It’s that time of year when we all get reflective, and occasionally sentimental and mawkish, thinking about the past year. I’m definitely not going to do that. Instead, I thought I’d share a few cultural highlights of 2013. I’ve waded through some pretty grim stuff and also been lucky enough to witness some totally stunning stuff. Here’s my gay Top 5 of 2013:

1) Cabaret: The Black Cat Cabaret
As sleek and slinky as a black cat stalking the back streets of Paris, this is a diverse mix of burlesque, novelty acts, dance, comedy and music. It’s definitely atmospheric and often dark and enticing. Featuring a variety of hosts including the alluring Dusty Limits, this show played to packed houses at the remarkable Café de Paris in Leicester Square. 2014 sees new line-ups and exciting new venues. Check out the itinerary here: http://www.theblackcat.info

2) Dance: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty. If you weren’t fortunate enough to see this in the flesh then the television screening on Christmas day was well worth seeing. Matthew Bourne dazzles as ever with inventive sets, eclectic choreography and clever reworking of classics. Catch up with the latest projects here: http://www.new-adventures.net

3) Theatre: The Pride. This was an exceptional play with comedy, pathos and a thought provoking message. Justifiably praised by critics, this was a play that cleverly explored the parallels between gay life in the 1950s and the present day. Look out for upcoming shows at the Trafalgar here: http://www.trafalgar-studios.co.uk/

4) Film: Behind the Candelabra. High camp, pianos, Matt Damon in tight trunks? What more do you need to know? Oh, it was actually quite moving in places too as well as being hilariously funny. Buy it here.

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5) Comedy: Scott Capuro. One of the most naughty and funniest of our openly gay comedians, he’s a pleasure, albeit an uncomfortable pleasure at times, to witness. Check out his next dates here: http://scottcapurro.com/wp28/upcoming-shows

2014 is definitely going to be an exciting year for culture. I’ll keep you posted with hot tips.

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