thu 08/06/2023

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Thomas H Green
Thursday, 08 June 2023
Tony Kushner’s early 1990s play Angels in America is an epochal, mystical, political, state-of-the-nation address, revolving around the AIDs epidemic. By no means straightforward...
David Nice
Wednesday, 07 June 2023
Union Jacks could be stowed away, and EU ones figuratively, furtively flourished: this was a concert of celebratory music for a Hanoverian king by a Saxon composer, by then...
Laura De Lisle
Wednesday, 07 June 2023
It’s been more than 20 years since the premiere of The Shape of Things, Neil LaBute’s prickly drama about couples and friends and the ways we change each other. And boy, does it...
Joe Muggs
Wednesday, 07 June 2023
There’s been a good deal of discussion on “the socials” about how much Janelle Monáe’s sexy image is a new thing or a big deal.Casual viewers, still stuck on the suit-wearing...
Jon Turney
Tuesday, 06 June 2023
If you cannot even step into the same river twice, how to take the measure of the ocean? Dipping your toes at the beach is irresistible, but uninformative. Sampling stuff out at...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 06 June 2023
Mario Bava and Dario Argento are cited as key influences on Robert Sigl’s debut feature Laurin (1989). British viewers will also be reminded of the series of MR James ghost story...
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...
David Nice
Monday, 05 June 2023
Do we really need instrumental Shostakovich with lighting, movement, costumes and video projection? I might have said no...
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...
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...
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’ (...
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...
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...

JOSEPH MIDDLETON The pianist and Leeds Lieder director on catastrophic cuts to arts funding

★★★★ REALITY Chilling docudrama re-creates Reality Winner's interrogation by FBI agents

RIP ASTRUD GILBERTO - THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA: BRAZIL, BOSSA NOVA AND THE BEACH, BBC FOUR The song made famous by Astrud Gilberto is explored by Katie Derham

HEAVENLY - LE JARDIN DE HEAVENLY UK indie band’s 1992 album outshines vitriolic detractors

★★★★ KING KRULE - SPACE HEAVY A sombre, but warm, meditation on love, loss and space

disc of the day

Album: Christine and the Queens - PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE

French star's new one is a concept piece, featuring Madonna, that's overlong but sometimes persuasive


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


Blu-ray: Laurin

Stylish, atmospheric chiller, handsomely restored

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

new music

Album: Christine and the Queens - PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE

French star's new one is a concept piece, featuring Madonna, that's overlong but sometimes persuasive

Album: Janelle Monáe - The Age of Pleasure

Monáe's turn for the saucy marks a true creative renaissance

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


Handel for the King, Le Concert Spirituel, Niquet, Wigmore Hall at St James's Spanish Place review - post-coronation celebrations

'Zadok the Priest' becomes a 'smooth classic' in a good way, amidst other royal blazes

'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


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


The Shape of Things, Park Theatre review - the shape of what, exactly?
Revival of Neil La Bute's ruthless 2001 drama let down by clumsy writing


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


Helen Czerski: Blue Machine review - how the ocean works

Czerski takes a deep dive to explore the ocean-as-engine

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


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