fri 24/03/2023

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Friday, 24 March 2023
The act of idol worship is, at one and the same time, both distantly ancient and compellingly contemporary. Whether it is Superman, Wonder Woman or Black Panther, our love of the...
David Nice
Friday, 24 March 2023
Anna Clyne’s engaging First Person here led me to two of her works in a Philharmonia rainbow. She curated a woodwind-based gem of a 6pm programme of works by four women composers...
Demetrios Matheou
Friday, 24 March 2023
It starts innocuously, with paint. A woman is sitting in a hardware store, studying a travel guide for colour ideas, while briefing the chap mixing her order. But then, amid the...
Adam Sweeting
Friday, 24 March 2023
Director Brandon Cronenberg has inherited his father David’s eye for the twisted and the sinister. After the creepy mind-meld dystopia of 2020’s Possessor, Infinity Pool finds...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 24 March 2023
Compared to her peers, Lana del Rey is mightily prolific. This is her eighth album since her breakthough eleven years ago (her ninth in total). Her last album appeared 15 months...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 23 March 2023
“Why do we come to concerts?” asks Brett Anderson, Suede’s ringmaster and vocalist, before launching into an acoustic version of “The Wild Ones” from the stage of Birmingham’s...
Donatella Flick
Thursday, 23 March 2023
What are the qualities that make a great conductor? It’s something that has been debated for years, brought into focus...
Joe Muggs
Thursday, 23 March 2023
Depeche Mode’s Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, who died in May last year, was generally held to contribute to the dynamic of the...
Rachel Halliburton
Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Shimmeringly urbane, shifting effortlessly from intricate agility to muscular intensity, the music of the 18th century...
Anna Clyne
Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Collaboration fuels a lot of my music – I love the interaction that takes me outside of my natural tendencies – it’s a...
Kieron Tyler
Wednesday, 22 March 2023
“Learn to Burn” generates the loudest and most sustained applause. As it was originally the opening track of Robert Forster’...
Thomas H Green
Wednesday, 22 March 2023
There’s a disconnect on the third album by Brighton rockers Black Honey. The music is rousing post-grunge indie rock,...
David Nice
Tuesday, 21 March 2023
Nearly 40 years old, Andrei Serban’s Royal Opera Turandot feels like a gilded relic (I felt like a relic myself on learning...
Simon Thompson
Tuesday, 21 March 2023
Two women featured prominently in this programme; the one a composer and the other a conductor.To the composer first. Long...
Sebastian Scotney
Tuesday, 21 March 2023
The Beasts (As Bestas) is all of two hours and 17 minutes long, and yet to look away is never an option. Spanish...
Markie Robson-Scott
Monday, 20 March 2023
Mr Williams (a wonderfully restrained, Oscar-nominated Bill Nighy) is taking time off work from his job in the Public Works...
David Nice
Monday, 20 March 2023
You don’t have to be Scandinavian to act out Strindberg’s fantastical extremes at the highest level, but I’ve not seen any...
Matt Wolf
Monday, 20 March 2023
I'm proffering just a tad less than three cheers for Allelujah, the film version of Alan Bennett's 2018 Bridge Theatre play...
Aleks Sierz
Monday, 20 March 2023
Is it a good idea to work with your spouse? The Way Old Friends Do, a love letter to ABBA tribute bands – which...

disc of the day

Album: Lana Del Rey - Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd

The latest from the sultry American singer is overlong but contains gold


MH370: The Plane That Disappeared, Netflix review - a field day for conspiracy theorists

Will we ever know what really happened to the vanished Malaysian airliner?

The Great British Bake Off Musical, Noel Coward Theatre review - blue-chip cast lift daft confection

It's more adult panto than mature musical, with the sauce liberally ladled on


1976 review - dark, chilly Chilean thriller

A good deed puts a middle class woman on the wrong side of the dictatorship

Infinity Pool review - it's like The White Lotus on bad acid

Brandon Cronenberg's third feature is a nightmare journey into horror-tourism

The Beasts review - a countryside idyll loses its charm

Galician locals showing French interlopers quite how unwelcome they are

new music

Album: Lana Del Rey - Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd

The latest from the sultry American singer is overlong but contains gold

Suede, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - a messianic performance from Britpop's originators

A sold-out Symphony Hall goes bonkers for Brett Anderson’s mob

Album: Depeche Mode - Memento Mori

Depeche Mode's hymns to love and loss sound as vital as ever


Fröst, Philharmonia, Lazarova, Kuusisto, Southbank Centre review - congenial new works complemented by live-wire classics

Two concerts revolving around composer Anna Clyne offer plenty of other surprises

First Person: Donatella Flick on why the conducting competition in her name is needed more than ever

The 17th Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition reaches its final tonight

The Chevalier, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - virtuoso journey into a shamefully neglected past

Music is the star in this retelling of the remarkable life of black composer Joseph Bologne


Turandot, Royal Opera review - spectacle and sound wow in this significant revival

Pappano marshals the glitter and a fine cast delivers the goods

La bella dormente nel bosco/L'enfant et les sortilèges, Royal College of Music review - pure theatrical magic

Fairytale operas by Respighi and Ravel come together to create enchantment and danger


Black Superhero, Royal Court review – ambitious, but messy
Debut play about sex, race and queerness is a disappointing mishmash
Dance of Death, National Theatre of Norway, Coronet Theatre review - straight for the jugular
White-heat Strindberg from Norwegian actors undeterred by technical hitches
The Way Old Friends Do, Park Theatre review - sweet, but flimsy
Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard’s ABBA tribute is fun, but clunky


'You want to cry from loving to do it so much' - Lynn Seymour 1939-2023

Remembering the unique ballerina who injected me with her poison

Turn It Out with Tiler Peck, Sadler's Wells review - America's ballet wonder-woman raises the barre

On her UK solo debut, New York City Ballet’s queen of speed gives audiences a wild ride

Woolf Works, Royal Ballet review - Wayne McGregor's modern classic impresses all over again

Alessandra Ferri returns as the moving focus of this powerful piece


Margaret Atwood: Old Babes in the Wood review - bookending the short story

Semi-autobiographical tales of loss and love sit oddly among snails and aliens

Nicole Flattery: Nothing Special review - returning to the Factory

The social isolation of Andy Warhol’s typist

latest comments

I'm no great U2 fan but they deserve better than...

This is a pathetic display. I would think the...

I also loved the way that the “who are the real...

Seymour's silent scream of pain in The Invitation...

Thanks a lot for the crap review. You obviously...

Bravo to the makers of this film! ...during EO's...

You make some good points there. Certainly no-one...


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