PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for February

  1. Zawe Ashton stars in The Maids at Trafalgar Studios 

Ashton was shortlisted for a 2015 monsta for best theatre actress for Splendour at the Donmar and headlines here with Orange Is The New Black‘s Uzo Aduba in Jean Genet’s tale of the help for Downton Abbey‘s Laura Carmichael. Performed by the Jamie Lloyd Company, we’re expecting something spiky and stylish. (Pic via Facebook courtesy Jamie Lloyd Company)

  • Read on for reasons including Melodifestivalen, Hurts live and the Oscars

2. Sweden launches its Eurovision crown defence

Drag act After Dark (clip above) are the band we’re rooting for in 2016 after we watched them finish third live in Stockholm’s Globen back in 2004 in Europe’s premier Eurovision qualifying show. 2014 runner-up Ace Wilder competes in the 6/2 launch show with heats each Saturday in February (After Dark sing Kom ut som en stjärna (Come Out Like A Star) 20/2). Concludes 12/3 and guaranteed to be the campest thing you’ll see on TV all year.

3. Hurts play Brixton’s 02 Academy

The last time we saw Hurts here they were joined on stage by Kylie Minogue (see clip above). Things haven’t quite gone to plan since and third album Surrender (out last October and nominated for a monsta on this site) has underperformed yet is Hurts at their most pop. We’ve everything crossed for a gospel choir to augment one of our favourite groups here at the start of a lengthy European tour.

4. monsta winners compete in the Oscars

Our favourite TV/film actress of 2015 is nominated for best actress on 28/2 (clip above). Our favourite film Amy is shortlisted for best documentary. Too white? We share Mark Kermode’s bemusement at the lack of diversity and agree with him that the Oscars mean only as much (or as little) as we’re interested in them. We actually weren’t too keen on big favourite/grunt-fest The Revenant.

5. UK chooses Eurovision entry

While Sweden’s leading TV channel devotes six prime-time Saturday nights to choosing its competing song, the UK’s promising six songs on BBC4 on Friday 26 February. It’s the first time the public will have a say in the process since 2010. One of our favourite UK selection memories above. Deuce weren’t chosen this way but our favourite ever Eurovision song (below) was.

6. The Brits

Our album of the year (Florence & The Machine’s How Big) made the list for the 24/2 ceremony. We’re expecting our favourites Little Mix to perform and would like to see some recognition for both – and Years and Years. Capes best avoided.

7. Dad’s Army film released

We weren’t huge fans of the original BBC series but very much enjoyed We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story starring Richard Dormer (David Croft) and Paul Ritter (Jimmy Perry) as the show’s writers on BBC2 before Christmas. The cast of the film out 5/2 looks pretty stellar also.

8. Mark Kermode at the BFI

We joined our favourite film critic at the BFI last night for his new monthly Q&A and can report we’ll be going again in February as it was that entertaining. Ground covered included Zac Efron and Richard Gere love, David Bowie’s top 10 films and this year’s Oscar controversy. Great clips, lots of banter and perhaps even special guests will drop by.

9. Husbands and Sons at the National

We’ll be reporting from the final Friday night of this Anne-Marie Duff starrer in February.






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