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

  1. Gillian Anderson and Lily James star in All About Eve

Anderson was unforgettable in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar 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 

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GIG REVIEW: Claire Richards at the Union Chapel

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Union Chapel

WHEN?: 6/12/18, last night of current tour

SETLIST: 7 Billion; End Before We Start; My Wildest Dreams; One For Sorrow; These Wings; All Out Of Love; Ruins; Deep Water; I’ll Never Love Again; Brave; Deeper Shade Of Blue; Liar; In My Blood; Don’t Leave Me In This Love Alone; Shame On Your; River Deep Mountain High; On My Own

While Steps bandmate Faye Tozer is kicking up a storm on Strictly Come Dancing, Claire Richards has completed a 4-date UK taster tour for a debut album that appears to be (almost) strictly power ballads.

  • Read on for reasons including which cover started it all for Claire in her Steps audition over 20 years ago

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GIG REVIEW: Steps & Saara Aalto at Greenwich Music Time

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE: Greenwich Music Time

WHEN: 5/7, touring to 20/7/18

SETLIST: Summer Of Love; Better The Devil You Know; 5,6,7,8; Say You’ll Be Mine; It’s The Way That You Make Me Feel; Chain Reaction; Heartbeat; Stomp; Glitter and Gold; No More Tears On The Dancefloor; Better Best Forgotten/Last Thing On My Mind; Neon Blue; Love U More / You”ll Be Sorry / After The Love Has Gone / Love’s Got A Hold Of My Heart; Deeper Shade Of Blue; Scared Of The Dark; One For Sorrow; Tragedy

Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College sitting imperiously on the south bank of the Thames is a stunning outdoor venue and Steps are a fitting headline act for day 3 of the week-long Greenwich Music Time festival.

  • Read on for reasons including how Saara Aalto’s support slot went down

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

  1. Sacha Dhawan in new Alan Bennett play

Sacha Dhawan (pictured above) won our Best Film/TV Actor monsta last year for The Boy With the Topknot and is here reunited with playwright Alan Barnett and former History Boy Samuel Barnett in a play at the Bridge Theatre marking the 70th birthday of the NHS. Runs 11/7 to 28/9/18. Tickets

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  • Read on for reasons including Sigrid, Mamma Mia 2, Years and Years in Camden and Importance Of Being Earnest

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MONSTAS SHORTLIST: Song of the year: 2017

It’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2017? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 13 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2017.

  • Read on for nominees for the monsta for Song of the year. 2016 winner: Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

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

  1. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in London (not Sheffield) this time

Dan Gillespie Sells is frontman of The Feeling and we gave his debut musical the full 5* when we saw it in Sheffield in February. It’s a real celebration of mothers and sons and transfers to the West End 6/11 booking to 21/4/18. Tickets. The soundtrack is an absolute treat but our favourite is cross-dressing musical-within-a-song The Legend Of Loco Chanel. Don’t. Miss.

  • Read on for reasons including Bananarama reunited, Cinderella in Greenwich and Steps on tour

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AWARDS: MONSTAS: Our best single, album and gig of 2017 so far

We awarded 12 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2016 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2017 so far and what’s to come. Lady Gaga, Shura, Suede and Florence and the Machine are among the previous winners in these categories.

  • Read on for reasons including our favourite songs, albums and gigs of 2017 so far

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5 (6,7,8) reasons why Steps should be the UK’s 2019 Eurovision entry

31890936_1746382245427408_8209362363149713408_o1. Comeback of the year

It’s hard to envisage an act of their stature coming back with quite the impact that Steps managed in 2017 (and 2018). Their Party On The Dancefloor tour moved seamlessly into Summer Of Steps. Do supports Blue, Aqua and Saara Aalto foreshadow a Steps Eurovision bow?

  • Read on for reasons including it’s our first entry after Brexit, so let’s go out with a bang

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