It's finally December which means we can reveal the 2019 Entertainment Top 25 as chosen by the entertainment fanatics at Red Bee.
25) JESUS HOPPED THE ‘A’ TRAIN
One of the most powerful plays we’ve ever seen is at no. 25. This Young Vic production was one of those theatre experiences that leaves you so struck you have to sit in your seat for a little while after the lights come on. It’s the story of two men locked up in New York City’s infamous Rikers Island. Angel, the new guy on the block, finds himself in prison after a retaliation gone wrong. There he meets Lucius, a serial killer who has found God and wants to help his prison-mate find salvation. Enter prison guards (one sympathetic, one cruel) and a brash lawyer who will do everything in her power to help her client get release. The script is a series of brilliant dialogues, spat back and forth across the stage, each actor outperforming the next. And simple staging, featuring a long catwalk that traverses the auditorium, keeps the prisoners each in his own glass box – cut off with no contact from anyone else on stage. The themes free will, faith and forgiveness are deep and the performances powerful. If it comes back, grab tickets.
24) BLOOD ON THE TRACKS
Four guests and host Colin Murray debate musical answers to questions like "What is the best song to take to solitary confinement?" and “What is the best song from Australia?” The eclectic nature of the guests and their shared passion for music makes this a treasure trove of a listen.
23) MICHAEL JACKSON: LEAVING NEVERLAND
With a heavy heart, our tip this year is Leaving Neverland, the disturbing two-part documentary detailing the abuse allegedly inflicted on two boys by Michael Jackson. Despite primarily relying on talking head interviews, it’s a deeply compelling four hours, and particularly hard-hitting in part two, where more time is spent with the allegers’ family members, who reveal how all their lives have been affected. Though it may leave fans unsettled, it makes for important viewing, throwing open the debate as to whether it’s possible to separate an artist from their art.
At a time when dark or bittersweet comedies are the flavour of the month, this is a beautifully and painstakingly crafted comedy that is also just daft, silly and laugh-out-loud feel-good. Deservedly also just recommissioned for a second series.
21) VISTAS – NATIONAL TOUR
Vistas are a young indie band, blazing out of Edinburgh on a debut national tour of music clubs. ‘Retrospect,’ ‘Tigerblood’ and latest single ‘Like an American’ feel like the songs of bands who have honed their craft for ten years. See you in the mosh pit.