THEATRE REVIEW: On The Ropes starring Mensah Bediako, Ashley D Gayle and Amber James at the Park Theatre

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2

WHEN?: Tuesday 10 January (press ticket), runs to 4 February 2023

RUNTIME: 140 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

We cast our eye across the audience at this 200-seat venue and we can see Beverley Knight, David Morrissey, Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

  • Read on for reasons including how it’s the performance of classic hits like Labi Siffre’s Something Inside So Strong which works best here
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PREVIEW: Melodifestivalen 2023 Heat 1 starring Tone Sekelius, LouLou from The Mamas & Eva and Ewa

By Aline Mahrud

WHEN?: 7pm UK time Saturday 4 February 2023

WHERE?: Scandinavium, Gothenburg WHERE DO I WATCH?: SVT Play

Melodifestivalen returns to the venue of the 1985 Eurovision for a 1st heat in its 2023 edition which sees the swift return to the MF stage of the contest’s 1st openly transgender participant – Tone Sekelius (pictured above) – who finished 5th last year with the uptempo anthem My Way.

  • Read on for reasons including Victor Crone, Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Eva Rydberg and Ewa Roos
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FILM REVIEW: Matilda the Musical starring Alisha Weir, Emma Thompson & Lashana Lynch

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

Matilda songwriter Tim Minchin (Groundhog Day, Old Vic) took to social media over the holidays to explain why this film was available on Netflix on Christmas Day in every country apart from the UK.

  • Read on for reasons including why this film isn’t available on Netflix in the UK and why it’s worth a cinema trip
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PREVIEW: Estonia’s Eurovision selection show Eesti Laul 2023 starring Elysa, Janek, Meelik & Sissi

By Neil Durham

WHEN?: 12 and 14 January, with a final on 11 February 2023

WHERE?: Tondiraba Ice Hall, Tallinn Watch on ERR

Stefan’s Hope finished 13th in Eurovision 2022 and it was our 3rd favourite in that year’s Eesti Laul with lots of big-hitters to beat.

  • Read on for reasons including Janel, Meelik and Sissi, the daughter of a former Eurovision winner
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THEATRE REVIEW: Othello starring Giles Terera at the National Theatre

By Aline Mahrud

WORTH A LOOK?: *** RUNTIME: 180 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

WHEN?: Saturday 3 December (matinee), runs to 21 January 2023

Director Clint Dyer told the New York Times of his 1st visit to this venue in the 80s when he saw a picture in the auditorium of Laurence Olivier in blackface in the title role of this play in the 60s that broke his heart.

  • Read on for reasons including why we wanted this production of Othello to be so much better than it was
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for January 2023 starring Aidan Turner & Jenna Coleman in Lemons, Lemons, Lemons

  1. Aidan Turner and Jenna Coleman bring Lemons, Lemons, Lemons to the West End

We last saw Turner on a West End stage 4 years ago in Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Noel Coward Theatre) and Coleman at the Old Vic in 2019 in All My Sons. Lemons is a revival of a 2015 two-hander with a running time of just 75 minutes about the importance of words, is directed by Josie Rourke (Sweet Charity, Donmar) and on at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Runs 18 January through 18 March 2023. Tickets Review

  • Read on for reasons including Beverley Knight in new musical Sylvia, Nolly and new plays Boys Are Kissing and The Unfriend
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PREVIEW: Spain’s Eurovision selection show Benidorm Fest 2023 starring Agoney & Sharonne

By Neil Durham

WHEN?: 31 January, 2 and 4 February 2023

WHERE?: Palau Municipal d’Esports l’Illa de Benidorm Watch on TVE

2022 saw the return of Benidorm Fest as the method for Spain to select its Eurovision entry and our choice to win, Chanel with SloMo, finished 3rd in Turin, Spain’s best result since 1995.

  • Read on for reasons including how we predict Agoney could do even better than Chanel if Spain chooses them for Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool
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Best read monstagigz content of 2022 starring Jodie Comer’s West End debut

  1. When we saw the 1st preview of Prima Facie starring Jodie Comer

Comer’s West End debut was anticipated eagerly and this review of the Killing Eve star’s 1st preview is the best read piece of content monstagigz has published in its 7-and-a-half year history, let alone in 2022. Vote for Comer to win Best Theatre Actress in our annual monstas and for Prima Facie to win Best New Play. Review Broadway tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Fra Fee and Callum Scott Howells in Cabaret
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