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

  1. Dame Maggie Smith’s 1st theatrical performance in 12 years

When we raved about film There’s Nothing Like A Dame we never thought we’d see Dame Maggie tread the boards again but she returns to London for the 1st time in 12 years in a new one-woman play called A German Life based on the actual testimony of Brunhilde Pomsel, who once worked for Joseph Goebbels. Runs 6/4 to 11/5/19. Tickets The Downton Abbey film is expected to be released in September.

  • Read on for reasons including Sally Field, Bananarama tour, Jessie Buckley film & Game Of Thrones returns

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GIG REVIEW: Sheridan Smith at the Royal Albert Hall

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE: Royal Albert Hall

WHEN: 24/4, tour runs to 29/4/18

SETLIST: Don’t Rain On My Parade; Crazy; I Smell A Rat; Addicted To Love; Dinner At Eight; Mad about The Boy; Superstar; City Of Stars; Hey Big Spender; Anyone Who Had A Heart; Take Another Piece of My Heart; Talking In Your Sleep; My Man; 9 to 5; This Is Me; And I Am Telling You; I Will Survive/Happy

Sheridan Smith takes a sip of what she assures us is water (not vodka), belches and observes: ‘I should have left that one back in Wolverhampton.’

  • Read on for reasons including why we think a second album’s on the cards

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PREVIEW: 10 reasons why we can’t wait for April

  1. Saara Aalto brings her Monsters to London

We loved her in X Factor, Finland picked the best of three fine songs for her May Eurovision entry and she brings her Eurovision Wonderland show to Under The Bridge 25/4. We think her co-penned Monsters is our favourite song of the year so far. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Kathleen Turner, Mark Rylance and a Q&A for the return of The Bridge

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GIG REVIEW: Idina Menzel

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: Royal Albert Hall

WHEN: 16/6

SETLIST: Queen Of Swords; Seasons Of Love; Don’t Rain On My Parade; Everybody Knows; Cake/Black Dog; I’m Not That Girl; Wind Beneath My Wings; Defying Gravity; I Do; Bridge Over Troubled Water; Rock Steady; No Day But Today; Dear Prudence/Do You Want To Build A Snowman?; For Good; Let It Go; I See You; Ev’ry Time I Say Goodbye

We’ve been working away in Liverpool and it’s taken us four hours to travel several hundred miles to make it here with a rucksack shortly after curtain up.

  • Read on for reasons including how Idina Menzel charms after an awkward start

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9 reasons why we can’t wait for April

  1. Angels In America descend on the National

Our most anticipated theatrical event of the year. Marianne Elliott (War HorseCurious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time) directs a stellar cast including Nathan Lane (The Producers, The Birdcage), Andrew Garfield, Denise Gough, James McArdle and Russell Tovey in this two-part Tony Kushner classic at the National Theatre from 11/4. Runs to 19/8. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including a walk with Mark Rylance, Miriam Margoyles & Olivier Awards

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ALBUM REVIEW: Grey Tickles, Black Pressure by John Grant

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: 9/10

Tracklist: Intro; Grey Tickles, Black Pressure; Snug Slacks; Guess How I Know; You and Him; Down Here; Voodoo Doll; Global Warming; Magma Arrives; Black Blizzard; Disappointing; No More Tangles; Geraldine; Outro.

John Grant’s third album is not out until Friday but we’ve had a sneak preview and can give you the lowdown here.

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5 things we know about next John Grant album Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

  1. Lead track Disappointing is more pop than anything on Pale Green Ghosts

Does anyone have a better taste in female duet partners? We saw Grant three times last year: Glastonbury, Royal Festival Hall and duetting with Alison Goldfrapp at the Albert Hall. Sinead O’Connor appeared on last proper album Pale Green Ghosts and here former Everything But The Girl star Thorn is duetting (see YouTube clip above) on gorgeous lines like: ‘Francis Bacon, the Dolomites, ballet dancers with or without tights, Central Park on an autumn day, always stunning and never cliche.’ And if that sounds too Vogue Madonna, the chorus reverts to type (‘All these things, they’re just Disappointing …’) until the O’Connor-esque payoff (‘… compared to you.’) Musically, it’s a return to the jauntier elements of breakthrough Queen of Denmark album.

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LIVE REVIEW: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

Worth a look?: ****

Where: Royal Albert Hall

When: 8/6/15

Setlist: Anything Goes; Cheek To Cheek; They All Laughed; For Once In My Life; Sing You Sinners; Nature Boy; The Good Life; Bang Bang; Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; Firefly; Smile; When You’re Smiling; I Won’t Dance; The Lady’s In Love With You; Solitude; I Can’t Give You Anything; How Do You Keep The Music Playing?; I’ve Got The World On A String; In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning; Let’s Face The Music and Dance; Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye; Who Cares?; I Left My Heart In San Francisco; But Beautiful; The Lady Is A Tramp; It Don’t Mean A Thing

Have you ever taken your dad to a gig?

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