By Imogen Sarre
The West End is famed for its musicals and with good reason too. The feel-good factor to be had from a night out in the city of the big sparkly smoke is pretty unparalleled. Soak up the buzz and see London at its best, with its best.
If music be the food of love, see Once
. A celebration of love, friendship and music, this musical transfers to the West End after a sensationally successful run at Broadway, where it won itself eight Tony Awards, including Best New Musical. If this isnt a must see for 2013, I dont know what is.
Having travelled the length and breadth of the country to rapturous reviews, Monty Python comes to the West End with every irresistible ounce of silliness you could hope for. After bopping away to these classic toons, youll be sure to leave looking on the brightest side of life.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Sam Mendes makes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the latest Roald Dahl classic to get a West
End makeover. Boasting an incredible cast, this much-loved childrens novel
comes to life in all the sticky, sweetie splendour you could want. Grab your
golden ticket now to join Charlie on this magical adventure and get ready to
see sweet treats beyond your wildest dreams.
When Secret Service agents, superstars and stalkers combine with a Whitney Houston soundtrack, you cant help but be the talk of the capital.
and Avenue Q
creators make musical comedy heaven and history, transferring to the West End after taking Broadway by storm and being credited as The best musical of this century (New York Times
If youve ever swooned over Patrick Swayze, swayed
to Hungry Eyes, or sung to Ive Had The Time of My Life, then Dirty Dancing is the perfect show for you. With all the best features from
the film: the passionate romance between Baby and Johnny, to the sensational
dancing, this classic musical is the ultimate live experience.
The Commitments is the story of the Worlds Hardest
Working Band and their quest to bring soul to Dublin. Adapted from the novel
by Roddy Doyle, with a soundtrack featuring stone cold classics such as Mustang
Sally and Try a Little Tenderness, and in the capable hands of
director Jamie Lloyd, theres gonna be one hell of a party at the Palace Theatre.
Birthday to the worlds most
successful rock n roll band! We could only really be chatting about one
band here: The Beatles really are the biggest and the best. Enjoy this feast
for ears and eyes and sway along to the music as Let It Be charts The Beatles
meteoric rise to international fame, with all those classic tunes weve come to
know and love. Fab for all the family (The Times)
, for those who love The
Beatles, this show is about as good as it gets (The Telegraph)
How bout this for a winning combination? A musical set
in Pearl Harbour, in 1941, with an appropriately intoxicating mix of illicit
love, army life and killer tunes.
If you have regretted forever and a day being too late on the scene to catch David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado
, or Mark Rylance in Jerusalem
, Richard Griffiths in The History Boys
, or maybe even Harry Potter naked in Equu
s, were on hand to help out. This is a helpful guide to all those plays you know youll kick yourself for missing:
comes to the West End's Trafalgar Studios straight from The Almeida Theatre in Islington, following fast in the West End transferring footsteps of the outstanding Chimerica
Ibsens play is full of meaty, dynamic, and eminently flawed
characters, and this production gets the balance between dramatic flair
and personal stories just right. Lesley Manvilles sensational
performance is matched by an exceptional supporting cast and creative
team. The Evening Standard Awards, which saw the production being
nominated for Best Director, Design and Actress, has got it spot on.
Youve all heard of Jerusalem and its phenomenal
success... right? Well, I have good news for ye. Actually the best. The
acclaimed masters behind its success writer Jez Butterworth and director Ian
Rickson are combining forces once more and returning to Mojo. Their
previous production of Mojo won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy so
were pretty excited about its revival. Even more so because were going to see
Ron Weasley (aka Rupert Grint) in his West End debut. AND Downton Abbeys Brendan
Coyle (were loving having that back on TV btw). AND Ben Whishaw from Skyfall
and the Emmy-winning The Hour. BOOM.
There's something quite delicious about this stage adaptation of the classic comedy TV series. It's a sort of new Noises Off, as Jeeves and Wooster battle with the trials and tribulations of staging one of their well-known stories for a live audience's enjoyment. And enjoy it we most certainly do: I can promise you spectacular performances, cross-dressing aplenty, raucous laughter, and a memorable scene with a bath and a toy duck. I'll say no more.
If you can get a ticket to this, please invite me along for the ride. Starring Tom Hiddleston and directed by the sensational Josie Rourke, Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse is one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year. It really does look set to be a stormer and I, for one, will be queuing round the door from the wee hours and pinning my hopes and dreams on the Donmar's Barclays Front Row Monday morning ticket release.
Critics and audiences alike are absolutely loving this new (and slightly unusual) play showing up in the intimate Trafalgar Studios. Written by BAFTA nominated Martyn Hesford, it is funny, poetic, thoughtful and touching by turns as it looks into the heart of an overlooked genius and finds all the oddities of
life and artistic longings you could dream of.
The Woman in Black
Embrace the sado-masochistic experience of paying for the privilege of sleepless nights.
Stunningly poetic puppetry and choreography
Perfect for all occasions, all audiences, all locations
And now not only in the West End
, this award winning production that has captured the imagination of thousands also hits up Sunderland Empire
in April and May.
The Olympics Opening Ceremony in 2012 set in stone something that, deep down, we all already knew. Great Britain is at the peak of its artistic production, and the creative stars on stage and off it will be the talk of many generations to come. The opportunities to see work from these directors is one of the many reasons why London is the theatrical capital of the world.
Labelled one of the best living directors, in 2012 Michael Grandage announced his first season of plays to a cascade of critical acclaim and general excitement. His new production company is set to showcase the great and the good, from Simon Russell Beale in the five-star Privates on Parade
(until March), to Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw in the newly written play Peter and Alice
(March - June). Daniel Radcliffe stars in The Cripple of Inishmaan
(June - August), and Legally Blonde
s Sheridan Smith takes on David Walliams in the love battle that is A Midsummer Nights Dream
(September - November). And finally, we have Jude Law in Henry V
to finish off the year with a good bit of Christmas eye candy. All in all, an absolute treat of a programme to keep you entertained throughout the year.
It appears that Mr Lloyd can do no wrong. After the success of Macbeth (starring James McAvoy) and Pinters The Houthouse (John Simm & Simon Russell-Beale),
this supremely talented director shakes things up with a revival of new play The Pride, by Alexi Kaye Campbell
and starring Hayley Atwell and Mathew Horne. The third instalment of the
Trafalgar Transformed season, The Pride is
a daring exploration of how the spirit of the age informs life and love
decisions. Not content with dominating all things theatrical, Mr Lloyd also
moves into the realm of musical theatre with his adaptation of Roddy Doyles best-selling
novel, The Commitments.
Dame Ednas Eat Pray Laugh!
Barry Humphries makes his final halloo at the London Palladium as the much-loved Dame Edna. Boy, were going to miss those horn-rimmed specs, funky wigs and
We hate to love those people who can do it all, but Rylance still pulls in the punters, and with good reason too. After stunning well, everyone with his performance in Jez Butterworths Jerusalem
(he was deemed so crucial to the plays success that they didnt even get an understudy for him... if he was ill, the play simply didnt go on), he went from strength to strength with sell-out performances in Twelfth Night
(alongside Stephen Fry) and Richard III
. Having dominated the acting world, he now takes on the directing one, with Much Ado About Nothing
at The Old Vic (September November).