It’s been quite the year, it’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2021? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 15 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2021.
There can be few things more joyous than a spoken word middle eight of a pop song and the interplay here between 2 of our favourite pop stars immediately ushers this to the front of the queue to be our favourite song of the week.
Read on for reasons including everything we know about Shears’ new single just out Do The Television
TRACKLIST: In Heaven; The Streets Where I Belong; Dark Hearts; Miracle Mile; Corridors Of Time; Forever ’92; American Cars; Mermaid Dreams; Stay Tomorrow; The Countdown To The End Of The World; The Bomb; The Untold Story; It’s Finally Over
Anne Lilia Berge Strand released single The Greatest Hit with house producer/soon-to-be boyfriend Tore Kroknes in 1999 and, two years later before they could release an album, he died from a congenital heart defect.
Read on for reasons including how Dark Hearts contains some of the most thrilling music of the year
National Theatre returns with Death of England: Delroy
Death of England, written by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, boasted one of the most accomplished leading roles of the year as well as being one of 2020’s best new plays. Death of England: Delroy has the same authors as its near namesake and stars one of the characters mentioned in the previous work and played by Giles Terera (Rosmersholm, Duke Of Yorks). The National has closed its doors since March and this is the show it has chosen for curtain up, running 21/10 through 28/11/20. Tickets
STOP PRESS: National Theatre announces Terera will no longer perform after emergency surgery and understudy Michael Balogun will take on the role.
Read on for reasons including Divine Comedy, Mel C album and Bananarama book
2. Annie releases Dark Hearts album
We’ve heard 4 of the 13 tracks on the Norwegian’s 1st album for 11 years and The Streets Where I Belong (listen above) is our favourite: a soft vocal reminding of St Etienne and a gorgeously understated tune evoking nostalgia while weaving a story of hometown glory. The title track was a Song Of The Week for us in September and the album is out 16/10/20. Tickets
3. Divine Comedy play the Barbican
Divine Comedy won our Best Gig monsta last year and release 12 2CD collection Venus, Folly and Time to celebrate their 30-year back catalogue 9/10/20. They play a gig at the Barbican 5 days later which will be live-streamed ahead of a rescheduled run of 5 nights at the venue in September 2021 at which they play 2 different albums in full each night. Tickets
4. Sophie Ellis Bextor serves up Songs From The Kitchen Disco
A Humdrum Mum gave us 5 reasons why we love Sophie Ellis Bextor and on 23/10/20 the star releases her Songs From The Kitchen Disco album which combines her greatest hits with covers she performed on Friday nights during lockdown ahead of a tour next year including dates with Steps. Tickets include a solo London Palladium gig as well as a Steps show at The 02
5. Melanie C releases Colour and Light album
The artist formerly known as Sporty Spice unleashed her 8th solo album Colour and Light on 2/10 and we previewed it thanks to a fun livestream the night ahead of release. Tickets are now on sale for her 2021 tour including a gig at London’s 02 Shepherds Bush Empire
6. Bananarama release Really Saying Something book
The ‘Nanas won our Best Gig monsta in 2017 when their original line-up reunited and Siobhan left afterwards as Keren and Sara recorded a new album and toured with a Q&A thrown in. On 29/10/20 book Really Saying Something: Sara & Keren Our Story is released and we can’t wait. Details
7. French and Saunders star in Death On The Nile film
We’ve seen so much French and Saunders over the years that it’s impossible to see Dawn and Jennifer in this trailer without thinking of the over enthusiastic extras they used to portray in that series. Released in the UK 16/10/20, Wonder Woman Gadot looks stunning in this remake of the Agatha Christie classic directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. The impressive supporting cast includes monstagigz favourites Sophie Okonedoand Letitia Wright.
8. T’Shan Williams and Aimie Atkinson play Theatre Cafe Night Caps series
The Turbine Theatre‘s artistic director Paul Taylor-Mills hosts this series of performances titled Night Caps in association with the Theatre Cafe by West End stars including T’Shan Williams (Heathers, Other Palace) on the 8/10 and Aimie Atkinson (Pretty Woman, Piccadilly Theatre) on the 22/10. Tickets
9. Rupert Everett’s Tainted Glory book
Everett starred in, wrote and directed The Happy Prince which won our 2018 Best Film monsta and this highly anticipated third memoir, To The End Of The World: Travels With Oscar Wilde: Tainted Glory tells the story of the playwright’s last days, and how that ten-year quest to make The Happy Prince almost destroyed Everett. We’ve always enjoyed Everett’s writing and his first memoir, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, was a Sunday Times bestseller while its sequel, Vanished Years, won the Sheridan Morley Prize for Biography. Published 8/10/20
Picture courtesy of National Theatre via Facebook
Have you seen any of these shows or films or heard the albums or read the books? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
The Garrick Theatre had some success earlier this year with Griff Rhys Jones/Lee Mack comedy The Miser and this musical re-working of the Mel Brooks classic looks like it will be puttin’ on the Ritz with a cast including Ross Noble (see above) and Lesley Joseph. Runs 28/9 to February 2018. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Sir Ian McKellen, new Hurts and Strictly Comes Dancing does Annie