GIG REVIEW: The Divine Comedy at the Eventim Apollo

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Eventim Apollo

WHEN? 17/10, tour runs to 9/11/19

SETLIST: Europop; Queuejumper; Generation Sex; Commuter Love; Office Politics; Norman and Norma; Come Home Billy Bird; The Synthesizer Service Centre Super Summer Sale; Infernal Machines; You’ll Never Work In This Town Again; I’m A Stranger Here; At The Indie Disco; I Like; National Express; The Life And Soul Of The Party; A Feather In Your Cap;  A Lady Of A Certain Age; Absent Friends; When The Working Day Is Done; Something For The Weekend; Philip And Steve’s Furniture Removal Company; Your Daddy’s Car; Songs Of Love; Tonight We Fly

‘Sometimes I get a little nervous about London. I make myself less nervous by basically assuming that you’re … Nottingham,’ says Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon endearingly to audience cheers. ‘Excellent playing along.’

  • Read on for reasons including how this was a 5* performance not fully appreciated by your reviewer

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Q&A and TV PREVIEW: His Dark Materials featuring Ruth Wilson, Dafne Keen & Sir Philip Pullman at the BFI

WHERE? BFI IMAX RUNTIME: 60 minutes (episode 1 to air on BBC1 3/11 and HBO 4/11/19)

WHEN? 15/10

Piers Wenger is BBC’s controller of drama and describes this eight-part first season of Sir Philip Pullman’s renowned literature trilogy as ‘the most ambitious drama the BBC has ever made’.

  • Read on for reasons including what to expect from episode 1 which airs on BBC1 Sunday 3 November 2019

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THEATRE REVIEW: Lungs starring Claire Foy & Matt Smith at the Old Vic

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE? Old Vic RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHEN? 14/10, opens 19/10, runs to 9/11/19

Lungs is a two-hander with barely any scenery by People, Places and Things author Duncan Macmillan about a couple considering starting a family and asking themselves questions including whether it would be an environmentally-friendly decision.

  • Read on for reasons including how Foy & Smith shape up on stage after years opposite each other in TV’s The Crown

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THEATRE REVIEW: Tokyo Rose at the New Diorama Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? New Diorama Theatre RUNTIME: 75 minutes (no interval)

WHEN? 12/10 (matinee), closes 12/10/19

Word reached us from this summer’s Edinburgh Festival  that this new musical by Burnt Lemon Theatre was the show to catch.

  • Read on for reasons including how this has a fascinating World War Two-based true story at its heart

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THEATRE REVIEW: Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. starring Toby Jones, Deborah Findlay & Louisa Harland at the Royal Court

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Royal Court RUNTIME: 140 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 4/10, closes 12/10/19

This venue thrives on its reputation as ‘the writers’ theatre’ and the author of these four short plays with single-word titles is 81-year-old Caryl Churchill.

  • Read on for reasons including both appearances from Louisa Harland who plays Orla in Derry Girls

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THEATRE REVIEW: BIG The Musical starring Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? Dominion Theatre RUNTIME: 160 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 2/10, closes 2/11/19

Fans of TV’s Strictly Come Dancing are especially well served here by a former winner of the Saturday night ratings hit as the leading man and a finalist as his leading lady.

  • Read on for reasons including how McGuiness combines wide-eyed naivety with dancing as good as Charlie Stemp’s

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AWARDS: MONSTAS: Our Best Album Of 2019 so far

We awarded 14 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2018 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2019 so far and what’s to come. Florence and The Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Lady Gaga’s Joanne, Lorde’s Melodrama and Saara Aalto’s Wild, Wild Wonderland are previous winners in this category.

  • Read on for our top 5 best albums of 2019 so far and our hopes for the next three months

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THEATRE REVIEW: Brooklyn – The Musical at Greenwich Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE? Greenwich Theatre RUNTIME: 130 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

WHEN? press night 30/9, closes 19/10/19 (press ticket)

‘When you change someone’s life, you change your own’, is the sentiment of this European premiere of a show which breaks your heart before helping you to piece it back together again, beautifully.

  • Read on for reasons including why this press night deserved its standing ovation plus this five stars (and stripes) review

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for October 2019 starring Shakespears Sister

  1. Shakespears Sister Ride Again tour saddles up at the Palladium

This unlikely reunion may have been over a quarter of a century in the making but Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit have released three excellent, different yet complementary singles this year already, winning both our Song and Albums of the month. The 14-date UK reunion tour kicks off rather appropriately on Halloween and we join the band at the Palladium on Bonfire Night. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Dear Evan Hansen, Lungs, Cher and Mary Poppins

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