TOP 6: Best read monstagigz content of 2018

  1. We weren’t very, very, very keen on new Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh features twice in this list and wrote/directed the Oscar-winning film Three Billboards in 2018. We were at the 2nd preview for this new play at the Bridge Theatre and weren’t keen: ‘Our problem with A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter is that, while McDonagh could be argued to be skewering the lazy racism of 18th Century Europe of the time, it makes for a very uncomfortable and politically incorrect watch in 2018.’

  • Read on for the rest of the top 6 including Saara Aalto, Aidan Turner, Heathers & Suranne Jones

2. When Saara Aalto made the Eurovision final and retweeted our preview

Our interest in Finland’s Eurovision selection was piqued when its star Saara Aalto revealed 1 of our songs of the year, Monsters, at its heart. When Saara retweeted our prediction that the song was a potential winner (see above), the traffic – noticeably from Scandinavia – went into overdrive. Saara’s album Wild Wild Wonderland is currently the runaway leader in our Album Of The Year poll. We interviewed the Dancing On Ice 2019 star in September.

3. Poldark wows as The Lieutenant Of Inishmore

Our preview review of this McDonagh classic with Poldark‘s star at its centre in June was in stark contrast to the item topping this list. Aidan Turner’s West End debut made our Best Theatre Actor of the year list and we said: ‘Inishmore is probably the funniest comedy on at the moment in the West End and Turner’s comic turn at its heart is must-see.’

4. Heathers prunes critics but we make the cut

We don’t always write reviews of the theatre we see, particularly if the material is 3* or less. Check out our Twitter for a live feed of what we’re seeing and ask us why we’re not reviewing something. We were at Heathers at the Other Palace for fun in June when it became clear that other reviewers weren’t getting press tickets. The run was a sell-out and it later transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. We said: ‘This musical retains the anarchic spirit of the original film, the cast is, to use the show’s own language, so very, but it’s the audience buzz that you won’t fail to get caught up in.’

5. Doctor Foster‘s Suranne Jones fails to thaw Frozen 

We were at a preview of a revival of Frozen with a dream cast in February which was hotly anticipated but wasn’t quite hitting the mark – and we said so: ‘One couldn’t ask for a better cast and director then for this but we felt the story was just a little too cold for us and, like its title, didn’t thaw its way into our hearts as we’d hoped it would.’

6. Alexandra Burke’s opening night in Chicago

We loved X Factor winner Burke’s leading role in The Bodyguard, a part to which she returns for a UK-wide tour this year, and so were very much looking forward to her debut bow in 1 of our favourite musicals at the Phoenix in August. We said: ‘Burke, however, is well worth the price of admission alone as Hart for the way she combines the intricate and stylised Bob Fosse choreography while continuing to sing her socks off.’

  • Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and get in touch in 2018. May your 2019 be all you wish for it. Picture via Facebook courtesy Bridge Theatre
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook


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