WHEN?: Wednesday 31 August to Sunday 4 September 2022
‘Same time, same place – this is starting to feel like a full-time job,’ reflects The Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon as he arrives on stage at this prestigious venue at 7.30pm for a 5-night residency that will see his band play a total of 113 different songs.
Read on for reasons including how Hannon would do a 6-night residency once the band’s released a new album
The most memorable time the Game Of Thrones star performed in the West End was at the Duke Of York’s in 2016 for Jamie Lloyd’s Doctor Faustus. It was our 2nd best read piece that year which may have had something to do with Harington flashing his bum during the performance. Hard to know what to expect from his Henry V (Harington pictured) at the Donmar which is in previews from 12 February and is booking until 9 April. Directed by Max Webster (Cover My Tracks, The Lorax, Old Vic). TicketsUpdate: due to Covid-19-related absences in the company the 1st 4 previews have been cancelled
Read on for reasons includingMonica Dolan, new Tears For Fears albumand intimateYears and Years gig
It’s quite the feat for a band that has been releasing records for 4 decades to put out a new single that sounds both quintessentially them but also with an understanding of what made supergroup ABBA’s return to the fold this year such a thrill.
Read on for reasons including everything we know about how to see The Divine Comedy live in 2022
It’s been quite the year, it’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2020? Over the last month we have shortlisted at least five nominees in each of 14 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2020.
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
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
‘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