9 reasons why we can’t wait for September starring The Normal Heart (2021)

  1. The Normal Heart beats at the National

This revival of Larry Kramer’s play about the American AIDS crisis is timed beautifully after the National’s unforgettable Angels In America in 2017 and Channel 4’s It’s A Sin earlier this year. Starring Ben Daniels we’re excited for the return of monsta winner Daniel Monks (Teenage Dick, Donmar), director Dominic Cooke (Follies, National) and Dino Fetscher (Torch Song, Turbine Theatre). Runs 23 September to 6 November 2021. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Saoirse Ronan’s London stage debut, Jennifer Saunders, new Blow Monkeys album and Jamie film released finally

2. Saoirse Ronan’s London stage debut

Ronan is an Irish/American actress who starred opposite Kate Winslet and James McArdle (Angels In America, National Theatre) in film Ammonite earlier this year. She’s been shortlisted for an Oscar 4 times (including for 3 of our favourite films Brooklyn, Lady Bird and Little Women) and makes her London stage debut this month at the Almeida opposite McArdle again in The Tragedy Of Macbeth which runs 25 September to 20 November 2021. Tickets UPDATE: 1st night has been put back to Friday 1 October 2021

3. New Blow Monkeys album Journey To You

We’ve had this album on repeat since we interviewed lead singer Dr Robert earlier this year. It contains 10 tracks including Time Storm, More Than A Miracle and Dust At Her Feet. We can’t imagine a stronger album coming out this month. The band tour the UK in October including a gig in London where we join them at the 229 The Venue. Tickets

4. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie film released

Much delayed because of Covid, in many respects we would have found it tough to believe the success of this musical four-and-a-half years ago when we took the train from London to Sheffield to catch its debut. A West End run, UK tour, film and US opening all followed. This month the 1st new track from the soundtrack was a song of the week by Sophie Ellis Bextor and The Feeling. The movie starring Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire and Richard E Grant arrives on Amazon Prime 17 September 2021. Tickets

5. Blithe Spirit starring Jennifer Saunders returns

Before coronavirus struck we were due to catch Saunders as clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Noel Coward’s comedy in London’s West End at the Duke Of York’s Theatre. It closed during its run and transfers instead to the Harold Pinter Theatre, running 16 September through 6 November 2021. We last saw Saunders onstage in Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan at the Vaudeville Theatre. Tickets

6. The Primitives play The Lexington

Some bands are there for you throughout your life and so it is with Coventry’s The Primitives. We caught them in 1988 at north London’s Town and Country Club for our 1st gig with a moshpit and we couldn’t believe how many discarded shoes there were in front of the stage at the end of the gig. A year later we were studying in Portsmouth and saw them at the city’s Guildhall with an even better 2nd album that was however less successful than their debut. A power cut marred their 1991 Windsor Old Trout gig but at London’s ICA in 2010 they were resplendent, so their north London return this month is much anticipated as part of a UK tour. Tickets

7. International Teachers Of Pop tour

Single Don’t Diss The Disco was a song of the month for us last October and we said then: ‘Don’t Diss The Disco is a glorious confection of electronic beats coalescing into a headlong rush into a singalong chorus. Its middle eight contains a vocal effect that’s pure Confessions-era Madonna.’ We weren’t expecting the love for our words from 1 of our favourite northern actresses. This UK tour feels like a long time coming and we see the band in London at east London’s Moth Club this month. Tickets

8. New Saint Etienne album released

Saint Etienne release their 10th studio album I’ve Been Trying To Tell You on 10 September 2021. We’re enjoying debut single from it Pond House but are hoping for something more killer pop from the remaining tracks. We gave the band’s 2017 album Home Counties 5* saying: ‘It reminds us a great deal of some of their early albums because not all of these 19 tracks are songs, some are merely interludes evoking the BBC Radio 4 and Final Score of old.’ We caught them live in Bristol that year. The band embark on a UK tour in November. Tickets

9. Sex Education returns to Netflix

Gillian Anderson (The Crown) is the undoubted star of this Netflix hit which returns for a 3rd outing on 10 September 2021 but it’s very much its young ensemble cast navigating school and their 1st sexual experiences which make this show fizz and sing. Laugh out loud funny as well as squirm-inducingly awkward we expect nothing less from this. Aimee Lou Wood (Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre) won a BAFTA for it.

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

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