WHEN?: Sunday 5 December 2021, booking until 9 January 2022
RUNTIME: 125 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)
‘I think you know the story of Dick Whittington better than we do,’ says RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 1 star Cheryl Hole, lead in this adult pantomime, to the audience at its finale and it would be difficult to disagree.
Read on for reasons including how Drag Race UK‘s Elektra Fence was the unexpected surprise of the night
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
We awarded 14 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2018 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2019 so far and what’s to come. Eugenius, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Groundhog Day are previous winners in this category.
Read on for our top 5 best new musicals of 2019 so far and our hopes for the next half year
WHEN? 9/2/19 (matinee), opens 18/2/19, booking until 14/9/19
‘Come from aways’ is a Newfoundland description for visitors from beyond the island and this is the story of what happened in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when 38 planes were grounded there and the community embraced the outsiders.
Read on for reasons including why this is a big, warm hug of a musical about the importance of kindness
Gillian Anderson and Lily James star in All About Eve
Anderson was unforgettable in Tennessee Williams’ AStreetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic in 2014 and James was unmissable on film in 2018 for work including Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. Runs at the Noel Coward Theatre from 2/2 to 11/5/19. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Chita Rivera live, Claire Steps album and musical Come From Away
We weren’t very, very, very keen on new Martin McDonagh
Martin McDonagh features twice in this list and wrote/directed the Oscar-winning film Three Billboards in 2018. We were at the 2nd preview for this new play at the Bridge Theatre and weren’t keen: ‘Our problem with A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter is that, while McDonagh could be argued to be skewering the lazy racism of 18th Century Europe of the time, it makes for a very uncomfortable and politically incorrect watch in 2018.’
Read on for the rest of the top 6 including Saara Aalto, Aidan Turner, Heathers & Suranne Jones
WHERE?: Phoenix Theatre WHEN?: 13/8, Ms Burke appearing until 14/10/18
RUN TIME: 2 hours and 20 minutes (including 20-minute interval)
This production won middling reviews when it opened earlier this year starring Hollywood’s Cuba Gooding Jr but it was only until the casting of Alexandra Burke, who debuted tonight, that we were persuaded through its doors.
Read on for reasons including all the opening night gossip featuring Martin Kemp as Billy Flynn
She may now no longer be playing the Palladium in September but she was the best thing about Chess at the Coliseum this year and now she stars as Roxie in Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre 13/8 through 14/10. Tickets
Read on for reasons including Busted Shop Of Horrors, Jake Shears and Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard