PREVIEW: Melodifestivalen 2019 Heat 1 starring Anna Bergendahl, Wiktoria, Arja Saijonmaa & Nano

The greatest show on earth returns on 2 February 2019 in Gothenburg with 1 of its least successful acts closing the show (pictured above and immediately below) hoping to make up for her 2010 failure to reach the Eurovision Song Contest final in neighbouring Oslo.

  • Read on for reasons including Wiktoria, Arja Saijonmaa & Nano who also appear in this debut heat

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THEATRE REVIEW: The Cane starring Nicola Walker, Maggie Steed & Alun Armstrong

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? Royal Court RUN TIME: 100 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 29/12 (matinee), runs to 26/1/19

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time returned recently to the West End and it was for her part in the original production that Nicola Walker (who we last saw in A View From The Bridge in 2015) won a Best Supporting Actress Olivier.

  • Read on for reasons including why Walker’s interrogative qualities honed on TV are well realised here

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THEATRE REVIEW: Cinderella starring Craig Revel Horwood & Paul Chuckle at New Victoria Theatre Woking

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? New Victoria Theatre Woking RUN TIME: 2 hours and 30 minutes (with a 20-minute interval)

WHEN?: Runs to 6/1/19

We saw Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood in pantomime last year in Southampton when we thought it odd he didn’t dance more and it’s a criticism that’s rectified here.

  • Read on for reasons including how Paul Chuckle provides this show’s most heartfelt moment

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TOP 6: Best read monstagigz content of 2018

  1. We weren’t very, very, very keen on new Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh features twice in this list and wrote/directed the Oscar-winning film Three Billboards in 2018. We were at the 2nd preview for this new play at the Bridge Theatre and weren’t keen: ‘Our problem with A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter is that, while McDonagh could be argued to be skewering the lazy racism of 18th Century Europe of the time, it makes for a very uncomfortable and politically incorrect watch in 2018.’

  • Read on for the rest of the top 6 including Saara Aalto, Aidan Turner, Heathers & Suranne Jones

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for January 2019

  1. Leave to Remain at the Lyric, Hammersmith

A modern love story by Matt Jones with music by Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke starring Billy Cullum and Tyrone Huntley (pictured left to right above) runs at the Lyric, Hammersmith, 18/1/19 through 16/2/19. Tickets

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 07.23.16

  • Read on for reasons including Benedict Cumberbatch in Brexit and Olivia Colman’s The Favourite

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MONSTAS SHORTLIST: Best Performance of a song: 2018

It’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2018? Over the next week we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 14 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2018.

  • Read on for nominees for the monsta for Best Performance of a song. 2017 winner: Tight Connection To My Heart by Sheila Atim (Girl From The North Country, Old Vic)

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MONSTAS SHORTLIST: Best New Play of the year: 2018

It’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2018? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 14 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2018.

  • Read on for nominees for the monsta for Best New Play of the year. 2017 winner: The Ferryman (Royal Court, then Gielgud Theatre)

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