fri 21/02/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Matt Wolf
Friday, 21 February 2020
There are any number of ways to perform A Number, Caryl Churchill’s bleak and beautiful play about a father and three of who knows how many of his genetically cloned sons. Since...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 21 February 2020
Leif Ove Andsnes’s long-term partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra has already yielded rich fruit, and the Mozart quartets and trio he performed last night with members of...
Graham Fuller
Friday, 21 February 2020
Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner’s disquieting fifth feature, and her first English language one, Little Joe is a sci-fi drama that ponders the tangled choices faced by...
David Nice
Friday, 21 February 2020
So many performances of Mahler's most theatrical symphony every season, so few conductors who have something radically fresh to say about it. Two who do are London Philharmonic...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 21 February 2020
Jack London’s original novel was a brutal and Darwinian account of a dog's life in the Klondike during the gold rush at the end of the 19th century. Chris Sanders’s film, on the...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 21 February 2020
While it is only right that Birmingham is finally getting well-deserved credit as the well-spring and self-proclaimed Home of Metal, the media coverage of the Midlands’ place in...
Russ Coffey
Friday, 21 February 2020
Ozzy Osbourne stands on the front cover of his new album grinning mischievously in a horror-style bowler hat and cane. ...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 20 February 2020
The Black Lives Matter movement is such an important international protest that it is odd how few contemporary plays even...
Demetrios Matheou
Thursday, 20 February 2020
Steve Coogan’s long partnership with director Michael Winterbottom is probably best known for The Trip and its...
Richard Bratby
Thursday, 20 February 2020
There’s a particular moment of a particular recording – I suppose every slightly over-obsessive record collector has one –...
David Nice
Thursday, 20 February 2020
Not the musical then, worst luck. How timely it would have been to mark Jerry Herman's passing with a celebration of a great...
Thursday, 20 February 2020
There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered...
Mark Kidel
Thursday, 20 February 2020
Moonlight Benjamin, the fierce and deep-voiced vocalist from Haiti, is a powerful presence on stage. On her second album,...
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
London is the theatre capital of the world, with more than 50 playhouses offering theatrical entertainment. From the mighty...
Jenny Gilbert
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
The cello is the stringed instrument most closely aligned to the human voice. It has a human shape, too, so in theory it was...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
With prison overcrowding reaching chronic proportions, police in County Durham have developed the Checkpoint programme to...
Jonathan Geddes
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Matt Shultz was clearly taking no chances. The Cage the Elephant frontman appeared onstage underneath a large umbrella,...
Adam Sweeting
Tuesday, 18 February 2020
Perhaps somebody at BBC Four has had a quiet word with Lucy Worsley, because in this first of a new three-part series she...
Veronica Lee
Tuesday, 18 February 2020
What joy it is to welcome this offshoot of the television series to the West End stage – complete with several of that show'...

disc of the day

Album: Ozzy Osbourne - Ordinary Man

The Prince of Darkness defies his (health) demons for a late-career high

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?


How To Stay out of Jail, Channel 4 review – a bold rehabilitation programme from Durham police

Touching and insightful film about offenders trying to seize a second chance

Royal History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley, BBC Four review - is this version more valid than anyone else's?

Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell are spun in the pop-history blender

Confronting Holocaust Denial with David Baddiel, BBC Two review - grappling with the incomprehensible

Writer and comedian tries to fathom how so many can deny such well-documented history


Little Joe - trouble in the greenhouse

Jessica Hausner's exquisite sci-fi allegory about conflicted motherhood

The Call of the Wild review - how big-hearted Buck became leader of the pack

Jack London's brutal fable gets a family-friendly makeover

Greed review - so-so satire of the über rich

Steve Coogan is the retail tycoon whose misdeeds are coming home to roost

new music

Napalm Death, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - the Grindcore progenitors hit the spot

Brummie metallers leave ears ringing with a joyful sound

Album: Ozzy Osbourne - Ordinary Man

The Prince of Darkness defies his (health) demons for a late-career high

Album: Moonlight Benjamin - Simido

Haitian Vodou queen with the deep voice


Andsnes, Mahler Chamber Orchestra Soloists, Wigmore Hall review - conversations with Mozart

The Norwegian pianist and friends show us the Austrian master in sunlight and shadow

Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH review - big picture, stunning details

Transcendent idylls matter as much as great blazes in this broad view

Frang, CBSO, Yamada, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - the tingle factor

Thoughtful Shostakovich from Vilde Frang, non-stop thrills in Respighi's Roman triptych


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


A Number, Bridge Theatre review - a dream team dazzles anew
Roger Allam and Colin Morgan refashion Caryl Churchill's contemporary classic
Pass Over, Kiln Theatre review - fierce critique of racist brutality
Waiting for Godot meets Exodus in American drama about Black Lives Matter
La Cage aux Folles [The Play], Park Theatre review - half-cock farce
Embarrassing period piece needs a lift from better comic timing than this


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

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


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


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