sat 08/08/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

India Lewis
Saturday, 08 August 2020
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a collective examination of its past, with Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich at the helm. Young Heroes of the...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 08 August 2020
We first see Leigh (Frankie Box), the cheeky heroine of Scottish writer-director Eva Riley’s debut feature Perfect 10, hanging upside down during a gymnastics workout. The image...
Graham Rickson
Friday, 07 August 2020
 William Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony, Ulysses Kay: Fantasy Variations, Umbrian Scene ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Arthur Fagen (Naxos)William Levi Dawson’s Negro Folk...
Joe Muggs
Friday, 07 August 2020
This documentary is bittersweet viewing on quite a number of levels. First, it’s got all the glory and tragedy of the most compelling music stories: a Liverpool band struggling...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 07 August 2020
New Heavy Sounds is one of Britain’s most exciting and undersung labels. Founded in 2011, they have consistently released music that boasts innovation, imagination and a strong...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 07 August 2020
We live in strange times, so it's appropriate that a socially distanced pop-up arts festival – of theatre, comedy, improv, music and magic – calls itself The New Normal. I went to...
David Nice
Friday, 07 August 2020
Out of a silent and empty City of London, unusually still even for a Sunday afternoon, it felt surreal to come upon a centre...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 07 August 2020
Mike Skinner got out just in time, pulling the plug on The Streets at the point of exhaustion. After Original Pirate...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 07 August 2020
Filmed, as one would, well, imagine, prior to lockdown, Imagine .... My Name is Kwame hearkens to what now seems a...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 07 August 2020
That Deep Purple are still putting out albums over 50 years since they first got together and still have three members of...
Gavin Dixon
Thursday, 06 August 2020
Barrie Kosky’s production of Moses und Aron was staged at the Komische Oper Berlin in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of...
Matt Wolf
Thursday, 06 August 2020
After a weeklong hiatus due to an absence of noteworthy material, this column is back heralding the return, as well, of...
Joseph Walsh
Thursday, 06 August 2020
Seth Rogen offers up double the laughs by taking on both lead roles in a time-hopping, Rip-Van-Winkle screwball comedy, but...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 06 August 2020
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again, except somebody had renamed it The House at Knockdara. This was the title of...
Owen Richards
Thursday, 06 August 2020
Belgian filmmaking duo the Dardenne Brothers have long been darlings of Cannes Film Festival, winning awards for hardhitting...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 06 August 2020
When does the avant-garde become folk? Both of the participants in this album have certainly been on the very cutting edge...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 05 August 2020
Diarist, novelist and writer of erotica Anaïs Nin lived a brilliantly-coloured life littered with affairs with literary A-...
Gaby Frost
Wednesday, 05 August 2020
Deft and funny prose, in a feather-light translation by Ted Goossen, is the signature of Hiromi Kawakami's latest collection...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 05 August 2020
This week would have been peak summer event antics but not in 2020. However, the game is far from up; the punks and the...

★★★★ THE TALK, CHANNEL 4 Coping with the legacy of racism

★★★ YOUNG AHMED  Jihadist drama misses the mark

★★★★ MOSES UND ARON, KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN A fitting Holocaust epitaph

★★★★ GLASS ANIMALS - DREAMLAND A woozy and familiar trip into surreal pop

NEW MUSIC UNLOCKED 4 The Streets, heavy metal, punk rock and R.E.M.


disc of the day

Album: Deep Purple - Whoosh!

The Purple machine just keeps on going


Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

The breakthrough Liverpudlian band's story told lovingly and not before time

Imagine... My Name is Kwame, BBC One review - interesting but incomplete

Profile of Young Vic artistic director could go still further

The Deceived, Channel 5 review - who's fooling who?

Confused drama can't decide whether it's a thriller or a ghost story


Perfect 10 review - a small movie with a big heart

Eva Riley's debut feature is by turns sentimental and spiky

An American Pickle review - sweet and sour screwball comedy

Seth Rogen doubles up for a time-hopping tale that sets the past against the present

Young Ahmed review - jihadist drama misses the mark

Cannes Best Director-winner has its moments, but focuses on the wrong parts

new music

Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

The breakthrough Liverpudlian band's story told lovingly and not before time

theartsdesk Q&A: Record label New Heavy Sounds

Co-founder Ged Murphy sheds light on the world of Britain's most original heavy rock independent

The Streets, EartH review - empathy in isolation

Garage laureate proves eager to connect


A masked elegy: portraits of string players at the Fidelio Orchestra Café

Young talent captured by Nick Rutter during sessions for Strauss's 'Metamorphosen'

Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Elgar, Prokofiev

Stellar Antipodeans, English late romanticism and Soviet ballet music


Moses und Aron, Komische Oper Berlin, OperaVision review – complex and powerful memorial

Schoenberg’s opera of unanswerable questions proves a fitting Holocaust epitaph

Elektra, Salzburg Festival, Arte review - distancing, but not in the physical sense

Cold, analytical Strauss from Franz Welser-Möst and an odd array of performing styles

First Person: Antonia Bain on directing a short kitchen opera for film

Scottish Opera's digital content producer on making 'The Narcissistic Fish'


Imagine... My Name is Kwame, BBC One review - interesting but incomplete
Profile of Young Vic artistic director could go still further
Theatre Unlocked 3: Signs of activity after a long siesta
Theatre comes to life, albeit gently, and some familiar names crop up online
Scrounger, Finborough Theatre online review – autobiography meets meta-theatre
Athena Stevens’s punchy account of how an airline trashed her wheelchair


'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

Ballet or cabaret, Zizi's passion was for performance - preferably with her husband

Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch’s 'The Rite of Spring' review - an explosive African rite

Continents collide in a film documenting an inspired re-staging of a 20th-century masterpiece

'If they had been any closer my face would have misted up': filming 'Men at the Barre'

The director Richard Macer had exclusive access to the male stars of the Royal Ballet. He describes what he discovered


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

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

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

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

The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

visual arts

George IV: Art & Spectacle, The Queen's Gallery review - all is aglitter

A sumptuous display from the Royal Collection heralds a top class reopening

Khadija Saye: In This Space We Breathe, 236 Westbourne Grove review - a celebrated series finds new resonance

The artist's most celebrated works launch a new public art project in west London

The Golden Age of Modern Spanish Art, Colnaghi review - the sun shines in the City of Light

A celebration of little known Spanish painters as the London art world emerges again

latest comments

Complete triipe. The only thing I wonder about is...

Leanne alerted McGuire, whom she didn't know; the...

Correction:The composer was Giovanni Fusco,...

Hidden was a revelation to me, after watching a...

“Centre-Right” ?? How centrist is it to reject...


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