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Unmissable London Theatre in 2014


By Imogen Sarre

Here's my list of the musicals and plays in Londontown that I really don't think you should miss, and why I think they're worth your time and your £££.


Magnificent Musicals

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.

Once

Once

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 isn't a must see for 2014, I don't know what is.


Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

I watched the film of this the other day (it's a cracker BTW) and on the back of it am getting preeeetty excited about the musical version, which is coming to London in March 2014. It's a blooming great story for starters (two seasoned swindlers attempt to hoodwink a millionaire heiress) but incredible director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell has also lined up a stellar cast. If the film's cast - Michael Caine, Steve Martin and Glenne Headly - are bona fide stars of Hollywood, then Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound and Katherine Kingsley are their West End equals. I'm excited.



Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon

Let's be straight here - if you're chatting 'classic musicals', Miss Saigon has got to spring to mind. Which means we're even more excited to announce that...(drum roll)...it's BACK! It hasn't been in the West End for 25 years (when it had one helluva record-breaking run) but in the meantime the show's been busy, touring around 300 cities, playing in 15 different languages, and winning awards by the armful. Make sure you catch it when it lands.


 


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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 children's 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.




The Bodyguard
The Bodyguard

When Secret Service agents, superstars and stalkers combine with a Whitney Houston soundtrack, you can't help but be the talk of the capital.






Jersey Boys

When I saw Jersey Boys a couple of years ago, I bought the CD and genuinely didn't stop singing it (badly) for the next month. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are responsible for some of the very greatest hits ever so it's a pretty great treat to find out about their remarkable rise to stardom whilst listening to a very talented cast belt out their toons.




The Lion King at the Lyceum, London

The Lion King

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there's something about nostalgia that warms the cockles of your heart. And if that's a given, it then surely follows that Disney's musical of The Lion King stokes up a right blaze. With Elton John's superb songs and all the classic one liners that you love to love, there's not much that can beat this if you fancy a trip down memory lane. The African splendour of the thing is still as mind-blowing as ever - and personally I think made even better by all the Lion King fun facts you can find out here.





Wicked at Apollo Victoria, London

Wicked

With awards for the Most Popular Show and Best West End Show under its belt (2010 and 2011), this record-breakingly successful musical can't fail to astound every audience every night. After you see its kaleidoscopic array of magical sensations, you'll be defying gravity too as you bounce off the ceilings at the sheer joy of it all.






The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon

South Park 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).







Thrilling Theatre

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 Equus, we're on hand to help out. This is a helpful guide to all those plays you know you'll kick yourself for missing:



Donmar Warehouse: Versailles Privacy and Fathers & Sons

Donmar Warehouse season

We know Coriolanus (well, Tom Hiddleston especially) gives everyone the thrills, but the next set of Donmar shows are set to be real stormers too. Availability is pretty low (obvs - because the Donmar's amazing) but if you don't manage to get your mitts on tickets through conventional means, sign up for Donmar's Barclay Front Row Monday tickets to have weekly shots at getting yourself into one of London's finest theatrical places.


The Donmar's getting well into producing freshly written plays: Peter Gill's Versailles exposes some rather alarming similarities between the end of WWI and the world we live in today, while James Graham forensically examines the digital age in a play appropriately named Privacy. And if you're a fan of Irish playwright Brian Friel then another of his plays, Fathers and Sons, is coming to the Donmar, after the phenomenal success of Philadelphia Here I Come back in 2013.




Jeeves and Wooster

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.



Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love

I couldn't be much more excited about this adaptation if I tried. Surely this is the dream combination: Shakespeare and Love - but without the funny language. I reckon its quality is a dead cert: it's being adapted for the stage by the same genius who did Billy Elliot, directed by bona fide Cheek by Jowl theatre legends, and Disney and Sonia Friedman are producing it. Oh, and there's a dog. I'm so sold.




The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black

Embrace the sado-masochistic experience of paying for the privilege of sleepless nights.







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