fri 28/02/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Veronica Lee
Friday, 28 February 2020
Ahir Shah has delivered some very good comedy by performing as a man who knows he is right about everything – that's what a political degree from Cambridge can do for you. But now...
Liz Thomson
Friday, 28 February 2020
“Fire and Rain”. Who doesn’t recall James Taylor’s first number one 50 years ago! Born in Carolina and a “graduate” of the 1960s Greenwich Village music scene, Sweet Baby James...
Jenny Gilbert
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Mention Isadora Duncan and the best response you’re likely to get is “Wasn’t she that dancer who died when her scarf got caught in the wheels of a Bugatti?” The closing scene of...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Simon Brodkin is best known for his cheeky Cockney wideboy character Lee Nelson, and for pranking the famous – notably handing Theresa May her P45 at the Conservative Party...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Judging by her debut album, Malmö singer-songwriter Alice Boman’s frosted-glass musical aesthetic has the odd hint of Mazzy Star and draws from the sound world created for Twin...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Norwich is not the first place most people think of as a hub of riveting music but it’s where female duo Sink Ya Teeth hail from. Consisting of bassist Gemma Cullingford and...
David Nice
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
When Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski first bounced on to the concert scene, he seemed part will-o-the-wisp, part jack-in-...
Sarah Kent
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Italian journalist Roberto Saviano still lives in fear of his life 11 years after writing Gomorrah, which explores how...
Hassan Abdulrazzak
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
You are at a party having a good time when someone gives you a glass of champagne. You take one and then another and soon...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
The rage and bitterness surrounding the Brexit brouhaha have made it immune to comedy and satire, but perhaps change is in...
Marianka Swain
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
The theatre gods rained down not fire and pestilence, but a 45-minute technical delay on opening night of this substantially...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Since Back in Time for Dinner in 2015, this BBC Two social history strand in which families travel into a recreated past to...
Peter Quinn
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Released to coincide with a new documentary on his life by filmmaker John Scheinfeld, In the Key of Joy celebrates the...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
“Everybody lies," says property developer Tony to his PA and secret lover Natalie. “Even your mum probably.” And of course...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
This concert represented the British leg of the NHK Symphony Orchestra’s European tour. Tokyo’s radio orchestra is Japan’s...
Jenny Gilbert
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
It’s common to see the term “vanity project” applied to self-produced shows by ballet stars, but Alina – the first such...
David Nice
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Startlingly high levels of expression and focused fire made this rich concert worthy of the dedicatee who radiated those...
Demetrios Matheou
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Lest anyone believe that Parasite was the only ground-breaking foreign language film of the past year, Céline...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Though set in a handsomely-realised 1912, many of The Winslow Boy’s period details seem disconcertingly contemporary, from...

★★★ ALINA, SADLER'S WELLS A glimpse into the mind of a great ballerina

★★★ THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, DOMINION THEATRE Moses musical goes big and broad

★★★★ BERLINALE 2020: MY SALINGER YEAR 70th edition of the festival opens in style

★★★★ GABETTA, NHK SO, JÄRVI, RFH Dynamic, transparent Schumann and Rachmaninov

★★★★★ MASCULINITIES, BARBICAN A must-see exhibition on gender identity

★★★★ BACK IN TIME FOR THE CORNER SHOP, BBC TWO Engrossing recreation of the lives of Sheffield's Victorian shopkeepers

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The Windsors, Series 3, Channel 4 review - perfect timing for return of the bogus royals

Harry Enfield's Prince Charles tries to show leadership to his farcical band of ninnies

Back in Time for the Corner Shop, BBC Two review - open all hours with the Ardern family

Engrossing recreation of the lives of Sheffield's Victorian shopkeepers

Flesh and Blood, ITV review - Vivien's new love affair throws a cat among the family pigeons

Francesca Annis and Imelda Staunton in a twisty drama of secrets and lies


Push review – lifting the lid on the housing crisis

Fredrik Gertten’s lively documentary reveals the global scale of the problem

Actress Noémie Merlant: 'This is something that hasn't been told yet'

The star of 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' talks about a film that asserts the female gaze, behind and in front of the camera

DVD/Blu-ray: The Winslow Boy

Outstanding Rattigan adaptation, superbly cast and directed

new music

Alice Boman, Union Chapel review - Swedish singer-songwriter confounds expectations

A bumpier ride than the recent debut album ‘Dream On’

Album: Sink Ya Teeth - Two

Norfolk post-punkers successfully push their sound forward on a dancefloor-friendly second album

Album: Sergio Mendes - In the Key of Joy

A heart-warming salute to the legendary septuagenarian's music


Simon Trpčeski, Barbican review - a charismatic chameleon

A Brahms labyrinth, glittering Liszt and Russians alternating melancholy with madness

Gabetta, NHK SO, Järvi, RFH review - transparency and dynamism

Japan’s flagship ensemble brings clarity and focus under its powerful chief conductor

Joanna MacGregor, Adrian Brendel, Gildas Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - gold and silver

Generosity all round in this charity concert for the Royal Society of Musicians


Luisa Miller, English National Opera review - Verdi in translation makes a stylish comeback

Musical splendours peak in a tenor aria to die for and a moving last act

theartsdesk Q&A: soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn

Returning to ENO to sing Verdi's Luisa Miller, a great singer-actor reflects

Les vêpres siciliennes, Welsh National Opera review - spectacular, silly, but some great music

Verdi's reluctant grand opera colourfully staged, brilliantly played, unevenly sung


The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre review - Moses musical goes big and broad
This mammoth stage adaptation is more splashy than spiritual
Be More Chill, The Other Palace review - more exhausting than enlightening
American theatre phenomenon pushes buttons aplenty to diminishing effect


Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre review - a little piece of history

Attempt to revive the spirit of Isadora Duncan is of academic interest, little more

Alina, Sadler's Wells review - I think therefore I dance

An unusual hybrid show gives a glimpse into the mind of a great ballerina

Message in a Bottle, Peacock Theatre review - a hiphop singalong

A show that brings streetdance and the songs of Sting to bear on the refugee crisis is far too jolly


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

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

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

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


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