Christopher Fowler -- Besr of 2009

Here's my best of 2009.

Live music: A burlesque show featuring Marc Almond channeling Perry Como, surrounded by immense showgirls in nipple tassles.

Opera: 'Bluebeard's Castle' directed by Daniel Kramer, with Bluebeard terrifyingly portrayed as Josef Fritzl.
Theatre: The deranged fringe production 'Zanna, Don't!' - a gay high school musical that took a lot of nerve to stage in a chapel in one of London's roughest neighbourhoods.

Cinema: The dark Belgian thriller 'Loft', about an apartment with a dead body and only five doorkeys. 'The Bone Man', a wicked black thriller about cannibalism, transexuality and corruption from Austria. And 'Moon', hard British SF that puts ideas brilliantly back in the mix.

Books: 'Charles Elton's sinister 'Mr Toppit', about the malign influence of a children's book on a family. 'British Crime Writing', an astonishing two-volume guide to to authors of the mysterious by Barry Forshaw, and the barking mad and utterly un-PC Fu Manchu adventure 'The Shanghai Gesture', by America's greatest living writer Gary Indiana.

Music: The beautiful album 'The Glare', in which David McAlmont sings over Michael Nyman's orchestral scores, and of course Lily Allen's filthy and honest 'It's Not You It's Me'.