PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for October 2020 starring Death of England: Delroy

  1. National Theatre returns with Death of England: Delroy

Death of Englandwritten by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, boasted one of the most accomplished leading roles of the year as well as being one of 2020’s best new playsDeath of England: Delroy has the same authors as its near namesake and stars one of the characters mentioned in the previous work and played by Giles Terera (Rosmersholm, Duke Of Yorks). The National has closed its doors since March and this is the show it has chosen for curtain up, running 21/10 through 28/11/20. Tickets

STOP PRESS: National Theatre announces Terera will no longer perform after emergency surgery and understudy Michael Balogun will take on the role.

  • Read on for reasons including Divine Comedy, Mel C album and Bananarama book

2. Annie releases Dark Hearts album

We’ve heard 4 of the 13 tracks on the Norwegian’s 1st album for 11 years and The Streets Where I Belong (listen above) is our favourite: a soft vocal reminding of St Etienne and a gorgeously understated tune evoking nostalgia while weaving a story of hometown glory. The title track was a Song Of The Week for us in September and the album is out 16/10/20. Tickets

3. Divine Comedy play the Barbican

Divine Comedy won our Best Gig monsta last year and release 12 2CD collection Venus, Folly and Time to celebrate their 30-year back catalogue 9/10/20. They play a gig at the Barbican 5 days later which will be live-streamed ahead of a rescheduled run of 5 nights at the venue in September 2021 at which they play 2 different albums in full each night. Tickets

4. Sophie Ellis Bextor serves up Songs From The Kitchen Disco

A Humdrum Mum gave us 5 reasons why we love Sophie Ellis Bextor and on 23/10/20 the star releases her Songs From The Kitchen Disco album which combines her greatest hits with covers she performed on Friday nights during lockdown ahead of a tour next year including dates with Steps. Tickets include a solo London Palladium gig as well as a Steps show at The 02

5. Melanie C releases Colour and Light album

The artist formerly known as Sporty Spice unleashed her 8th solo album Colour and Light on 2/10 and we previewed it thanks to a fun livestream the night ahead of release. Tickets are now on sale for her 2021 tour including a gig at London’s 02 Shepherds Bush Empire

6. Bananarama release Really Saying Something book

The ‘Nanas won our Best Gig monsta in 2017 when their original line-up reunited and Siobhan left afterwards as Keren and Sara recorded a new album and toured with a Q&A thrown in. On 29/10/20 book Really Saying Something: Sara & Keren Our Story is released and we can’t wait. Details

7. French and Saunders star in Death On The Nile film

We’ve seen so much French and Saunders over the years that it’s impossible to see Dawn and Jennifer in this trailer without thinking of the over enthusiastic extras they used to portray in that series. Released in the UK 16/10/20, Wonder Woman Gadot looks stunning in this remake of the Agatha Christie classic directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. The impressive supporting cast includes monstagigz favourites Sophie Okonedoand Letitia Wright.

8. T’Shan Williams and Aimie Atkinson play Theatre Cafe Night Caps series

The Turbine Theatre‘s artistic director Paul Taylor-Mills hosts this series of performances titled Night Caps in association with the Theatre Cafe by West End stars including T’Shan Williams (Heathers, Other Palace) on the 8/10 and Aimie Atkinson (Pretty Woman, Piccadilly Theatre) on the 22/10. Tickets

9. Rupert Everett’s Tainted Glory book

Everett starred in, wrote and directed The Happy Prince which won our 2018 Best Film monsta and this highly anticipated third memoir, To The End Of The World: Travels With Oscar Wilde: Tainted Glory tells the story of the playwright’s last days, and how that ten-year quest to make The Happy Prince almost destroyed Everett. We’ve always enjoyed Everett’s writing and his first memoir, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, was a Sunday Times bestseller while its sequel, Vanished Years, won the Sheridan Morley Prize for Biography. Published 8/10/20

  • Picture courtesy of National Theatre via Facebook 
  • Have you seen any of these shows or films or heard the albums or read the books? Let us know what you thought in the comments below

5 reasons why we love Sophie Ellis-Bextor

By Carron Stacey

1. Groovejet

I know she attributes an awful lot of her subsequent musical opportunities to this track, with Spiller, and this 2000 summer track must surely sit somewhere in your life soundtrack. Indie kids will have known her from Theaudience and dance lovers will adore what the NME called this “slip of irresistible ice-filtered summer funk”.

  • Read on for reasons including Kitchen Disco, Spinning Plates podcast and Crying At The Discotheque

Read More

ALBUM REVIEW: The Song Diaries by Sophie Ellis-Bextor

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: 15/3/19

TRACKLIST: Groovejet; Take Me Home; Murder On The Dancefloor; Move This Mountain; Music Gets The Best Of Me; Mixed Up World; Catch You; Me And My Imagination; Today the Sun’s On Us; Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer); Bittersweet; Not Giving Up On Love; Youngblood; Love Is A Camera; Wild Forever; A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed; Love Is You; Take Me Home; Murder On the Dancefloor

The use of orchestras in pop brings to mind for us some of music’s most thrilling moments from yesteryear: ABC’s Lexicon Of Love album, Left To My Own Devices by Pet Shop Boys or the first two LPs by My Life Story.

  • Read on for reasons including where you can see Sophie’s orchestra on tour in the UK this year

Read More

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

  1. Pinter’s Betrayal stars Zawe Ashton and Tom Hiddleston

The Pinter at the Pinter season at the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre has been hit and miss but it’s big finish stars Hiddleston and monstagigz favourite Ashton. Runs 5/3 to 1/6. We’ve reviewed Ashton at both the Old Vic and Trafalgar Studios in recent years. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Jade Anouka, Wiktoria, Sigrid & Sophie Ellis Bextor

Read More

GIG REVIEW: Sophie Ellis-Bextor at the Royal Festival Hall

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: Royal Festival Hall

WHEN?: 3/10, tour next year

SETLIST: Groovejet; Wild Forever; Catch You; Me & My Imagination; Youngblood; Love Is A Camera; Not Giving Up; The Sun’s On Us; Music Gets The Best Of Me; Bittersweet; Take Me Home; Young Hearts Run Free; Love Is You; Groovejet; Don’t Leave Me This Way; Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer; Murder On The Dancefloor; A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed

Perhaps it’s having a former Blue Peter presenter as a mother but Sophie Ellis-Bextor has always been refreshingly down-to-earth. So, when she describes tonight’s orchestral pop extravaganza as a ‘dream come true’, the qualification that: ‘All I had to do was pay for it’ comes as little surprise.

  • Read on for reasons including how you can see Sophie on this tour next summer

Read More

PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for October

  1. Dame Eileen Atkins in The Height Of The Storm

There’s Nothing Like A Dame and we loved the film of that name which starred Dame Eileen (pictured above) who appears here in this Florian Zeller drama with Jonathan Pryce (Game Of Thrones) at the Wyndhams 2/10 through 1/12. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Lady Gaga, Jim Broadbent, Dr Who goes Macbeth and Game Of Thrones in Hampstead

Read More

LIVE REVIEW: Sophie Ellis-Bextor

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE?: KOKO

WHEN: 1/3

SETLIST: Wild Forever; Death of Love; The Deer And The Wolf; Unrequited; Don’t Shy Away; Cassandra; 13 Little Dolls; Mixed Up World; Today the Sun’s On Us; I Won’t Change You; Get Over You; Young Blood; Crystallise;  Love Is The Camera; Come With Us; Take Me Home; Lady; Groovejet; Sing It Back; Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer; Murder On The Dancefloor; Here Comes The Rapture

Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s most recent two albums have seen her step away from the dance floor where she made her name and try her hand at something a little more ambitious.

  • Read on for reasons including who Sophie’s surprise guest was

Read More

9 reasons why we can’t wait for March

  1. Sheena Easton debuts in 42nd Street

We’ve never seen 42nd Street but are very excited by the West End debut casting of Sheena Easton who we remember as far back in her career as 9 to 5 (see below) and her duet with Prince. Opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane 20/3 and booking through July. Tickets Picture via Facebook courtesy 42nd Street.

  • Read on for reasons including Goldfrapp, The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? and Marc Almond

Read More

THEATRE REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN: 15/2 (matinee), runs to 25/2

WHERE: Sheffield Crucible Theatre

UPDATE 21/6: JAMIE TRANSFERS TO THE APOLLO IN LONDON’S WEST END IN NOVEMBER: Tickets

We’re big fans of band The Feeling and frontman Dan Gillespie Sells has written the score for this new pop musical which we predict will transfer easily into London’s competitive West End.

  • Read on for reasons including the true story behind Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Read More