- Kit Harington stars as Henry V at the Donmar
The most memorable time the Game Of Thrones star performed in the West End was at the Duke Of York’s in 2016 for Jamie Lloyd’s Doctor Faustus. It was our 2nd best read piece that year which may have had something to do with Harington flashing his bum during the performance. Hard to know what to expect from his Henry V (Harington pictured) at the Donmar which is in previews from 12 February and is booking until 9 April. Directed by Max Webster (Cover My Tracks, The Lorax, Old Vic). Tickets Update: due to Covid-19-related absences in the company the 1st 4 previews have been cancelled
- Read on for reasons including Monica Dolan, new Tears For Fears album and intimate Years and Years gig
2. Monica Dolan in Doubt in Chichester
Dolan won our Best Theatre Actress monsta in 2019 for Appropriate at the Donmar and we caught her at the Bridge in 2020 in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads. 1 of this country’s most talented and versatile actresses, she stars here opposite Sam Spruell as school principal Sister Aloysius Beauvier who is unafraid to fight for her beliefs when faced with a charismatic and liberal priest. Runs 22 January through 5 February 2022 at Chichester Festival Theatre. Tickets
3. Tears For Fears release The Tipping Point album
The title track was a song of the month for us in November and this 10-song, 1st original album in 18 years is shaping up to be something special after we’ve heard other tracks including No Small Thing and Break The Man. Crucially, Curt Smith almost walked away midway through recording but was persuaded back by Roland Orzabal and the tracks we’ve heard so far still sound very much like the best of the band but with added maturity. Out 25 February. Touring the US this summer with Garbage and the UK with the joyous Alison Moyet who we saw supporting TFF at a memorable gig at The 02 in 2019. Tickets
4. Eurovision selection shows including Melodifestivalen, San Remo and Australia Decides
We’ve written previously about why Swedish Eurovision selection show Melodifestivalen is the greatest show on earth and it returns each Saturday in February. Heat 1 preview Heat 2 preview Heat 3 preview Heat 4 preview to be published next week. Last year’s game-changing Eurovision win by Italian rockers Måneskin gave us arguably the contest’s biggest export since ABBA and Celine Dion. Dates for the diary include hosts Italy’s San Remo show climaxing 5 February, the fine Estonian selection featuring monsta-winner Stig Rasta (watch above) on 12 February and Australia Decides 26 February we’re very much enjoying hearing about on fab podcast AussieVision.
5. Years and Years’ intimate show
Olly Alexander’s vehicle released its 3rd long player in January and it is shaping up to be our album of the month. Review We join him at an intimate sold-out gig in Richmond, Surrey, in February for a preview for what to expect on a May UK arena tour. Tickets
6. Drag Race UK tour and Drag Race UK vs the World
Covid temporarily robbed us of the chance to appreciate the live touring incarnation of this global franchise but that all changes this month as the season 2 Drag Race UK crew makes pitstops around the country including at the Palladium where we get to kick its tyres with some of our favourites including Veronica Green, Tia Kofi and Tayce. Tickets Drag Race UK vs the World is an allstars spin featuring on the BBC3 relaunch this month starring monstagigz favourite Baga Chipz.
7. Divine Comedy release Charmed Life – The Best of The Divine Comedy
Everybody knows that we love them after Neil Hannon’s literary pop masterpiece won our 2019 Best Gig monsta and they release a Best Of this month ahead of a spring tour and a sold-out Barbican residency later this year. Tickets Not just something for the weekend their latest single The Best Mistakes was our December song of the month.
8. The Glow at the Royal Court
Ria Zmitrowicz caught our eye in The Welkin at the National in January 2020 and here she stars in a new play by Alistair McDowall about a woman locked in a windowless asylum cell visited by a spiritualist medium in 1863. Also includes Rakie Ayola (On Bear Ridge, Royal Court) and Fisayo Akinade (the National’s Romeo and Juliet). Runs 24 January to 5 March 2022. Tickets
9. STEVE starring Jenna Russell at Seven Dials Playhouse
This preview started with mention of Harington in Doctor Faustus and it also starred Russell who memorably sang a Kylie Minogue/Meatloaf/Cliff Richard devil/hell-themed medley. STEVE will enjoy its European premiere and is about a group of middle-aged LGBTQ+ New Yorkers as they reflect on life via Sondheim. Cast includes Joe Aaron Reid (Dreamgirls, Savoy). Runs at the Seven Dials Playhouse 8 February through 19 March 2022. Tickets