thu 25/04/2019

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Marianka Swain
Thursday, 25 April 2019
The joint is jumpin’ at Southwark Playhouse, now hosting an irresistible Fats Waller-inspired, Manhattan-set musical revue (a co-production with Colchester’s Mercury Theatre...
Veronica Lee
Thursday, 25 April 2019
Mark Thomas issues a health warning for Check-Up: Our NHS at 70  at Battersea Arts Centre  – “This show contains swearing, a video of an operation on a stomach...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Thursday, 25 April 2019
Look behind the lyrics of some of P!nk’s biggest hits, and you’ll see that those powerhouse vocals and big pop-rock choruses have always been used to distract from a certain...
David Nice
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
On one level, it's about Biblically informed good and evil at sea, in both the literal and the metaphorical sense. On another, the love that dared not speak its name when Britten...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Suede finish “Sabotage”. It’s a mid-paced, elegant number set off by swirling, circling central guitar. Frontman Brett Anderson hangs from his microphone stand on the left apron...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Nicôle Lecky’s one woman show Superhoe has added fire to the reputation of an already fast-rising actress and writer. Based around Sasha, a Plaistow girl who aspires to pop...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
With the knife crime epidemic seemingly raging out of control, and the government at its clueless worst as it stumbles...
Aleks Sierz
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Superstar Sally Field has come to town. With two academy awards and countless other accolades, the actor who played Forrest...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
This final episode of BBC Four's Looking for Rembrandt, exploring the life and work of the Netherlands’ greatest painter,...
Guy Oddy
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Bad Religion have been making politically aware, high-speed, melodic punk rock for throwing yourself around with glorious...
David Thompson
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
"One talks, the other doesn’t" is about as crude a description as could be of the Swedish masterpiece, Persona. Profoundly...
Florence Hallett
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Either side of a doorway, framing a view of Turner’s The Evening Star, c. 1830 (Main picture), Sean Scully’s Landline Star,...
Thomas H Green
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Pet Shop Boys are never shy of producing stylishly conceived fan mementos. Coming not long after Faber & Faber’s...
Kathryn Reilly
Monday, 22 April 2019
Sleaford Mods are livid. About everything. But then, aren’t we all? If any single voice could represent this particularly...
Steve O'Rourke
Monday, 22 April 2019
Based on the 2006 book of the same name, and set in the same universe as the 2013 film adaptation, World War Z follows...
Veronica Lee
Monday, 22 April 2019
A brain tumour isn't usually the subject of a comedy show but Britney, written and performed by comedy duo Charly Clive and...
Tom Birchenough
Monday, 22 April 2019
Robert Guediguian has spoken of the influence of Chekhov on The House by the Sea (Le Villa), and the shadow of the Russian...
Katherine Waters
Sunday, 21 April 2019
By fifteen Ummulbanu Asadullayeva — or Banine, to call her by the name under which she wrote and translated — had already...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 21 April 2019
Torso Hell tells the story of an American soldier whose limbs were blown off in Vietnam. Amazingly, he and his buddies...

★★★★ BRITNEY, SOHO THEATRE Finding the funny in a brain tumour

★★★ WORLD WAR Z Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

★★★★ SLEAFORD MODS, DREAMLAND, MARGATE Musical news from broken Brexit land

★★★★ DVD: THE HOUSE BY THE SEA Chekhovian motifs abound in wistful French drama

★★ SEA STAR, SEAN SCULLY AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY The latest encounter between a living artist and the national collection

★★★★★ BANINE: DAYS IN THE CAUCASUS Autobiography of an unusual childhood in Baku

disc of the day

CD: P!nk - Hurts 2B Human

Idiosyncratic pop star plays with genres on eighth album

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Run for Your Life, ITV review - giving the nation's youth a sporting chance

Can sport be a secret weapon in the battle against gangs and knife crime?

Looking for Rembrandt, BBC Four review - painter's biog is a mini-masterpiece

Tim Niel's three-part series delivers a richly rewarding climax

Climate Change: The Facts, BBC One review - how much reality can humankind bear?

What's driving climate change and how long we have to do something about it


Obituary: Bibi Andersson 1935-2019

David Thompson pays tribute to one of cinema's most enduring icons

DVD: The House by the Sea

Chekhovian motifs abound in wistful French drama of family readjustments

Red Joan review - Judi Dench can't lift lumbering espionage drama

Trevor Nunn serves up a clunky slice of history

new music

CD: P!nk - Hurts 2B Human

Idiosyncratic pop star plays with genres on eighth album

Suede, Brighton Dome review - Brett Anderson gives it full frontman chutzpah

Nineties guitar pop juggernaut seasons hits old and new with a hefty dose of charisma

CD: Bad Religion - Age of Unreason

Melodic hardcore punk for the Age of President Tiny Hands


Brockes-Passion, AAM, Egarr, Barbican review - fleshly Handel for our earthbound times

Neglected oratorio offers a seasonal alternative to Bach

Classical CDs Weekly: Gabriel Jackson, Lansing McLoskey, 12 Ensemble

Two new choral works and a disc of contemporary string music


Billy Budd, Royal Opera review - Britten's drama of good and evil too much at sea

Peerless protagonist among a crew sometimes lost on an infinite stage

SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill, Isango Ensemble, Linbury Theatre - evocative and essential lyric theatre

Compelling fantasia about black South Africans drowned in a World War One disaster

Faust, Royal Opera review - fusty Gounod still dances

Lively conducting and a last-minute replacement keep this hellish cabaret on its toes


Ain't Misbehavin', Southwark Playhouse review - a jazz-hot musical revue
Dancing, singing and plenty of swinging in this joyful tribute to Fats Waller
10 Questions for actress and playwright Nicôle Lecky
The rising star of stage and screen talks grime, feminism, sex work, Nicki Minaj and SENSE8
All My Sons, Old Vic review - starry but disappointingly uneven
Arthur Miller's classic family drama has one outstanding performance - and one dud


World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

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

The Lego Movie 2 Videogame review - everything is not awesome

Few fresh ideas means this movie adaptation treads the same old ground

Anthem review - singing praises? More like a cautious nod

A rocky start for a new franchise that offers potential and problems in equal measure

visual arts

Sea Star: Sean Scully, National Gallery review - analysing past masters

The latest encounter between a living artist and the national collection

Visions of the Self: Rembrandt and Now, Gagosian Gallery review - old master, new ways

One of the most mysterious paintings ever made inspires an exploration of the self-portrait

Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, British Museum review - compassion in the age of anxiety

Norway's greatest painter revealed as a master printmaker

latest comments

Does the Arts Desk have vacancies for a Copy...

Thank you for that memory, Mr. Jones. Especially...


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters