- Eurovision Song Contest returns
Covid-19 caused its cancellation for the 1st time in its 66-year history in 2020 and this year it comes live from the Ahoy in Rotterdam on Saturday 22 May 2021. We’ve previewed semi 1, semi 2 and the pre-qualified finalists. Our pick to win is Iceland’s Daði Freyr (pictured) with hits group Gagnamagnið and entry 10 Years, a song of the week for us in March.
- Read on for reasons including the return of the West End featuring Drag Race UK stars, the Southwark Playhouse and Glastonbury
2. Drag Race UK stars in the West End
The curtain rises on the West End this month after December’s lockdown and it’s a cautious, socially-distanced re-introduction (see also numbers 4 and 5) but we can’t wait for Drag Race UK stars Veronica Green, whose single Stars was a song of the week for us in April, Clapham’s Tia Kofi and season 1 winner The Vivienne to sashay into the Vaudeville Theatre for a Drag Queens of Pop Show running 17 through 19 May 2021. Tickets The 1st series of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under arrives on BBC Three 2 May 2021.
3. Glastonbury Festival Live At Worthy Farm
Tickets for online event Glastonbury Festival Live At Worthy Farm starring Coldplay and taking place on 22 May 2021 are now onsale. We’ve been to five Glastonburys and have written about them all including the 1994 Sunday afternoon second stage appearance by Pulp. An online event won’t be the same as being there but, given the event was postponed last year, it certainly seems better than nothing at all.
4. Cruise sails into the West End
Channel 4’s It’s A Sin was a British take on the 80s gay experience at the height of HIV/AIDS and Cruise is similar and Soho-centric. It debuted on Stream Theatre in April and we said: ‘The performance is imaginatively filmed backstage for Stream Theatre at Shoreditch Town Hall but we suspect it will be during live performance in the West End in May when this show will really come into its own.’ Runs at the Duchess Theatre 18/5 through 13/6/21. Tickets
5. Southwark Playhouse returns with You Are Here
Our last live theatre was Pantoland at the Palladium in December and so it is with some joy that we venture back this month for the UK premiere of musical You Are Here at Southwark Playhouse starring Wendi Peters which runs 17 May through 12 June 2021. Tickets We know how much musicals mean to Peters as we once sat near her at the Menier for Sheridan Smith’s star turn in Funny Girl.
6. Eurobeat – the pride of Europe streaming
In 2008 we saw Mel Giedroyc pre-empting her Eurovision Song Contest hosting with a role in this West End musical which wed national stereotypes to high-energy pop allowing the audience to vote by mobile on their phones for their winner. Stream Theatre makes it available in Eurovision month with stars including Harriet Thorpe (Sleepless: A Musical Romance, Wembley Park Theatre), Joanne Clifton (Rocky Horror Show, Theatre Royal Brighton), Tia Kofi (Drag Race UK) and Scott Paige (Cinderella, Turbine Theatre). Available 30 April through 10 May 2021. Tickets
7. Inside No 9 returns
BBC2 will host season 6 of the groundbreaking anthology series by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton with guest stars including Sian Clifford (Fleabag), Gemma Whelan (Game Of Thrones) and Adrian Dunbar (Line Of Duty) in May. Read our Inside No 9 Q&As from 2017 and 2016.
8. BRITS live show
Other countries have experimented with the return of arena shows and there will be a 4,000-strong audience at London’s 02 on 11 May observing Covid restrictions if they test negative before arrival. Details of the participants are yet to be revealed but the nominees include Little Mix, Dua Lipa and Rina Sawayama.
9. Pose takes final bow
Ryan Murphy’s (The Prom, Netflix) groundbreaking US show about New York’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming drag ball culture scene in the 80s won our Best TV/Film Actor monsta for star Billy Porter in 2019 and returns to US screens for a 3rd and final season this month. Let’s hope its UK bow is not too delayed.