wed 21/11/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Tom Birchenough
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
This opening episode of My Brilliant Friend was a stunning symphony in grey. For any viewers concerned that HBO’s long-awaited Elena Ferrante adaptation might be tempted to...
Chris Harvey
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
There was barely a black-clothed, white-faced Numanoid in sight in the packed auditorium of the Royal Albert Hall as Gary Numan made his first ever appearance at the Victorian...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Relationships, or rather troubled relationships, are meat and potatoes for stand-up comics. Jessie Cave, who sprang to comic acclaim with her 2015 show I Loved Her, which charted...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Karel Zeman’s Invention for Destruction (Vynález zkázy) was, for many years, his best-known film in the West, dubbed into English three years after its 1958 premiere as The...
Marina Vaizey
Monday, 19 November 2018
The toughest subject you can imagine: when, and how, would you choose death over life? This riveting film examined that excruciating dilemma within the legal frameworks on offer...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 19 November 2018
The choice of what to go and hear in the London Jazz Festival can be bewildering: this first weekend of its 10-day run presented over 120 events. I managed to attend eight, of...
Glyn Môn Hughes
Monday, 19 November 2018
It probably goes without saying that there will be "dream teams" in a football-mad city like Liverpool. What might be a...
Guy Oddy
Monday, 19 November 2018
Many established artists, when out on tour, can get all a bit bashful about their new material. In fact, it’s not unusual...
Tom Baily
Monday, 19 November 2018
It is appropriate that Keanu Reeves sounds especially croaky and muffled throughout Siberia. Business meetings for his...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 19 November 2018
Faithful Fairy Harmony is in the tradition of The Beatles’ White Album, Todd Rundgren’s A Wizard, a True Star and The Clash’...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 18 November 2018
Daša Drndić, the Croatian author who died in June aged 71, has posthumously won the second Warwick Prize for Women in...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 18 November 2018
Marianne Faithfull’s recent album Negative Capability featured a new version of “As Tears go by”, the Jagger-Richard song...
Thomas H Green
Sunday, 18 November 2018
David Attenborough must be among the most universally liked Englishmen. There are those who’ve recently criticized him for...
Alexandra Coghlan
Saturday, 17 November 2018
We’re not good at lack these days. Just look at the concert hall, where increasingly you turn up to find not just an...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 17 November 2018
 Beethoven: Symphonies 2 and 7 Wiener Symphoniker/Philippe Jordan (WS/Sony)Philippe Jordan’s cheery face adorns this...
Joseph Walsh
Friday, 16 November 2018
Two years after the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we return to the Wizarding World once again for the...
David Nice
Friday, 16 November 2018
Forget the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition winner (I almost have; only a dim memory of Dmitry Masleev's playing...
 

★ SIBERIA Keanu Reeves's duff Russian mission gets lost in the wilderness

CLASSICAL CDS WEEKLY: BEETHOVEN, CAGE, JANACEK Dramatic 19th century symphonies and offbeat percussion music, plus a rousing meeting of Czech minds

★★★ CD: JOSEPHINE FOSTER - FAITHFUL FAIRY HARMONY An auteur at the peak of her powers

★★★ WAR REQUIEM, ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA Striking spectacle, but oddly unmoving

★★★★★ DASA DRNDIC: BELLADONNA A tragicomic journey into Europe's darkness

★★★★★ LOUIS THEROUX'S ALTERED STATES: CHOOSING DEATH Profound and moving

disc of the day

DVD/Blu-ray: Invention for Destruction

A steampunk delight: Karel Zeman's first international success returns

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tv

My Brilliant Friend, Sky Atlantic review - rich revelations of childhood

Elena Ferrante's wonderful world brought to the screen with marvellous care and subtlety

Louis Theroux's Altered States: Choosing Death, BBC Two review - profound and moving

Empathy and humanity from Theroux in a powerful documentary about life's conclusion

Our Classical Century, BBC Four review - enthusiasm and delight

From the trenches to the jazz age, Sir Lenny embarks on an enthralling musical journey

film

DVD/Blu-ray: Invention for Destruction

A steampunk delight: Karel Zeman's first international success returns

Siberia review - Keanu Reeves's duff Russian mission

Crime thriller gets lost in the wilderness

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald review - mischief not quite managed

Convoluted mythology stops second Potter prequel from flying

new music

Gary Numan, Royal Albert Hall review - the best night of his life

No 'Cars', but the ageless electropop pioneer is still in the driving seat

Florence + The Machine, Genting Arena, Birmingham review - flying the flag for a hopeful future

Florence Welch takes her hippy schtick back on the road with new tunes front and centre

classical

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Cage, Janáček

Dramatic 19th century symphonies and offbeat percussion music, plus a rousing meeting of Czech minds

Kolesnikov, BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - rethought masterpiece, stolid rarity

Uninspired Ethel Smyth Mass follows standing ovation for vivacious Tchaikovsky

opera

War Requiem, English National Opera review - a striking spectacle, but oddly unmoving

A sober and dignified production fails to add value to Britten's score

Simon Boccanegra, Royal Opera review - a timely revival of Verdi's political music-drama

Moshinsky's classic production still serves up the visual goods

The Silver Tassie, BBCSO, Barbican review - a bracing memorial for the WW1 anniversary

An exceptional concert performance brings Turnage's opera back to blistering life

theatre

Hadestown, National Theatre review - new folk musical is hotter than hell
An alternative take on a classic myth produces sizzling results

dance

Carlos Acosta: A Celebration, Royal Albert Hall

Candid images of retired ballet legend on stage

'It’s more fun to dance in a tutu': Tory Dobrin of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The artistic director of the Trocks explains how he keeps his ballet parodists on their toes

theartsdesk in Riga - 43,290 Latvians sing and dance for their country

Individual souls conjoined with a passionate belief in peace and music achieve miracles

comedy

Natalie Palamides, Soho Theatre - challenging show about consent

Deft and witty examination of a difficult subject

Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - feminism examined

Fascinating and often funny take on the subject

gaming

Red Dead Redemption 2 review - the cowboy drama makes a triumphant return

An ambitious Wild West odyssey that matches epic scale with benchmark skill

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review – less is more

Solo rations have been relegated from this benchmark war series

FIFA 19 review - the best just got a bit better

It looks and plays great, but what’s new?

visual arts

Edward Burne-Jones, Tate Britain review - time for a rethink?

Wide-ranging exhibition of idiosyncratic English artist, both loved and loathed

Klimt/Schiele, Royal Academy review - the line of gauntness

Elegance and brutality converge in drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna

The new V&A Photography Centre review - a new museum to make us proud

'Collecting Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital' launches the V&A's latest project

latest comments

Yet another review where the use of a large...

“I suppose your preference regarding these...

Too bad the 'deeply rooted verisimilitude' doesn'...

I attended all three of these experiences - and...

'decimation'? Surely this is a most unfortunate...

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