9 reasons why we can’t wait for January

  1. Suede unleash Night Thoughts album

The premiere of Suede’s new album and film at Camden’s Roundhouse in November made our gig of the year shortlist (winners announced 3/1/16) and on 22/1/16 the band releases ambitious seventh album Night Thoughts. Like Kids is a beautiful (ones), in-the-face reminder for those who’ve not been keeping up.

  • Picture courtesy Suede via Facebook. Read on for reasons including David Tennant, Sia and Judi Dench.

2. Welcome to your new favourite Swedish pop star … Zara Larsson

Enjoying Carly Rae Jepsen/Taylor Swift? Welcome to your new favourite Swede, Zara Larsson. Lush Life is out 15/1/16, was Sweden’s hit of the summer and Zara duetted with MNEK on the anthemic Never Forget You this autumn. We caught her supporting MNEK at Heaven in November and there’s plenty more where Lush Life came from.

3. Celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th with Dr Who at the Barbican

Expect to encounter more Shakespeare than usual in 2016 as it’s 400 years since the bard’s death. We’re at the Barbican mid-January for a Royal Shakespeare Company cycle over a weekend including David Tennant’s Richard II, Henry IV (parts 1 and 2), and Henry V, all featuring monsta nominee Alex Hassell.

4. Sia releases This Is Acting

Enjoyed Adele’s 25? At least two of the songs destined for it were Sia co-writes (including Alive above) which didn’t quite make it. This Is Acting is full of songs rejected by such luminaries as Rihanna, we’ve heard four songs from it, it’s out 29/1/16 and it’s shaping up to be quite the follow up to Sia’s last, 1000 Forms of Fear – one of the best singer/songwriters we have.

5. Last night with Dame Judi

Jessie Buckley didn’t win I’d Do Anything (see clip above) but she stole our hearts. She’s starring in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s company’s production of A Winter’s Tale at the Garrick with Dame Judi Dench. We’ll be reporting from the last night in January.

6. New Year Sherlock

It’s one of our favourite programmes, we caught Benedict Cumberbatch twice in Hamlet at the Barbican this year, Mark Gatiss in Three Days In The Country at the National and even managed a cheeky celebration of Una Stubbs in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar. We’re not keen on the time-shift (see trailer above) but it’s likely to be the most inventive TV of the month.

7. Last night with Damon Albarn’s wonder.land

We’ve not caught a reasonable review for Damon Blur’s 1st musical. We’re reporting from its last night at the National in January. It’s been reimagined since it debuted in Manchester in 2015 and McQueen‘s (brilliant) Carly Bawden has joined the cast for this Alice In Wonderland re-imagining for 2016. Have we mentioned ‘re-imagining’ enough?

8. Mark Kermode at the BFI

Love film? You’ve probably your favourite critic. Ours begins a monthly Q&A residency at our favourite venue this month featuring special guests. It debuts January.

9. The monstas

Who doesn’t love a good awards ceremony? Check out our 11 shortlists for TV, film, pop and theatre on this site. We’ll be announcing our winners 3/1/16. Hankies at the ready …

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