THE Hot 100! The ultimate critical list of unmissable events Taylor-made just for you! Starring Taylor Swift Mick Jagger, Tom Cruise, Hugh Grant, Mary Poppins and a cast of hundreds...

It's show time! Sandra Bullock’s female gangster. Colin Firth’s tragic Atlantic adventure. And the Mary Poppins sequel we’ve spent more than half a century waiting for. Our guide to the 100 unmissable events of 2018 begins with ten must-see movies 

 

FILM 

By Matthew Bond

1. Coco 

Out January 19 

The first Pixar film to be released since studio chief John Lasseter took six months’ leave of absence after admitting ‘missteps’ with female employees. Despite the whiff of scandal, American audiences have been flocking to see the magical story of Miguel, a musically gifted 12-year-old who travels to Mexico’s Land of the Dead in search of his great-great-grandfather and musical idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Thank heavens his frail great-grandmother, Mama Coco, is still around to help. 

Taylor Swift plays the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, June 8-9. She's on tour until June 23

Taylor Swift plays the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, June 8-9. She's on tour until June 23

We’ve already had an all-female Ghostbusters. Now, it’s the turn of the Ocean’s Eleven heist franchise to get gender-rebalanced, with Sandra Bullock, playing Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie

We’ve already had an all-female Ghostbusters. Now, it’s the turn of the Ocean’s Eleven heist franchise to get gender-rebalanced, with Sandra Bullock, playing Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie

Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man in Avengers. Last time out the enemy was Ultron, this time it’s ubervillain Thuron

Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man in Avengers. Last time out the enemy was Ultron, this time it’s ubervillain Thuron

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 6. Cruise is clearly hoping to help renew a franchise that’s now been running for an astonishing 22 years

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 6. Cruise is clearly hoping to help renew a franchise that’s now been running for an astonishing 22 years

Will Gluck unveils his considerably updated take – a mix of ultra-realistic animation and live action – on Beatrix Potter’s best-known story, Peter Rabbit

Will Gluck unveils his considerably updated take – a mix of ultra-realistic animation and live action – on Beatrix Potter’s best-known story, Peter Rabbit

Russian spies are sent to Sparrow School, where they are trained in the dark arts of seduction and manipulation. Jennifer Lawrence stars

Russian spies are sent to Sparrow School, where they are trained in the dark arts of seduction and manipulation. Jennifer Lawrence stars

2. The Mercy Out 

February 9 

In 1969, an unknown yachtsman, Donald Crowhurst, hit the headlines when he appeared to be close to winning the Golden Globe non-stop round-the-world yacht race, having apparently seen off the experienced likes of Robin Knox-Johnston and Chay Blyth. And then Crowhurst’s yacht, the Teignmouth Electronic, was found adrift and abandoned in the mid-Atlantic and one of the strangest – and saddest – stories in maritime history slowly began to emerge. Colin Firth stars as the doomed adventurer. 

3. Peter Rabbit 

Out March 16 

The works of Beatrix Potter have slightly fallen from fashion of late, and certainly been overlooked by feature film animators. But all that will change as Will Gluck unveils his considerably updated take – a mix of ultra-realistic animation and live action – on Potter’s best-known story. James Corden lends his voice to Peter, Daisy Ridley and Margot Robbie add support as Cottontail and Flopsy, while Domhnall Gleeson plays the now rather young, handsome but still fearsome gardener Mr McGregor. Possibly not for Potter traditionalists… 

4. Avengers: Infinity War 

Out April 27 

Last time out the enemy was Ultron, this time it’s ubervillain  Thuron, who’s intent on gathering all the ‘infinity stones’ for himself and threatening the future of the universe in the process. Good thing that Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and co are around to stop him, although with Guardians Of The Galaxy characters joining the already much expanded Avengers team, keeping up with who’s who could be challenging. 

5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 

Out June 8 

The Hollywood film-making machine has become highly skilled in rebooting old franchises, with 2015’s wonderful Jurassic World very much a case in point. Can lightning possibly strike twice? Well, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are both back as the closed theme park – and its dinosaur inhabitants – are threatened by an erupting volcano. 

Emily Blunt looks born to play the part of Mary Poppins in the long-awaited sequel (a mere 54 years) to the iconic children’s film

Emily Blunt looks born to play the part of Mary Poppins in the long-awaited sequel (a mere 54 years) to the iconic children’s film

The Hollywood film-making machine has become highly skilled in rebooting old franchises, with 2015’s wonderful Jurassic World very much a case in point

The Hollywood film-making machine has become highly skilled in rebooting old franchises, with 2015’s wonderful Jurassic World very much a case in point

6. Ocean’s 8 

Out June 22 

We’ve already had an all-female Ghostbusters and good fun it was too. Now, it’s the turn of the Ocean’s Eleven heist franchise to get gender-rebalanced, with Sandra Bullock, playing Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie, leading the star-studded way. With New York’s ultraexclusive Met Gala the target, expect exquisite frocks, expensive rocks and a supporting cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling and Rihanna. 

7. Mission: Impossible 6 

Out July 27 

Tom Cruise clearly believes he has found a winning team. Christopher McQuarrie, who’s already directed Cruise in Jack Reacher and written the screenplay for Edge Of Tomorrow, returns to direct and co-write his second Mission: Impossible film in a row. And he’s not alone – Rebecca Ferguson, who was fabulous in M:I5 as the British agent Ilsa Faust, is back too, clearly hoping to help renew a franchise that’s now been running for an astonishing 22 years. 

8. Mary Poppins Returns

Out December 21 

The long-awaited sequel (a mere 54 years) to the iconic children’s film promises to be one of the highlights of the movie year. Emily Blunt looks born to play the part of Mary Poppins, Meryl Streep lends comic support and Dick Van Dyke makes a sentimental return. Let’s hope his accent is better this time around.  

9. Red Sparrow 

Out March 2 

Adapted from a novel by former CIA operative Jason Matthews, but surely reminding everyone of the real-life Russian spy Anna Chapman, this is the story of young, good-looking Russian spies who are sent to Sparrow School, where they are trained in the dark arts of seduction and manipulation. Jennifer Lawrence adds class to this rather tawdry-sounding tale. 

10. Ready Player One 

Out March 30 

Wade Watts escapes a bleak, dystopian future by immersing himself in a virtual reality universe known as ‘The Oasis’. When its inventor, James Halliday (Mark Rylance), dies he leaves behind a hidden ‘Easter egg’ in ‘The Oasis’ worth a half-trillion dollars to its finder. Confused? All you really need to know about this film is that it looks stunning and is directed by Steven Spielberg.  

ALSO SHOWING IN 2018...

Black Panther

Out February 12

The most eagerly awaited superhero film of the year as Marvel Studios finally gives its first black superhero his own stand-alone film. Get On Up star Chadwick Boseman takes the lead.

Lady Bird

Out February 16

Coming-of-age tale about Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson, an artistic 17-year-old, played by Saoirse Ronan.

Johnny Depp returns as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald after the success of the first film in 2016 – it took over £590 million at the global box office

Johnny Depp returns as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald after the success of the first film in 2016 – it took over £590 million at the global box office

A Wrinkle In Time

Out March 23

Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 science-fantasy story gets the big-screen treatment in this adaptation with Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Out May 25

Ron Howard directs, while Blue Jasmine star Alden Ehrenreich steps in to Harrison Ford’s shoes as the young Han Solo.

Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again

Out July 27

Lily James plays a young Donna, while all the old stars are back, joined this time around by Cher and Andy Garcia as Fernando. Can you hear the drums..?

The most eagerly awaited superhero film of the year as Marvel Studios finally gives its first black superhero his own stand-alone film, Black Panther

The most eagerly awaited superhero film of the year as Marvel Studios finally gives its first black superhero his own stand-alone film, Black Panther

The Jungle Book

Out October 19

Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Christian Bale head the voice cast, with Andy Serkis chipping in as Baloo.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald

Out November 16

Johnny Depp returns as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald after the success of the first film in 2016 – it took over £590 million at the global box office.

 

MUSIC

By Tim de Lisle

11. Lady Gaga 

Arena Birmingham 

January 31. On tour until February 8 

Back in action after suffering from ‘severe physical pain’. While wishing her all the best, I hope it will encourage her to do what she does best: sit at the piano and sing. 

Taylor Swift. If you’re hell-bent on conquering the world, the time comes when you have to play its football grounds

Taylor Swift. If you’re hell-bent on conquering the world, the time comes when you have to play its football grounds

Lady Gaga is back in action after suffering from ‘severe physical pain’

Lady Gaga is back in action after suffering from ‘severe physical pain’

The under- 40s will flock to All Points East, featuring the xx, St Vincent, Sampha and Lorde

The under- 40s will flock to All Points East, featuring the xx, St Vincent, Sampha and Lorde

Nothing announced yet, but the planets are in alignment. Jagger and Richards turn 75 this year, and there’s talk of ‘getting plans in place’ for a British tour

Nothing announced yet, but the planets are in alignment. Jagger and Richards turn 75 this year, and there’s talk of ‘getting plans in place’ for a British tour

12. Kendrick Lamar 

Genting Arena, Birmingham 

February 9 

On tour until February 20 Lamar is riding high with DAMN, his first American No 1 album. But will its minimalist hip-hop work in the arenas? 

Ian Dury’s son Baxter has a voice of his own – deep, laconic and lovably sinister

Ian Dury’s son Baxter has a voice of his own – deep, laconic and lovably sinister

13. Baxter Dury 

Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds 

February 19. On tour until May 6 

Ian Dury’s son has a voice of his own – deep, laconic and lovably sinister. 

14. Randy Newman 

Usher Hall , Edinburgh 

March 8. On tour until March 14 

The funniest person in pop has a new record, for once – the dazzling Dark Matter. But the biggest laughs may still be reserved for I’m Dead (But I Don’t Know It). 

15. Joan Baez 

Barbican, York 

March 13. On tour until March 22, then May 23-29 

After charming audiences for 60 years, Baez is retiring from ‘formal extended touring’. She finishes with two nights at the Albert Hall, which will be awash with emotion. 

16. Bryan Ferry 

St David’s Hall, Cardiff 

April 9. On tour until May 3 

The last man standing from the golden age of glam. Expect tracks from Roxy Music’s audacious debut, reissued on February 2. 

17. The Waterboys 

Bournemouth Pavilion 

April 26. On tour until August 3 

There’s more to Mike Scott than The Whole Of The Moon. His double LP Out Of All This Blue, celebrating love in later life, is a treat. 

18. All Points East 

Victoria Park, London 

May 25-27, June 2 & 3 

With Glastonbury taking a year off, we need two festivals to replace it. The under- 40s will flock to this new event, featuring the xx, St Vincent, Sampha and Lorde. Others may prefer British Summer Time (Hyde Park, London, July 6-14), with Eric Clapton, Roger Waters and Bruno Mars. 

19. Taylor Swift 

Etihad Stadium, Manchester 

June 8-9. On tour until June 23 

If you’re hell-bent on conquering the world, the time comes when you have to play its football grounds. But on those long summer evenings, what are Taylor’s fans meant to do with the home-made light-bulb placards? 

20. The Rolling Stones 

Nothing announced yet, but the planets are in alignment. Jagger and Richards turn 75 this year, and there’s talk of ‘getting plans in place’ for a British tour. Plus, Sir Mick has one more mouth to feed – Deveraux, his baby with dancer Melanie Hamrick.

BEST ALBUMS OF 2018

21. Simple Minds 

Walk Between Worlds 

February 2 

After a difficult decade or two, Jim Kerr and co are back on form. This is their 17th album. 

Touch & Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). A well-timed series of reissues

Touch & Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). A well-timed series of reissues

22. Joan As Police Woman 

Damned Devotion 

February 9 

The singer for those who find St Vincent too mainstream. 

23. Ezra Furman 

Transangelic Exodus 

February 9 

The poster child of gender-fluid pop returns with a ‘combination of fiction and a half-true memoir’. Sounds like a White House press conference. 

24. Eurythmics 

Touch & Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) 

April 13 

A well-timed series of reissues. There’s also a rare chance to see Annie Lennox perform (Sadler’s Wells, London, Mar 4). 

25. George Ezra 

Album due in spring; Shoreditch Town Hall, London, January 31 

Return of the boy who managed to win over the nation while singing about his gap year. 

 

TELEVISION

By Mark Wareham

 

26. Britannia 

Roman invasion epic as the Imperial Army, commanded by David Morrissey’s Aulus Plautius, takes on the Celts (Zoë Wanamaker is their queen) and druids led by Mackenzie Crook’s Veran, described as the Dalai Lama meets Charles Manson. 

Sky Atlantic, January 18 

A Very English Scandal, the sex scandal leading up to the Jeremy Thorpe trial in 1979. Hugh Grant plays Thorpe and Ben Whishaw his lover

A Very English Scandal, the sex scandal leading up to the Jeremy Thorpe trial in 1979. Hugh Grant plays Thorpe and Ben Whishaw his lover

27. Collateral 

Playwright David Hare’s first original TV series is a thriller taking place across four episodes and four days as events unravel from the shooting of a pizza-delivery man. Stars Carey Mulligan, John Simm and Billie Piper. 

BBC2, February 

28. Save Me 

Roguish chancer Nelly (Lennie James) is arrested for the abduction of the daughter he barely knows. Reunited with the girl’s mother (Suranne Jones), he sets out to catch the culprit in a six-part thriller. 

Sky Atlantic, February 29. 

29. Bodyguard 

Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio’s new drama stars Richard Madden as a protection officer guarding Home Secretary Keeley Hawes, whose politics he despises. The stage is set for a thriller dripping with typical Mercurio intrigue. 

BBC1, Spring 30. 

30. King Lear 

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson take the leads in Richard Eyre’s Shakespeare tragedy set in a totalitarian dictatorship in England. The cast includes Emily Watson, Jim Broadbent, Andrew Scott and Christopher Eccleston. 

BBC2, Spring 

31. A Very English Scandal 

Doctor Who guru Russell T Davies and Philomena director Stephen Frears dramatise the sex scandal leading up to the Jeremy Thorpe trial in 1979. Hugh Grant plays Thorpe and Ben Whishaw his lover. 

BBC1, Autumn  

32. Troy: fall of a city 

Created by The Night Manager’s David Farr, this visceral retelling of the fall of Troy stars David Threlfall and Frances O’Connor. 

BBC1, tbc 

33. Vanity Fair 

Thackeray’s classic novel is adapted in seven parts, casting Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp and scattering stars by the score – Tom Bateman, Simon Russell Beale, Martin Clunes and Michael Palin as Thackeray. 

ITV, Summer/Autumn 

Thackeray’s classic novel Vanity Fair is adapted in seven parts, casting Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp and scattering stars by the score

Thackeray’s classic novel Vanity Fair is adapted in seven parts, casting Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp and scattering stars by the score

34. Press 

Doctor Foster creator Mike Bartlett’s new state-of-the-nation drama is set in the increasingly uncertain post-Leveson world of newspapers, and stars David Suchet, Charlotte Riley and Ben Chaplin. 

BBC1, Autumn 

35. Patrick Melrose 

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the eponymous anti-hero, a messedup playboy, in a decades-spanning odyssey written by One Day author David Nicholls and based on Edward St Aubyn’s acclaimed semi-autobiographical novels. 

Sky Atlantic, tbc 

BOOKS 

By Neil Armstrong 

FICTION 

36. The Executor 

Blake Morrison 

Chatto & Windus, £16.99 March 15 

When poet Robert Pope dies, his literary executor Matt Holmes makes a series of discoveries that undermine everything he thought he knew about his friend. 

The Executor, Blake Morrison
Circe, Madeline Miller
The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer

The Executor, Blake Morrison; Circe, Madeline Miller; The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer

37. Circe 

Madeline Miller 

Bloomsbury, £16.99, April 19 

Miller’s debut novel The Song Of Achilles won the Orange Prize. For her second novel, she returns to the world of Greek mythology to tell the story of Circe, the wood-dwelling witch of Homer’s Odyssey. 

38. Never Anyone But You 

Rupert Thomson 

Corsair, £18.99, June 5 

The story of a love affair between two French women – surrealist artists – who dream up a propaganda campaign against the Nazis. 

39. The Female Persuasion 

Meg Wolitzer 

Chatto & Windus, £16.99, June 7 

Wolitzer’s follow-up to the best-selling The Interestings is about power and influence, womanhood and ambition. 

Never Anyone But You, Rupert Thomson
Transcription, Kate Atkinson
Educated, Tara Westover

Never Anyone But You, Rupert Thomson; Transcription, Kate Atkinson; Educated, Tara Westover

40. Transcription 

Kate Atkinson 

Doubleday, £20, September 6 

Juliet Armstrong is recruited as a young woman by an obscure wartime department of the Secret Service. Afterwards, she  joins the BBC, where her life begins to unravel... 

NON-FICTION 

41. Brave 

Rose McGowan 

HQ, £20, January 30 

Actress activist McGowan says: ‘My life, as you will read, has taken me from one cult to another. Brave is the story of how I fought my way out of these cults and reclaimed my life. I want to help you do the same.’ 

42. David Cameron: Memoirs 

William Collins, tbc 

The former PM says: ‘I am looking forward to having the opportunity to explain the decisions I took and why I took them.’ As yet untitled and no publication date is set. 

43. The Colour Of Time: A New History Of The World, 1850-1960 

Marina Amaral and Dan Jones 

Head of Zeus, £25, August 2 

Brazilian artist Marina Amaral is famous for her colourisations of black and white photographs. She’s teamed up with historian Jones to tell the story of a century of history in pictures. 

44. Educated 

Tara Westover 

Hutchinson, £14.99 February 22 

Westover grew up in Idaho with no official records of her birth and no schooling. This is an astonishing and uplifting story about the transformative power of education. 

45. Roger Daltrey: Memoirs 

Blink Publishing, tbc 

The Who singer says he’s spent three years working out who did what, when, and why for his memoir. ‘When you’ve spent half a century at the epicentre of a band like The Who, perspective can be a problem,’ he says. ‘Everything happened in the moment.’  

ART

By Philip Hensher

46. Ocean Liners: Speed And Style 

Victoria & Albert Museum, London 

February 3-June 10 

The great age of ocean liners was also an opportunity for the most extravagant contemporary design: this should be an impressive survey of Art Deco and other excesses. 

 Junks, 1913. Emil Nolde was one of the greatest German expressionists, and a supreme colourist

 Junks, 1913. Emil Nolde was one of the greatest German expressionists, and a supreme colourist

SS Normandie arrives in New York, 1935. Ocean Liners: Speed And Style at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

SS Normandie arrives in New York, 1935. Ocean Liners: Speed And Style at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Girl With A White Dog, 1950, by Lucian Freud

Girl With A White Dog, 1950, by Lucian Freud

47. Emil Nolde

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

July 14-October 21

Nolde was one of the greatest German expressionists, and a supreme colourist. His fate and survival of the Nazis is the subject of a great novel by Siegfried Lenz, and here is his splendid work in bulk.

48. All Too Human: Bacon, Freud And A Century Of Painting Life 

Tate Britain, London 

February 28-August 27 

Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon stand at the head of British painting, and here is a grand survey of the highly original figurative art of their time.  

49. Fernand Leger Tate Liverpool 

November 23 to March 17, 2019 

The great French artist gets a rare survey. His instantly recognisable style, decorative and pleasing, deserves to be considered seriously.

Two women Holding Flowers, 1954. Fernand Leger Tate Liverpool, November 23 to March 17, 2019

Two women Holding Flowers, 1954. Fernand Leger Tate Liverpool, November 23 to March 17, 2019

Charles I: King And Collector, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Charles I: King And Collector, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Picasso 1932, Tate Modern, London. This could be the exhibition of the year

Picasso 1932, Tate Modern, London. This could be the exhibition of the year

50. Charles I: King And Collector 

Royal Academy of Arts, London 

January 27-April 15 

Charles I was the finest of all royal collectors, and here is a serious attempt to reunite the magnificent collection that was dispersed after his execution.  

51. Picasso 1932 

Tate Modern, London 

March 8-September 9 

This could be the exhibition of the year, focusing on one of the greatest moments in the prolific painter’s life. 

52. Andreas Gursky 

Hayward Gallery, London 

January 25-April 22 

The most grandiose photographer of his generation. Here is a chance to see Gursky’s extraordinary images as they deserve, as spectacle.

Andreas Gursky Hayward Gallery, London. Bahrain I

Andreas Gursky Hayward Gallery, London. Bahrain I

View Of Bordighera, 1884. Mo net And Architecture, National Gallery, London

View Of Bordighera, 1884. Mo net And Architecture, National Gallery, London

Mountain Nymph, Sweet Liberty, by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1866

Mountain Nymph, Sweet Liberty, by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1866

Brighton Pier, 1958, Edward Bawden. The Dulwich speciality of British artists who crossed between commercial and fine art

Brighton Pier, 1958, Edward Bawden. The Dulwich speciality of British artists who crossed between commercial and fine art

53. Monet And Architecture 

National Gallery, London 

April 9-July 29 

Many of Monet’s greatest paintings are of the play of light on buildings, including Rouen Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament. This should be a seriously enlightening exhibition about painter and subjects.   

54. Victorian Giants: The Birth Of Art Photography 

National Portrait Gallery, London 

March 1-May 20 

A wonderful subject for an exhibition: the discovery that the new technology of photography both was and was not much like the pictorial arts that had existed before.  

55. Edward Bawden 

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

May 23-September 9 

The Dulwich speciality of British artists who crossed between commercial and fine art hits a high point with the lovable and innovative Bawden.

THEATRE

By Robert Gore-Langton 

56. Lady Windermere’s Fan

Vaudeville Theatre, London

January 12-April 7

Kathy Burke directs her former Ab Fab colleague Jennifer Saunders, as the Duchess of Berwick in Oscar Wilde’s elegant comedy.

 Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff look daggers in Shakespeare’s shortest, scariest tragedy. Directed by Rufus Norris

 Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff look daggers in Shakespeare’s shortest, scariest tragedy. Directed by Rufus Norris

57. Mary Stuart

Duke Of York’s Theatre, London

January 13-March 31, then on tour

Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams take alternate roles (decided on the night by the toss of a coin) as Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots in this acclaimed revival of Schiller’s classic.

58. Julius Caesar

The Bridge Theatre, London

January 20-April 15

Nicholas Hytner’s modern-dress production of Shakespeare’s Roman play stars Ben Whishaw (Q in James Bond) as Brutus and David Morrissey as Mark Antony.

Alfred Molina plays Fifties abstract artist Mark Rothko with Harry Potter’s Alfred Enoch as his assistant in John Logan’s acclaimed play, Red

Alfred Molina plays Fifties abstract artist Mark Rothko with Harry Potter’s Alfred Enoch as his assistant in John Logan’s acclaimed play, Red

Kathy Burke directs her former Ab Fab colleague Jennifer Saunders, as the Duchess of Berwick in Oscar Wilde’s elegant comedy, Lady Windermere's Fan

Kathy Burke directs her former Ab Fab colleague Jennifer Saunders, as the Duchess of Berwick in Oscar Wilde’s elegant comedy, Lady Windermere's Fan

59. Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Wyndham’s Theatre, London

January 27-April 7

Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville co-star in Eugene O’Neill’s epic American drama about a family ripping itself apart.

60. Girls & Boys

Royal Court, London

February 8-March 17

Carey Mulligan stars in a new play by Dennis Kelly about a woman who meets her future husband in an easyJet queue and instantly hates him.

61. Frozen

Theatre Royal Haymarket, London

February 9-May 5

Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones stars in Bryony Lavery’s creepy drama about a mother, her daughter and her daughter’s killer.

62. Macbeth

National Theatre, London

February 26-May 12

Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff look daggers in Shakespeare’s shortest, scariest tragedy. Directed by Rufus Norris.

63. Red

Wyndham’s Theare, London

May 4-July 28

Alfred Molina plays Fifties abstract artist Mark Rothko with Harry Potter’s Alfred Enoch as his assistant in John Logan’s acclaimed play, directed by Michael Grandage.

Frozen. Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones stars in Bryony Lavery’s creepy drama about a mother, her daughter and her daughter’s killer

Frozen. Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones stars in Bryony Lavery’s creepy drama about a mother, her daughter and her daughter’s killer

64. The Lieutenant Of Inishmore

Noel Coward Theatre, London

June 23-September 8

Poldark star Aidan Turner makes his West End debut in Martin McDonagh’s outrageous black comedy about an IRA bomber and an assassinated cat.

65. The Madness Of George III

Nottingham Playhouse

November 2-17

Mark Gatiss, of Sherlock fame, plays the married monarch whose mind unravels in Alan Bennett’s entertaining history drama.

CLASSICAL

By David Mellor  

66. Leopold Stokowski

Complete Decca Recordings

Out January 12

The sound on these recordings is amazing, and the performances always compelling, from one of the 20th century’s great podium geniuses, who once shook hands with Mickey Mouse (in Fantasia, below).

Leonard Bernstein, above, was conductor, pianist, educator and a composer of both Broadway shows (West Side Story) and serious symphonic music

Leonard Bernstein, above, was conductor, pianist, educator and a composer of both Broadway shows (West Side Story) and serious symphonic music

67. Leonard Bernstein Centenary

Barbican, London

January 27-28

Leonard Bernstein, above, was conductor, pianist, educator and a composer of both Broadway shows (West Side Story) and serious symphonic music. Is he as good now he’s dead as everyone thought he was when he was alive?

68. Joseph Calleja

Verdi

Decca, out February 2

For me, the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja has the finest lyric tenor voice around. This Verdi album will hit the spot for anyone who loves Italian opera.

69. Cendrillon

In cinemas, April 28

This is one of Massenet’s best efforts. Joyce DiDonato is in form at the moment and the star of this production from New York’s Metropolitan Opera. For the price of a cinema ticket, it’s irresistible.

70. Parry Anniversary Concert

Royal Festival Hall, London

May 10

Hubert Parry died in the flu epidemic at the end of the First World War and at his best could seriously rival Elgar as a creator of quintessentially British music.

71. Kiss Me, Kate

Opera North

On tour May 23-July 7

Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate is spectacular – a Shakespeare take-off that really works, with some of Porter’s finest numbers.

72. Oklahoma!

Grange park opera, Surrey 

June 7-July 14

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s work suits operatic voices and this, their first big collaboration, is a must-see.

73. Isabeau

Ppera Holland Park, london

July 14-28

First UK performance of an opera by Mascagni (of Cavalleria Rusticana fame), with rising young British tenor David Butt Philip. If it’s good enough for him...

74. The Ring

Royal Opera House, London

September 24-November 2

A Ring Cycle is always an event, but Keith Warner’s production is poor. But The Ring is like Mount Everest – you can’t ignore it.

75. Great War Symphony

Royal Albert Hall, London

October 9

Patrick Hawes’s Great War Symphony is a new choral work in aid of the Armed Forces charity SSAFA. It is premiered as part of the national commemorations to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

MUSICALS

By Robert Gore-Langton 

76. The Last Ship 

Northern Stage, Newcastle Upon Tyne 

March 12-April 7, then on tour 

British premiere of Sting’s autobiographical story of a shipbuilding town. It features local lad Jimmy Nail with music and lyrics by Sting. 

77. Strictly Ballroom The Musical 

PiccadillyTtheatre, London 

March 16-July 21 

Will Young and Zizi Strallen star in this stage version of the cult 1992 Baz Luhrmann film, directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. 

The King And I. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much-loved 1951 musical features Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe in this award-winning Broadway revival

The King And I. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much-loved 1951 musical features Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe in this award-winning Broadway revival

Newcomer Adrienne Warren makes her West End debut in this story of the rise of strutting pop diva Tina Turner (pictured)

Newcomer Adrienne Warren makes her West End debut in this story of the rise of strutting pop diva Tina Turner (pictured)

78. Tina The Musical 

Aldwych Theatre, London 

March 21-June 16 

Newcomer Adrienne Warren makes her West End debut in this story of the rise of strutting pop diva Tina Turner. The staging is by Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd. 

79. An Officer And A Gentleman – the musical 

Curve, Leicester 

April 6-21, then on tour 

Based on the 1982 romantic weepie film starring Richard Gere. 

80. Titanic The Musical 

Mayflower theatre, Southampton 

April 12-21, then on tour 

First UK tour of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s 1997 Broadway show about the supposedly unsinkable liner. It opens in the city from which the ship set sail. 

An Officer And A Gentleman – the musical, based on the 1982 romantic weepie film starring Richard Gere

An Officer And A Gentleman – the musical, based on the 1982 romantic weepie film starring Richard Gere

Musical of the sweetly innocent Cliff Richard Sixties film. Don and his cheery chums drive a double-decker bus to the Med

Musical of the sweetly innocent Cliff Richard Sixties film. Don and his cheery chums drive a double-decker bus to the Med

81. Moon Fleet 

Salisbury playhouse 

April 19-May 5 

J Meade Falkner’s ripping yarn of smuggling and adventure set on the Dorset coast gets the musical treatment, with music and lyrics by Gareth Machin. 

82. Chess 

London Coliseum 

April 26-June 2 

The first major revival since the original 1986 production of this Cold War story of love and chess by Tim Rice and Abba’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. 

83. Summer Holiday 

Liverpool Empire 

May 8-12, then on tour 

Musical of the sweetly innocent Cliff Richard Sixties film. Don and his cheery chums drive a double-decker bus to the Med. Hits include Summer Holiday, Bachelor Boy and Living Doll. 

84. The King And I 

London Palladium 

June 21-August 4 

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much-loved 1951 musical features Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe in this award-winning Broadway revival. 

85. Company 

Gielgud Theatre, London 

September 26-December 22 

Broadway star Patti LuPone and Rosalie Craig star in a new take on Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 bittersweet musical.  

DANCE

By Rupert Christiansen

86. Strictly Come Dancing: the live tour 

Arena Birmingham 

January 19-21, then on tour until February 11 

This year, Darcey Bussell replaces Len Goodman on the judging panel. 

The Royal Ballet unveils a long-awaited new production of Tchaikovsky’s immortal tragedy, Swan Lake

The Royal Ballet unveils a long-awaited new production of Tchaikovsky’s immortal tragedy, Swan Lake

87. Cinderella 

Sadler's Wells 

Until January 27, then on tour until June 23 

Matthew Bourne’s delightfully quirky version is set during London’s Blitz. 

88. Jane Eyre 

Grand theatre, Leeds 

March 7-14, then on tour to June 9 

A powerful version of Charlotte Brontë’s beloved novel, staged by Northern Ballet, with choreography by Cathy Marston. 

89. Voices of America 

Sadler's wells, London 

April 12-21 

A thrilling programme of transatlantic contemporary dance, including a new work by William Forsythe. 

90. Swan Lake 

Royal Opera House, London 

May 17-June 21 

The Royal Ballet unveils a long-awaited new production of Tchaikovsky’s immortal tragedy.

COMEDY

By Mark Wareham  

91. Chris Rock 

January 11-28 

The fearless US stand-up brings his Total Blackout tour to the UK – his first visit in a decade. 

The panel-show princess Katherine Ryan gets back to the stand-up day job with Glitter Room, her first tour since 2015

The panel-show princess Katherine Ryan gets back to the stand-up day job with Glitter Room, her first tour since 2015

92. Sarah Millican 

January 13-December 6 

The Geordie queen of smut takes her latest mammoth, year-long, 180-date tour, Control Enthusiast, to her adoring masses. 

93. Katherine Ryan 

January 18-March 24 

The panel-show princess gets back to the stand-up day job with Glitter Room, her first tour since 2015. 

94. Bill Bailey 

January 29-June 16 

Superior shenanigans from the West Country maverick with Larks In Transit, his compendium of tales from 20 years as a travelling jester. 

Kiwis Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement get their bongo-funk folk comedy act back on the road for their first visit in more than seven years

Kiwis Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement get their bongo-funk folk comedy act back on the road for their first visit in more than seven years

After their triumphant return to the small screen, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith take their gallery of grotesques back to where it all began – the live arena

After their triumphant return to the small screen, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith take their gallery of grotesques back to where it all began – the live arena

95. Dara O Briain 

February 26-June 2 

Fast-talking mental gymnastics from one of the sharpest minds in the game as Voice Of Reason marks his return to live performance. 

96. Michael Mcintyre 

March 1-November 11 

The all-conquering light entertainer takes his Big World Tour around the globe from Cape Town to Christchurch via the UK’s big arenas. 

97. Flight of the Conchords 

March 5-April 3 

Kiwis Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement get their bongo-funk folk comedy act back on the road for their first visit in more than seven years. 

98. Kevin Bridges 

August 23-December 9 

The abrasive Glaswegian’s take on life comes with a spiky edge as he observes the end of the world as we know it in his Brand New tour. 

99. The League of Gentlemen live again! 

August 24-September 29 

After their triumphant return to the small screen, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith take their gallery of grotesques back to where it all began – the live arena – for a first tour in 12 years. 

100. Ross Noble 

September 9-December 14 

Expect the unexpected as the surreal storyspinning Geordie rambler notches up his 16th touring show with El Hablador.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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