By Imogen Sarre
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 and burlesque treats we have in store for you. If its all about the music for you, then look no further than the section that outlines where Music magic is made. If its terrific telly going live that floats your boat, or good old fashioned panto that rocks your festive spirit, weve got a good lot of recommendations for you there too. Go on, spoil yourselves.
Unmissable Theatre around the UK in 2013
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.
The Biggest and the Best Head West
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).
Singin in the Rain, UK Tour
If any show has been designed with a
UK audience in mind, this one must surely be it. With our obsessive fixation on
the weather and our love of Paddington Bear brightly coloured mackintoshes,
this cheery production is a miracle worker. Its exhilaratingly exuberant high
kicks manage to turn drizzle into liquid sunshine. Remarkable.
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.
Whats in a name? That which we call a rose by any other
name would smell as sweet.
And we think West Side Story does. Smell sweet that
is. Based on Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story
combines ground breaking choreography with outstanding music and lyrics. Not to
Sixteen smash hit showstoppers, fourteen happy men and
women, seven weddings and one cabin in the woods. What more could you want?
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 Edinburgh (until Januay 2014).
And we're not just talking musicals... plays are taking punters by storm
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.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, UK Tour
The Reduced Shakespeare Company bring
a revised edition of their long-running comedy show from the West End,
condensing all 37 plays into a fabulously fast-paced 97 minute show. Its a
wild ride through Comedies, Tragedies and Histories that you wont want to
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.
Classic Agatha Christie comes to a stage near you, with all
the intriguing letters, disturbing family secrets and crack legal teams you
could wish for. Youll be going back and back and back for this one.
Be That Culture Vulture
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 dont think so: after the
immense success of My First Cinderella earlier this year, they launch My First Coppelia to bring even more young audiences their first magical taste
of ballet. The English National Ballet also bring us the thrilling piece Le Corsaire full of swashbuckling action and breath-taking talent. Moscow City Ballet bring us productions of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, while Vienna
Festival Ballet brings us on a magical adventure with Snow White and Tchaikovskys classic The Nutcracker - a stunning feat for a company whose performers are on
average 20 years old.
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. The rest of this year
sees productions of Aida, La bohème and Nabucco each of which promise to be as sumptuously grandiose as you
could wish for. Dont miss out on this treat for the eyes and ears.
Camp and colourful, tantalising yet tasteful, the UKs 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.
Music magic is made
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 doesnt 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. Dont just take our word for it: WhatsOnStage
has also given it the seal of approval with the coveted title of Best New Musical.
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.
The award-winning musical of Eva
Perons tumultuous life explores everything from her ambitious beginnings to
her tragic death. This is a Classic with a capital C and if youve ever
warbled Dont Cry for Me Argentina
into a hairbrush youll know what Im chatting about.
Yes, the Christmas decorations have been packed up and January diets/blues/resolutions have kicked in. But you know youll be kicking yourself come December if you havent 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 cant go wrong with any one of these absolute classics. Rub the magic lamp and see Aladdin at Glasgow
, go from rags to riches with Cinderella at Bristol
, work with seven handy helpers with Snow White at Milton Keynes
, sleep for years with Sleeping Beauty at Grimsby
, or stay forever young with Peter Pan at Liverpool
, and Richmond
. Go on, knock yourself out. You know you want to.