GIG REVIEW: Scritti Politti at 02 Shepherds Bush Empire

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

WHEN?: Saturday 2 October 2021

SETLIST: The Sweetest Girl; Day Late And A Dollar Short; The Boom Boom Bap; Oh Patti; Skank Bloc Bologna; Trentavious White; The Word Girl; Small Talk; Absolute; A Little Knowledge; Don’t Work That Hard; Perfect Way; Lover To Fall; Wood Beez; Hypnotize; At Last I Am Free

Good things come to those who wait and so it is with Scritti Politti frontman Green Gartside who explains during this show that panic attacks meant he couldn’t take to a stage for 20 years.

  • Read on for reasons including how Hot Chip frontman and support act Alexis Taylor joins the band for a concluding Chic cover
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THEATRE REVIEW: & Juliet starring Miriam Teak-Lee, Cassidy Janson, David Bedella, Oliver Tompsett & Alex Thomas-Smith

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Friday 1 October 2021 at Shaftesbury Theatre RUNTIME: 150 minutes (including 20-minute interval) Booking to 25 June 2022

We 1st caught this musical in previews at this West End venue almost 2 years ago and we’re back because it has re-opened after multiple lockdowns with a new cast member as May, Alex Thomas-Smith (pictured above).

  • Read on for reasons including how the audience’s loudest screams were for the reformed boy band in this jukebox musical
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for October 2021 starring Saoirse Ronan in The Tragedy of Macbeth

  1. Saoirse Ronan makes 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 BrooklynLady 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 1 October to 20 November 2021. Review Tickets 

  • Read on for reasons including Stockard Channing, The Blow Monkeys’ tour and new Bob Marley musical
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THEATRE REVIEW: The Normal Heart starring Ben Daniels, Dino Fetscher & Daniel Monks at National Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Saturday 25 September, opens 30 September, booking to 6 November 2021

WHERE?: Olivier Theatre, National RUNTIME?: 160 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

New York was the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic crisis in the 80s and 90s and, before Channel 4’s award-winning It’s A Sin in 2021, theatre’s response to the issue had very much been American.

  • Read on for reasons including how The Normal Heart is a well-cast rallying cry against a Government not listening
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PREVIEW: Second Cherry 2021 starring Charlotte Perrelli, KEiiNO and La Rappresentante di Lista

WHEN?: Friday 8 October 2021

WHERE?: Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London

Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli could only finish 8th in 2021’s Melodifestivalen but she is our pick of the bunch to win next month’s coveted Second Cherry.

  • Read on for reasons including KEiiNO, La Rappresentate di Lista and Suured tüdrukud
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Journey To You by The Blow Monkeys (September 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

RELEASED: Friday 24 September 2021

TRACKLIST: Dust At Her Feet; Time Storm; More Than A Miracle; One More Time; Each and Every One; Earthbound; Touching Distance; Unicorn Kisses; Journey To You; Teardrop Rock

The Blow Monkeys found fame in the late 80s by marrying a saxaphone-heavy dance pop sound with lyrics often criticising then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and it’s interesting that the muse for this 1st new album in 4 years is once again female but this time about love rather than hate.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see The Blow Monkeys on their UK tour later this year
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FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie starring Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire & Richard E Grant

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

John McCrea originated the part of Jamie in the Sheffield and West End productions of this musical and for us his appearance in the film’s most moving segment illustrates beautifully one of the piece’s themes about passing on the wisdom about gay life from 1 generation to the next.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see Jamie songwriter Dan Gillespie Sells’ band The Feeling on tour next year
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THEATRE REVIEW: Hairspray starring Michael Ball, Marisha Wallace, Les Dennis & Rita Simons at The Coliseum

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: Saturday 18 September 2021, runs to 29 September 2021

RUNTIME: 150 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

We loved John Waters‘ 1988 film on which this musical is based but it is a show which has surpassed its origins and there is a moment tonight when rising star Marisha Wallace sings I Know Where I’ve Been that brings the house down.

  • Read on for reasons including why Michael Ball’s number with Les Dennis reminded of Morecambe and Wise at their best
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THEATRE REVIEW: Blithe Spirit starring Jennifer Saunders at Harold Pinter Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

RUNTIME: 140 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

WHEN?: Matinee Saturday 18 September, booking to 6 November 2021

The last time we saw Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit the part of clairvoyant Madame Arcati was played by the late great Peggy Mount at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in 1989.

  • Read on for reasons including how Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders plays the Mme Arcati role
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