wed 27/10/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Mark Kidel
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
Two men trade licks: one of them delves into the heart of the blues, a potent dose of the boogie, the medicinal music of the Mississipi Delta. The other with a mournful voice and...
Liz Thomson
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
A “sonic photograph” is how Tori Amos describes her sixteenth album, recorded at her home in Cornwall during the spring and summer of Britain’s third lockdown, when, travel, her...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
I’ve lived in Brixton, south London, for about 40 years now so any play that looks at the gentrification of the area is, for me, definitely a must. Like many other places in the...
Graham Fuller
Tuesday, 26 October 2021
In Piotr Domalewski’s I Never Cry, newcomer Zofia Stafiej excels as sullen Polish schoolgirl Ora, who resentfully travels to Dublin to collect the body of her estranged father,...
David Nice
Tuesday, 26 October 2021
“I want to tell her that people will be good,” Tewodros Aregawe of Phosphoros Theatre confided to us as Little Amal closed her eyes on the giant bed made up for her in the Paul...
Gary Naylor
Tuesday, 26 October 2021
Two tribes, both alike in dignity in fair Vanara, trade goods and insults in a post-apocalyptic world in which fire is known to The Kogallisk but not to The Pana. When The Oroznah...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 26 October 2021
Conceived on a global scale to depict the enormity of an alien menace from outer space, Apple's new series Invasion has...
Sebastian Scotney
Tuesday, 26 October 2021
One German writer found a neat yet teasing way to sum up the difference between Luchino Visconti’s The Damned (1969), the...
David Nice
Monday, 25 October 2021
Tom Rakewell Esquire, the Glyndebourne edition generally known as “the Hockney Rake” though it is very much director John...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 25 October 2021
Channel 5’ s decision to remake James Herriot’s much-loved Yorkshire vet stories was an inspired one, and this second series...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 25 October 2021
Forty five minutes into their set Field Music play “A House is Not a Home”, from their 2006 second album Tones of Town. An...
Christopher Lambton
Monday, 25 October 2021
“What a lovely sound that was!” declared Music Director Thomas Søndergård, bounding onto the podium of the Usher Hall. He...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 25 October 2021
“We’ve always tossed in some super-dire, high-voltage, death-trip lyrics that offset the merriment of a melody,” John...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 24 October 2021
Over 1974 to 1978 Graham Collier issued five albums on his own imprint Mosaic. There was another in 1985 and eight releases...
Rachel Halliburton
Saturday, 23 October 2021
Jaws was the Moby Dick of late 20th century capitalism, a fantasy about fear and the unknown for a society that had rarely...
Miranda Heggie
Saturday, 23 October 2021
Kicking off a brand new partnership between the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Hockley Social Club, this first...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 23 October 2021
This Korean-made show suddenly became Netflix’s all-time greatest hit, demonstrating once again the irresistible allure of a...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 23 October 2021
George Evelyn is one of British music’s more interesting characters. With equal parts Yorkshire bluntness, hip hop swagger...
Mark Sheerin
Friday, 22 October 2021
Jacqueline de Jong doesn’t want to talk politics. But this should have been foreseeable. After all, she has travelled to...


RIP BERNARD HAITINK (1929-2021) Sheer perfection in Mozart and Schumann at the Proms with Isabelle Faust and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe

★★★★★ THE RAKE'S PROGRESS, GLYNDEBOURNE TOUR A classic revitalised

★★★ LANA DEL REY - BLUE BANISTERS True romance from the Americana pop icon

★★★★ SQUID GAME, NETFLIX Murderous game show hits ratings jackpot


★★★ GET UP, STAND UP!, LYRIC THEATRE Knockout performance, undercooked book

★★★★ ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, SERIES 2, CHANNEL 5 More gentle dramas in the Dales as World War Two looms

disc of the day

Review: Tori Amos - Ocean to Ocean, review

Opening the Pandora's box of grief


Invasion, Apple TV+ review - sci-fi epic or a pile of space junk?

Grandiose space-invader series is dreary and uninvolving

Squid Game, Netflix review - murderous game show hits the ratings jackpot

South Korean series mixes slaughter and greed with a dash of moral philosophy


Blu-ray: I Never Cry

An embittered Euro-orphan learns some truths about her father – and herself

Blu-ray: The Damned

Luchino Visconti’s indispensable trend-setting drama

Dune review - awesome display of sci-fi world-building

Timothée Chalamet leads a sterling cast in Denis Villeneuve's sandy science fiction epic

new music

Justin Adams and Mauro Durante, The Green Note review - fiery duo in an intimate space

Fusion of the Delta blues and trance music from Southern Italy hits the sopt

Review: Tori Amos - Ocean to Ocean, review

Opening the Pandora's box of grief

Field Music, Francis Lung, Electric Ballroom review - neither band is capable of standing still

Well-matched bill catches art-pop outfits as they push forward


Delepelaire, RSNO, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - festive and magical

Back to a much-missed venue for an orchestral showcase

Van der Heijden, Hallé, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - rising to challenges

Youth, enthusiasm, passion and skill bring a demanding programme to life


Royal Opera House lullabies for Little Amal

Near the end of her long journey, our refugee gets a welcome her real-life kin are denied

The Rake's Progress, Glyndebourne Tour - a classic revitalized

A new generation responds vibrantly to Hockney, Cox, Stravinsky, Auden and Kallman

Die ägyptische Helena, Fulham Opera review - mythological mess impressively handled

Ambitious company works wonders on Richard Strauss's most problematic opera


A Place for We, Park Theatre review - perceptive, but rather flabby
New play about gentrification could be regenerated with a make-over
Royal Opera House lullabies for Little Amal
Near the end of her long journey, our refugee gets a welcome her real-life kin are denied
Vanara, Hackney Empire review - fine singing, but a plodding book and one-pitch score in this new musical
Two tribes feud over fire in a post-apocalyptic world's last surviving forest


Royal Opera House lullabies for Little Amal

Near the end of her long journey, our refugee gets a welcome her real-life kin are denied

L'Heure Exquise, Linbury Theatre review - an exquisite tragedy in miniature

Alessandra Ferri marks her 40 years in ballet with a remarkable solo turn

Bernstein Double Bill, Opera North review - fractured relationships in song and dance

Heartbreak and strife from a pair of Leeds institutions


Mary Wellesley: Hidden Hands review - passion in the parchment

Medieval manuscripts and their forgotten artist-authors come to life

Marcin Wicha: Things I Didn’t Throw Out review - the stories told by stacks of stuff

Connecting a mother's helpless love of things with questions of presence and personhood

Jonathan Franzen: Crossroads review - can goodness ever be its own reward?

The first volume of Franzen's new family saga leaves you wanting more


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters