wed 21/11/2018

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Jenny Gilbert
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Pity fatigue is a risk for any artwork marking the anniversary of the 1918 Armistice. There can’t have been a man or woman in the Royal Opera House on Tuesday night who hadn’t...
Rachel Halliburton
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
This production of Tennessee Williams’ neglected classic, Summer and Smoke, arrives from the Almeida into the West End with five-star plaudits for its pitch-perfect performances...
Peter Quinn
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
After failing to make the charts on its release 50 years ago this month, Astral Weeks has long since passed into pop mythology, its unique amalgam of jazz, folk and soul...
David Nice
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Getting the look right is half the battle: in that, Peter Groom's one-time-Captain Marlene Dietrich is a winner from the start. The looks at the audience nail it too, heavy-lidded...
Gavin Dixon
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
It’s Christmas already at Wigmore Hall. Or advent at least – this concert of Bach Advent cantatas was presented by the English Concert without apology or qualification, despite it...
Steve O'Rourke
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
It was all going so well for Bethesda Games Studios, the developer behind some of the best single player action-RPGs to ever grace consoles. The Elder Scrolls titles combined with...
Tim Cumming
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
The penultimate concert in the eclectic and impressive K-Music Festival of contemporary Korean music on Monday at the...
Katie Colombus
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Was anyone prepared for the fact that Ed Harcourt's new album would be fully instrumental? He's known as a songwriter –...
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-...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

★★★★★ MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, SKY ATLANTIC Elena Ferrante's wonderful world brought to the screen

THE BEST FILMS OUT NOW All the movies worth catching

THE BEST EXHIBITIONS IN LONDON Get your eye in with our recommendations

THE BEST MUSICALS IN LONDON Everybody's talking about these top shows

IS JEFF GOLDBLUM A JAZZ MUSICIAN? EFG London Jazz Festival first weekend round-up

★★★★ GARY NUMAN, ROYAL ALBERT HALL Ageless electropop pioneer still in the driving seat

THE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON The Arts Desk's stage tips

disc of the day

CD: Ed Harcourt - Beyond the End

A surprising turn for the singer-songwriter

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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


The Best Films Out Now

theartsdesk recommends the top movies of the moment

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

new music

Orphy Robinson’s Astral Weeks, London Jazz Festival 2018 review - reimagining a masterpiece

A 50th anniversary salute ranges from the heartbreakingly beautiful to the revelatory

Kyungso Park, Near East Quartet, Purcell Room review - hot Korean contemporary

Culture clash as K-Music meets the EFG London Jazz Festival with spectacular results

CD: Ed Harcourt - Beyond the End

A surprising turn for the singer-songwriter


The English Concert, Bicket, Wigmore Hall review – small-scale Bach

Elegant and agile playing in Bach’s Advent cantatas, but only one memorable soloist

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Cage, Janáček

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


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


Summer and Smoke, Duke of York's Theatre review – Patsy Ferran's remarkable performance
West End transfer from the Almeida retains pressure-cooker intensity
Dietrich: Natural Duty, Wilton's Music Hall review - elegy for one
Poignant take on Captain Marlene in the Second World War
The Best Plays in London
What to see where and until when: theartsdesk's stage tips


The Unknown Soldier, Infra, Symphony in C, Royal Ballet, review - WWI ballet honours obscure tragedy

The storyline goes missing, presumed dead, in this Armistice commission

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


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


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

visual arts

The Best Exhibitions in London

From the Turner Prize shortlist to the future of gaming: our guide to what to see in the city

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

latest comments

My first Numan gig as well, came with my son who...

Having seen Savage Tour at the O2 academy...

are friends electric has stood the test of time...

My wife and i were treated to a box right over...

My first ever Gary Numan concert. Think I picked...

i have to disagree are friends electric has stood...

Caught the gig at Shepherd's Bush Empire on...


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