Coming to a West End theatre near you?

Back in March, when this blog was still just days old, I wrote a post entitled ‘Upcoming shows – why musical theatre fans should be excited’ in which I talked about 4 shows rumoured to be coming to London that I was looking forward to. One of the shows, Spring Awakening, has since announced that it will be opening at the Lyric Hammersmith.

Over recent weeks, the number of new shows either being rumoured, or announced, seems to have accelerated. I thought it was worth providing a round-up of rumours, to give you a sense of what you can expect to see arriving in London over the next 6-12 months.

So, in alphabetical, here are the upcoming shows that are rumoured to be on their way…

  • A Little Night Music is strongly tipped to be this year’s Christmas musical at the Menier Chcolate Factory, with Sir Trevor Nunn at the helm. If the rumours are true (there hasn’t been any formal confirmation from the theatre yet), it’s great news to have a Sondheim classic on the way.
  • All The Fun of the Fair has already announced its tour dates, and starts in Bromley on 8th September. It’s a new show written by, about, and staring the legendary David Essex. Producers are rumoured to be looking at a London run at the end of its run, but in the meantime, you can book your tickets to see it on tour at the show’s official website
  • Carousel is another show that begins its run at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley in September, and stars Lesley Garrett, an opera star who was seen last year in The Sound of Music. What’s On Stage reports that producers will then transfer the show to a West End theatre in November. The show is directed by Lindsay Posner (who recently directed Fiddler on the Roof) and you can find out more here
  • Can’t Smile Without You is yet another ‘jukebox musical’, this time based on the music of Barry Manilow. Some people might be slightly happier to know that at least Manilow has written a musical before, the delightfully cheesy Copacabana. The show is starting (you guessed it!) in Bromley, before making its way to the West End. It’s produced by Bill Kenwright, and you can out more here or find the official website here
  • Eurobeat is another show that… wait a minute, this is all getting quite repetitive. For some reason, all the shows that begin with letters early in the alphabet seem to be starting with a tour before making its way to the West End! Fortunately, unlike other shows, Eurobeat already knows where it’s going. It has a 10-week slot confirmed at the Novello Theatre, starting on September 4th, and you can book tickets via the official website 
  • Funny Girl has just closed after its run at the Chichester Festival Theatre. It’s rumoured to be looking at a London transfer, but at this stage, I haven’t seen any formal announcement
  • Gypsy has recently been revived on Broadway, and has seen the production, starring Patti LuPone, win 4 Tony Awards this weekend. Apparently producers are very keen to bring the show to London, with LuPone reprising the title role, so keep your fingers crossed. No confirmation thus far.
  • La Cage Aux Folles had a sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory over Christmas, and may still make it to the West End. No word has been forthcoming from the Menier recently, but I thought it was a fantastic show, and would love to see the leads – Douglas Hodge and Philip Quast – reprise their roles for an extended run.
  • Legally Blonde is another Broadway success that’s making its way over the pond. The show already has an official website which announces that it’ll be starting in 2009. Rumours are linking it with the Piccadilly Theatre where it would replace the current resident, Grease.
  • The Music Man opens next week at Chichester Festival Theatre, and judging by availability when I tried to book my tickets, the pre-sales have been remarkable. The show is apparently already looking for a London theatre, but in the meantime, you can book to see Brian Conley, Scarlet Strallen and the rest of the case in Chichester here
  • Oliver is one show you’ll already know about… Jodie Prenger, chosen as Nancy during the recent TV series ‘I’d Do Anything’, is joined by a huge cast including Rowan Atkinson, and will reach the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in December. The show’s official website can be found here
  • Priscilla: Queen of the Desert is also coming to London, as you can see from the show’s official website, which announces plans to arrive in 2009. I first mentioned this is my weekly round-up last week
  • Sister Act is also rumoured to be on the way but as with a number of the shows, there’s been no official confirmation.
  • Spring Awakening is opening at the Lyric Hammersmith, opening on 23rd January 2009, which was announced a few weeks’ back. It seems to be accepted that the show will move to the West End if successful, but in the meantime, you can find out more about the production at the official website
  • Street Scene is the last show to make this list, and opens at the Young Vic Theatre on July 17th. Take a look at the website for more info on this Kurt Weill musical.

 

CONGRATULATIONS if you have made it this far. As you can see, there are a huge number of shows that are, or may be, coming to the West End in the coming months.

Thank you to some fantastic theatre websites that provide much of the gossip/ information that informs this article – most notably (although not only) The Stage and What’s On Stage.

If there are other shows that you think I have missed, do let me know!

****************************************************************************

To recap, here is a recap on the (apparently) upcoming shows:

  • A Little Night Music
  • All The Fun of the Fair
  • Carousel
  • Can’t Smile Without You
  • Eurobeat
  • Funny Girl 
  • La Cage Aux Folles
  • Legally Blonde
  • The Music Man
  • Oliver
  • Priscilla: Queen of the Desert
  • Sister Act
  • Spring Awakening
  • Street Scene
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