THEATRE REVIEW: Private Lives starring Stephen Mangan and Rachael Stirling at Donmar Warehouse

By Aline Mahrud

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Saturday 27 May 2023 (last night)

There’s a moment during this dark Noel Coward revival when Stephen Mangan’s Elyot expertly plays his wordless response to Rachael Stirling’s ex-wife Sibyl (The Way You Look Tonight) on the piano and it’s absolutely exquisite.

  • Read on for reasons including how this revival accentuated the darkness of the hilarious script
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THEATRE REVIEW: How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying starring Tracie Bennett at Southwark Playhouse (Borough)

By Aline Mahrud

WHEN?: Saturday 20 May, runs until 17 June 2023.

WORTH A LOOK?: *** RUNTIME: 140 minutes (including a 20 minute interval)

Southwark Playhouse is currently running theatres in 2 different south London locations and tonight we mistakenly pitch up at the new Elephant rather than the old Borough site which is our bad but gives a little insight into the rather haphazard nature of this venue.

  • Read on for reasons including how director Georgie Rankcom stepped into the cast seamlessly at this performance
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THEATRE REVIEW: Great Expectations starring Eddie Izzard at the Garrick Theatre

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Wednesday 24 May, runs until 1 July 2023 RUNTIME: 135 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

The most emotional moments during this 1-woman performance of the Dickens coming of age classic are when Izzard, who plays all the 20-or-so parts, conveys the heartache of not being the choice of someone loved by main character Pip.

  • Read on for reasons including how there aren’t many people we could think of who could carry this off
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for June 2023 starring A Strange Loop

  1. A Strange Loop at the Barbican

The winner of 2 2022 Tonys is written by Michael R. Jackson and is the story of Usher, a black queer man writing a musical about a black queer man writing a musical. Starring Kyle Ramar Freeman and Jason Pennycooke (Hamilton, Victoria Palace) it runs at the Barbican 17 June through 9 September 2023. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Rebecca Frecknall’s Romeo and Juliet, James Graham’s Dear England and Glastonbury Festival
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: The Love Invention by Alison Goldfrapp (May 2023, and gig review HERE at Outernet)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

TRACKLIST: NeverStop; Love Invention; Digging Deeper Now; In Electric Blue; The Beat Divine; Fever (This Is The Real Thing); Hotel (Suite 23); Subterfuge; Gatto Gelato; So Hard So Hot; SLoFLo

SETLIST: Hotel (Suite 23); Love Invention; Believer; Digging Deeper; In Electric Blue; NeverStop; Number One; The Beat Divine; Impossible; Anymore; SloFlo; Gatto Gelato; Strict Machine; Rocket; So Hard (So Hot); Ride A White Horse; Fever (This Is The Real Thing)

The Love Invention is an early contender for album of the year so far and this was our 1st visit to this new underground and modern Soho venue for Alison Goldfrapp’s debut solo gig.

  • Read on for reasons including where to see her next at an outdoor gig in London in July
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THEATRE REVIEW: BLACK SUPERHERO starring Lewis Brown, Dyllon Burnside & Rochenda Sandall at Royal Court Theatre

By Aline Mahrud

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHEN?: Saturday 22 April (matinee), running to 29 April 2023 RUNTIME: 130 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

Leading man Lewis Brown took over from writer/star Danny Lee Wynter midway through this run after the creator withdrew for personal reasons and it’s all credit to this production that you could never tell.

  • Read on for reasons including how we’re looking forward to playwright Wynter’s next role and written work
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THEATRE REVIEW: TONY! (The Tony Blair Rock Opera) at Leicester Square Theatre

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Sunday 7 May, runs until 21 May and then tours until 14 October 2023 RUNTIME: 120 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

We’re reminded of musical The Book Of Mormon by 2 of TV’s South Park creators during this show’s finale as the lead sings: ‘The Whole Wide World is run by assholes.’

  • Read on for reasons including where to see this Harry Hill musical as it tours the UK until October
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THEATRE REVIEW: Brokeback Mountain starring Lucas Hedges & Mike Faist @sohoplace

By Neil Durham

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

WHEN?: Wednesday 10 May, runs until 12 August 2023

Songwriter Dan Gillespie Sells and director Jonathan Butterell have reunited after the success of musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie to create something quite understated, haunting and beautiful with their take on Brokeback Mountain.

  • Read on for reasons including how it is former Fairground Attraction frontwoman Eddi Reader who steals this show
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PREVIEW/PREDICTIONS: Eurovision 2023 Final starring Loreen, Mae Muller, Käärijä, Noa Kirel & La Zarra in Liverpool

By Neil Durham

WHEN?: Saturday 13 May 2023 8pm (UK time)

WHERE?: Liverpool Arena

HOW DO I WATCH?: BBC1

The UK hasn’t won the Eurovision Song Contest for 26 years and we think this year’s entry – Mae Muller’s I Wrote A Song – is its best shot since then although it does have 2012 winner Loreen (pictured) to beat.

  • Read on for reasons including out thoughts on other acts including Noa Kirel and La Zarra
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