wed 21/08/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Kieron Tyler
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
To Whom Buys a Record roams through 12 crisply recorded pieces confirming that jazz which isn’t shy of acknowledging its heritage can still have an edge. Though structured and...
Aleks Sierz
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
After six years, associate director Robert Icke bids farewell to the Almeida Theatre. In this time he has pioneered contemporary versions of classic stories, such as 1984,...
Markie Robson-Scott
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
The BBC’s version of Love Island has familiar ingredients: ten 20-somethings, many with pale manicures and hair extensions, on an island, in this case Mykanos. It’s not to...
Markie Robson-Scott
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
Animal behaviourist Jo-Rosie Haffenden, who lives in Spain, has some very good dogs (and a charming toddler, who knows how to sit). Can she transfer her training skills to three-...
Jessica Duchen
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
Time was, not long ago, when the very word “premiere” was enough to ensure a sizeable smattering of red plush holes in the Royal Albert Hall audience. It seemed people did not...
Liz Thomson
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
It was a lovely summer’s day in southern England, much as it was in County Sligo. I was with my parents, driving to visit a very elderly relative. We arrived not long after the...
Royce Vavrek
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
It was during the 1997 Golden Globe Awards telecast that I first caught a glimpse of the film that would change my life...
Graham Fuller
Tuesday, 20 August 2019
Fred Schepisi’s The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978) was the Australian New Wave film that most rigorously confronted the...
David Nice
Monday, 19 August 2019
It was a Disney theme-park of Russian music, and in an entirely good way: none of the usual rides, but plenty of heroes and...
Christopher Lambton
Monday, 19 August 2019
To celebrate the 60th birthday of Sir James MacMillan, the Edinburgh International Festival has programmed his music over...
Guy Oddy
Monday, 19 August 2019
Justin Sullivan, the last remaining original member of Bradford post-punkers New Model Army, has always given the impression...
Boyd Tonkin
Sunday, 18 August 2019
The trend-hopping taste-makers who run British literary publishing have lately decided that “working-class” writing merits a...
Miranda Heggie
Sunday, 18 August 2019
Returning to Edinburgh International Festival, Berlin's Komische Oper brought Barrie Kosky’s sumptuous production of Eugene...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 18 August 2019
Diamond Head was Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera’s first solo album. Released in May 1975 and recorded the previous...
Jessica Duchen
Sunday, 18 August 2019
There could be no greater gift to any festival director than Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Where the exploration of his life,...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Sunday, 18 August 2019
Foo Fighters are an unlikely candidate for one of the biggest bands in the world. There’s nothing workmanlike about the...
David Nice
Saturday, 17 August 2019
There it gleamed, the pearl in the massive oyster of Albert's colosseum: the gilded, decorated piano supplied to his Queen...
Guy Oddy
Saturday, 17 August 2019
While Pram could hardly be described as representative of the UK psychedelic scene, it would be hard to imagine South...
Saskia Baron
Saturday, 17 August 2019
If you’re looking for escapism from anxieties about Brexit, the worldwide refugee crisis and rising authoritarianism,...


★★★★ PRAM, BIRMINGHAM A fine hometown return for the psychedelic oddballs

★★★★ ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD Tarantino’s mellowest film yet


REISSUE CDS WEEKLY: PHIL MANZANERA Roxy Music man’s overlooked first solo album 'Diamond Head'

★★★★ NIALL GRIFFITHS: BROKEN GHOST Mysticism, grunge and satire meet in the enchanted hills

disc of the day

CD: Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity - To Whom Buys a Record

Energised yet structured reconfiguration of free jazz archetypes

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Heartbreak Holiday, BBC One review - can it match up to Love Island?

Ten strangers and their not so achy-breaky hearts

Train Your Baby Like A Dog, Channel 4 review - an animal behaviourist tackles tantrums

Who's a good boy then? Children are just like dogs - or are they?

The Day Mountbatten Died, BBC Two review - the IRA's audacious strike at the heart of the British Establishment

Everyone remembers Lord Mountbatten’s death but a score of other people died on that sunny August day


DVD/Blu-ray: The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

Mixed-race heritage condemns a striving youth in 1900 Australia

Transit review - existential nightmares for a German refugee

Christian Petzold eschews the conventions of Holocaust drama to create an edgy, unnerving thriller

Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood review – Tarantino’s mellowest film yet

Leo and Brad are an engaging double act as actor and stuntman facing the end of an era

new music

CD: Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity - To Whom Buys a Record

Energised yet structured reconfiguration of free jazz archetypes

CD: New Model Army - From Here

Almost 40 years on and the Bradford post-punks are still gloomy

Reissue CDs Weekly: Phil Manzanera - Diamond Head

Roxy Music man’s overlooked first solo album is a winner


Prom 43: Haefliger, BBCSO & Chorus, Oramo review – the frisson of the new

Two exciting premieres and a valuable old chestnut in an uplifting evening

Prom 41: Ghindin, LPO, Jurowski review - perfect sound in a Russian spectacular

An unwieldy early piano concerto is the curious pachyderm in a rainbow parade


Making new waves: Royce Vavrek on forging a libretto from Lars von Trier

Missy Mazzoli's collaborator on their new operatic version of 'Breaking the Waves'

Rinaldo, Glyndebourne Festival review - teenage dreams

Stale stereotypes abound in a production that’s a bit past its sell by date


The Doctor, Almeida Theatre review - Robert Icke's long goodbye
Juliet Stevenson is brilliant in an ethical debate that is both thrilling and challenging
Edinburgh Fringe 2019 reviews: The Red/ Gone Full Havisham
More from the world's biggest and best arts festival
Edinburgh Fringe 2019 review: How Not to Drown
Autobiographical refugee story feels like a boy's own adventure


Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet, Sadler's Wells review - heart-stopping drama

The plot isn't perfect, but this bad romance still packs a punch

The Bright Stream, Bolshoi Ballet review - a gem of a comedy

Ratmansky and Shostakovich offer up old-fashioned fun with an undercurrent of sweetness

Spartacus, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House review - no other company could pull this off

Visiting Russians transform wooden material into muscular spectacle


Edinburgh Fringe 2019 review: Arabella Weir - Does My Mum Loom Big In This?

Fringe debut on her overbearing mother feels too polite to confront its own darkness


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

visual arts

Edinburgh Festival 2019 reviews: Below the Blanket / Samson Young: Real Music

Two Edinburgh shows meld music, sound and visual art to beguiling effect

Black Sabbath: 50 years, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery review – not heavy going

Half a century of metal is celebrated in Sabbath's home city

Helen Schjerfbeck, Royal Academy review - watchful absences and disappearing people

Retrospective of Finnish artist turns on mortality and absence


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