mon 20/09/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Gavin Dixon
Monday, 20 September 2021
For most Bruckner fans, the multiple editions and revisions of his symphonies are a problem. But Simon Rattle sees it differently; for him every edition offers more music to...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 20 September 2021
Anuvab Pal may be a new name to some UK audiences (although many will know him from the global satirical podcast The Bugle), but he is well known in his native India. And it is...
Lizzie Hibbert
Monday, 20 September 2021
Historical fiction – perhaps all fiction – presents its authors with the problem of how to convey contextual information that is external to the plot but necessary to the reader’s...
Graham Rickson
Monday, 20 September 2021
It’s easy to forget that what you see in a competition final isn’t always the full story, the jury members’ votes in this case based on what had gone on in the earlier rounds. The...
Thomas H Green
Monday, 20 September 2021
As the summer folds away on itself, theartsdesk on Vinyl returns. Beset by backlogs at pressing plants and delayed by COVID, it's finally here, jammed to the gunwales with...
Guy Oddy
Monday, 20 September 2021
Public Service Broadcasting’s latest addition in their on-going string of concept albums could reasonably be described as an impressionistic musical portrait of Weimar-era Berlin...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 19 September 2021
“Reaffirmation” is the sound of a San Francisco ballroom in 1968. The 12-minute long track opens mysteriously with what...
Sarah Kent
Saturday, 18 September 2021
Mark Cousins, the multi-award winning director of this strange film, is lying in bed watching Ray Charles speaking on the...
Saturday, 18 September 2021
They must have been especially overjoyed to be back in front of (or with back to the greater part of) a live audience. But...
Markie Robson-Scott
Saturday, 18 September 2021
Rose (Ann Skelly; The Nevers) is adopted. The name on her birth certificate is Julie and the possibility of a different...
Alexandra Coghlan
Saturday, 18 September 2021
Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently. David McVicar’s venerable production of Rigoletto may have...
Katie Colombus
Saturday, 18 September 2021
For those amongst you who listened obsessively to the soundtrack of Call Me By Your Name, the idea of an album by cult...
Jenny Gilbert
Friday, 17 September 2021
If I had to sum up in a single impression the work I’ve seen of Brighton-based, Israeli-born choreographer Hofesh Shechter (...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 17 September 2021
Despite an alluring cast which includes Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Kevin Kline, The Starling is doomed to be...
Florence Hallett
Friday, 17 September 2021
When you stand in front of Helen Frankenthaler’s Freefall, 1993, in your mind you drop into its gorgeous, blue abyss. It is...
Joe Muggs
Friday, 17 September 2021
Lil Nas X is good at being a pop star. Like, what could pop culture need more than a young, flamboyant, witty gay rapper...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 16 September 2021
God is a tricky one. Or should that be One? And definitely not a He. So when she says take revenge, then vengeance is...
Joseph Walsh
Thursday, 16 September 2021
On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big British talents including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrea...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 16 September 2021
Incredibly it’s now 40 years since the release of Duran Duran’s debut album. To mark this event, the remaining members of...

★★★★ THE STORY OF LOOKING A lifetime of looking recalled in words and pictures  


★★★ LIL NAS X - MONTERO Georgia-born star brings consistency to an extraordinary sound array

★★★ DOUBLE MURDER, HOFESH SHECHTER COMPANY, SADLER'S WELLS A well-intentioned but misjudged double bill


★★★★ ROSE PLAYS JULIE A sombre story of rape, adoption and a search for identity

★★★ SUFJAN STEVENS & ANGELO DE AUGUSTINE - A BEGINNER'S MIND An intriguing album of music inspired by film

★★★★ DURAN DURAN, O2 INSTITUTE, BIRMINGHAM An intimate gig for the local megastars

★★★★ IS GOD IS, ROYAL COURT A thrillingly satirical mash up 

★★★ THE MAGIC FLUTE, ROYAL OPERA Opera's classiest pantomime looks better than ever

disc of the day

Album: Public Service Broadcasting - Bright Magic

Willgoose and Wrigglesworth celebrate Berlin


Schumacher, Netflix review - authorised version of the life of an F1 legend

Portrait of German race ace doesn't dig deep enough

The North Water, BBC Two review - a terrible voyage into the great beyond

Director Andrew Haigh brings cinematic heft to this bloody whaling odyssey

The Blood Pact, All 4 review - a (tax) inspector falls

Themes and characters entwine in the third series' masterly denouement


The Story of Looking review – bedside musings on how and what we see

A lifetime of looking recalled in words and pictures

Rose Plays Julie review - a sombre story of rape, adoption and a search for identity

In Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor's third feature, revenge is served very cold

The Starling, Netflix review - a slender idea unsatisfyingly executed

Alluring cast can't save Theodore Melfi's trite melodrama

new music

theartsdesk on Vinyl 66: Etta James, BABii, George Harrison, Helloween, Cat Stevens, Gnod and more

The biggest, most wide-ranging, regular vinyl reviews in the solar system

Album: Public Service Broadcasting - Bright Magic

Willgoose and Wrigglesworth celebrate Berlin

Reissue CDs Weekly: Help Yourself - Passing Through, The Complete Studio Recordings

Box-set tribute to the idiosyncratic Seventies British band


LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - a glimpse into Bruckner’s workshop

A compelling case made for each version of the 'Romantic' Symphony

Podium odes to joy: conductors at the 2021 BBC Proms

Comsummate photographer Chris Christodoulou's annual gallery yields more treasures


The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

Opera's classiest pantomime looks better than ever in this handsome revival

Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in this season opener

Orchestra and chorus pass with flying colours, but tradition weighs heavy elsewhere

Summer seasons in a Covid world: five opera company movers and shakers reflect

The admins are the heroes now: how festivals surmounted all obstacles


Is God Is, Royal Court review – blister, flare and burn, baby, burn
Aleshea Harris’s award-winning play is a thrillingly satirical mash up
Indecent, Menier Chocolate Factory review - cabaret-style depiction of a rapidly changing world
An intriguing if flawed evening, boosted by ebullient ensemble work
First Person: theatre director Christopher Haydon on how the Rose Theatre, Kingston, can bloom anew
The former artistic director of the Gate Theatre moves his theatrical vision further west


Hofesh Shechter Company, Double Murder, Sadler's Wells review - a well-intentioned but misjudged double bill

After the killing spree, a warm group hug. How to send an audience home feeling numb

Beauty Mixed Programme, Royal Ballet review - no dancers? No problem

The company's 90th anniversary celebration triumphs over setbacks

theartsdesk Q&A: choreographer Christopher Scott

The creator of the sizzling dance scenes for 'In The Heights' on how they came about


Sebastian Faulks: Snow Country review - insects under a stone

Faulks' new novel is incapable of saying anything about humanity as a whole

Claire-Louise Bennett: Checkout 19 review - coming to life

A genre-bending novel about reading, living, writing and returning

Christopher Clark: Prisoners of Time review - from Kaiser Bill to Dominic Cummings

A leading historian finds the past busily at work in the present


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