fri 27/04/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Peter Culshaw
Friday, 27 April 2018
Maen, a member of the rap collective Sa’aleek was working one night in their small makeshift studio in the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah. He dozed off, only to find the...
Graham Rickson
Friday, 27 April 2018
Ealing Studios veteran Basil Dearden may have directed it, but 1944’s They Came to a City is mostly a JB Priestley film, an engaging blend of the mundane and the metaphysical. The...
David Nice
Thursday, 26 April 2018
Depression, with or without psychotic episodes, is a rare subject for drama or music theatre - and with good reason: the sheer unrelenting monotony of anguish and self-absorption...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 26 April 2018
Gob Squad is a “seven-headed” Anglo-German arts collective who specialise in multimedia performance. Beginning in Nottingham in 1994 and now based in Berlin, their work ranges...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 26 April 2018
Rodney Ackland must be the most well-known forgotten man in postwar British theatre. His legend goes like this: Absolute Hell was originally titled The Pink Room, and first staged...
Richard Bratby
Thursday, 26 April 2018
The Fates did not want theartsdesk to review English Touring Opera’s new production of The Marriage of Figaro. The Beast from the East intervened to prevent a colleague from...
Mark Kidel
Thursday, 26 April 2018
Van Morrison has always been drawn as much to jazz as anything else. There is a natural swing to his voice, and his phrasing...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Playwright Anthony Neilson has always been fascinated by sex. I mean, who isn’t? But he has made it a central part of his...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
A much tinkered-with show needs to go back to the drawing board, if this latest iteration of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical...
Jasper Rees
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
A few years ago Abi Morgan was everywhere. For the cinema she scripted Shame, The Iron Lady, The Invisible Woman and...
Sebastian Scotney
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Matthias Goerne has an exceptional ability to sustain evenness and legato through a vocal line. His breath control and his...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
A one-time Martha and Maggie the Cat in the theatre, and a screen siren of the sort they don't make any more, might not be...
Steve O'Rourke
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
The God of War games are legendary action adventure titles that specialise in the slaying of giant mythical beasts via...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Blossoms are the latest inheritors of the massive-in-Manchester mantle that has, so often in the past, translated into...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Some critics complain that Westworld is too complicated for its own good, and you can see their point. Even on a basic level...
Sarah Kent
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
What a superb location for a performance! The flats on the north-east corner of Islington Green back onto a crummy atrium...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Flo and Joan are sisters (Nicola and Rosie Dempsey: they have borrowed their stage names from their nan and her sister...
Owen Richards
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Major Fakhir is a deminer, responsible for disarming hundreds of mines around Mosul every week. His American counterparts...
David Nice
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
The touch is not always light here. Swathes of clunking, cliché-ridden English dialogue threaten to make the star-crossed...

★★★★ KATHLEEN TURNER: FINDING MY VOICE Familiar name in freshly exciting form

★★★★ FLO AND JOAN, SOHO THEATRE Musical comedy with complex rhymes

★★★★ TARYN SIMON: AN OCCUPATION OF LOSS A journey to the underworld in song

★★★★ THE DEMINER One man risks literal life and limb in fascinating war documentary

★★★★ THE SPLIT, BBC ONE Abi Morgan's densely packed divorce drama

★★★★★ GOD OF WAR Action adventure epic sets new standards

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: They Came to a City

A Priestley experience - stagey but fascinating wartime fantasy

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


The Split, BBC One, review - Abi Morgan’s densely packed divorce drama

Nicola Walker is the real deal in a hectic family law saga

The Woman in White, BBC One review - camp Victoriana

Wilkie Collins's Gothic whodunnit gets a florid treatment for telly


DVD/Blu-ray: They Came to a City

A Priestley experience - stagey but fascinating wartime fantasy

DVD/Blu-ray: The Touch

Bergman's typically individual take on a difficult affair has flashes of vintage brilliance

The Deminer review - life on the edge in Iraq

One man risks literal life and limb in this fascinating war documentary

new music

theartsdesk in Ramallah - the music biz turns its sights on Palestine

A new music Expo aims to highlight a music culture with massive potential

Best Albums of 2018

theartsdesk's music critics pick their favourites of the year so far


LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - incandescent swansongs by Mahler and Tippett

The London Symphony Orchestra's supreme soundsmith on top form

Wang, RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - percussion sets Shostakovich's 'Leningrad' ablaze

Music Director pairs two very different Russian works in his final season


4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith review - despairing truth in song and speech

Philip Venables' opera is now as classic as the Sarah Kane drama it sets

The Marriage of Figaro, English Touring Opera review - vanilla Mozart still tastes sweet

Strong ensemble and basic staging help Mozart and Da Ponte succeed without tricks

DVD/Blu-ray: Bergman's The Magic Flute

Pretty start, heart of darkness: the greatest of all opera films now available to UK viewers


10 Questions for Sharon Smith of Arts Collective Gob Squad
Sharon Smith of the Berlin-based Gob Squad talks age, Oscar Wilde and Nicki Minaj
Absolute Hell, National Theatre review - high gloss show saves over-rated classic
Energetic revival of Rodney Ackland’s best play exposes many of its faults
The Prudes, Royal Court review - hilarious but frustrating sex show
New two-hander about sex is wise and funny, but fails to achieve a climax


Voices of America, English National Ballet review - a punchy programme of contemporary ballet

Forsythe commission is a romping, swaggering joy of a piece

Classical CDs Weekly: Lūcija Garūta, Dag Wirén, Ruby Hughes

20th century discoveries from Latvia and Sweden, plus a tribute to Handel's favourite soprano


God of War review - action adventure epic sets new standards

Father-son adventure is a slick and gorgeous spectacle

Metal Gear Survive review - staying alive shouldn't be such a slog

Bring out your wild side in this strange survivalist simulation

visual arts

The Best Exhibitions in London

From Murillo to Monet and beyond: our favourite shows to see now

Monet and Architecture, National Gallery review - a revelation in paint

The king of the blockbuster seen in a new light

latest comments

midsummer murders my favourite program and ben...

No need to apologise! Actually it is good to have...

I was looking forward to this series but won't...

Sorry, but I totally disagree! I was intensely...

Was it not David Elton playing first trumpet in...

Freakish pig? Tick ????? yes , can't forget :...

'Balletic Choir'??? It's Puccini - the Humming...


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