We’ve lived in Blackheath for 18 years and this festival has a fun, family atmosphere and this year takes place on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September. We 1st saw Paloma Faith outdoors at Lovebox in east London in 2010. She’s always had a way with a crowd, particularly in her home city, and her back catalogue’s stronger than ever.
Read on for reasons including The Mariachis, De La Soul and Squeeze
Sacha Dhawan (pictured above) won our Best Film/TV Actor monsta last year for The Boy With the Topknot and is here reunited with playwright Alan Barnett and former History Boy Samuel Barnett in a play at the Bridge Theatre marking the 70th birthday of the NHS. Runs 11/7 to 28/9/18. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Sigrid, Mamma Mia 2, Years and Years in Camden and Importance Of Being Earnest
We awarded 13 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2017 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2018 so far and what’s to come. Funny Girl, Groundhog Day and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie are previous winners in this category.
Read on for our top 5 best musicals of 2018 so far and our hopes for the next half year
Catch the world premiere of the season 2 finale of HBO’s superior sci-fi series about a theme park peopled by robots who revolt starring Thandie Newton (pictured) and a Q&A with its creators at the BFI on London’s South Bank 19/6. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Florence, Laura Linney, Lia Williams & BAFTA winner Vanessa Kirby
Our favourite venue marks its bicentenary with events around the 11/5/18 weekend including an open house, street party, variety night headlined by the Olivier Award-nominated Atim, who starred in Girl From The North Country here last year, and ball. We shortlisted Atim for our 2016 monsta for Best Theatre Actress for her star turn in the all-women Shakespeare Trilogy and she won our 2017 Best Performance Of A Song (see below). We’ve loved how Matthew Warchus has transformed the OV with an emphasis on gig theatre, family entertainment and work with messages. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Eurovision, Tears For Fears, Sir Ian McKellen and Girls Aloud
We loved her in X Factor, Finland picked the best of three fine songs for her May Eurovision entry and she brings her Eurovision Wonderland show to Under The Bridge 25/4. We think her co-penned Monsters is our favourite song of the year so far. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Kathleen Turner, Mark Rylance and a Q&A for the return of The Bridge
Two highlights for us of last year were the National Theatre’s production of Angels In America by Tony Kushner and Sharon D. Clarke in musical The Life at Southwark Playhouse. This year D. Clarke is in Kushner’s musical Caroline, Or Change set in Louisiana in 1963 which runs 12/3 to 21/4 at Hampstead Theatre. Transferred from Chichester’s Festival Theatre. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Will Young, Strictly Ballroom, Sigrid and Vanessa Redgrave
Postponed from October due to health reasons, the world’s greatest pop star drops by for two nights at The 02 this month. Her last album Joanne won our monsta for Best Album in 2016. Tickets Her new film A Star Is Born is out in May.
Read on for reasons including Jonathan Bailey, Patsy Ferran and John Partridge
Star Bette Midler bids farewell to the Tony Award-winning revival on 14/1/18 leaving it in the capable hands of Bernadette Peters. Charlie Stemp (Half A Sixpence and Dick Whittington) joins the cast on 20/1/18. Does his arrival signal an imminent West End transfer? Booking through July. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Hangmen and Angels In America