sun 13/10/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Liz Thomson
Sunday, 13 October 2019
For visitors to New York, it’s all about Manhattan, its 23 square miles of skyscraper-encrusted granite instantly familiar, its many landmarks – enshrined in movies and music...
Sarah Kent
Sunday, 13 October 2019
Every now and then a book comes out that can change lives. If a survey like this had appeared when I was a student at the Slade, the struggle to make headway as a female artist...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 13 October 2019
The temptation with the 20th anniversary reissue of Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi (Explosion Picture Score) is to look for traces of what came earlier and pointers towards what would come in...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 12 October 2019
If there was ever a documentary that needed you to have good speakers on your TV setup – or good headphones if you're watching on computer or tablet – this is it. It maybe goes...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 12 October 2019
True stories, even in a fictional form, have the power to grip you by the throat, furiously shake your body and then give you a parting kick in the arse. This is certainly true of...
Kieron Tyler
Saturday, 12 October 2019
“I had my first inter-racial relationship.” Moments after walking on stage and before the first song, PP Arnold is reminiscing about when she first arrived in Britain in 1966. The...
Stephen Walsh
Saturday, 12 October 2019
Considering that Janáček’s Vixen is, among other things, an allegory of the passing and returning years, it’s appropriate...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 12 October 2019
While recent motor racing movies have been built around superstar names like Ayrton Senna and James Hunt, the protagonists...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 12 October 2019
 Ed Lyon - 17th Century Playlist Ed Lyon (tenor), Theatre of the Ayre (Delphian)Lutenist Elizabeth Kenny describes this...
Kieron Tyler
Saturday, 12 October 2019
Spaghetti Western guitar, rumbling bass, a rattling keyboard pulse and an unyielding forward thrust combine to delineate...
Katie Colombus
Friday, 11 October 2019
Elf Lyons’ new show, Love Songs To Guinea Pigs, has moved away from her usual slapstick and absurdist mimicry into new...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 11 October 2019
Will Smith’s giant hand looms out of the screen towards you, gripping his gun’s trigger with weird realism. Director Ang Lee...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 11 October 2019
If ambition were all, Groan Ups would get an A*. Marking the first of a very welcome three-show residency at the Vaudeville...
Florence Hallett
Friday, 11 October 2019
Among the numerous exhibitions marking the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death, this small show at the Dulwich Picture...
Friday, 11 October 2019
She has more armed guards than she has luggage. She has a sense of purpose even Magsalin admires. She rides along the coast...
Rachel Halliburton
Friday, 11 October 2019
This ingenious short work deftly investigates themes of love and identity with a breezy assurance that marks first time...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 11 October 2019
Canadian DJ-producer Philippe Aubin-Dionne – AKA Jacques Greene – has had a successful career in global clubland. One...
Demetrios Matheou
Thursday, 10 October 2019
A new film by Chris Morris ought to be an event. The agent provocateur of Brass Eye infamy has tended to rustle...
Sarah Kent
Thursday, 10 October 2019
Now in her mid-seventies, Anna Maria Maiolino has been making work for six decades. Its a long stretch to cover in an...

★★★ GROAN UPS, VAUDEVILLE THEATRE Mischief Theatre's latest stretches them in new ways

★★★★ THE CAPTURE, BBC ONE, SERIES FINALE Nimble drama alive with twists

★★ THE DAY SHALL COME Chris Morris' new comedy highlights absurdity of War on Terror

★★★★ EITHER, HAMPSTEAD THEATRE Funny, ingenious investigation of gender and love



disc of the day

CD: Mark Lanegan Band - Somebody's Knocking

The growling auteur continues his purple period with an album of winningly dark pop

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Studio 17: The Lost Reggae Tapes, BBC Four review - a perfectly paced tale of world-shaking basslines and human frailty

The inside story of the evolution of reggae and the family that helped facilitate it

The Capture, BBC One, series finale review - nimble drama alive with twists

Ben Chanan's paranoid what-if surveillance thriller goes out on another question

Doing Drugs for Fun, Channel 5 review - why the cocaine trade is no laughing matter

Blissfully ignorant Brits collide with crushing home truths in Colombia


LFF 2019: Le Mans '66 review - Matt Damon, Christian Bale and the Ford Motor Company go to war

Battle of the race aces, plus 'The Aeronauts', 'Greed' and 'The Exorcist' revisited

Gemini Man review - high-concept, high-tech Zen weirdness

Ang Lee's baffled action effort, with surplus Will Smiths

The Day Shall Come review – Homeland Security satire lacks bite

Chris Morris' new comedy highlights the absurdity of the War on Terror

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dip - Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi

Collaboration between former Sugarcube and the evolving Jóhann Jóhannsson subverts expectations

PP Arnold, Islington Assembly Hall review - joy in a consummate musical setting

The claim of being 'London’s first lady of soul' is shown to be no idle boast

CD: Mark Lanegan Band - Somebody's Knocking

The growling auteur continues his purple period with an album of winningly dark pop


Classical CDs Weekly: Ed Lyon, Jason Vieaux, Irina Borissova

Baroque songs, guitar quintets and a recital from a young Bulgarian violinist

Brockes-Passion, Arcangelo, Cohen, Wigmore Hall review – hybrid Handel

An original alternative to Bach loses impact in small-scale performance

Cargill, RSNO, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - luscious opening to a rich season

Youthful inspirations by Strauss, Berg and Mahler mark a significant birthday


The Cunning Little Vixen, Welsh National Opera review - family night in the forest

Janáček’s life cycle comes up fresh and inspiring after four decades

Orpheus in the Underworld, English National Opera review – ENO goes to hell

Offenbach's sparkling operetta is well sung, but this production is dead on arrival

The Silver Lake, English Touring Opera review - shadows of the Weimar twilight

A welcome resurrection of Kurt Weill's sombre farewell to Germany


Baby Reindeer, Bush Theatre review - break, break, breaking Gadd
Provocative one-man show about a stalker by stand-up comedian Richard Gadd is darkly exciting
Groan Ups, Vaudeville Theatre review - adding ambition and emotion to the mix
The ever-likable Mischief Theatre's latest stretches them in new if still-unfinished ways
Either, Hampstead Theatre review - funny, ingenious investigation of gender and love
First-time playwright Ruby Thomas is a daring and exciting new voice


Dada Masilo's Giselle, Sadler's Wells review - bold, brutal, unforgiving

Startling cultural retread of the romantic ballet, set in a South African village

Manon, Royal Opera House review - splendid start to the season

MacMillan's 'dirty little diamond digger' proves her worth yet again

Redd, Barbican Theatre review - hip hop gets the blues

Boy Blue explore the black dog in a brave piece of dance theatre


Elf Lyons, Komedia, Brighton review - bonkers, brilliant and a bit of bare bum

An endearing personal journey into why guinea pigs hate their loving, attentive owners

Rob Beckett, St David's Hall, Cardiff review - a mixed bag of observations

Scattergun approach yields both killer lines and tame misses

DVD: Do Not Adjust Your Set / At Last The 1948 Show

What the Pythons did first: the remnants of two iconic 1960s shows, restored with respect


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

visual arts

Rembrandt's Light, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a film-maker out of time?

A novel collaboration between curators and cinematographer Peter Suschitzky

Gauguin Portraits, National Gallery review - me, myself and I

The French artist didn't revolutionise portraiture, he was too interested in himself


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