This is shaping up to be 1 of our 1st gigs proper since Madonna at the Palladium pre-lockdowns in February 2020 and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The occasion is Heritage Live and the setting is north London’s beautiful Kenwood House. We’ve seen Rufus Wainwright here before and we know we’re in for something special because Culture Club and Bananarama always deliver live. Tickets
Read on for reasons including new albums from Lorde and Will Young and the Victorious festival
We saw the original production of Nick Payne’s awards-garlanded two-hander in the West End starring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins in 2012. It was little surprise that this tale of a couple meeting with repeat scenes and meditations on multiple universes should also find Broadway acclaim with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson and now it is ripe for return with original director Michael Longhurst. Opening on 18 June 2021 at the Vaudeville Theatre with Atim (Othello, Globe)) and Ivanno Jeremiah, couples will also include Russell Tovey (Angels In America, National Theatre) and Omari Douglas (Channel 4’s It’s A Sin). Tickets
Read on for reasons including In The Heights, Hairspray, Cinderella and Be More Chill
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
James McAvoy stars in Cyrano de Bergerac in the West End
McAvoy won our inaugural Best Theatre Actor monsta in 2015 for The Ruling Class and reunites with director Jamie Lloyd for this take on Cyrano de Bergerac running at the Playhouse 27/11 through 29/2/20. Tickets McAvoy also stars in BBC1’s His Dark Materials from 3/11/19 and you can read our Q&A with cast and author.
Read on for reasons including & Juliet, Alphabeat, Ella Henderson and Greenwich pantomime
If you had to choose the perfect headliners for a Radio 2 festival, it might be the Pet Shop Boys. Famous for matching intelligent lyrics with irresistible synth-pop hooks, and with a 30-year back catalogue to plunder, they could easily entertain thousands of 30 to 50-somethings gathered in Hyde Park on a balmy Sunday evening.
Read on for reasons including Bananarama, Clean Bandit, Westlife and Status Quo
WHEN? 27/4, tour runs until 2/5 (and then regular gigs continue until 25/8/19)
SETLIST: Love Don’t Live Here; I’m On Fire; Love In Stereo; Every Shade Of Blue; Summer Night City; Movin’ On; Dance Music; Feel For You; Tonight; Look On The Floor; On Your Own; Cruel Summer; Love Comes; Move In My Direction; Venus; Looking For Someone; Love In The First Degree; Stuff Like That
You can never have enough Bananarama in your life and, as if to prove it, the band take audience questions for 45 minutes in what would normally be the support slot before headlining for more than 80 minutes.
Read on for reasons including how the Q&A proves just how Ab Fab funny Keren and Sara are
Dame Maggie Smith’s 1st theatrical performance in 12 years
When we raved about film There’s Nothing Like A Dame we never thought we’d see Dame Maggie tread the boards again but she returns to London for the 1st time in 12 years in a new one-woman play called A German Life based on the actual testimony of Brunhilde Pomsel, who once worked for Joseph Goebbels. Runs 6/4 to 11/5/19. Tickets The Downton Abbey film is expected to be released in September.
Read on for reasons including Sally Field, Bananarama tour, Jessie Buckley film & Game Of Thrones returns