PREVIEW: Second Cherry 2020 song contest

WHEN?: 7/11/20 UPDATE: England’s second lockdown means the RVT show is cancelled but there will be an online show 14/11/20

WHERE?: Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London, and online

Former Melodifestivalen winner Anna Bergendahl (pictured above) is arguably the biggest name in November’s Second Cherry 2020 song contest which concludes, fingers crossed, with a live event in London next weekend.

  • Read on for reasons including where our douze points is going and our other highlights
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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for November starring A Christmas Carol at the Bridge Theatre

  1. A Christmas Carol starring Simon Russell-Beale and Patsy Ferran

There are at least 2 other A Christmas Carols in London this festive season but we have chosen this 1 because Russell Beale is always good value and Ferran is an Olivier Best Actress award-winner. Runs 27/11 through 16/1/21. Tickets UPDATE: The 2nd lockdown means this run will now start on 3/12/20

  • Read on for reasons including new Steps album, Rent in Manchester and Kylie’s Disco set
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THEATRE REVIEW: Night Cap starring Aimie Atkinson with Paul Taylor-Mills


WHERE?: Theatre Cafe

WHEN?: Available 22/10/20 from 8pm until 29/10/20

SETLIST: Don’t Rain On My Parade (Funny Girl); On My Own (Les Miserables); Whatever (Legacy Falls); Day Of Cries (original); Breathe (In The Heights)

Atkinson was enjoying her 1st West End leading lady role when the world locked down but she’s keen to stress it was no overnight success and urges others not to give up when pursuing their dreams.

  • Read on for reasons including how Atkinson has learned piano in lockdown and written her own songs
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THEATRE REVIEW: Death of England: Delroy starring Michael Balogun at the National Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE?: National Theatre RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHEN: 21/10/20, opens 5/11/20, runs to 28/11/20 STOP PRESS: The 2nd lockdown means the last performance will now be 4/11/20 Watch this production for free on YouTube from 27/11/20 for 24 hours from 7pm

It’s a big week for UK theatre with the rescheduled Olivier Awards on Sunday and tonight (Wednesday 21 October) the National Theatre re-opened for the 1st time since lockdown in March.

  • Read on for reasons including what National Theatre director Rufus Norris took to the stage to say
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Dark Hearts by Annie (October 2020)

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

OUT: 16/10/20

TRACKLIST: In Heaven; The Streets Where I Belong; Dark Hearts; Miracle Mile; Corridors Of Time; Forever ’92; American Cars; Mermaid Dreams; Stay Tomorrow; The Countdown To The End Of The World; The Bomb; The Untold Story; It’s Finally Over

Anne Lilia Berge Strand released single The Greatest Hit with house producer/soon-to-be boyfriend Tore Kroknes in 1999 and, two years later before they could release an album, he died from a congenital heart defect.

  • Read on for reasons including how Dark Hearts contains some of the most thrilling music of the year

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GIG REVIEW: Divine Comedy at the Barbican


WHERE?: Barbican RUNTIME: 60 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 14/10/20, new Barbican shows planned for 1-5/9/21 (ticket details below)

SETLIST: Absent Friends; Norman and Norma: National Express; Something For The Weekend; Songs Of Love; Your Daddy’s Car; To Die A Virgin; Becoming More Like Alfie; To The Rescue; A Lady Of A Certain Age; Charmed Life; Tonight We Fly; Our Mutual Friend

‘This has been f**king brilliant. I’ve loved it. Good for the soul,’ remarks Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon.  ‘Thank you – that’s the end of the tour.’

  • Read on for reasons including how to see them on tour next year

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THEATRE REVIEW: SIX reunion with Aimie Atkinson


WHERE?: Oval Space RUNTIME: 60 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 10/10/20 (late show)

SIX is well-suited to being a socially distanced show because it is 75 minutes long without interval and its stars perform as a six-strong girl group with little interplay between each other.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see 3 of this cast in SIX from November

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THEATRE REVIEW: Night Cap with T’Shan Williams and Paul Taylor-Mills


WHERE?: The Theatre Cafe RUNTIME: 25 minutes

WHEN?: Available 8/10/20 from 8pm until 15/10/20

SETLIST: He’s No Good (The Life),  Heartless (Prince Of Egypt), So Much Better (Legally Blonde)

Williams stars this weekend in Hair The Musical: An Outdoor Concert in Norwich and, if you can’t catch up with her there,  she takes part in the Theatre Cafe’s Night Cap series.

  • Read on for reasons including how to buy a ticket for this Night Cap event

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THEATRE REVIEW: The Last Five Years starring Oli Higginson and Molly Lynch at Southwark Playhouse


WHERE?: Southwark Playhouse RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 6/10/20 (matinee), runs to 14/11/20 UPDATE: This production streams here from 26 – 29/11/20 NEW UPDATE: This production transfers into the West End 17 September 2021 through 13 October 2021 Tickets

This production opened in March shortly before lockdown and has returned to this venue which has added Perspex screens between groups in the audience.

  • Read on for reasons including to watch two clips of songs from the show

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