THEATRE REVIEW: Death of England starring Rafe Spall at the National Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE? Dorfman Theatre, National Theatre RUNTIME: 100 minutes (no interval)

WHEN? 1/2, press night 6/2 runs to 7/3/20

‘I fell off the stage for the first time – this is really difficult,’ reflects Spall during his standing ovation at the climax of this 2nd preview of an eventful and demanding 100-minute monologue.

  • Read on for reasons including the last time we saw an actor fall from the stage into an audience member’s lap

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for February (2020) starring Pretty Woman: The Musical

  1. Pretty Woman: The Musical opens starring Aimie Atkinson and Danny Mac

Bryan Adams co-wrote this musical version of the beloved 1990 Julia Roberts/Richard Gere film which ran on Broadway starring Samantha Barks (performing in clip above) for a year until August. Atkinson has a Eurovision connection and we saw her in Six in the West End. Mac will be familiar to Strictly viewers. Opens at the Piccadilly Theatre 13/2, booking until 2/1/21. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Be More Chill, Melodifestivalen, Colin Morgan and La Cage Aux Folles

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THEATRE REVIEW: The Welkin starring Maxine Peake, Cecilia Noble, Haydn Gwynne and Ria Zmitrowicz

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? Lyttelton Theatre, National RUNTIME: 170 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

WHEN? 18/1/20, press night 22/1, runs to 23/5/20

We’re in rural Suffolk in 1759 where convicted murderer Sally Poppy claims to be pregnant and 12 women must assess whether she is, which would save her from execution.

  • Read on for reasons including how this cast has Olivier, BAFTA and Tony award nominations between them

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for January (2020) starring Madonna

  1. Madonna brings Madame X to the London Palladium

2019’s Madame X collection made our Album of 2019 shortlist and was Madonna’s best since 2005’s Confessions. We were at her last London gig at The 02 in 2015 and are looking forward to the shift from arenas to theatres for this 15-gig run. Tickets The tour opened in the US in the autumn and, despite the late starts, promises much. We’re just glad we don’t have to be up early after what is shaping up to be a late night albeit in thrall to the Queen of Pop.

  • Read on for reasons including new Pet Shop Boys album, Richard Armitage’s West End return and VAULT Festival

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THEATRE REVIEW: The Antipodes starring Arthur Darvill, Conleth Hill & Fisayo Akinade

WORTH A LOOK?: **1/2

WHERE? Dorfman Theatre, National  RUNTIME: 110 minutes without interval

WHEN? 26/10 (matinee), press night 30/10, runs to 23/11/19

We’re at this preview of Annie Baker’s new play set in what appears to be a present-day US writers’ room because it has a mouthwatering ensemble cast.

  • Read on for reasons including how we’d find this a difficult play to recommend

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THEATRE REVIEW: Hansard starring Alex Jennings & Lindsay Duncan at the National Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2

WHERE? National Theatre (Lyttelton) RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHEN? 26/8, opens 29/8 and runs to 25/11/19

Stars Alex Jennings and Lindsay Duncan boast 5 Olivier Awards between them and we really couldn’t be in safer hands.

  • Read on for reasons including how this new play is occasionally laugh-out-loud funny

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for August 2019 starring Fleabag

  1. Fleabag takes the stage

Author Phoebe Waller-Bridge won our 2016 Best TV/Film actress monsta for her work on the 1st TV series (5 reasons to watch here) of this show and the original play on which it is based comes to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre 20/8 through 14/9/19. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Carrie Hope-Fletcher & Shura

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THEATRE REVIEW: Peter Gynt starring James McCardle at the National Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE? National Theatre  RUNTIME: 215 minutes (including 2 intervals)

WHEN? 3/7, opens 9/7 and runs to 8/10/19

Peter Gynt is David Hare’s Scottish update of Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 play Peer Gynt which draws on a Norwegian fairy tale to examine the value of his hero’s life as we join him on his journey through it.

  • Read on for reasons including why this marathon musical version of Peer Gynt fails to grip

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

  1. Blues In The Night starring Sharon D. Clarke

Olivier winners D. Clarke and Clive Rowe take part in this compilation of 26 hot and torchy blues numbers that frame the lives and loves of four residents of a downtown hotel. Runs 18/7 to 7/9/19 at the Kiln Theatre. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including The Night Of The Iguana, Janelle Monae and a revival of a Pet Shop Boys musical

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MONSTAS SHORTLIST: Best New Play of the year: 2018

It’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2018? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 14 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2018.

  • Read on for nominees for the monsta for Best New Play of the year. 2017 winner: The Ferryman (Royal Court, then Gielgud Theatre)

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