THEATRE REVIEW: Talking Heads starring Monica Dolan and Lesley Manville at the Bridge Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE?: Bridge Theatre RUNTIME: 75 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 12/9 (matinee) runs to 22/9, season runs to 31/10/10

We’re inside a theatre and watching a production for the first time in 182 days and, although we’re wearing a mask, it’s exhilarating to be enjoying such a shared experience again albeit socially distanced in an audience of 250 where there would normally have been 900.

  • Read on for reasons including why a COVID-19 consolation is that we have two new Talking Heads and this season

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OPENING NIGHT THEATRE REVIEW/Q&A: Three Kings starring Andrew Scott at the Old Vic

WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2

WHERE? Old Vic RUNTIME: 60 minutes (no interval)

WHEN? 3/9, closes 5/9

This monologue was written for Scott by author Stephen Beresford and marks a return to working with director Matthew Warchus for the first time we think since the trio combined to devastating effect on quite possibly our favourite ever film, 2014’s comedy and emotional masterpiece¬†Pride¬†(watch clip below)

  • Read on for reasons including gems friend Dermot O’Leary teased out of Scott in the Q&A

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THEATRE REVIEW: Jesus Christ Superstar: The Concert at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 16/8/20 (matinee), until 27/9/20

The simple fact that this concert version of this venue’s award-winning production has made it back to the stage at all when most theatres have been closed since March is reason enough to celebrate.

  • Read on for reasons including how we saw Pepe Nufrio (pictured) and Ricardo Afonso in the lead roles

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THEATRE REVIEW: Blindness at the Donmar featuring the voice of Juliet Stevenson

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Donmar Warehouse RUNTIME: 75 minutes (no interval)

WHEN? 8/8, matinee booking to 22/8/20, now extended to 5/9/20

Juliet Stevenson was supposed to be playing the lead in The Doctor in the West End this summer but here she stars as a character known only as the doctor’s wife.

  • Read on for reasons including how social distancing works during our first theatre visit for 21 weeks

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GIG REVIEW: Aimie Atkinson at the Other Palace

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Other Palace RUNTIME: 93 minutes

WHEN? shown 31/5/20

Atkinson was starring as the titular Pretty Woman (pictured above) in what was arguably her first West End leading lady role when Covid-19 forced curtain down at the Piccadilly Theatre.

  • Read on for reasons including which stars from Atkinson’s past contributed to this greatest hits show

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THEATRE REVIEW: City Of Angels starring Vanessa Williams, Theo James, Hadley Fraser, Rosalie Craig, Rebecca Trehearn and Nicola Roberts at the Garrick Theatre

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

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

WHEN? 14/3, press night 24/3 booking to 5/9/20

The Donmar revival of this musical homage to the film noir genre of motion pictures that rose to prominence in the 1940s was one of the reasons the authors of this blog started writing monstagigz.

  • Read on for reasons including details of the West End debuts of Williams, Jones and Roberts

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THEATRE REVIEW: Shoe Lady starring Katherine Parkinson at the Royal Court

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? Royal Court (Jerwood Theatre Downstairs) RUNTIME: 65 minutes (no interval)

WHEN? 14/2 (matinee), runs to 21/3/20

Author E V Crowe is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme ‘super group’ and here tells the story of working mother Viv who loses a shoe on her way to work as an estate agent as her life begins to unravel.

  • Read on for reasons including how The IT Crowd‘s Parkinson needs to be at her most engaging here

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THEATRE REVIEW: Waiter There’s A Murder In My Soup at Studio 5ive, the Troubadour, Wembley Park Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Studio 5ive, the Troubadour, Wembley Park Theatre RUNTIME: 150 minutes (including three breaks for three courses)

WHEN? 8/3, booking to 29/3/20

Immersive theatre is all the rage and here award-winning Fat Rascal Theatre serve up three courses around a murder mystery dining experience.

  • Read on for reasons including how Robyn Grant is a camp comedy star in the making¬†

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THEATRE REVIEW: Pretty Woman: The Musical starring Danny Mac & Aimie Atkinson

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? Piccadilly Theatre RUNTIME: 135 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 17/2, press night 1/3 booking to 2/1/21

Perhaps the biggest surprises here are that it’s taken quite so long for the 1990 film romcom to reach the stage and that its music and lyrics would be co-written by middle-of-the-road rocker Bryan Adams.

  • Read on for reasons why Mac and Atkinson make an unlikely but endearing couple

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