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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THEATRE REVIEW: The Normal Heart starring Ben Daniels, Dino Fetscher & Daniel Monks at National Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Saturday 25 September, opens 30 September, booking to 6 November 2021

WHERE?: Olivier Theatre, National RUNTIME?: 160 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

New York was the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic crisis in the 80s and 90s and, before Channel 4’s award-winning It’s A Sin in 2021, theatre’s response to the issue had very much been American.

  • Read on for reasons including how The Normal Heart is a well-cast rallying cry against a Government not listening
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for September starring The Normal Heart (2021)

  1. The Normal Heart beats at the National

This revival of Larry Kramer’s play about the American AIDS crisis is timed beautifully after the National’s unforgettable Angels In America in 2017 and Channel 4’s It’s A Sin earlier this year. Starring Ben Daniels we’re excited for the return of monsta winner Daniel Monks (Teenage Dick, Donmar), director Dominic Cooke (Follies, National) and Dino Fetscher (Torch Song, Turbine Theatre). Runs 23 September to 6 November 2021. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Saoirse Ronan’s London stage debut, Jennifer Saunders, new Blow Monkeys album and Jamie film released finally
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FILM REVIEW: Romeo & Juliet starring Josh O’Connor & Jessie Buckley

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: 9pm Sunday 4 April 2021

WHERE?: Sky Arts

RUNTIME: 90 minutes

When the National Theatre announced that Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley were set to star in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the venue in summer 2020, it was set to be 1 of the season’s highlights.

  • Read on for reasons including how a gay couple played by Fisayo Akinade and Shubham Saraf are crucial to the tragedy
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for April 2021 starring the return of the Blow Monkeys

  1. Blow Monkeys release More Than A Miracle

It’s not easy being a band with a 40-year history that wants to write new material when the fans are familiar with hits as glorious as Digging Your Scene, It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way and Wait. The trick is to write material as memorable as the songs that broke you and the Blow Monkeys played a blinder with Time Storm, a song of the week for us last year. The follow-up More Than A Miracle out 16/4/21 is in a similar vein, doesn’t disappoint and sits well with the best of the band’s back catalogue. Album Journey To You follows in September. Tickets are on sale for UK dates in October including a London gig at 229. Read our interview with Dr Robert on this site in April.

  • Read on for reasons including Romeo And Juliet starring Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley
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AWARDS: winners of the 2020 monstas are …

monstagigz readers have been voting throughout December for their favourite pop, theatre, TV and film of 2020 from our shortlists. Read on for details of our 2020 monstas winners …

2020’s Best Theatre Actor

  • Michael Balogun (Death of England: Delroy, The Olivier, National Theatre, pictured above) Review National tickets
  • Thank you to everyone who voted. Picture via Facebook courtesy National Theatre
  • Read on for reasons including the remaining 13 theatre, pop, film & TV winners
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TOP 10: Best read monstagigz content of 2020 starring Richard Armitage

  1. When Richard Armitage went topless in Uncle Vanya

We were at the 1st preview of this Chekhov adaptation by Conor McPherson and were blissfully unaware it would be closed by COVID-19 in March and be on cinema screens later in the year. The production is shortlisted for 4 monstas awarded 30/12/20.

  • Read on for reasons including the rise of Michael Balogun, the Death of England and Madonna in the West End
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AWARDS SHORTLIST: MONSTAS: Best Theatre Actor of 2020

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 next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 14 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2020.

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AWARDS SHORTLIST: MONSTAS: Best Theatre Actress of 2020

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 next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 14 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2020.

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THEATRE REVIEW: A Christmas Carol starring Simon Russell Beale, Patsy Ferran & Eben Figueiredo at the Bridge Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: 5/12/20 (matinee), runs to 16/1/21

WHERE?: Bridge Theatre RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

There’s something quietly moving about how the Bridge Theatre, more than any other venue we can think of, has opened during this pandemic. It did close its doors but for nowhere near as long as other venues, offering performers work at a time when it was scarce and audiences escape when it was most needed.

  • Read on for reasons including what to expect of this one of many A Christmas Carols

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