Christmas shopping for your nearest and (ahem) dearest got you stumped? Then here’s a godsend: tickets are on sale this week for some absolutely massive shows next year. Here are the biggest and best.
MUSIC | The O2, Sep 24–27
The 1D lads roll out their planet-eating pop at The O2, providing a show of force that should go some way towards reestablishing them as the biggest pop band on Earth. After a set of huge stadium shows this year, this run of indoor gigs should be a relatively intimate affair – only 20,000 screaming girls per night, rather than the 90,000 the boys faced at Wembley in 2014.
MUSIC | The O2, Oct 25–30
After surprising and mildly annoying the world with their auto-downloading new album ‘Songs of Innocence’, notable property moguls and occasional musicians Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr arrive in London for an autumn residency in London’s biggest room. These will be U2’s first British shows since 2009, when they packed out Wembley Stadium twice over as part of the highest-grossing concert tour of all time, and they’re still unbeatable when it comes to messianic, high-concept, stadium-rock pomp. If that’s your cup of tea, don’t you dare miss this.
BILL BAILEY – LIMBOLAND
COMEDY | Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Dec 8 and 9 2015
He said he was taking a break from stand-up, but it hasn’t taken long for Bill Bailey to get back on the road. ‘Limboland’, the 50-year-old comic’s new show, has already toured the southern hemisphere and it’s landing in London next December. Expect BB’s usual heady mix of musical deconstructions, whimsical flights of fancy and general grumbles.
TREVOR NOAH – LOST IN TRANSLATION
COMEDY | Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Oct 3
This slick, smart and sublimely funny South African stand-up is a household name in his home country, and is quickly becoming a TV favourite over here. A few years ago, with a little help from Eddie Izzard (who co-produced his UK debut), Noah had a phenomenally successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe and then multiple sell-out runs in London. His material generally focuses on his unique upbringing – growing up in apartheid South Africa, the son of a black African mum and a white Swiss dad – and he has plenty to say about race and multiculturalism. Warm, insightful, classy comedy.
JOHN BISHOP – SUPERSONIC
COMEDY | Royal Albert Hall, Apr 2
‘Ground control to Major John’ is one of the many space-themed puns in the marketing blurb for John Bishop’s ‘Supersonic’ tour. But really the Liverpudlian powerhouse’s latest show is more about life-affirming everyman observations than contemplating the cosmos. After three sell-out nights at Wembley Arena, the 48-year-old comic is recording his DVD at the prestigious Albert Hall next year.
DANIEL KITSON – TREE
THEATRE | Old Vic, Jan 5–31
This new work by maverick comedian/storyteller/theatre man Daniel Kitson co-stars offbeat comedian Tim Key. ‘Tree’ is set on a quiet residential street where a man arrives at a tree with a picnic basket. It’s a nifty if surprising bit of programming for the usually straight-down-the-line Old Vic and, as with most of Kitson’s shows, is likely to sell out very quickly. Tickets went on sale at noon today, so hurry!
MUSIC | Wembley Arena, Jun 27
OMG, it’s Princess Elsa! The Tony Award-winning star of ‘Wicked’ and TV’s ‘Glee’ had her profile further raised last year when her voice starred in Disney’s ‘Frozen’, and the film’s epic ballad ‘Let It Go’ catapulted her into the enormodome league. Thus she’s now comfortably able to fill up Wembley Arena to belt out show tunes and her own material. She’s just released a Christmas album, too, but showcasing numbers from that record might sound a little off-topic by the time this show rolls around in June.