Five things we're looking forward to getting (or at least trying to get) tickets for this Spring.
1 Tickets to The Dictator (above)
Sacha Baron Cohen’s cinematic track record is indisputable: Ali G, Borat and Brüno (we recently came across a very early TV sketch, “Schvitzen”, in which he played a stripping Hasidic Jew, and that was pretty special, too). Now he’s unleashing General Aladeen, autocratic leader of the Republic of Wadiya, who has a thing for gold (like Saddam), female bodyguards (like Gaddafi) and Megan Fox (like everyone). Out on 16 May
Essential because: Ben Kingsley hamming it up as Aladeen’s chief of security and “procurer of women” looks too good to miss.
2 Stone Roses tickets
OK, so John Squire might have looked the spit of Dot Cotton in those reunion photos and the “we are doing new songs” news might seem more threat than promise, but for sheer sense of occasion this is one band get-together we’d pay to see. Judging from the fact the initial two Heaton Park gigs sold at the rate of 10,000 tickets per minute, we’re not alone.
Essential because: Unlike, say, The Smiths or The Jam, a sense of unfinished business really does surround The Roses. Roll on June.
3 Tickets to Prometheus
Ridley Scott returns to space with this $250m blockbuster, which may or may not be a prequel to Alien. Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce,Charlize Theron and Idris Elba all star. Out 8 June
Essential because: Prequel or not, judging by this film’s font and poster, Scott’s got Alien in mind.
4 Damien Hirst at the Tate Modern
Don’t go in the water, or at least into the Turbine Hall, without checking out the collected works of Britain’s most infamous living artist at this major show. Yes, the shark in formaldehyde will be there, as will the £50m diamond skull, with a good smattering of spattering on the side. Starts 4 April tate.org.uk/modern
Essential because: We should forget about the price tags. It’s time to consider Hirst’s art on its own terms.
5 An evening in Simon Amstell's company
Simon Amstell’s comedy is never comfortable. This you’ll know if you’ve seen him do stand-up, his sitcom Grandma’s House or received a quick-witted barb from him on Popworld or Never Mind the Buzzcocks (Britney Spears and Preston from The Ordinary Boys, we mean you). Prepare to laugh - and squirm - at his new live show. Starts 5 May in Dublin, simonamstell.co.uk
Essential because: In an age of Michael McIntyres and John Bishops, Amstell’s not afraid to have a serrated edge.