Musical Theatre 2017 Preview – all you need to know

You can’t get more comprehensive than this, here’s a preview of all the 2017 musical theatre openings we know about so far in the West End, on the London Fringe and across the UK.



The Girls – Phoenix Theatre, London

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, The Girls, based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, will open at the Phoenix Theatre, with performances from 28 January. The West End premiere follows sold-out runs at the Grand Theatre, Leeds and the Lowry Salford late 2015/early 2016. The ‘Girls’ will be played by Debbie Chazen, Sophie-Louise Dann, Michele Dotrice, Claire Machin, Claire Moore and Joanna Riding. The show will be produced by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organisation.

Tickets for The Girls are available HERE.

Promises, Promises – Southwark Playhouse, London

The first major London production of the hit Broadway show Promises, Promises since its 1969 West End premiere will play the Southwark Playhouse from 13 January to 18 February (press night on 17 January). The distinctive 1960s musical based on Billy Wilder’s classic movie The Apartment, Promises, Promises brought together three of the biggest names in entertainment, the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David and writer Neil Simon. The creative team will include director Bronagh Lagan, musical director Elliot Davis and choreographer Cressida Carré. Producers are Aria Entertainment and Senbla.

Death Takes a Holiday – Charing Cross Theatre, London

Maxwell Caulfield, Zoë Doano and Chris Peluso will head the cast of the much-anticipated European premiere of Maury Yeston’s Death Takes a Holiday at the Charing Cross Theatre. The third production in Thom Southerland’s first season as artistic director, following on from the critically acclaimed Titanic and RagtimeDeath Takes a Holiday will run from 16 January until 4 March with a press night on 23 January. Based on the Italian play La Morte In Vacanza by Alberto Casella, the musical has a score by Yeston and a book by Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone. The show is produced by Tarento, Steven M. Levy, Sean Sweeney and Vaughan Williams.

Tickets for Death Takes a Holiday are available HERE.

Cautionary Tales For Daughters – Jermyn Street Theatre, London

Following its acclaimed premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015, Cautionary Tales For Daughters arrives at Jermyn Street Theatre from 30 January to 11 February. Drawing on her own unconventional upbringing, composer Tanya Holt takes the audience on a foray through comedy, live music and original animation to the dark heart of growing-up and the dark arts of parenting. Director/contributing writer is Robin Kingsland and the contributing composer is Daniel Dibdin. The show is produced by Fair Warning in association with Jermyn Street Theatre.

January – Live At Zédel, London

Multi-talented West End star Julie Atherton will headline new musical revue January at Live At Zédel from 23 to 25 January. Presented by Atomicus, the show will arrive at the cabaret venue a year after a sell-out workshop production at the Canal Theatre. With a book by Alexander Parker, music by Patrick Stockbridge and musical direction by Tim Gilvin, the show takes a wry and musical look at the ‘worst’ month of the year.

Murder For Two – Watermill Theatre, Newbury

Whodunnit Murder For Two is the first production in the Watermill’s 50th anniversary year. A recent Off-Broadway hit, the show will be directed by Luke Sheppard, whose previous productions include the Olivier Award-winning musical In The Heights. Murder For Two will run at the Watermill from 26 January to 25 February (press night is 30 January), and then transfers to The Other Palace (formerly St James Theatre, London). Ed MacArthur will play the role of Officer Marcus Moscowicz with Jeremy Legat portraying Joe, who plays multiple suspects.

thoroughly-modern-millie-joanne-clifton-as-millie-dilmountThoroughly Modern Millie – Touring

The 2017 UK touring production of the musical comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie opens on Tuesday 17 January at the New Wimbledon Theatre. The production stars Strictly Come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton as Millie with former soap star Michelle Collins as the sinister Mrs Meers in the show until Saturday 4 March. Presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International, the production will be directed and choreographed by Racky Plews. With a book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, based on the original story and screenplay by Richard Morris for the Universal Pictures film, the multi award-winning show features new music by Jeanine Tesori and new lyrics by Dick Scanlan.

La Cage Aux Folles – Touring

John Partridge, Adrian Zmed and Marti Webb will star in the much-loved musical La Cage Aux Folles when it embarks on its first ever nationwide tour, opening at the New Oxford Theatre on 5 January. John Partridge will play ‘Albin’ who moonlights as star drag act Zaza at the infamous La Cage aux Folles nightclub. Adrian Zmed will play ‘Georges’, partner of Albin and owner of the nightclub. This brand new production is produced by Bill Kenwright, directed by Martin Connor and choreographed by Bill Deamer.

Evita – Touring

Bill Kenwright’s production of Evita returns for another major UK tour. The revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-loved musical last toured the country three years ago ahead of a successful London run at the Dominion Theatre in the autumn of 2014. Directed by Bob Tomson and Kenwright, the production is designed by Matthew Wright and choreographed by Bill Deamer. The tour will begin in Bromley at the Churchill Theatre from 12 to 14 January.

Wonderland – Touring

Former soap favourite and stage actress Wendi Peters will star alongside West End leading man Dave Willetts in the 2017 UK tour of Frank Wildhorn’s Tony Award-nominated Wonderland. Peters will play the Queen of Hearts opposite Willetts as the White Rabbit in a production which will also feature West End leading actress Kerry Ellis as Alice in selected venues. Following sold-out seasons in Tampa, Texas and Tokyo, Wonderland debuts at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 20 to 28 January, ahead of an extensive UK tour. Produced by Neil Eckersley, Wonderland has music by Wildhorn, lyrics by Jack Murphy and book by Murphy and Gregory Boyd. The UK adaptation is by Ava Eldred. The production will be directed by Lotte Wakeham.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Touring

Joe McElderry returns to the title role in Bill Kenwright’s touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The singer, whose first taste of fame came as an 18-year-old X Factor winner, made his first appearance in the UK’s longest-running touring musical early in 2016. He will don the ‘coat of many colours’ once more when the 2017 national tour opens at GLive in Guildford from 24-28 January. Presented by special arrangement with the Really Useful Group, Kenwright’s production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-loved musical is now in its 36th year.

Frances Ruffelle as Queenie in The Wild Party. Photo Credit Fern Berresf...

Frances Ruffelle as Queenie in The Wild Party. Picture: Fern Berresford


The Wild Party – The Other Palace, London

The first major London production of Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party at The Other Palace features Frances Ruffelle, John Owen-Jones, Simon Thomas, Donna McKechnie, Dex Lee, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Ako Mitchell, Gloria Obianyo, Genesis Lynea, Melanie Bright, Lizzy Connolly, Steven Serlin, Sebastian Torkia, Bronté Barbé and Tiffany Graves. Formerly the St James Theatre, the newest addition to the Really Useful Theatres Group will mark its debut as a new home for musical theatre with the production which will run from 11 February until 1 April. The dark, jazz-infused tale has music and lyrics by LaChiusa and a book by George C. Wolfe and LaChiusa. Paul Taylor-Mills produces.

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin – Theatre Royal Stratford East, London

First performed at the prestigious Playwrights Horizons in New York and written by former Broadway dancer Kirsten Childs, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin will run from 1 February until 11 March at Theatre Royal Stratford East (with a press night on 8 February). The European premiere features Karis Jack and Sophia Mackay who will play the younger and older versions of the central character Viveca. The Theatre Royal Stratford East and Belgrade Theatre Coventry presentation will be directed by Olivier nominated actress and director Josette Bushell-Mingo (The Lion King).

Lizzie – Greenwich Theatre, London

Eden Espinosa (Wicked) has joined the cast of Lizzie, the new gothic rock musical which will receive its UK premiere at London’s Greenwich Theatre. She joins the previously announced Jodie Jacobs, Bleu Woodward and Bjørg Gamst. Presented by Frederica Teater in association with Aria Entertainment, the show inspired by the story of notorious alleged axe-murderer Lizzie Borden will begin on 22 February and end on 12 March, with a press night on 24 February.

My Land’s Shore – Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, London

My Land’s Shore – having its world premiere at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre, Walthamstow – tells the story of Dic Penderyn, a Welsh labourer and coal miner who lived in Merthyr Tydfil and who was involved with the Merthyr Rising of 3 June 1831. The show has music and lyrics by Christopher J Orton and book and lyrics by Robert Gould. For its first staged production, the creative team is headed by director Brendan Matthew, musical director Aaron Clingham and choreographer Charlotte Tooth. The show runs from 7 to 26 February (press night is 10 February).

Summer Nights in Space – The Vaults, London

Coming to the VAULT Festival, Hannah Elsy Productions presents a new science fiction musical from the creators of rock musical The Quentin Dentin ShowSummer Nights in Space continues writer Henry Carpenter’s breakdown of a ‘broken future’. This production is part of VAULT Festival’s ‘Proxima V’ programming strand of science fiction/ futuristic work for 2017. The show runs from 15-19 February (press night is 15 February).

The Sorrows of Satan – Tristan Bates Theatre, London

A new musical play based on the Faustian 1890s novel The Sorrows of Satan will make its debut at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre. Written by Luke Bateman and Michael Conley, The Sorrows of Satan will play the Covent Garden venue from 14 February until 25 March with a press night on 21 February. Directed by Adam Lenson, the new musical plays for six weeks and is produced by Fisher Taylor-Gaunt Productions.

Christina Bennington and Andrew Polec are cast in Bat Out of Hell. Picture: Specular

Christina Bennington and Andrew Polec are cast in Bat Out of Hell. Picture: Specular

Bat Out of Hell – Manchester Opera House/London Coliseum

The world premiere of the theatrical incarnation of Jim Steinman’s rock classic Bat Out of Hell has a preview run at the Manchester Opera House from 17 February until 8 April. The show will receive its official opening night at the London Coliseum on 20 June, following further previews from 5 June, and is due to run until 22 July. American actor Andrew Polec will make his UK stage debut in the central role of Strat alongside Christina Bennington (Show Boat) as his love interest Raven. Directed by Jay Scheib, Bat Out of Hell the Musical has a book by Steinman and Stuart Beattie, with music and lyrics by Steinman. The musical is produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl, Randy Lennox, Tony Smith, and produced in association with Bat Out of Hell Holding Limited.

Tickets for Bat Out of Hell (in London) are available HERE.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

The world premiere of Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is due to play the Crucible from 8-25 February with a press night on 13 February. The major new work by singer-songwriter Sells (the lead vocalist of rock band The Feeling) and stage and screenwriter MacRae is described as a ‘coming-of-age story with a twist’. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will be directed by Jonathan Butterell, who also came up with the idea for the show.

The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

A new musical adaptation of Eric Idle’s The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat will play Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre from 18 February to 4 March. Based on the book by the Monty Python favourite who, in turn was inspired by the much-loved Edward Lear poem, the best-seller has been adapted for the stage in a new musical version by Dougal Irvine. The latest co-production between the Belgrade Theatre and Sell a Door Theatre Company, the musical version of Idle’s work is aimed at families with children aged 6-plus.

Funny Girl - Sheridan Smith (Fanny Brice) - picture by Marc Brenner

Sheridan Smith will lead the touring cast of Funny Girl. Picture: Marc Brenner

Funny Girl – Touring

Sheridan Smith takes her acclaimed performance as Fanny Brice on the road when she joins the Funny Girl tour at selected venues in the UK and Ireland. Smith is lined up to play Brice in Manchester (where the tour begins on 18 February), Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle, Southampton, Bradford, Southend, Cardiff and Dublin. With music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Bob Merrill, book by Isobel Lennart and a revised book by Harvey Fierstein, the show proved to be an instant hit with audiences and critics when it opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory in November 2015. Directed by Michael Mayer, Funny Girl is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions; Scott Landis Productions; Chocolate Factory Productions, Dante Di Loreto and Michael Harrison.

The Wedding Singer – Touring

The national tour of The Wedding Singer is due to open on Friday 10 February 2017 at Leicester Curve. Based on the much-loved 1998 film, the touring production will feature West End favourites Jon Robyns (Legally Blonde) and Cassie Compton (American Psycho). They will be joined on stage by Ray Quinn and Roxanne Pallett. Directed and choreographed by Nick Winston, The Wedding Singer 2017 UK tour is produced by Dan Looney, Paulden Hall Productions, Tom O’Connell, Jason Haigh-Ellery and Tim Lawson. The show has music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin who also wrote the book with the writer of the original film, Tim Herlihy.

La Strada – Touring

A new musical adaptation of Frederico Fellini’s Oscar-winning La Strada, a deeply impassioned tale of love and loss set in post-Second World War Italy, embarks on a national tour, before receiving its London premiere in July as part of the newly announced season at The Other Palace. Sally Cookson’s (Jane Eyre, Hetty Feather) production, which boasts a new score by Benjy Bower, opens a 16-week tour at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in February (11-18) before visiting 12 other venues.

Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope in An American in Paris. Original Broadway Cast. Credit Matthew Murphy (2)

Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope in An American in Paris. Picture: Matthew Murphy


An American in Paris – Dominion Theatre

Christopher Wheeldon’s reinvention of the Gene Kelly classic An American in Paris will be dancing its way into London’s Dominion Theatre on 4 March, ahead of an official opening night on 21 March. Joining the stars of the hit Broadway production Robert Fairchild (as Jerry Mulligan) and Leanne Cope (as Lise Dassin) will be Haydn Oakley (Sunset Boulevard), Zoë Rainey (Wicked), David Seadon-Young (Ghost the Musical), and veteran screen and stage star Jane Asher (Blithe Spirit). Ashley Day (The Book of Mormon) will be the alternate Jerry before taking over the role from 19 June 2017. The show has music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, with a new book by Craig Lucas, and is produced in London by Stuart Oken, Van Kaplan, Roy Furman, Michael McCabe and Joshua Andrews.

Tickets for An American in Paris are available HERE.

The Life – Southwark Playhouse

Arriving in the UK for the first time, musical The Life makes its long-awaited London debut, directed by the show’s original Broadway director Michael Blakemore. Starring Sharon D. Clarke (Sonja) and Cornell S. John (Memphis), The Life will run at Southwark Playhouse for a strictly limited season from 25 March-29 April, with press night on 29 March. The Life, featuring a rarely heard score by celebrated composer Cy Coleman, is based on an original idea by lyricist Ira Gasman and features a book by Coleman, Gasman and David Newman (book revisions for this production are by Michael Blakemore).

The Frogs – Jermyn Street Theatre, London

The latest Broadway version of the rarely-performed Stephen Sondheim musical The Frogs, a send-up of Greek comedy and satire, with a book revised and expanded by Nathan Lane, is to get its UK premiere at Jermyn Street Theatre (press nights are 16 and 17 March). The Frogs is loosely based on a comedy written in 405BC by Aristophanes, freely adapted for today by Burt Shevelove, and even more freely adapted by Lane, with music and lyrics by Sondheim. This production is presented by House on the Hill Productions in association with Jermyn Street Theatre and directed by Grace Wessels, premiering at Jermyn Street Theatre from 14 March to 8 April.

I Capture the Castle – Watford Palace Theatre/Bolton Octagon Theatre

Watford Palace Theatre presents the world premiere of musical of I Capture the Castle, based on the iconic novel by Dodie Smith, and co-produced with the Octagon Theatre Bolton and Kevin Wallace Limited in association with Deborah Ward. Set in the Bohemian England of the 1930s, Smith’s worldwide bestselling classic is a warm and sharply funny coming-of-age story. The script by Teresa Howard tells the story through the eyes of 17-year-old narrator Cassandra. The original music by composer Steven Edis has influences of swing, tango, beguine, English folksong and a hint of Cole Porter. Artistic director of Watford Palace Theatre, Brigid Larmour, directs. I Capture the Castle opens at Watford on 5 April and runs until 22 April. The musical plays in Bolton from 26 April-6 May.

One Love: The Bob Marley Musical – Birmingham Repertory Theatre

The UK premiere of One Love: The Bob Marley Musical, a new musical focusing on a defining period of global legend Bob Marley’s life and career in the 1970s, will open at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 10 March and runs until 8 April 2017. The musical, written and directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, tells the story of a man propelled from rising reggae star to global icon, and brings Marley’s inspirational music catalogue to the stage for the first time. One Love: The Bob Marley Musical is presented by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Playful Productions and Stage Play Limited.

Yank! – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

The second season of shows from the partnership between Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre and London arts producer Aria Entertainment begins with the UK premiere of Off-Broadway musical Yank! The Second World War love story has book and lyrics by David Zellnik and music by his brother Joseph. Yank!, running from 9 March to 8 April, will be produced with Ben Millerman and directed by James Baker.

junkyardJunkyard – Touring

Award-winning writer Jack Thorne’s Junkyard will open in Bristol ahead of a mini tour. The writer, who is currently enjoying critical acclaim and audience success for his work on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, provides the book and lyrics for the new musical based on a true story and set in 1979 Bristol. With an original score by Academy Award-winning composer Stephen Warbeck, Junkyard will play the Bristol Old Vic from 24 February until 18 March with a press night on 2 March. The production will then head for Theatr Clwyd in Mold (29 March until 15 April) and the Rose Theatre, Kingston upon Thames (19-30 April). Directed by the artistic director of the Headlong Theatre Company, Jeremy Herrin, Junkyard is a co-production between Headlong, Bristol Old Vic, the Rose Theatre Kingston and Theatr Clwyd.

Grease – Touring

Actress and singer Danielle Hope will join The Wanted’s Tom Parker and former EastEnder Louise Lytton in the cast of this national tour of the original West End production of much-loved musical Grease. Hope will take on the role of Sandy opposite former award-winning boyband singer Parker who will make his professional music theatre debut in the iconic role of Danny Zuko. Former Strictly contestant and star of ITV’s The Bill, Lytton will take on the role of tough girl Rizzo in the touring production which will open at the Palace Theatre, Manchester on 10 March. TV personality and singer Darren Day will play Teen Angel at a number of venues. The tour is presented by Paul Nicholas and David Ian.

At Last – The Etta James Story – Touring

At Last – The Etta James Story, starring Vika Bull, has its UK debut on 28 March when it opens at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre before touring. Following its world premiere in Melbourne in 2013, the show has played throughout Australia and New Zealand. Telling the story of soul legend Etta James’ turbulent life, the show features some of her most beloved songs including ‘Tell Mama’, ‘Something’s Got a Hold On Me’, ‘Sugar On the Floor’, the heart-rending ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ and her iconic signature song, ‘At Last’.

All Or Nothing – Touring

All Or Nothing, the Small Faces musical, will tour the UK on its second major outing. The second UK tour will kick off in Chelmsford at the Civic Theatre on 29 March before taking to the road and visiting venues including the New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham; Theatre Royal Glasgow; Belgrade Theatre Coventry; Hall for Cornwall; Churchill Theatre Bromley; and Theatre Royal Brighton. Written by the award-winning actress Carol Harrison, All Or Nothing tells the tale of Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott; four charismatic young kids from East London who became The Small Faces.

Tommy – Touring

The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich in co-production with Ramps on the Moon presents a short tour of The Who’s Tommy. A cast of 22 performers and musicians will re-create the piece with music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and a book by Townshend and Des McAnuff (additional music and lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon). Tommy will feature a creative use of audio description, captioning and British Sign Language interpretation which will enhance the experience for everyone. It is the second touring production made in association with Ramps on the Moon – a consortium of theatres across the UK that are committed to driving change in their organisations.


Sheena Easton will star in the West End production of 42nd Street


42nd Street – Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

42nd Street (with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin and music by Harry Warren) will play the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane from Monday 20 March, with a press night on Tuesday 4 April. Sheena Easton makes her West End debut as Dorothy Brock, while the role of Julian Marsh will be performed by Tom Lister. Clare Halse, who most recently appeared in the acclaimed production of Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre, will play Peggy Sawyer. The production will be directed by Mark Bramble. 42nd Street is presented in London by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade together with The Global Group of Companies for Gate Ventures with executive producer Johnny Hon.

Tickets for 42nd Street are available HERE.

Carousel – London Coliseum

Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins will star for the first time together in the West End as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, the third production in the partnership between English National Opera (ENO) and the GradeLinnit Company. Lonny Price will direct the strictly limited run of 41 performances at ENO’s London Coliseum. Beginning on 7 April, with press night on 11 April, the final performance in this strictly limited five-week run takes place on 13 May. ENO’s award-winning 40-piece orchestra and chorus will accompany the cast in this semi-staged production. Carousel is presented by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade with English National Opera who have previously presented the critically acclaimed runs of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel and Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close.

Tickets for Carousel are available HERE.

Whisper House – The Other Palace, London

The UK premiere of Whisper House, a dark musical ghost story from Duncan Sheik (the Tony Award-winning composer of Spring Awakening and American Psycho) runs at The Other Palace from 6 April to 27 May. The show has book and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow and is conceived with Keith Powell. Formerly the St James Theatre, The Other Palace will officially open its doors in February 2017 and will be a home and breeding ground for musicals at various stages of development. The Other Palace will focus on four key areas: programming, creative use of spaces, musical theatre development and audience engagement.

SLEEPLESS the Musical – Touring

Fresh from the final of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Danny Mac and West End leading lady Carley Stenson will be playing the roles of Sam and Annie in the world premiere of SLEEPLESS the Musical, based on the Tristar Pictures film Sleepless in Seattle. The new musical has a book by Michael Burdett, music by Robert Scott and lyrics by Brendan Cull. The production will open at Theatre Royal Plymouth from 1 to 15 April, followed by a week at The Lowry, Salford from 25 to 29 April, and finishing at Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin from 2 to 13 May, prior to a West End run. The world premiere of SLEEPLESS is a Theatre Royal Plymouth production presented by Michael Rose and David Shor, in association with Marc Toberoff and the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin.


Picture: Matt Martin

The Addams Family – Touring

Cameron Blakely will play Gomez opposite Samantha Womack as Morticia in the major new touring production of The Addams Family musical which opens at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on 20 April. Directed by Matthew White (The Producers UK tour), the show has a book by the creators of the multi-award winning Jersey Boys, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Presented by United Theatrical, Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited in association with the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, the UK and Ireland tour will play the Festival Theatre until 29 April before heading for Northampton’s Royal & Derngate (9-13 May).

Footloose – Touring

A new international tour of Footloose the Musical will launch at the New Wimbledon Theatre on 21 April. The tour will include a strictly limited West End season at the Peacock Theatre, playing for three weeks from 12 September. Gareth Gates and Maureen Nolan will reprise their roles as Willard and Vi Moore. Footloose the Musical has music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and is adapted for the stage by Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. It is directed by Racky Plews (American Idiot, West End) with choreography by Matthew Cole. The tour is produced by David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Sell a Door Productions, Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Jason Haigh-Ellery and Stephen McGill Productions.

Drew Mc

Drew McOnie directs and choreographs On the Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Picture: Roy Tan


On the Town – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London

The musical On the Town opens Timothy Sheader’s tenth season as artistic director at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Playing from 19 May 2017 to 1 July, the production will be directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. With music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, On the Town will be the biggest dance musical ever staged at the Open Air Theatre.

Room – Theatre Royal Stratford East, London

Room features original songs by songwriters Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett and will run from 2 May until 3 June at Theatre Royal Stratford East, with a press night on 10 May. Adapted for the stage by Donoghue from her bestseller, the show will be directed by Bissett. The Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre, Dublin co-production will be presented in association with National Theatre of Scotland and Covent Garden Productions.

tick, tick… BOOM! – Park Theatre, London

Park Theatre’s new spring/summer 2017 season will include rock musical tick, tick… BOOM! by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Jonathan Larson (playing from 3-27 May, press night is 10 May). Containing 14 songs, ten characters, three actors and a band, tick, tick… BOOM! takes audiences on the journey that led to a Broadway blockbuster. The production is presented by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Joe C Brown in association with Park Theatre.

Kiss Me, Kate – Kilworth House Theatre, Leicestershire

Opening the season in 2017 is Kiss Me, Kate, running from 31 May to 16 July. Directed by Matthew White, who was responsible for last season’s West Side Story, Cole Porter’s riotously inventive homage to the sparkling wit of Shakespeare includes such showstopping numbers as ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’, ‘Always True to You in My Fashion’, ‘Too Darn Hot’ and ‘So in Love’.

Rufus Hound in The Wind in the Willows. Picture: Marc Brenner

Rufus Hound in The Wind in the Willows. Picture: Marc Brenner


The Wind in the Willows – London Palladium

The major new musical theatre adaptation of the family classic The Wind in the Willows will speed into the London Palladium in June. Adapted for the stage by Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, The Wind in the Willows features Rufus Hound as speed demon Mr Toad. The Palladium run begins previewing on 17 June, ahead of an opening night on 29 June. Based on Kenneth Grahame’s timeless novel, The Wind in the Willows is produced by Jamie Hendry Productions and presented in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth. The production is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.

Tickets for The Wind in the Willows are available HERE.

Working – Southwark Playhouse, London

The genre-twisting Broadway musical Working, co-written by Stephen Schwartz, will receive its long-awaited European premiere at the Southwark Playhouse. Directed by Luke Sheppard (In The Heights), the new production of the ground-breaking show will play a limited season at the Southwark Playhouse from 2 June until 8 July with a press night on 7 June. One of the first musicals from Schwartz, the composer of the multi-award winning Wicked, the show employs a range of musical styles and genres from a number of leading composers including five-time Grammy Award winner James Taylor and the creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Working will be produced by up-and-coming theatre producers Jack Maple, Ramin Sabi and D.E.M. Productions.

Blues in the Night – London Hippodrome

Nearly three decades after its London debut, Sheldon Epps’ musical revue Blues in the Night will return to the capital for two concert performances. Conceived by American stage and television director Epps, the celebration of the songs and singers most intrinsically linked with classic blues, will be performed at The Hippodrome Casino on Wednesday 7 June.


The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Takes Oral Evidence on Whitehall’s Relationship with Kids Company – Donmar Warehouse

A new musical, The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Takes Oral Evidence on Whitehall’s Relationship with Kids Company, is part of the Donmar Warehouse 2017 spring season. The musical, based on the controversy surrounding the collapse of Kids Company, will feature book and lyrics edited from the transcript of the House of Commons Select Committee’s evidentiary session held to examine Whitehall’s links to the charity. The piece brings together Adam Penford, newly-appointed artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse; Donmar artistic director Josie Rourke; actor Hadley Fraser; and composer Tom Deering.

Girl From the North Country – The Old Vic

The Old Vic presents the world premiere of Girl From the North Country, a new work from esteemed playwright Conor McPherson along with classic songs from Bob Dylan. The production runs from 12 July to 7 October.

Miss Saigon – Touring

The acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Miss Saigon– a recent hit in the West End – will embark on a major UK tour, opening at Curve Leicester on 3 July. Miss Saigon has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Boublil, with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler. The new production is directed by Laurence Connor with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt.

Flashdance the Musical – Touring

Flashdance the Musical returns to the UK for the first time since 2011 with a year-long tour beginning at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre on 31 July. Produced by Sell a Door Productions and Runaway Entertainment, the tour is due to end at the Milton Keynes Theatre in July 2018. Based on the much-loved 1983 Paramount Pictures film Flashdance, the musical has a book by the co-screenwriter of the original film Tom Hedley and Robert Carey, and lyrics by Carey and Robbie Roth.


Jesus Christ Superstar – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London

Following its sell-out success in 2016, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Jesus Christ Superstar returns for just 41 performances (11 August to 16 September), giving audiences one final chance to see the production in its original home. With direction by Timothy Sheader and choreography by Drew McOnie, the production won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

fp2s-logo-300x128From Page to Stage – The Other Palace, London

Writers from across the world will for the first time compete with homegrown talent for a place in next year’s From Page to Stage summer festival. Running from Monday 14 August until Sunday 3 September, the 2017 FPTS event will showcase more than 20 new musicals performed by leading West End performers and creative talent. Writers with unfinished musicals are also being encouraged to submit their work before the Tuesday 28 February 2017 closing date as next year’s event will showcase each step in the development of a new show.

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein – Newcastle Theatre Royal/West End

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, which will open for a pre West End season at the Newcastle Theatre Royal (26 August to 9 September), is slated for a West End opening in autumn 2017. Based on the Oscar-nominated hit 1974 film and co-written with Thomas Meehan, Brooks will once again collaborate with Broadway director and choreographer Susan Stroman for this all-singing, all-dancing new production, bringing his and Gene Wilder’s classic movie to life on stage. Young Frankenstein is produced by Mel Brooks, Michael Harrison, Fiery Angel and Hani Farsi.

Top Hat – Kilworth House Theatre, Leicestershire

Kilworth House Theatre’s second production from 16 August-16 September is winner of no less than three Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical. Top Hat brings the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age and the glorious, tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to the stage in one of the greatest dance musicals of all time. Kilworth House Theatre welcomes back director Stephen Mear for this romantic comedy packed full of Irving Berlin’s greatest hits.

Lytham Festival – Lytham St Annes

West End and Broadway stars will return to Lytham Festival’s spectacular Last Night of the Proms for 2017. The week-long festival in August 2017 will see in excess of 70,000 people visit the town on the North West’s Fylde Coast. And for the final act of the festival on Sunday 6 August, West End Proms will see a string of stars including Lea Salonga, Ramin Karimloo, Collabro, Ruthie Henshall, Claire Sweeney, Jon Lee, Jodie Prenger, Lytham-born rising West End star Lucie Mae Sumner and English National Opera soprano Jo Appleby all take to the stage. The artists will perform an array of hits with a full 60-piece orchestra.

Our House – Touring

A new production of the 2003 Olivier Award-winning musical Our House will tour the UK from 7 August to 25 November 2017, featuring the music of ska music pioneers Madness and starring Linda Nolan. This tour will be directed by Immersion Theatre’s James Tobias and choreographed by the resident choreographer of Matilda the Musical, Fabian Aloise. Tim Firth’s Our House will be presented by Immersion Theatre Company and Damien Tracey Productions.

The 2015-16 cast of Hairspray. Picture: Ellie Kurttz

The 2015-16 cast of Hairspray. Picture: Ellie Kurttz

Hairspray – Touring

The successful touring production of the hit musical Hairspray will begin its second major UK and Ireland tour in Cardiff on 16 August. The production of the multi-award winning show will visit more than 30 venues on its return trip around the country which will last until the early summer of 2018. Hairspray is directed by Paul Kerryson, with choreography by Drew McOnie. Based on the 1988 film of the same name, the musical has music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan.

Crazy For You – Touring

Following a successful season at the Watermill Theatre, there will be a national tour of Crazy For You, starring Tom Chambers as Bobby. The tour will open at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth on 17 August. Crazy For You boasts a fabulous score from the Gershwin brothers’ songbook. Mistaken identities, plot twists, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes all feature in this celebration of the great Broadway musicals. The production is directed by the Watermill’s artistic and executive director Paul Hart, with choreography by Nathan M. Wright.

Cassidy Janson from Beautiful – The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre. Picture: Roy Tan

Picture: Roy Tan


Beautiful – The Carole King Musical – Touring

The multi award-winning Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is to begin a tour of the UK in September. The tour will begin at the Bradford Alhambra from 9-16 September. Based on the early life and career of legendary singer/songwriter Carole King, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical has a book by Douglas McGrath with words and music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. The show is directed by Marc Bruni with choreography by Josh Prince.


The Stationmaster – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

The second season of shows from the partnership between Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre and London arts producer Aria Entertainment continues with The Stationmaster, running from 7 until 30 September. The musical made its debut as part of Aria Entertainment’s annual From Page to Stage festival of new musicals in 2015. The musical is inspired by Horvath’s Judgment Day, translated by Christopher Hampton with a book by Susannah Pearse and music and lyrics by Tim Connor. Set in a small town in the Lake District, The Stationmaster will be directed by Bronagh Lagan.

Nativity! The Musical – Touring

The world premiere of Nativity! The Musical will open at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 20 October, prior to a short tour visiting Southend Cliffs Pavilion, Sheffield Lyceum, Manchester Palace, Plymouth Theatre Royal, a London season at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo and a Christmas season at Leeds Grand Theatre. Nativity! The Musical will be written and directed by the creator and director of the films, Debbie Isitt, with music and lyrics by Nicky Ager and Isitt. Nativity! The Musical will be presented by Jamie Wilson, Entertainment One (eOne), Ramin Sabi, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Joan Marcus

Hamilton is on its way. Picture: Joan Marcus


Hamilton – Victoria Palace Theatre, London

Hamilton, the critically acclaimed and multi award-winning Broadway musical, will open at the end of 2017 at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London which is currently undergoing an extensive multi-million-pound refurbishment. Previews commence in November 2017. Winner of 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, Hamilton has smashed box office records on Broadway and has become a cultural sensation. Currently playing on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and in Chicago, the musical has book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton is produced in London by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman, The Public Theater and Cameron Mackintosh.

Little Women – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

The second season of shows from the partnership between Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre and London arts producer Aria Entertainment continues with the third and final production of 2017, the UK premiere of Tony-nominated Broadway musical Little Women. Running from 9 November to 9 December 2017, the piece is based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1869 novel. The show has a book by Allan Knee, with lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.

Also on tour: Billy Elliot, Blood Brothers, Buddy the Musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Commitments, Dirty Dancing, Dreamboats and Petticoats, Ghost the Musical, Legally Blonde, Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar Quartet, New Adventures’ The Red Shoes, Rent, Sister Act, Sunny Afternoon and Thriller Live.

* Make sure you look out for the latest reviews and features on the Musical Theatre Review website.


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