Flavour of the Month
By Veronica Aloess
ALBUM: Kaiser Cheifs: Education, Education, War
As all smart artists should, Ricky Wilson rides on the success of The Voice, returning with an album from the Kaiser Chiefs for the first time since 2011.
When? 1st April
GIG: Justin Timberlake
Making another return this month, Justin Timberlake plays his first show at the 02 since 2007.
When? 1st and 2nd April
Where? 02 Arena
THEATRE: Fourth Monkey Theatre: Yerma, Our Country’s Good, The Good Person of Szechwan
I’ve seen a lot of this young company’s work before and it never disappoints: always accomplished and always innovative, they present a programme of theatre in rep on site at Trinity Buoy Wharf
When? 9th April – 3rd May
MUSICAL: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
I don’t know what the story is, I don’t know the composers, I know nothing about this musical. All I know is that Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound star in this classy looking show, and I have to see it.
When? 1st April
Where? Savoy Theatre
COMEDY: Russell Howard: Wonderbox
The star of TV panel shows and his own BBC3 show Russell Howard’s Good News, this loveable stand-up comic hasn’t been on tour for three years. Expect a lot of excitement for his return to the stage.
When? 14th – 17th April
Where? Royal Albert Hall
CABARET: The Kit Kat Club
This 1920s cabaret night will feature guest performances and a guaranteed blast of the past as the venue used to be a speakeasy in the 1920s. Wear a flapper dress.
When? 8th March – 31st May
Where? Proud Cabaret City
This is going to be terrible really, isn’t it? Award winning director Darren Aronofsky has brought Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly back together who won Oscar’s for their stunning performance together on A Beautiful Mind, with Emma ‘eyebrows’ Watson, to tell the story of Noah. It’s not going to be The Passion of Christ, is it? But let’s give it a chance, and if all else fail at least Evan Almighty doesn’t take itself seriously.
When? 4th April
TV: Game of Thrones
It’s back. If you watch it, you already know that. This is just a reminder.
When? 7th April
Events: April 2014
By Veronica Aloess
What? London Coffee Festival
What can I say? It’s a festival celebrating coffee. Some people are into that, enough people in fact for the festival to last 4 days. Apparently there are chances to see barista demonstrations, a Lab where they lead coffee seminars, live music, and tastings. There’s always tastings. That’s why we go, isn’t it?
When? 3rd-6th April
Where? The Old Truman Brewery
The Natural History Museum are setting up a tropical butterfly house on its lawn this summer. I say summer, let’s hope all the butterflies haven’t got frostbite by May.
When? 3rd April – 14th September
Where? Natural History Museum
What? Daydreams and Diaries: The Story of Jacqueline Wilson
This exhibition celebrates children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, featuring a special look into her childhood notebooks, toys, school reports and diaries. There are also extracts and illustrations from some of her beloved works.
When? 5th April – 2nd November
Where? V & A Museum of Childhood
What? The Boat Race: Oxford vs Cambridge
One of London’s oldest sporting events, originating in 1829, the UK’s two top universities battle it out to see who has the best penis – I mean, cox – I mean, sportsmen.
When? 6th April
Where? Putney Bridge
What? Virgin London Marathon 2014
Everything has a corporate sponsor now, doesn’t it? The other big sporting event of the month brings together competitors and charity fun runners on a 26.2 mile race around London.
When? 13th April
Where? Begins at Greenwich Park, ends on The Mall
What? Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
We all went to the Tate to see his most famous cut-out ‘The Snail’ at school. This exhibition features much more of his colourful and striking works in the most comprehensive exhibition of Matisse ever staged.
When? 16th April – 7th September
Where? Tate Modern
What? The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey
I think this is just beautiful. Three musicians and two puppeteers bring Homer’s epic poem to life.
When? 22nd-23rd April
Where? Battersea Arts Centre
What? Sundance London
This is the third year of the US indie-film festival showcasing films which were screened at the Utah-based festival in January.
When? 25th – 27th April
Where? 02 Arena
I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical ***
By Veronica Aloess
This new musical is pretty much everything you’d expect from Harry Hill’s writing: a lot of the unexpected. For example, it’s unexpectedly got Simon Cowell’s blessing since he’s one of the producers. And it’s pretty safe to say Harry Hill is taking the mick out of the X Factor format.
I Can’t Sing! tells the sob story of Chenice (Cynthia Erivo) and her dog Barlow (Simon Lipkin). All at once, her grandfather (with an iron lung) dies, finds herself evicted, unable to pay for her college course. Thankfully, she meets fit plumber Max (Alan Morrissey) who tells her to fulfil her grandfather’s wish to enter the X Factor. And in the midst of her protest that ‘I Can’t Sing’, lo and behold: we discover she has the voice of a glittery, R’n’B angel. Along with Max, Brenda (a tribute to Susan Boyle played by Katy Secombe) and the Alterboyz (a tribute to Jedward plays by Rowen Hawkins and Shaun Smith), she reaches the final. Unfortunately, on top of all the makeovers and terrible song choices, apparently Chenice and Max’s romance isn’t as good for the rating as a break up might be.
Sure, it’s predictable, but all round it’s actually a pretty fun-filled show: Steve Brown’s songs are upbeat and catchy, and Kate Prince’s choreography is pretty impressive. Parodies like this are a fad in themselves nowadays really, so if Harry Hill isn’t your usual cup of tea, the only moments that will make you laugh out loud are the insanely random ones which you don’t see coming. Particularly the one’s involving the Hunchback (Charlie Baker). As one of the funniest performers in the West End, I do feel like Simon Lipkin is wasted a little as Hill’s token puppet character. But I’d take a job where I could roller-skate around a West End stage on my knees too, so I don’t blame him. This is definitely a show which wouldn’t be half so entertaining if they obviously didn’t have a budget for some pretty epic stage production.
The presentation of the judges is the icing on the cake of this show really. Ashley Knight’s geriatric Louis and Victoria Elliott’s as Northern as she can be Jordy are brilliant caricatures. But the big name with the show: Nigel Harman, playing Simon Cowell is disturbingly uncanny. He’s got all the smarm and charm of the man, with some eye-popping vocals and tap skills thrown in. Cowell is probably kicking himself that they’ve basically hired an improved version of himself. And then there’s the boys playing mini versions of Cowell as a child to give a little of his sob story who are adorable. It’s like when you wonder who’d play you in the movie version of your life, and imagine somebody wildly out of your league. Unless you have buckets of money and are producing it, in which case you could pretty much hirer anybody you wanted I suppose…