wed 01/12/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 01 December 2021
The archetypal fascinating male in Jane Campion’s films – whether his allure for a woman owes to his earthy virility or emotional sensitivity, his animal appeal or his soul – has...
Jonathan Geddes
Wednesday, 01 December 2021
There was a brief lapse in this lengthy set when Paul Weller stood up from the piano, walked towards centre stage and then pivoted back the way he came, having realised he was...
Graham Fuller
Wednesday, 01 December 2021
Though sexual hypocrisy in modern-day Romania is the ostensible target of Bad Lack Banging or Loony Porn – a satirical drama that enfolds a scattershot polemic – Radu Jude’s tenth...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 01 December 2021
The first of two December round-ups from theartsdesk on Vinyl runs the gamut from folk-tronic oddness to Seventies heavy rock to avant-jazz to The Beatles, as well as much else....
Kieron Tyler
Wednesday, 01 December 2021
Although it’s indirect, the overall feel of In Order To Know You points to where jazz and soul meet –  a space analogous to that occupied by The Rotary Connection, Seventies...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Do we need another documentary about Nazi Germany? Yes when it is as cogent and subtle as Luke Holland’s Final Account. Made over eight years while the veteran film-maker was...
Matt Wolf
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
It seemed impossible and yet, the other evening, while idly flicking through emails, I learned the unimaginable: Stephen...
Ian Julier
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Even with a chill wind blowing from the Sussex Downs, this copper-bottomed Overture-Concerto-Symphony Sunday matinée was...
John Carvill
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Thomas Pynchon’s saturnine '70s novel Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) begins with “[a] screaming [that] comes across the sky. It...
Saskia Baron
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
In an era when toxic masculinity has become a clichéd accusation to throw at any portrait of men behaving macho, it’s...
Boyd Tonkin
Monday, 29 November 2021
On a night when any brooks running past the Wigmore Hall might have frozen almost solid, Imogen Cooper’s recital travelled...
Gary Naylor
Monday, 29 November 2021
"Off-grid" wasn't a thing in the mid-'70s. Sure, people planted a few potatoes in the garden and pottered about a bit in an...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 29 November 2021
Lubaina Himid won the Turner Prize in 2017 for the retrospective she held jointly at Modern Art, Oxford and Spike Island,...
Christopher Lambton
Monday, 29 November 2021
What happens in an orchestra when your designated conductor for three gigs at the end of the week phones in with Covid on...
Jenny Gilbert
Monday, 29 November 2021
In Paris on a business trip in 1916, Wilhelm Hansen was no doubt typical of many husbands in confessing to his wife that he’...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 29 November 2021
Saxophonist Kenny G knows exactly what buttons he needs to press to upset the jazz faithful. He is quoted as having said of...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 28 November 2021
Signs of irrevocable change materialised in December 1965. On Wednesday the 8th, a new band named The 13th Floor Elevators...
Bill Knight
Saturday, 27 November 2021
Paris Photo 2021 was a wonderful show. Back after the pandemic it was moved to the Grand Palais Éphémère, a temporary...
David Nice
Saturday, 27 November 2021
Dara McAnulty’s Diary of a Young Naturalist (14 at the time of writing) is a total vision, effortlessly poetic where the...

★★★ THE DANISH COLLECTOR: DELACROIX TO GAUGUIN Fabulous art in 'Exhibition on Screen'

★★★★★ BLU-RAY: OUT OF THE BLUE Beautiful restoration of Dennis Hopper's dark portrait of a family mired in abuse


★★★★ PARIS PHOTO 2021 The Grand Palais Éphémère hosts a wonderful show

★★★★ FOUR QUARTETS, HAROLD PINTER THEATRE Brilliant Fiennes breathes air and physicality into Eliot's work

★★★★ PETER ROBISON: FLYING BLIND The galling account of the 737 MAX Boeing tragedies

HE GAVE US MORE TO SEE Stephen Sondheim in memoriam

★★★ LUBAINA HAMID, TATE MODERN Carnival of characters looking forwards and backwards

★★★★★ IMOGEN COOPER, WIGMORE HALL A piano journey down the river of musical time

★★★ SCENES FROM THE WILD, MORGAN, CLS, PATERSON, SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL Cheryl Frances-Hoad's 90-minute song cycle should be a winner when the words emerge


disc of the day

Album: Deep Throat Choir - In Order To Know You

Vocal collective’s jazzy, soul-influenced album brings new instrumentation on board


The Beatles: Get Back, Disney+ review - 1969 revisited in Peter Jackson's three-part documentary

Eight hours of vintage Fab Four footage may be a trifle excessive

Death of England: Face to Face, National Theatre at Home review - anti-racist trilogy ends with a bang

Roy Williams and Clint Dyer bring their monologue sequence to a triumphant conclusion

Dopesick, Disney+ review - the harrowing inside story of America's OxyContin scandal

How corporate greed rode roughshod over regulatory oversight


The Power of the Dog review - of rawhide and roses

Jane Campion's 1920s Western nails the lid on rugged masculinity

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn review - viral venom in Bucharest

Radu Jude's satire takes the sword to Romania's hideous past and present

Final Account review - documentary confronting the last survivors of the Nazi era

Luke Holland's swan song is a powerful legacy left on film

new music

Paul Weller, Barrowland, Glasgow review - Modfather holding back father time with old and new tricks

A lengthy set spotlighted the veteran's creativity and stubbornness

theartsdesk on Vinyl 67: Squid, The Beatles, Beach Riot, Black Sabbath, Quantic, Heiko Maile and more

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

Album: Deep Throat Choir - In Order To Know You

Vocal collective’s jazzy, soul-influenced album brings new instrumentation on board


Tchetuev, LPO, Larsen-Maguire, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne review - sunshine by the sea

Recreative energy from a conductor to watch, fantasy from a fine Ukrainian pianist

Imogen Cooper, Wigmore Hall review - calm waters run deep

A piano journey down the river of musical time

Kim, RSNO, Stockhammer, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - bold programming survives a replacement

Fascinating sequence culminates in heartrending Brahms from a young master


The Valkyrie, English National Opera review - fitfully flickering flames

Consistently fine orchestra, singing from strong to strenuous, clear but patchy staging

The Cunning Little Vixen, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - nature, large as life

Janáček's natural wonder goes large, in a supercharged concert staging

Macbeth, Royal Opera review - bloody, bold, and resolute

A strong ensemble for Verdi’s tragedy, but Simon Keenlyside dominates


Stephen Sondheim in memoriam - he gave us more to see
A master gone but in no way and never to be forgotten
The Good Life, Richmond Theatre review - popular sitcom gets its own origin story
Tom, Barbara, Jerry and Margo are back in the '70s, but with a message for today


Past Present, Linbury Theatre review - historic, but very much alive

Yorke Dance Project premieres the final work of Robert Cohan

Ballet Black, Linbury Theatre review - an essential part of the landscape

Twenty years on, the pity is that it's still necessary for this excellent company to exist

Curated by Carlos, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - a star turn

Carlos Acosta and Alessandra Ferri show the young things how it's done


The Good Life, Richmond Theatre review - popular sitcom gets its own origin story

Tom, Barbara, Jerry and Margo are back in the '70s, but with a message for today

Alfie Brown, Soho Theatre review - a contrarian on great form

Mental health and male privilege examined

Ahir Shah, Soho Theatre review - lockdown laid bare

Disappointing show feels like a work in progress


Peter Robison: Flying Blind review – a story of decline and crawl

The galling account of the 737 MAX Boeing tragedies

Lucie Elven: The Weak Spot review - a cryptic modern fable

This study in manipulation asks what happens when our weaknesses are weaponised

Sarah Moss: The Fell review - a dark night on the hills

What happens when you go missing in a pandemic?

visual arts

Lubaina Himid, Tate Modern review – more explication please

A carnival of characters looking forwards as well as backwards

The Danish Collector: Delacroix to Gauguin review - fabulous art, not sure about the framing

Exhibition on Screen offers a catch-up for those who missed the RA show

Paris Photo 2021 review - a moveable feast

Paris Photo returns, in a new temporary home

latest comments

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