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Unmissable London Theatre in 2014


By Imogen Sarre

Here's my list of the west end 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, dubbed 'London's date musical'. A celebration of love, friendship and music, it will close in March 2015 after a run of nearly two years and two Olivier Awards, to add to its eight Tony Awards and a Grammy. Catch it while you still can.


Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Whether you're a fan of the film or not, this musical is a winner. It's a blooming great story for starters (two seasoned swindlers attempt to hoodwink a millionaire heiress) and incredible director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell has worked his magic with a stellar cast, lead by Tony Award-winner Robert Lindsay. They're stealing the show night after night!



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 that 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.


 


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.




Sunny Afternoon
Sunny Afternoon

Feel like you missed out on all the buzz of the swinging 60s? Well, Sunny Afternoon directed by Edward Hall will set you right back to the era that inspired generations through groovy music and iconic dancing. Following the great British band the Kinks in their rise to stardom, this production promises to take you on a rockin’ musical journey with 60s tastic lyrics by Ray Davies. Just make sure your seat is well screwed on as you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing and rocking out with the band!





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 london shows you know you'll kick yourself for missing:


Neville's Island - Duke of York's - ATG BlogNeville's Island

Think The Hangover, but this time with a bunch of professionals on a team building exercise gone horribly wrong...got it? Tim Firth’s hit comedy Neville’s Island brings you a star studded cast featuring Adrian Edmondson, Miles JuppNeil Morrissey, Robert Webb and a whole lot to laugh about as the comedian quartet face a hilarious corporate bonding session that goes from bad to worse.



Women on the Verge - Playhouse Theatre - ATG Blog

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

December is treating us to some must see comedy this year and with Tamsin Greig starring in the musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s  Oscar nominated film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, there is plenty to look forward to. Set in sunny Spain, Greig (Pepa) and friends tackle everyday life in Madrid and find themselves on relationship rollercoaster’s with the men they meet along the way. On the lines of Bridesmaids, expect mayhem, madness and comedy genius at the Playhouse theatre from mid December.




East is East - Trafalgar Studios - ATG Blog

East Is East

East is East shouts out comedy, especially when you realise Jane Horrocks is playing the part of a chain smoking, excessive tea drinking, mouthy Lancashire mumwho iscaught in the middle of her husband’s religious beliefs and the free will of her seven kids. Overall this heart-warming play written by Ayub Khan Din tackles some pretty big issues in 1970s Britain such as immigration, religion and national identity. Sore subjects perhaps but you’ll be pleased to know that it is delivered with more than just “half a cup” of taste and humour.





Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love

I couldn't be happier about this adaptation if I tried. Surely this is the dream combination: Shakespeare and Love - but without the funny language. Its quality is a dead cert, having been 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.





Speed-the-plow - ATG Blog

Speed-the-Plow

Lindsey Lohan brings her Hollywood sparkle to the West end stage here in David Mamet’s Speed the Plow, also starring Richard Schiff and Nigel Lindsay. The play is a satirical portrait of Hollywood film land which highlights the inner politics of the money driven film industry. Ironic perhaps that an anti-Hollywood play should star such an A-lister, but the trio blend perfectly well together in this new, well acted must-see modern classic. 





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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