PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for September 2020 starring Talking Heads

  1. Talking Heads at the Bridge starring Monica Dolan and Imelda Staunton

Alan Bennett’s original series of monologues aired on BBC1 in 1988 to much acclaim with a second season debuting on the same channel a decade later. Two new scripts were written for a third BBC1 series in 2020 during which 10 of the originals were remade. To celebrate, the Bridge Theatre stages eight of the latest 12 in four pairs beginning 7/9 and running to 31/10 starring two winners of our Best Theatre Actress monsta Monica Dolan and Imelda Staunton. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Sara Pascoe at the Greenwich Comedy Festival, Andrew Scott and new Hurts 

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2. Greenwich Comedy Festival starring Sara Pascoe and Nish Kumar

Seven shows featuring 28 performers across five days at an event familiar to this corner of south-east London but one we’ve only even been to under canvas takes a bow in an all-new, al fresco, socially distanced form at Greenwich Maritime Museum between 23 and 27/9. Our picks are Nish Kumar and you can read why we’re fans of Sara Pascoe when we last saw her in the West End. Tickets 

3. Three Kings starring Andrew Scott at the Old Vic

Postponed from August because Scott needed to undergo minor surgery in hospital, this run is now back on at the Old Vic via cameras for four performances between 3 and 5/9. The new play by Stephen Beresford centres on Patrick who is eight years old when his absent father returns unexpectedly and sets him the challenge of ‘The Three Kings’. Years later Patrick traces the events of his father’s life. Tickets

4. Hurts release new album Faith

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5th album Faith includes 11 songs of which we have heard four, all of which have one-word titles, Redemption, Somebody, Suffer and Voices. It is released 4/9. Redemption was our song of the month for August and we think it’s their most affecting work since the smash that broke them, Wonderful Life, a decade ago. The 10 years that followed have been unpredictable and the venues on their 38-date 2021 tour give a sense of where in the world they are at their most popular with 17 in Russia. We last saw them in London in 2017 at a venue to which they return next year. Tickets

5. Ava Max unleashes debut album

We’ve heard 6 tracks from Max’s debut album titled Heaven and Hell and released 18/9. Kings and Queens  was a song of the month in April. This Amercian singer-songwriter’s debut single Sweet But Psycho was a number 1 in 22 countries in 2018 including the UK. She was born Amanda Ava Koci to Albanian parents and, although she’s struggled to follow up that breakthrough smash, current single Who’s Laughing Now (watch above) is Ace Of Base-like with a pop nous and a nod to Lady Gaga not least in Max’s outsider status.

6. Borgen arrives on Netflix with a new series promised

Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 11.51.07It all sounded so unpromising. A Danish political drama about the intricacies and machinations of coalition government often seen through its intersection with the media. It may have seemed niche but resonated in the UK where it was broadcast in 2012 and coalition government was very much the order of the day. It made stars of its cast, Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld, and Channel 4’s The Accident), Pilou Asbæk and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen both of whom went on to appear in Game Of Thrones and only one of them to co-host Eurovision. Three series and 30 episodes very much left us thirsty for more. Which is just as well because Netflix shows all episodes globally from this month and partners with Danish broadcaster DR to make a 4th series with the original creative team and Babett Knudsen and Hjort Sørensen reprising their roles to broadcast in 2022. We’re looking forward to catching back up with it if only to confirm our suspicion that it is the closest TV has ever come to repeating the utter joy of The West Wing but this time with a woman as its political driving force.

7. Craig and Fraser star in new musical at Southwark Playhouse

We last saw Rosalie Craig and Hadley Fraser in previews in City Of Angels at the Garrick before lockdown and here you can buy tickets for a livestream of new musical Before After 25 and 26/9 from Southwark Playhouse. Craig (Company, Gielgud) plays Ami who meets Ben (Fraser) by a tree on a beautiful hillside. She recognises him instantly: they were once very much in love. But Ben doesn’t remember her at all. What went so terribly wrong in the past, and is there a chance that, in the present, these two lovers might just find their happy ever after, after all? Tickets

8. No SAWAYAMA at the Mercurys

It’s always a shame when awards ceremonies attract attention for acts not featured and so it is with the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Music Prize 10/9 which fails to recognise Rina Sawayama’s deserving SAWAYAMA. Charli XCX has long been a monstagigz favourite and features on the shortlist with How I’m Feeling Now and, given the competition, we’d vote Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia although it really doesn’t need the push, especially given the fine Club Nostalgia remix version just released including Madonna and Missy Elliott on the Blessed Madonna Remix of Levitating.

9. Film I’m Thinking Of Ending Things starring Jessie Buckley released

We don’t mind admitting that we’re a bit in love with Buckley who hasn’t put a foot wrong since finishing as runner-up in BBC1 casting show I’d Do Anything. The Irish actress’ new film (trailer above) is out this month on 4/9 and we’ve written about her on stage and screen. We’re still looking forward to her Juliet opposite Josh O’Connor‘s Romeo at the National that was trailed pre-lockdown.

  • Picture courtesy of Bridge Theatre via Facebook Tickets
  • Have you seen any of these shows or films or heard the albums? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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