wed 14/11/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Marianka Swain
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
The road to full musical theatre production has been a long one for Hadestown. It began back in 2006, with Anaïs Mitchell’s song cycle – a folk/jazz take on the Orpheus and...
Liz Thomson
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
What adjectives best describe a performance of The Ballads of Child Migration? None of those you’d normally expect to see applied to an evening of superlative music-making, for...
Liz Thomson
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Wow, can it really be 10 years since Mumford & Sons blazed their trail across the musical world with Sigh No More? The release of Delta, the band’s fourth album, marks the...
Matt Wolf
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
The West End is specialising in two-parters of late. To Imperium and The Inheritance we can add the latest duo of Harold Pinter one-acts that has opened in time to spread ripples...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Even in a large hall, very good things can come in small packages. In advance, partisans of the Wigmore Hall or some other dedicated chamber space might have feared that the...
Tim Cornwell
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
War Horse at the National Theatre on Sunday’s Armistice Day centenary: there were medalled veterans and at least one priest in the rows in front, dark suits and poppies all around...
Liz Thomson
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
What to make of The Simon & Garfunkel Story, which began a week-long residency at London’s Vaudeville Theatre last night...
Thomas H Green
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Enough hyping! This month, without further ado, let’s head straight to the reviews…VINYL OF THE MONTHLOR Lunar Orbit...
Thomas H Green
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
London’s Palace Theatre this week celebrated the thousandth performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened...
Saskia Baron
Monday, 12 November 2018
Peter Jackson has form when it comes to re-examining cinema history. In 1995 he made Forgotten Silver, a documentary about...
Heather Neill
Monday, 12 November 2018
Robert Hastie is a little late for our meeting. Directing Shakespeare's darkest tragedy in London while also running...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 12 November 2018
Missa in Angustiis. Mass in troubled times. There was a logic in programming Haydn’s D minor Mass on the Armistice Centenary...
Katherine Waters
Monday, 12 November 2018
When, in 1853, Edward Burne-Jones (or Edward Jones as he then was) went up to Exeter College, Oxford, it could hardly have...
Nick Hasted
Monday, 12 November 2018
Steve McQueen’s progress from video artist to Oscar-winning director has been deceptively smooth. The chasm between Bobby...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 12 November 2018
My Name is Safe in Your Mouth takes off with “Above You, Around You”, its fourth track. Up to that point, progress has been...
Alexandra Coghlan
Sunday, 11 November 2018
In a week of flickering memorial candles and cascading poppies we’ve all been asked to contemplate the pity of war – to...
Marina Vaizey
Sunday, 11 November 2018
Dramatic Exchanges is a dazzling array of correspondence, stretching over more than a century, between National Theatre...

★★★★ THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD, BBC TWO Peter Jackson's Great War finale

ROBERT HASTIE The director on staging 'Macbeth' in the candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

★★★★ DON QUIXOTE, GARRICK THEATRE Riotous revival of Cervantes'  much-loved tale

★★★★★ THE SILVER TASSIE, BBCSO, BARBICAN Bracing memorial for the WW1 anniversary

★★★★ WAR HORSE, NATIONAL THEATRE International sensation stirs the heart anew

★★★ EDWARD BURNE-JONES, TATE BRITAIN Time to rethink the idiosyncratic English artist?

★★★★ CD: LIELA MOSS - MY NAME IS SAFE IN YOUR MOUTH Arresting first solo album

★★★★ WIDOWS Feminist crime pays as Steve McQueen coolly recalibrates the heist film

disc of the day

CD: Mumford & Sons - Delta

A decade on from their debut, the British darlings of Americana explore new musical territory

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They Shall Not Grow Old, BBC Two review - Peter Jackson's Great War finale

Dazzling reworking of faded footage from the Western front

WW1: The Last Tommies, BBC Four review - Great War stories

Centrepiece of the BBC's World War One season makes for remarkable oral history

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix review - girl power goes supernatural

Bold and politicised update of teenage witch saga


Widows review - feminist crime pays

Steve McQueen coolly recalibrates the heist film

The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

Overlord review - nightmares in Normandy

War is worse than hell in JJ Abrams-produced D-Day shocker

new music

The Ballads of Child Migration, St James's Church, Clerkenwell review - into the heart of darkness

A chronicle of Britain's long and shameful history of child migration in a moving song cycle

CD: Mumford & Sons - Delta

A decade on from their debut, the British darlings of Americana explore new musical territory

theartsdesk on Vinyl 44: Thom Yorke, Primal Scream, Elvis, Noisferatu, R.E.M., Bauhaus, Mo'Wax and more

The wildest, most wide-ranging monthly record reviews under the sun


Thibaudet/Batiashvili/Capuçon Trio, Barbican review – a supergroup to savour

Three solo stars come together in ego-free harmony

LSO, Roth, Barbican - not enough pathos, but a remarkable step-in

Bass William Thomas, still a student, stepped in and shone in Bartók’s Cantata Profana


The Silver Tassie, BBCSO, Barbican review - a bracing memorial for the WW1 anniversary

An exceptional concert performance brings Turnage's opera back to blistering life

The Rake's Progress, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - supreme fluency from Eden to Bedlam

Toby Spence captures every facet of Tom Rakewell in perfectly detailed Stravinsky

Serse, Fagioli, Il Pomo d'Oro, Barbican review - a night in counter-tenor heaven

Daredevil artistry brings Handel's tragi-comedy to life


Hadestown, National Theatre review - new folk musical is hotter than hell
An alternative take on a classic myth produces sizzling results
War Horse, National Theatre review - still touching after all these years
International sensation stirs the heart anew in its return home


Carlos Acosta: A Celebration, Royal Albert Hall

Candid images of retired ballet legend on stage

'It’s more fun to dance in a tutu': Tory Dobrin of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The artistic director of the Trocks explains how he keeps his ballet parodists on their toes

theartsdesk in Riga - 43,290 Latvians sing and dance for their country

Individual souls conjoined with a passionate belief in peace and music achieve miracles


Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - feminism examined

Fascinating and often funny take on the subject

Ivo Graham, Soho Theatre review - the perils of growing up

Going deep into personal material unearths lots of laughs


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

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

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review – less is more

Solo rations have been relegated from this benchmark war series

FIFA 19 review - the best just got a bit better

It looks and plays great, but what’s new?

visual arts

Edward Burne-Jones, Tate Britain review - time for a rethink?

Wide-ranging exhibition of idiosyncratic English artist, both loved and loathed

Klimt/Schiele, Royal Academy review - the line of gauntness

Elegance and brutality converge in drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna

The new V&A Photography Centre review - a new museum to make us proud

'Collecting Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital' launches the V&A's latest project


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