GIG REVIEW: Divine Comedy at the Barbican

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: Barbican RUNTIME: 60 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 14/10/20, new Barbican shows planned for 1-5/9/21 (ticket details below)

SETLIST: Absent Friends; Norman and Norma: National Express; Something For The Weekend; Songs Of Love; Your Daddy’s Car; To Die A Virgin; Becoming More Like Alfie; To The Rescue; A Lady Of A Certain Age; Charmed Life; Tonight We Fly; Our Mutual Friend

‘This has been f**king brilliant. I’ve loved it. Good for the soul,’ remarks Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon.  ‘Thank you – that’s the end of the tour.’

  • Read on for reasons including how to see them on tour next year

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for October 2020 starring Death of England: Delroy

  1. National Theatre returns with Death of England: Delroy

Death of Englandwritten 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 playsDeath 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

SONG OF THE MONTH: Te Amo España by Divine Comedy (May 2020)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: available to watch on YouTube

‘One day when the lockdown is over, We’ll get on the ferry at Dover, We’ll drive down to Spain, to say: ‘Hola!’ again, Te amo, Te amo España.’ Derry boy and Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon has Eurovision form.

  • Read on for reasons including how to vote in the Isolation Song Contest

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AWARDS: winners of the 2019 monstas are …

monstagigz readers have been voting throughout December for their favourite pop, theatre, TV and film of 2019 from our shortlists. Read on for details of our monstas winners …

2019’s Best Performance Of A Song

  • I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman by Arun Blair-Mangat and Miriam-Teak Lee (& Juliet, Shaftesbury Theatre, pictured above) Review & Juliet tickets

Screen Shot 2019-12-30 at 19.20.02

  • Thank you to everyone who voted. Picture via Facebook courtesy & Juliet musical
  • Read on for reasons including the remaining 13 theatre, pop, film & TV winners

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for October 2019 starring Shakespears Sister

  1. Shakespears Sister Ride Again tour saddles up at the Palladium

This unlikely reunion may have been over a quarter of a century in the making but Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit have released three excellent, different yet complementary singles this year already, winning both our Song and Albums of the month. The 14-date UK reunion tour kicks off rather appropriately on Halloween and we join the band at the Palladium on Bonfire Night. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Dear Evan Hansen, Lungs, Cher and Mary Poppins

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for June 2019

  1. Gwendoline Christie in Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge

Last year’s immersive Shakespeare experience at the Bridge was a real high point of the programming thus far at the newish venue and so we’re super excited for this not least because the cast includes Game Of Thrones star Christie alongside Oliver Chris and David Moorst. Runs 3/6 through 31/8/19. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Andrew Scott, Tales Of the City and Sheridan Smith

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