thu 16/09/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 16 September 2021
God is a tricky one. Or should that be One? And definitely not a He. So when she says take revenge, then vengeance is definitely not only hers, but ours too. American playwright...
Joseph Walsh
Thursday, 16 September 2021
On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big British talents including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrea Riseborough and Claire Foy, sounds like typical awards fare...
Guy Oddy
Thursday, 16 September 2021
Incredibly it’s now 40 years since the release of Duran Duran’s debut album. To mark this event, the remaining members of the band’s classic line-up decided to return to...
David Nice
Thursday, 16 September 2021
What a way for the Multi-Story Orchestra, conductor Christopher Stark and composer Kate Whitley to celebrate 10 years of pioneering activity in Peckham and beyond. This should...
Kieron Tyler
Thursday, 16 September 2021
Phantasmagoria, or A Different Kind of Journey instantly sets its controls for an excursion into the interstellar void between gaseous and solid objects. Opening cut “Intoxication...
Tim Cumming
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
This was, said bassist Michael Janisch, his first gig since January last year, and his crack group’s Monday evening set, kicking off at the un-jazzy hour of 6.30pm, was an...
Rachel Halliburton
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Indecent is a play wrapped inside a news story about stigma. Playwright Paula Vogel was at Cornell University when she...
Nick Hasted
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
There’s a modesty to the Felice Brothers, an absenting of ego, even as they seek glimmers of transcendence in the vast...
David Nice
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest masterpiece. For which we should be profoundly grateful after the...
Sarah Kent
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
It’s been described as “the most improbable story that has ever happened in the art market”, and The Lost Leonardo reveals...
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
The bleakest time of all for live music during the Covid crisis came in the first four and a half months of this year. Re-...
Mark Kidel
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
Joseph Losey’s career covered a great deal of ground, and several continents. From The Boy with the Green Hair, a noirish...
Christopher Lambton
Monday, 13 September 2021
In some deep imagined past, watching the Last Night of the Proms on telly was one of those national collective experiences,...
Christopher Haydon
Monday, 13 September 2021
Programming a theatre during a pandemic has been like trying to nail jelly to a set of constantly moving goalposts....
Veronica Lee
Monday, 13 September 2021
Olga Koch – born in Russia to ethnic German parents, multilingual and now living in London – might fit into the group that...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 13 September 2021
Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident in December 2013, which left the seven-times Formula One world champion with a severe...
Sebastian Scotney
Monday, 13 September 2021
Soprano Sabine Devieilhe (pronounced Devielle) and pianist Alexandre Tharaud are both well on their way to becoming "...
Aleks Sierz
Monday, 13 September 2021
Memories are notoriously treacherous — this we know. I remember seeing Shelagh Stephenson’s contemporary classic at the...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 12 September 2021
In October 1964, New York’s Goldie & the Gingerbreads boarded the RMS Mauretania for Southampton. In the midst of the...

SUMMER SEASONS IN A COVID WORLD Five opera company movers and shakers reflect

★★★ RIGOLETTO, ROYAL OPERA Routine clouds the best in this season opener

★★★★★ LIMINANAS / GARNIER - DE PELICULA French psych-rock royalty and an iconic techno DJ team up for something special

★★★★ THE LOST LEONARDO An incredible tale as gripping as any thriller 

★★★★ THE NORTH WATER, BBC TWO A terrible voyage into the great beyond

★★★ DVD/BLU-RAY: MR KLEIN Alain Delon shines in flawed Losey take on the hunted man


CLASSICAL CDS Star sopranos, forest spirits and a Mexican funeral march


Schumacher, Netflix review - authorised version of the life of an F1 legend

Portrait of German race ace doesn't dig deep enough

The North Water, BBC Two review - a terrible voyage into the great beyond

Director Andrew Haigh brings cinematic heft to this bloody whaling odyssey

The Blood Pact, All 4 review - a (tax) inspector falls

Themes and characters entwine in the third series' masterly denouement


The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arresting biopic

Will Sharpe’s portrayal of the fin-de-siècle cat painter, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, offers a visual spectacle

DVD/Blu-ray: Mr Klein

Alain Delon shines in flawed Losey take on the hunted man

new music

Duran Duran, O2 Institute, Birmingham review – an intimate gig for the local megastars

40 years on from their debut the New Romantic originators return home

Michael Janisch Band, Ronnie Scott's review - jazz's ace of bass makes a welcome return

The American bassist was joined onstage by some of the finest talents in British jazz


Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in this season opener

Orchestra and chorus pass with flying colours, but tradition weighs heavy elsewhere

Summer seasons in a Covid world: five opera company movers and shakers reflect

The admins are the heroes now: how festivals surmounted all obstacles

The Barber of Seville, Welsh National Opera review - back to work in an old banger

Some excellent singing struggling with a weary production and an unhelpful translation


Is God Is, Royal Court review – blister, flare and burn, baby, burn
Aleshea Harris’s award-winning play is a thrillingly satirical mash up
Indecent, Menier Chocolate Factory review - cabaret-style depiction of a rapidly changing world
An intriguing if flawed evening, boosted by ebullient ensemble work
First Person: theatre director Christopher Haydon on how the Rose Theatre, Kingston, can bloom anew
The former artistic director of the Gate Theatre moves his theatrical vision further west


Beauty Mixed Programme, Royal Ballet review - no dancers? No problem

The company's 90th anniversary celebration triumphs over setbacks

theartsdesk Q&A: choreographer Christopher Scott

The creator of the sizzling dance scenes for 'In The Heights' on how they came about

Solstice, English National Ballet, RFH review - a midsummer treat

A grand summer picnic at the Southbank Centre


theartsdesk Q&A: writer and comedian Tom Davis

From singing Disney songs in drag to 'Murder in Successville' and BBC One's 'King Gary'


Claire-Louise Bennett: Checkout 19 review - coming to life

A genre-bending novel about reading, living, writing and returning

Christopher Clark: Prisoners of Time review - from Kaiser Bill to Dominic Cummings

A leading historian finds the past busily at work in the present

Thora Hjörleifsdóttir: Magma review - love burns in debut novel from Iceland

A raw examination of the destructiveness of a toxic relationship

visual arts

Paula Rego, Tate Britain review - the artist's inner landscape like never before

A magnificent retrospective celebrates one of the outstanding artists of her generation


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