Check out which of our biggest and best musicals are UK bound this 2013, and which plays are taking punters by storm. If you fancy becoming a bit of a culture vulture , be our guest and check out the wonderful array of ballet, opera, circus and burlesque treats we have in store for you. If it’s all about the music for you, then look no further than the section that outlines where Music magic is made. If it’s terrific telly going live that floats your boat, or good old fashioned panto that rocks your festive spirit, we’ve got a good lot of recommendations for you there too. Go on, spoil yourselves.
By Imogen Sarre
This is the year that the classic West End shows take to the regions, bringing all the wonder and splendour of the biggest and best productions to a theatre near you.
With awards for the Most Popular Show and Best West End Show under its belt (2010 and 2011), this record-breakingly successful musical takes its kaleidoscopic array of magical sensations to Manchester’s main theatre to wow audiences there (September – November).Tweet #ExcitedAboutWicked
Hop on board for the ride of a lifetime. Speed and spectacle combine to make for an electrifying evening as roller-skaters zoom around the auditorium at light year speed.Tweet #ExcitedAboutStarlightExpress
If the opportunity to commit a live performance of ‘Memory’ to yours isn’t enough to entice you, the fact this record-breaking smash-hit musical has been performed in over 300 cities around the world should be enough to seal the deal: this is a classic like no other and must not be missed.Tweet #ExcitedAboutCats
If you’ve ever swooned over Patrick Swayze, swayed to ‘Hungry Eyes’, or sung to ‘I’ve Had The Time of My Life’, then this is the show for you. With all the best features from the film, this heart-poundingly passionate show is the ultimate live experience.Tweet #ExcitedAboutDirtyDancing
Big hair and big heart combine to make this award-winning show a big hit. ‘Nuff said.Tweet #ExcitedAboutHairspray
Forty years ago, musical magic was made when rock married roll and came together to create the timeless classic The Rocky Horror Show. To celebrate its ruby anniversary, squeaky clean sweethearts Brad and Janet take their adventures around the UK.Tweet #ExcitedAboutRockyHorror
Who could fail to be excited by the news that Disney’s The Lion King is going – with all its African splendour and colour, plus every one of Elton John’s smash musical hits – to Manchester (until April).Tweet #ExcitedAboutLionKing
Theatre is really flourishing in the UK right now, and what better way to celebrate it than with a number of truly exceptional productions, hot from the West End.
Ever since Sebastian Faulks’ bestselling novel came out, it has captured the imagination and emotions of millions across the world. An epic tale of love and war, this production is both an inspired and inspiring adaptation that looks set to be just as much a hit on its 2013 tour as it was in the West End.Tweet #ExcitedAboutBirdSong
An indisputable modern classic, Michelle Magorian’s heart-warming and moving tale about the Second World War has been beautifully brought to life on stage.Tweet #ExcitedAboutGoodnightMisterTom
This spine-chillingly intense adaption has generated more sleepless nights than most thrillers can boast. The live experience of this show is quite as unmissable as it is unforgettable.Tweet #ExcitedAboutTheWomanInBlack
From Bev’s lime green dress to awkward fights over nibbles, this is a hysterically compelling portrayal of the party from hell. With rave reviews from the West End under its belt, this superb revival of Mike Leigh’s hit show comes to regional theatres near you.Tweet #ExcitedAboutAbigailsParty
For the first time ever, this blissfully funny Hitchcock spy thriller tours the UK. With thrill-filled moments and comic gems aplenty, The 39 Steps brings you all the dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents and devastatingly beautiful women you could possibly want.Tweet #ExcitedAbout39Steps
From the foreign to the fantastic, the magical to the mischievous, and the ballet to burlesque... delight in the magnificent array of cultural treats we have in store for you.
Can you ever be too young to be mesmerised by ballet? The English National Ballet don’t think so: after the immense success of My First Sleeping Beauty, they launch My First Cinderella to bring even more young audiences their first magical taste of ballet. If it’s Matthew Bourne’s supremacy that has turned you into the ballet-lover, don’t miss his haunting Gothic re-imagining of the legendary romance, Sleeping Beauty. The Russian State Ballet can’t fail to delight with their stunning spectacles, Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardée and Swan Lake, and Vienna Festival Ballet brings a freshness and vitality to Sleeping Beauty that can only be achieved with a company that draws from the very best of young talent (the average age of its astonishing dancers is 20).Tweet #ExcitedAboutBallet
Ellen Kent has a whole raft of lavish operatic joys on offer for you this year. Touring extensively around the UK, her operas are as accessible as they are glorious. From Aida, Carmen, La bohème and Nabucco to Tosca, each of Kent’s productions promise to be as sumptuously grandiose as you could wish for. Don’t miss out on this treat for the eyes and ears.Tweet #ExcitedAboutEllenKent
Moscow State Circus promises to astound and astonish with its sensational extravaganza, Babushkin Sekret. Award winning clowns, acrobatic catapulting, revolving chandeliers, and flying and spiralling aplenty, make this the show of a lifetime.Tweet #ExcitedAboutCircus
Camp and colourful, tantalising yet tasteful, the UK’s biggest burlesque show, An Evening of Burlesque, is back on the road to showcase its Parisian charm, elegant showgirls and Las Vegas glamour. See what all the fuss is about and why this art form continues to fascinate and delight.Tweet #ExcitedAboutEveningofBurlesque
Plato once famously said that ‘Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything’. The lifeblood of many productions, these shows take it one step further and make it quite literally all about the music.
The King of Pop is recreated in all his moon-walking glory. Yessirree, Mr Michael Jackson lives on.Tweet #ExcitedAboutThrillerLive
This show does what we’ve all been waiting for: it compiles the greatest songs from the best known and most loved musicals, and showcases them all together. From The Lion King to Mamma Mia, The Jersey Boys to Miss Saigon, and Phantom of the Opera to Blood Brothers, if you’re a musical fan you know what to book up this 2013.Tweet #ExcitedAboutBeyondTheBarricade
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons have gone down as legends for a reason. Not just down to Frankie’s extraordinary vocal range, the repertoire of songs they released are mind-blowingly varied and accomplished. More hits than I’ve had hot dinners sort of thing. After hearing Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Oh What a Night (to name just a few), if you don’t find yourself downloading their Greatest Hits from iTunes and dancing around the kitchen to them I’ll eat my hat. Or would if I had one.Tweet #ExcitedAboutNewJerseyNights
The nation’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll variety show prepares to dazzle audiences with its repertoire of smash-hits from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.Tweet #ExcitedAboutThatllBeTheDay
Headed up by an all-star cast, Boogie Nights promises to knock your socks off with no less than 70 big songs from the 70s. With Gareth Gates fresh from the West End’s boards, the Osmonds in their first musical appearance, X Factor’s Andy Abraham and Chico, and Strictly Come Dancing’s Louisa Lytton, the line up alone can’t fail to impress. Wait ‘til you hear them in concert.Tweet #ExcitedAboutBoogieNights
Do you Just Wanna Have Fun? Is it Raining Men and are you feeling like Hot Stuff? How better to start off the new year than with just one of these feel-good dance-floor classics... but Priscilla the musical doesn’t stop there. Not only does it also showcase ‘Boogie Wonderland’, ‘Go West’, ‘I Will Survive’ and countless other fave tunes, its fresh and funny tale about three friends is as heart-warming as its costumes are outrageously dazzling. Don’t just take our word for it: WhatsOnStage has also given it the seal of approval with the coveted title of Best New Musical.Tweet #ExcitedAboutQueenoftheDesert
Most famous for its rhythm, blues, soul and pop releases, Motown Records featured a great number of legendary artistes, from The Temptations to Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder to the Jackson Five. Over 50 years of Motown music is remembered in this many hit wonder.Tweet #ExcitedAboutMotownsGreatestHits
There’s something about seeing performers in the flesh that sets the theatrical experience apart, making a night out far more memorable than those greatly enjoyable – but eminently forgettable – nights in front of the telly on a Saturday night.
If you’ve ever watched Strictly Come Dancing, you’d be hard pushed to miss the dazzling duo Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace light up the stage. Now you can be mesmerised in person and transported to the intoxicating world of downtown Buenos Aires as perform live around the UK with some of the finest Tango dancers in the world.Tweet #ExcitedAboutMidnightTango
One of the BBC’s most popular and fondly remembered sitcoms comes to the stage with not one, not two, but with all three of its original leading cast members, Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph. You can’t get more classic than this comedy.Tweet #ExcitedAboutBirdsofaFeather
Theatres across the country are going to be transformed into places of culinary magic. The pressure of live performance is going to reach new heights as guest chefs prepare a meal and put themselves at the mercy of the voting audience. With top tips, questions, and some people even joining in the fun onstage, this is an interactive cooking lesson like you’ve never seen it.Tweet #ExcitedAboutReadySteadyCook
Yes, the Christmas decorations have been packed up and January diets/blues/resolutions have kicked in. But you know you’ll be kicking yourself come December if you haven’t booked yourself up for the treat of all festive treats. Promising the biggest stars and the best sets, along with all the classic panto trimmings, you can’t go wrong with any one of these absolute classics. Rub the magic lamp and see Aladdin at Manchester or Wimbledon, go from rags to riches with Cinderella at Woking, work with seven handy helpers with Snow White at Milton Keynes, sleep for years with Sleeping Beauty at Aylesbury, or stay forever young with Peter Pan at Glasgow, Richmond and Stoke-on-Trent. Go on, knock yourself out. You know you want to.Tweet #ExcitedAboutPantomimes Back to Top…