wed 26/02/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

David Nice
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
When Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski first bounced on to the concert scene, he seemed part will-o-the-wisp, part jack-in-the-box, a real personality of coruscating brilliance....
Sarah Kent
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Italian journalist, Roberto Saviano still lives in fear of his life 11 years after writing Gomorrah, which explores how criminal gangs use tax havens to launder money. “You make...
Hassan Abdulrazzak
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
You are at a party having a good time when someone gives you a glass of champagne. You take one and then another and soon the party is over. You get in the car to go home and are...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
The rage and bitterness surrounding the Brexit brouhaha have made it immune to comedy and satire, but perhaps change is in the wind. Channel 4’s bogus royal family is back after a...
Marianka Swain
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
The theatre gods rained down not fire and pestilence, but a 45-minute technical delay on opening night of this substantially revised musical – a stage adaptation of the 1998...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Since Back in Time for Dinner in 2015, this BBC Two social history strand in which families travel into a recreated past to experience ways in which society, leisure and...
Peter Quinn
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Released to coincide with a new documentary on his life by filmmaker John Scheinfeld, In the Key of Joy celebrates the...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
“Everybody lies," says property developer Tony to his PA and secret lover Natalie. “Even your mum probably.” And of course...
Gavin Dixon
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
This concert represented the British leg of the NHK Symphony Orchestra’s European tour. Tokyo’s radio orchestra is Japan’s...
Jenny Gilbert
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
It’s common to see the term “vanity project” applied to self-produced shows by ballet stars, but Alina – the first such...
David Nice
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Startlingly high levels of expression and focused fire made this rich concert worthy of the dedicatee who radiated those...
Demetrios Matheou
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Lest anyone believe that Parasite was the only ground-breaking foreign language film of the past year, Céline...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Though set in a handsomely-realised 1912, many of The Winslow Boy’s period details seem disconcertingly contemporary, from...
Ariana Neumann
Monday, 24 February 2020
It was during my first week at Tufts University in America, when I was 17, that I was told by a stranger that I was Jewish....
Matt Wolf
Monday, 24 February 2020
This latest musical theatre exercise in “geek chic” has been an American phenomenon: a show propelled by social media that...
Joseph Walsh
Monday, 24 February 2020
There’s an undeniable romance to mid-Nineties New York. Absent of the chirp of mobile phones, or the swirl of social media,...
Sarah Kent
Monday, 24 February 2020
The exhibition starts on the Barbican’s lift doors, which are emblazoned with photographs from the show. They include one of...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 24 February 2020
The comic book of Locke and Key, written by Joe Hill (son of horror writer Stephen King) and illustrated by Gabriel...
Tim Cumming
Monday, 24 February 2020
Recent politics surround the EU and nationhood, fantasies of Irish Sea bridges and trading borders more porous than...

★★★★ ALEXEI SAYLE, OXFORD PLAYHOUSE Return of the political bruiser

★★★★★ MASCULINITIES, BARBICAN A must-see exhibition on gender identity

★★★★ BERLINALE 2020: MY SALINGER YEAR 70th edition of the festival opens in style

★★★★ JOANNA MACGREGOR, ADRIAN BRENDEL, GILDAS QUARTET, WIGMORE HALL Generosity all round in this charity concert for the Royal Society of Musicians

★★★★ MIDNIGHT FAMILY A thrilling documentary set in Mexico City

★★★ GRIMES - MISS ANTHROPOCENE Grandiose ideas and production

★★★ ALINA, SADLER'S WELLS A glimpse into the mind of a great ballerina

disc of the day

Album: Sergio Mendes - In the Key of Joy

A heart-warming salute to the legendary septuagenarian's music

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The Windsors, Series 3, Channel 4 review - perfect timing for return of the bogus royals

Harry Enfield's Prince Charles tries to show leadership to his farcical band of ninnies

Back in Time for the Corner Shop, BBC Two review - open all hours with the Ardern family

Engrossing recreation of the lives of Sheffield's Victorian shopkeepers

Flesh and Blood, ITV review - Vivien's new love affair throws a cat among the family pigeons

Francesca Annis and Imelda Staunton in a twisty drama of secrets and lies


Push review – lifting the lid on the housing crisis

Fredrik Gertten’s lively documentary reveals the global scale of the problem

Actress Noémie Merlant: 'This is something that hasn't been told yet'

The star of 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' talks about a film that asserts the female gaze, behind and in front of the camera

DVD/Blu-ray: The Winslow Boy

Outstanding Rattigan adaptation, superbly cast and directed

new music

Album: Sergio Mendes - In the Key of Joy

A heart-warming salute to the legendary septuagenarian's music

Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - raising women's voices

Imelda May heads an eclectic line-up to reimagine an Ireland beyond the old patriarchies

CD: Caribou - Suddenly

The Canadian psyche-pop genre fuser further hones his craft


Simon Trpčeski, Barbican review - a charismatic chameleon

A Brahms labyrinth, glittering Liszt and Russians alternating melancholy with madness

Gabetta, NHK SO, Järvi, RFH review - transparency and dynamism

Japan’s flagship ensemble brings clarity and focus under its powerful chief conductor

Joanna MacGregor, Adrian Brendel, Gildas Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - gold and silver

Generosity all round in this charity concert for the Royal Society of Musicians


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 Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre review - Moses musical goes big and broad
This mammoth stage adaptation is more splashy than spiritual
Be More Chill, The Other Palace review - more exhausting than enlightening
American theatre phenomenon pushes buttons aplenty to diminishing effect


Alina, Sadler's Wells review - I think therefore I dance

An unusual hybrid show gives a glimpse into the mind of a great ballerina

Message in a Bottle, Peacock Theatre review - a hiphop singalong

A show that brings streetdance and the songs of Sting to bear on the refugee crisis is far too jolly

The Cellist/Dances at a Gathering, Royal Ballet review - A grand love affair with a cello

The relationship between a great musician and her instrument, vividly imagined in dance


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

latest comments

I should add my apology to Mr Sandy himself.

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