- Blow Monkeys release More Than A Miracle
It’s not easy being a band with a 40-year history that wants to write new material when the fans are familiar with hits as glorious as Digging Your Scene, It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way and Wait. The trick is to write material as memorable as the songs that broke you and the Blow Monkeys played a blinder with Time Storm, a song of the week for us last year. The follow-up More Than A Miracle out 16/4/21 is in a similar vein, doesn’t disappoint and sits well with the best of the band’s back catalogue. Album Journey To You follows in September. Tickets are on sale for UK dates in October including a London gig at 229. Read our interview with Dr Robert on this site in April.
- Read on for reasons including Romeo And Juliet starring Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley
2. Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley star in the National Theatre’s Romeo And Juliet
Initially conceived before lockdown as a play, this was filmed for TV at the venue and will debut on Sky Arts at 9pm on 4/4/21. O’Connor won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Prince Charles in The Crown. Buckley captured our attention most recently in film Wild Rose. Cast includes Fisayo Akinade (Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre) and Deborah Findlay (Allelujah!, Bridge Theatre).
3. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella album released
Another project delayed by lockdown is the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cinderella which stars Carrie Hope Fletcher (Heathers, the Other Palace) and whose original album is released 30/4/21. The musical has had its London opening delayed at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Tickets Playwright Emerald Fennell is shortlisted for 2 Oscars this month for director/original screenplay for film Promising Young Woman. She also appears in The Crown opposite O’Connor.
4. Marisha Wallace stars in streamed version of BKLYN – The Musical
We gave Brooklyn – the musical a five-star review when it had its European premiere at Greenwich Theatre in 2019 saying ‘we were so swept up by this musical about the ‘United Streets of America’ that we give it both five stars (and stripes)’. It didn’t transfer to the West End but it’s a less well known piece which is well worth checking out particularly if you like Rent. Here its cast includes Marisha Wallace, shortlisted for a best gig monsta for us in 2020 and to appear in Hairspray at the Coliseum when theatres reopen. Tickets
5. Love, Victor arrives on Star on Disney+
Love, Simon won our best film monsta in 2018 and its spin-off series sees Michael Cimino, a teen from a half Puerto-Rican, half Colombian-American family, going to the same Creekwood High School as the original film in Atlanta. The titular Simon returns to offer advice to Victor who thinks he might be gay. We’re halfway through the 1st series and it maintains the sensitivity and playfulness of the original. A 2nd season airs this summer.
6. The Importance Of Being Earnest starring Divina De Campo
De Campo was a runner-up in the 1st season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and is a third of band the Frock Destroyers and here stars in a digital revival of the Oscar Wilde classic. Directed by Mina Anwar (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Gurjeet Singh (Ackley Bridge, Channel 4) is well cast as Earnest/Jamil. Tickets for this digital production are available 19/4 through 4/5/21.
7. New Years & Years single
Starstruck is out 8/4/21 and follows the news that Years & Years will now be an Olly Alexander solo project. Alexander is currently hot after Channel 4’s moving 5-part drama It’s A Sin aired earlier this year. It’s A Sin Q&A. Tickets
8. For All Mankind on Apple TV
We weren’t expecting to be quite so bowled over by this Apple TV series as we were. Series 1 imagines what might have happened if the Russians had won the race to the Moon and it’s the emphasis on strong female characters that reminds of film Hidden Figures that impresses. Season 2 is currently dropping weekly episodes.
9. John Grant is the Boy From Michigan
Single Boy From Michigan is available to listen to now and is from a new 5th album with the same title out 25/6/21. Grant’s UK tour includes rescheduled gigs at London’s Alexandra Palace. We last saw him live 7 years ago at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Tickets