice Diop's documentary portrait of the periphery

Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War review - a lovingly crafted documentary portrait

In love and war: one of England's great watercolourists reappraised

new music

Glastonbury Festival 2022: an unexpurgated odyssey around the best party on the planet

The biggest, wildest, most extensive Glastonbury 2022 report of them all

Album: Gwenno - Tresor

Claustrophobia, folkiness and Cornish-language vocals rub shoulders

Album: Paolo Nutini - Last Night in the Bittersweet

Scottish blue-eyed soul man comes back rocking


George Fu, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - high intellect and visceral shocks

Chopin the modernist, Rzewski the electric in totally satisfying recital

Hughes, Manchester Collective, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester review - new work and stunning singing

Edmund Finnis song cycle gets its launch with passion, anguish and consolation


Così fan tutte, Royal Opera review - vibrant youth and vocal beauty

Lithe cast and conducting unfazed by over-egged production, at least until the bitter end

theartsdesk in Zurich - forging a brilliant new Ring

Gianandrea Noseda, Andreas Homoki and top cast dazzle in an unforgettable 'Rheingold'

theartsdesk Q&A: bass-baritone Christopher Purves on communicating everything from Handel to George Benjamin

The great singing actor on his best experiences - including Zurich Opera's new Ring


The Fellowship, Hampstead Theatre review - strong clashes, too little drama
Roy Williams’s latest is a tribute to the children of the Windrush generation
Mad House, Ambassadors Theatre review - David Harbour is magnificent in Theresa Rebeck's family drama
Bravado support from a cantankerous Bill Pullman practically steals the show
A Doll's House, Part 2, Donmar Warehouse review - Noma Dumezweni nails it
Broadway entry from 2017 is the rare sequel that richly delivers


The Rite of Spring, Pina Bausch/École des Sables, Sadler's Wells review - explosive and disturbing

At last, the pan-African production of Bausch's landmark choreography arrives on the London stage

The Car Man, Royal Albert Hall review - grand scale drama and decadence

An explosive restaging of the original dance drama

Like Water for Chocolate, Royal Ballet review - confusing and ill-conceived

Christopher Wheeldon's usual flair deserts him in his latest three-act story ballet


Ricky Gervais, SuperNature, Netflix review - a provocateur at work

An equal opportunities offender delivers a masterclass in meta comedy

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


Stanislav Aseyev: In Isolation - Dispatches from Occupied Donbas review - journeys through space and time in Ukraine

How the separatist republic became lost in its nostalgia for a largely imaginary past

Philip Ball: The Book of Minds review - thinking about the box

Mapping the mindspace of all beings great and small

visual arts

Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War review - a lovingly crafted documentary portrait

In love and war: one of England's great watercolourists reappraised

Vivian Maier: Anthology, MK Gallery review - what an amazing eye!

The brilliance of an amateur photographer who was almost lost to the world

Venice Biennale 2022 review - The Milk of Dreams Part 2: The Arsenale

This wildly ambitious mega-exhibition unravels in spectacular style

latest comments

Thanks for calling out the implausibility. By the...

Writing for the show was inconsistent throughout...

I think William Hurt was a fabulously talented...

THE MILK OF NIGHTMARES... or so it seems Having...

Aaron you are right to ask the question about Pat...


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