mon 05/06/2023

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Joseph Middleton
Monday, 05 June 2023
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever.” Replace a few of George Orwell’s words in 1984 and most musicians right now would find...
David Nice
Monday, 05 June 2023
Do we really need instrumental Shostakovich with lighting, movement, costumes and video projection? I might have said no before having seen what the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 05 June 2023
There are few contemporary journalists whose names are instantly familiar – and usually it’s for the wrong reasons. Polly Toynbee occupies a special place in the hearts and minds...
Tom Carr
Monday, 05 June 2023
In 1995 Dave Grohl returned with a new project and album, called Foo Fighters, following the death of Nirvana band-mate and close friend Kurt Cobain. Given his close connection...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 04 June 2023
“It takes a real effort to sound this small, this timid; to resist the effort to rock out and kick pedal. Singer ‘Amelia’ (oh yeah, I bet that’s her name) has spent her entire...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 03 June 2023
The actress Sydney Sweeney’s face in the harrowing docudrama Reality is an ever-evolving map, its contours and pallor altering as it gradually dawns on her character, the real-...
Helen Hawkins
Saturday, 03 June 2023
The inspirations for the directing debut of Benjamin Millepied, choreographer and dancer in Black Swan, are cited as Merimée...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 03 June 2023
Needy, truculent, and aggressive, an in-your-face stick of intensity and guilt-inducing melancholy, privileged young Amanda...
Harry Thorfinn-George
Saturday, 03 June 2023
At first, I misread the title of the lead single “Seaforth” from King Krule’s fourth album, Space Heavy, as “Sea Froth...
Jane Edwardes
Friday, 02 June 2023
We all need a break from time to time, especially now given the grim state of the world. So it’s not surprising that comedy...
Jonathan Geddes
Friday, 02 June 2023
There are a few perils to saying supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, as Janette Manrara discovered on this opening night of...
Cheri Amour
Friday, 02 June 2023
Five years ago, breaking dry January a few days early, I joined a throng of folks amongst the merch boxes and strip lights...
Helen Hawkins
Thursday, 01 June 2023
Devoted fans may not learn anything that new about Noel Coward from Barnaby Thompson’s documentary Mad About the Boy, but...
Helen Hawkins
Thursday, 01 June 2023
Lip-syncing has become the hobby of many a young TikToker, but only an intrepid professional would contemplate using the...
Kathryn Reilly
Thursday, 01 June 2023
This is a slight album in terms of length (under half an hour) but not in emotional insight. It’s absolutely haunting. Here...
Alexandra Coghlan
Wednesday, 31 May 2023
“I am a poor student,” the Duke tells a smitten Gilda, in music that can barely keep a straight face, so plush is its melody...
David Nice
Wednesday, 31 May 2023
Conversation just before this concert started concerned Verdi’s Il trovatore and the truism that it needs “the four greatest...
Robert Beale
Wednesday, 31 May 2023
Innovation is always a risky business. Opera North’s vision and ambition for this production is to create, in effect, a new...
Lia Rockey
Wednesday, 31 May 2023
Sophia Giovannitti begins selling sex because it promises to make her the most amount of money in the shortest amount of...

★★★★ MAD ABOUT THE BOY Entertaining cradle-to-grave Noel Coward documentary

★★★ BLEAK EXPECTATIONS, CRITERION THEATRE Popular radio comedy takes to stage

★★★★ AMANDA Deft Italian comedy about a rich twentysomething's existential crisis

★★★★ BAXTER DURY - I THOUGHT I WAS BETTER THAN YOU Sad-funny and brilliant

★★★ ASPECTS OF LOVE, LYRIC THEATRE Not much has actually changed 

★★★ DISNEY 100 - THE CONCERT, OVO HYDRO A slick tour of the Magic Kingdom

disc of the day

Album: Foo Fighters - But Here We Are

The pre-eminent stadium rockers' poignant and heart-wrenching latest is coloured deeply by their loss and grief


Succession Season Four finale, Sky Atlantic review - a glorious bonfire of the vanities

The Roy family saga comes to a satisfyingly bruising end

Hannah Gadsby, Netflix special review - shaggy dog story of marital bliss

Tasmanian talks about marriage, cultural differences and autism


Reality review - Sydney Sweeney excels as a whistleblower

Chilling docudrama re-creates Reality Winner's interrogation by FBI agents at her suburban home

Carmen review - curio from choreographer turned director Benjamin Millepied

A mismatched showcase for Paul Mescal's powerful talent

Amanda review - too-intense Gen Z-er seeks a friend, boyfriend, anything

Deft Italian comedy about a rich twentysomething's existential crisis

new music

Album: Foo Fighters - But Here We Are

The pre-eminent stadium rockers' poignant and heart-wrenching latest is coloured deeply by their loss and grief

Music Reissues Weekly: Heavenly - Le Jardin de Heavenly

UK indie band’s 1992 album outshines the period’s vitriolic detractors

Album: King Krule - Space Heavy

Archy Marshall’s fourth album as King Krule is a sombre, but surprisingly warm, meditation on love, loss and space


'Right now, we're in chaos': pianist and Leeds Lieder director Joseph Middleton on catastrophic cuts to arts funding

A superb organisation is commended, then gets its grant axed for missing 'data collection'

Concert Theatre DSCH, Norwegian CO, Oslo Opera House Scene 2 review - Shostakovich choreographed for strings and accordion

90 minutes of by-heart playing with movement from some of the world's best players

Jerusalem Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - singing to make the heart leap

Peerless interpretations of quartets by Mozart, Prokofiev and Brahms


Rigoletto, Opera Holland Park review - Verdi's Duke gets the Oxbridge treatment

A handsome season opener doesn't quite stab where it counts

Requiem, Opera North review - partnership and diversity

Choral-orchestral performance meets contemporary dance in cross-cultural fusion


Requiem, Opera North review - partnership and diversity

Choral-orchestral performance meets contemporary dance in cross-cultural fusion

Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT1), Sadler's Wells review - an extinction rebellion in dance

A rare visit from Europe's No.1 contemporary troupe makes a powerful eco-protest

Hunting legendary treasure with ballet's Indiana Jones - Pierre Lacotte 1932-2023

The prolific recreator of early ballets has died, leaving a lively argument


Phil Wang, RFH review - smut and smarts

Nicely curated show that covers lots of topics

Dear Billy, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh review - powerful tribute to Scottish pride

Celebration of Scotland's iconic comedy legend Billy Connolly is a moving portrait of a nation


Polly Toynbee: An Uneasy Inheritance - My Family and Other Radicals review - looking back

The burden of a social conscience in an experience memoir from the acclaimed journalist

Kieran Yates: All the Houses I've Ever Lived In, Brighton Festival 2023 review - home as comfort, and cruelty

A book talk becomes an enraged, engaged meeting about property and social division


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