THEATRE REVIEW: Taboo – the 20th Anniversary Charity Concert at the Palladium

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2

WHEN?: Sunday 30 January 2022

We 1st saw this musical co-written by Boy George around 20 years ago on its arrival to London’s West End at what is now Leicester Square Theatre and was then The Venue.

  • Read on for reasons including guests Boy George, Julian Clary, John Partridge, Declan Bennett and Sally Ann Triplett
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SONG OF THE MONTH: The Best Mistakes by The Divine Comedy (December 2021)

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

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
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for December 2021 starring Pantoland at the Palladium

  1. Pantoland At The Palladium starring Julian Clary

We’ve seen the Palladium’s annual pantomime in each of its 5 years and last year’s run was cruelly cut very short by Covid and so it is with some relief that we can report it is returning in 2021 with much of its now familiar variety-based cast but with Donny Osmond and The Tiller Girls added this Christmas. We’re big fans of Julian Clary and it’s a real treat to see him absolutely in his element. Last year we said: ‘Clary is a master of improvisation and the rest of the cast are clearly trying to stifle their own laughing often and, when Yarrow dries, Clary references Stemp in Mary Poppins  saying ‘Charlie’s chimney’s never dry’.’ Runs 4 December 2021 through 9 January 2022. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including new musical Hex, Spring Awakening revival and world premieres of La Belle Sauvage and Force Majeure
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for October 2021 starring Saoirse Ronan in The Tragedy of Macbeth

  1. Saoirse Ronan makes London stage debut

Ronan is an Irish/American actress who starred opposite Kate Winslet and James McArdle (Angels In America, National Theatre) in film Ammonite earlier this year. She’s been shortlisted for an Oscar 4 times (including for 3 of our favourite films BrooklynLady Bird and Little Women) and makes her London stage debut this month at the Almeida opposite McArdle again in The Tragedy Of Macbeth which runs 1 October to 20 November 2021. Review Tickets 

  • Read on for reasons including Stockard Channing, The Blow Monkeys’ tour and new Bob Marley musical
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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for July 2020 starring I May Destroy You

  1. I May Destroy You continues

Box sets and binge watching have highlighted how much brilliant TV there currently is but this series, written, co-directed and starring Michaela Coel has actually benefitted from a dripfeed release of 2 30-minute episodes per week. Give it a chance because we really weren’t sure about it until episodes 5 and 6 (aired in the UK Monday 22/6 and Tuesday 23/6/20) which drew on some rather complicated strands and pulled them tight to devastating effect. There’s 6 episodes to go and all are aired on the next 3 Mondays and Tuesdays on BBC1 and available at BBC iPlayer. We should’ve known it would be good because we last saw Coel dancing on stage at one of our favourite gigs.

  • Read on for reasons including new Rufus and The Streets albums and the return of Like 1999

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LAST NIGHT: GIG REVIEW: Reflections on Madonna at the London Palladium

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: London Palladium

WHEN: 16/2/20

We weren’t able to finish this review immediately after Madonna’s last night at the London Palladium on her Madame X theatre tour but have decided in the coronavirus lockdown to return to it and reflect on it.

  • Read on for reasons including our thoughts on how Madonna will reinvent the live experience

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TOP 6: Best read monstagigz content of 2019 starring Sheridan Smith

  1. When Sheridan Smith stole the show in Joseph at the Palladium 

Thank you to our tens of thousands of readers who drove up our traffic by more than 12 per cent in 2019 and welcome to a top six of the most popular content of the year.

Sheridan Smith won our Best Theatre Actress monsta in 2015 and here stole the show in Lloyd Webber’s Palladium revival of one of his biggest hits. We said in our review: ‘We know we’re in safe hands when the always reliable Sheridan Smith channels Eric Morecambe from behind a fake moustache, confiding to the audience: ‘It’s still me.’ It was such a success that it returns to the Palladium for a second run next summer. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including what Carrie Hope Fletcher did next and the return of Dame Maggie Smith

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GIG REVIEW: Shakespears Sister at the Palladium

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

WHERE? London Palladium

WHEN? 5/11, tour runs to 20/11/19

SETLIST: Goodbye Cruel World; Heroine; Dangerous Game; Dirty Mind; My 16th Apology; Heaven Is In Your Arms; The Trouble With Andre; Emotional Thing; C U Next Tuesday; Time To Say Goodbye; All The Queen’s Horses; When She Finds You; Black Sky; Stay; Are We In Love Yet?: I Don’t Care; You’re History; Catwoman; Hello (Turn Your Radio On)

Shakespears Sister are a band of extraordinary peculiarities not least, as lead singer Siobhan Fahey points out, that their final song tonight is titled Hello (while the opener was Goodbye Cruel World).

  • Read on for reasons including a surprise appearance by Richard Hawley

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