THEATRE REVIEW: The Welkin starring Maxine Peake, Cecilia Noble, Haydn Gwynne and Ria Zmitrowicz

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? Lyttelton Theatre, National RUNTIME: 170 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 18/1/20, press night 22/1, runs to 23/5/20

We’re in rural Suffolk in 1759 where convicted murderer Sally Poppy claims to be pregnant and 12 women must assess whether she is, which would save her from execution.

  • Read on for reasons including how this cast has Olivier, BAFTA and Tony award nominations between them

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PREVIEW: Heat 3 Melodifestivalen 2020 starring Mohombi, Mariette, Anis don Demina & Faith Kakembo

Jörgen Elofsson has written songs for pop titans including Celine Dion, Agnetha Fältskog, Britney Spears and Geri Halliwell and this year his sole Melodifestivalen credit is for Faith Kakembo (pictured above).

  • Read on for reasons including Mariette, Mohombi and Anis Don Demina who also appear in this third heat

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THEATRE REVIEW: Uncle Vanya starring Richard Armitage & Toby Jones

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

WHERE? Harold Pinter Theatre RUNTIME: 160 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 14/1, press night 23/1 runs to 2/5/20

Six years after a brooding Olivier-nominated performance as John Proctor in the Old Vic’s production of The Crucible and Richard Armitage (pictured above in rehearsal) is back on the London stage in Conor McPherson’s re-imagining of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya

  • Read on for reasons including how Toby Jones is the comic highlight as Armitage goes topless

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THEATRE REVIEW: Amélie the musical at the Other Palace

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? Other Palace RUNTIME: 150 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 27/12, runs to 1/2/20

We’re a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace and had forgotten that the Paris-set 2001 film on which this musical is based references the death of Princess Diana in that city quite so much.

  • Read on for reasons including which West End show the British actress who originated this Amélie opens in this autumn

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PREVIEW: Melodifestivalen 2020 Heat 1 starring Felix Sandman, The Mamas, Robin Bengtsson and Sonja Aldén

UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect the 10/1/20 running order reveal

The last three winners of Melodifestivalen – Robin Bengtsson, Benjamin Ingrosso and John Lundvik – have been male soloists making their second attempt to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest.

  • Read on for reasons including Felix Sandman (pictured above), Robin Bengtsson, The Mamas and Sonja Aldén who also appear in this debut heat

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PANTOMIME REVIEW: Goldilocks at the Palladium starring Julian Clary and Paul O’Grady

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE? London Palladium RUNTIME: 180 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 28/12, runs to 12/1/20

We’ve seen the Palladium pantomime in each of the last four years since it returned to this iconic venue after a break of more than three decades.

  • Read on for reasons including how Clary gently encourages O’Grady to take part again next year

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