wed 01/02/2023

Ireland

Album: Lisa O'Neill - All of This Is Chance

Lisa O’Neill is a part of the new wave of Irish contemporary folk artists, one that encompasses the likes of Lankum, Ye Vagabonds and John Francis Flynn, all of them putting their albums out on Rough Trade, which makes the venerable English Indie...

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Least Like the Other, Irish National Opera, Linbury Theatre review - the harrowing of Rosemary Kennedy

This multimedia horror revue gave me heart trouble, which is an odd kind of compliment. Not at first: the assault of abrasive music, the one singer having to leap all over the place vocally, competing with spoken word and information overload, can...

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Albums of the Year 2022: Fontaines DC - Skinty Fia

This is not a rehash of my Skinty Fia review, but smoke from the same grate.Asbury Park, New Jersey, 5 October – we've driven down from NYC to see Fontaines DC play hopefully most of their blistering third album at the Stone Pony venue. Bruce...

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Top 10 Films of 2022: Conclusion

The Arts Desk’s movie reviewers voted The Banshees of Inisherin the best film released in the UK in 2022. Here are our choices for the top 10 with the names of their directors: 1. The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonough)2. Aftersun (...

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Don Pasquale, Irish National Opera review - stock comedy shines at close quarters

Only a group of top musicians stood, or mostly sat, between a full but necessarily small house and Dr Malatesta’s Plastic Surgery Clinic in the bijou surroundings of Dun Laoghaire’s 324-seater Pavilion Theatre. The scaled-down wing of Irish National...

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Dinner with Groucho, Arcola Theatre review - often opaque

The set at the Arcola for Frank McGuinness’s Dinner with Groucho naturally features a table with two place settings and a backdrop of clouds in a blue sky. Overhead are pendant globe lights that will transform into stars. But the floor is a key...

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Album: Aoife Nessa Frances - Protector

There’s a song by Kevin Ayers called “The Lady Rachel”. It was on his 1969 debut solo LP Joy Of A Toy. Play it alongside “This Still Life”, the second track on the second album from Ireland’s Aoife Nessa Frances and the aesthetic kinship is clear....

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The Banshees of Inisherin review - stellar turns from Brendan Gleason and Colin Farrell

Previous works by screenwriter-director Martin McDonagh, which include In Bruges and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, might give you an inkling of the perverse and tantalising mindset that lies behind The Banshees of Inisherin… but then...

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Walking with Ghosts, Apollo Theatre review - a beguiling Gabriel Byrne opens up

Gabriel Byrne is not a typical film star. From his breakthrough as the lustful and doomed Uther Pendragon in Excalibur, via his iconic Prohibition-era gangster in the Coen brothers’ Miller’s Crossing and the wickedly twisty ...

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theartsdesk at the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2022 - a safe space to reflect on horrors

Essay-writing can be a great art, at least when executed by Hubert Butler of Kilkenny, on a par - whether you know his writing or not, and you should – with Bacon, Swift and Orwell. The same goes for speechifying. That level I witnessed, at the...

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Prom 17, Walshe, Tsallagova, Shenyang, NYC, BBCSSO, Volkov review - the sublime and the (enjoyably) ridiculous

The giraffe still baffles me. This model beast appeared stage right at the Royal Albert Hall during Jennifer Walshe’s The Site of an Investigation, only to be loudly wrapped by a pair of percussionists and then removed. A critique of mindless...

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Album: James Vincent McMorrow - The Less I Knew

An artist with a myriad of strings to his bow – gifted wordsmith, multi-instrumentalist, captivating storyteller – what enables James Vincent McMorrow’s singularly personal songs to take flight is the fact that he’s also a supreme melodist.The Less...

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