mon 17/02/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Jessica Duchen
Monday, 17 February 2020
Nobody could deny that this was a weekend when we needed cheering up. The place for that was the Wigmore Hall, which played host to a recently formed “shape-shifting” ensemble of...
Jonathan Geddes
Monday, 17 February 2020
It might have been 24 hours after Valentine’s Day, but James McGovern still seemed to have a touch of romance in his head. At one stage during the Murder Capital’s bruising set he...
Bernard Hughes
Monday, 17 February 2020
In my reviewing for theartsdesk I like as much as possible to ski off-piste, reaching areas of repertoire, performer and venue that mainstream coverage doesn't. There is much...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 17 February 2020
Simon Evans is a comic known for pithy observational humour, and an often acerbic take on politics, with occasional bits of biography thrown in. But The Work of the Devil (which...
Kieron Tyler
Monday, 17 February 2020
Spook The Herd concludes with “A Fitting End”. In a cracked, reflective voice, Hazel Wilde sings: “I want a door to the Nineties…what a fitting ending, what a perfect scene.” By...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 16 February 2020
August and September 1964 were golden months for Pye Records. The Kinks hit number one on the British charts in September with “You Really Got Me”, their third single for the...
Matt Wolf
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Lesley Manville’s thrilling career ascent continues apace with The Visit, which marks American playwright ...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Welcome to the biggest plastic reviews party on earth. Now that vinyl is steadily successful as niche musical medium, some...
Adam Sweeting
Saturday, 15 February 2020
This eight-part mystery from Netflix is based on the titular novel by American writer Harlan Coben, who has formed a...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Queer people of colour face a double discrimination: racism and homophobia. Against this sickness of negation and stupidity...
Jill Chuah Masters
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Roland Orzabal, co-founder and lead guitarist of Tears for Fears, laughs to himself often during this documentary — the...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 15 February 2020
 Brahms: The Orchestral Music Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Kurt Masur (Decca Eloquence)Conductor Kurt Masur's role...
Owen Richards
Saturday, 15 February 2020
He's one of Japan's foremost directors, and if you’ve witnessed one of his films before, you know what to expect from a...
Sebastian Scotney
Saturday, 15 February 2020
From This Place (Nonesuch) is a complex, meticulously produced and many-layered album which demands concentrated and...
Jill Chuah Masters
Friday, 14 February 2020
Netflix’s Sex Education has returned to our screens and streams. The show made waves last year for its refreshing take on...
Jenny Gilbert
Friday, 14 February 2020
When Pina Bausch died at the height of her creative powers in 2009, no one knew if her work or her company would survive. A...
Nick Hasted
Friday, 14 February 2020
An early trailer for this adaptation of the ‘90s games franchise caused Cats­-like horror at its overly humanoid Hedgehog....
Sarah Kent
Friday, 14 February 2020
The screen is filled with the head and shoulders of a man lying on his back; he could be dead in the morgue or lying on the...
Matt Wolf
Friday, 14 February 2020
It’s not uncommon for playwrights to begin their careers by writing what they know, to co-opt a frequently quoted precept...

★★★★ STEVE MCQUEEN, TATE MODERN Films that stick in the mind

★★ THE VISIT, NATIONAL THEATRE Lesley Manville rises above the prevailing muddle

★★★ THE STRANGER, NETFLIX Adaptation of Harlan Coben's novel is improbable but watchable

★★★ TEARS FOR FEARS, SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR, BBC FOUR Classic Albums documentary hits the right notes, mostly

THEARTSDESK ON VINYL 56 The widest-ranging monthly record reviews in this universe


disc of the day

Album: Lanterns On The Lake - Spook The Herd

The atmospheric Newcastle band wrestle with the issues of the day

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The Stranger, Netflix review - strong cast grapples with labyrinthine plotting

Adaptation of Harlan Coben's novel is improbable but watchable

Classic Albums: Tears for Fears, Songs From The Big Chair, BBC Four review - anatomy of an anthem

Latest BBC Classic Albums documentary hits the right notes, mostly

Sex Education, Series 2, Netflix review - the teen sex show we deserved

Happy Valentines: this humdrum holiday is the perfect occasion to stream the most affirming sex comedy in years


First Love review - Miike delivers thrills and spills

Renowned director is the ultraviolent gift that keeps on giving

Sonic the Hedgehog review - stuck in first gear

Bizarrely slow-motion effort to exploit Sega's speedster

Emma review – lustrous but far from definitive

Anya Taylor-Joy leads a likeable cast of young talent – and some dependable old hands – in latest Austen adaptation

new music

Album: Lanterns On The Lake - Spook The Herd

The atmospheric Newcastle band wrestle with the issues of the day

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Honeycombs - Have I The Right? The Complete 60s Albums & Singles

Exhaustive box set dedicated to the Joe Meek-produced hit-makers


Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, Wigmore Hall review - a joyous celebration

A sparky, shape-shifting ensemble of starry young musicians

Elysian Singers, SPCMH, Sam Laughton, St Luke’s, Chelsea review - John Cage and friends given a rare airing

Adventurous choral modernism alongside entertainingly anarchic postmodernism

Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Magnard, Skempton

A great German conductor's vintage years, plus neglected French symphonies and British vocal music


Luisa Miller, English National Opera review - Verdi in translation makes a stylish comeback

Musical splendours peak in a tenor aria to die for and a moving last act

theartsdesk Q&A: soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn

Returning to ENO to sing Verdi's Luisa Miller, a great singer-actor reflects

Les vêpres siciliennes, Welsh National Opera review - spectacular, silly, but some great music

Verdi's reluctant grand opera colourfully staged, brilliantly played, unevenly sung


The Visit, National Theatre review - star turn bolsters baggy rewrite
Lesley Manville rises above the prevailing muddle
The High Table, Bush Theatre review - party on in Lagos and London
New debut play is a heartfelt account of the black lesbian experience
Leopoldstadt, Wyndham's Theatre review - Stoppard at once personal and accessible
Director Patrick Marber knits Tom Stoppard's putative swan song into a compelling whole


Bluebeard, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells review - bleak but ground-breaking

This 1977 take on Bartok's murderous opera was a watershed for European theatre

Michael Keegan-Dolan, MÁM, Sadler's Wells review - folk goes radical

Digging deeper into Irish tradition has yielded Michael Keegan-Dolan's most visionary work yet

'She was revolutionary': Tanztheater Wuppertal's new director on the legacy of Pina Bausch

Bettina Wagner-Bergelt talks violence and taped music in a monumental early masterpiece


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead


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