THEATRE REVIEW: The Color Purple starring T’Shan Williams, Carly Mercedes Dyer & Ako Mitchell

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: Curve Leicester RUNTIME: 150 minutes (10-minute interval)

WHEN?: 2/3/21 runs to 7/3/21 available digitally

You won’t find a review of this musical on this site until now but 1 of Team monstagigz did see Cynthia Erivo’s Tony Award-winning role as Celie on Broadway in a production that had originated at south London’s Menier Chocolate Factory.

  • Read on for reasons including how this Curve Leicester theatre production came to be availably digitally

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THEATRE REVIEW: Gatsby – a musical starring Jodie Steele, Ross William Wild, Emma Williams & Blake Patrick Anderson

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE?: Cadogan Hall, central London

RUNTIME: 135 minutes (including a 10-minute interval)

WHEN?: 28/2/21

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 book by F.Scott Fitzgerald about the insubstantiality of the American Dream that has been made into a film four times starring most recently both Robert Redford and Leonardo DiCaprio in the titular role.

  • Read on for reasons including how this musical reimagines the story through the eyes of the object of Gatsby’s affection
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THEATRE REVIEW: Stay Awake, Jake starring Ahmed Hamad at Southwark Playhouse

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHEN?: 19/12/20 (matinee), runs to 19/12/20 RUNTIME: 70 minutes

The best thing about this one-man musical is its star who is fresh from Rent in Manchester and the RSC’s production of David Walliams and Robbie Williams’ musical The Boy In The Dress.

  • Read on for reasons including which other Tim Gilvin musical we reviewed this year

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THEATRE REVIEW: Pantoland at the Palladium starring Julian Clary, Beverley Knight, Elaine Paige & Diversity

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: 12/12/20, runs to 3/1/21 RUNTIME: 135 minutes (including 30-minute interval)

WHERE?: London Palladium UPDATE: Lockdown means this production closed early with its last performance  15/12/20

We’ve never seen Julian Clary cry before but at the standing ovation when this socially distanced production is so rapturously received at its 1st official preview he appears to be on the verge of tears.

  • Read on for reasons including why this production is a triumph in this pandemic year

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THEATRE REVIEW: Cinderella starring Rufus Hound at Turbine Theatre

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

WHEN?: 6/12/20, runs to 23/12/20 RUNTIME: 75 minutes

WHERE?: Turbine Theatre UPDATE: Lockdown means this production closed early with its last performance 15/12/20. However a recorded version is available to pay to view until 1/1/21. Details

Our go-to Christmas pantomime is Greenwich Theatre‘s but this year COVID-19 has forced its postponement until Easter.

  • Read on for reasons including why the audience was urged to shout ‘F*ck the Tories’

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THEATRE REVIEW: Death Drop starring Courtney Act, Monet X Change, Vinegar Strokes & Holly Stars at Garrick Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHEN?: 5/12/20, runs to 17/1/21

WHERE?: Garrick Theatre UPDATE: Lockdown means this production closed early with its last performance  15/12/20

The last time we saw Holly Stars perform she dragged us on stage for our West End debut and this season she returns with a ‘Dragatha Christie’ show she has written herself.

  • Read on for reasons including why this is a lot of fun although could have done with the snip

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THEATRE REVIEW: A Christmas Carol starring Simon Russell Beale, Patsy Ferran & Eben Figueiredo at the Bridge Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: 5/12/20 (matinee), runs to 16/1/21

WHERE?: Bridge Theatre RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

There’s something quietly moving about how the Bridge Theatre, more than any other venue we can think of, has opened during this pandemic. It did close its doors but for nowhere near as long as other venues, offering performers work at a time when it was scarce and audiences escape when it was most needed.

  • Read on for reasons including what to expect of this one of many A Christmas Carols

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THEATRE REVIEW: Rent starring Blake Patrick Anderson at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: Via recorded live performance 29/11/20, running to 20/12/20

WHERE?: Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

We first saw Rent when it arrived with a fanfare in London’s West End in the late 90s – and left disappointed.

  • Read on for reasons including why this production by & Juliet‘s director is the 1 to catch

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THEATRE REVIEW: Crave starring Alfred Enoch & Erin Doherty

WORTH A LOOK?: **1/2

WHEN?: 2/11/20, runs to 7/11/20 (audience will be online only from 5/11/20)

WHERE?: Chichester Festival Theatre (via Royal Court Theatre online)

RUNTIME: 50 minutes without interval

The 4 main characters in this 1-act play by author Sarah Kane are haunted by subjects including rape, incest, paedophilia, anorexia, drug addiction, mental instability, murder and suicide.

  • Read on for reasons including how this was a brutal introduction to Kane performed engagingly by a fine cast

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THEATRE REVIEW: Death of England: Delroy starring Michael Balogun at the National Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE?: National Theatre RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHEN: 21/10/20, opens 5/11/20, runs to 28/11/20 STOP PRESS: The 2nd lockdown means the last performance will now be 4/11/20 Watch this production for free on YouTube from 27/11/20 for 24 hours from 7pm

It’s a big week for UK theatre with the rescheduled Olivier Awards on Sunday and tonight (Wednesday 21 October) the National Theatre re-opened for the 1st time since lockdown in March.

  • Read on for reasons including what National Theatre director Rufus Norris took to the stage to say
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