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Unmissable Theatre around the UK in 2014



By Imogen Sarre

Check out which of our biggest and best musicals are UK bound this 2014, 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 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.

  • Magnificent Musicals
  • Comedy
  • Entertainment
  • Drama
  • Kids
  • Dance
  • Pantomimes

  • Musicals

    Tonight's the Night

    Birmingham, Aylesbury, Brighton, Wimbledon, Stoke, Sunderland, Bromley, Milton Keynes, York, Glasgow, Bristol, Oxford, & Woking

    A friend's mother landed herself in detention during her school days. Her crime? Blasphemy, for writing 'Rod is God' on her satchel. If this anecdote gives you nostalgia pains then Tonight's the Night, the Ben Elton-penned Rod Stewart musical, is the perfect tonic.



    West Side Story

    Woking, Bromley, Edinburgh, Birmingham & Milton Keynes

    Bernstein and Sondheim's Romeo & Juliet-inspired masterpiece is dancing into a theatre near you. Regularly opping 'Best Musical' polls, this tale of Jets and Sharks and doomed love features the classic songs Tonight, Maria and There's a Place For Us, as well as some super slick choreography.



    Wicked UK tour

    Wicked

    Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Bristol & Sunderland

    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 Milton Keynes (Feb-March), Glasgow (May), Liverpool (Sep-Oct) and Edinburgh (Nov-Jan).




    Happy Days UK tour

    Happy Days: A New Musical

    Glasgow, Bristol, Woking, Sunderland & Milton Keynes

    Heidi Range, Ben Freeman and Cheryl Baker take centre stage in this new musical based on the hit TV series and written by its creator, Garry Marshall. And did we mention that Henry Winkler (AKA The Actual Fonz) is Creative Consultant? You better believe these days are happy.




    Rock of Ages UK tour

    Rock of Ages

    Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Torquay, Bromley, Aylesbury, Bristol, Stoke, Liverpool, Sunderland, Glasgow, Brighton, Milton Keynes, Woking

    On tour for the first time, balls-out comedy musical Rock of Ages takes over 30 of your favourite 80s hits and puts them centre stage. Big hair, big laughs, big tunes.






    The Lion King UK tour

    The Lion King

    Liverpool & Sunderland

    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 Liverpool (May-July) and Sunderland (Sep-Nov) Empires.





    Let It Be

    Let It Be

    Manchester, Torquay, Birmingham, Sunderland, Stoke, Liverpool, Glasgow, Bristol & Edinburgh

    Happy 50th Birthday to the world's most successful rock 'n' roll band! - I'm pretty sure we could only 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 Beatle's meteoric rise to international fame, with all the best tunes we've 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).


    Evita

    Evita

    Manchester, York, Sunderland, Woking, Torquay & Aylesbury

    The award-winning musical of Eva Peron's tumultuous life explores everything from her ambitious beginnings to her tragic death. This is a Classic with a capital C - and if you've ever warbled Don't Cry for Me Argentina into a hairbrush you'll know what I'm chatting about.



    Billie Holiday Story

    Billie Holiday Story

    Aylesbury, Bromley, Wimbledon, Grimsby, York, Woking & Birmingham

    Nina Kristofferson's 5-star portrait of Lady Day features a live band and renditions of her greatest hits, including God Bless the Child, Strange Fruit, Don't Explain, All of Me and more.



    Singin' in the Rain

    Singin' in the Rain

    Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Bristol & Glasgow

    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.




    Avenue Q

    Torquay, Manchester, Sunderland, Oxford, Wimbledon & Birmingham

    Part flesh and part felt, the irresistible Avenue Q is going on tour courtesy of Sell a Door Theatre Company. Packed with hits including Everyone's a Little Bit Racist, The Internet is For Porn and Schadenfreude, this relatable tale of an English graduate searching for purpose in a dodgy neighbourhood will lift your spirits and touch your heart. Irresponsible adults only.



    Comedy

    Fascinating Aida

    Fascinating Aida

    Brighton, Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Torquay, Richmond & Bromley

    The Olivier-nominated trio Fascinating Aida are back in town with a show that just won't let your funny bone quit. Expect new songs alongside old favourites from cabaret royalty.





    See How They Run

    See How They Run

    Bromley, Woking, Richmond & Manchester

    The Reduced Height Theatre Company and Warwick Davis off of Harry Potter are on the road with their take on this vicar-filled farce. 'A comedy of huge small proportions like nothing you've ever seen before!'




    Alan Davies: Little Victories

    Alan Davies

    Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Wimbledon, Richmond & Woking

    After achieving sell-out success with last year's return to stand-up, he's back with a follow-up show: Little Victories. You've rinsed your Jonathan Creek box set, you've seen every episode of QI twice over on Dave - get thee to a theatre.



    Ross Noble

    Ross Noble

    Birmingham & Aylesbury

    He's had 14 sell-out tours, you know - don't act like you're not impressed. Surreal and cerebral, a night with Ross Noble is a night like no other.





    Barry Humphries

    Barry Humphries

    Manchester

    Barry Humphries makes his final halloo at the London Palladium as the much-loved Dame Edna. Boy, we're going to miss those horn-rimmed specs, funky wigs and outrageous gowns.



    Entertainment


    Penn & Teller

    Penn and Teller

    Manchester & Birmingham

    After 40 years in the business, Emmy award-winning comedy magicians Penn and Teller are off on their first ever UK tour. Featuring their classic tricks and audience participation, no two shows will be the same: a truly unique experience.




    Derren Brown: Infamous

    Derren Brown: Infamous

    Woking, Milton Keynes, Bristol & Glasgow

    You saw him in Sherlock, now catch him in the flesh. Reuniting with close collaborator Andy Nyman, Infamous is a more 'personal' show with a different tone to his previous tours and TV work. What does the master of psychological illusion have in store? Anything could happen.



    Paul Hollywood

    Paul Hollywood

    Edinburgh, Oxford, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Torquay, Grimsby & Southport

    If there's a Great British Bake Off-shaped hole in your life, keep calm! Paul Hollywood's first live show hits theatres this year, featuring recipes, anecdotes and audience participation. Soggy bottoms are optional.





    Opera

    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. This year sees productions of Aida, La bohème and Nabucco each of which promise to be as sumptuously grandiose as you could wish for. Don't miss out on this treat for the eyes and ears.



    An Evennig of Burlesque

    An Evening of Burlesque

    Wimbledon, Aylesbury, Woking, Oxford, Manchester, Glasgow & York

    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.





    Drama

    One Man, Two Guvnors

    One Man Two Guvnors

    Bristol, Woking, Glasgow, Aylesbury, Stoke, Liverpool, Brighton, Sunderland, Bromley, Oxford, Wimbeldon & York

    There's nothing quite like a good giggle to get the life back in your limbs, and this superb farce - which comes straight from the West End - will likely do more than that. As long as Pure Comedy Gold is your sort of show, then this is your sort of thing.




    Kindertransport

    Kindertransport

    Manchester

    An award-winning classic set in two different countries and time periods, Kindertransport examines mother-daughter relationships, the breaking of family ties and the difficulties inherent to growing up.





    Pygmalion

    Pygmalion
     

    Brighton, Richmond, Milton Keynes

    It's been some time now since we've enjoyed Eliza Doolittle's infamous 'Gaaaah' or thought about Spain's rainy plains, but it's great that one of the 20th century's best loved plays is back in all its glory.



    Kids


    My First Coppelia

    ENB's My First Coppelia

    Manchester, Woking, Aylesbury & Bromley

    There's not much not to love about My First Ballet, with its beautifully adapted versions of the classic ballets for young audiences. And Coppelia, with comedy galore, an eccentric toymaker, and love triumphant, promises to be a real treat for all the family.





    The Sooty Show

    The Sooty Show

    Wimbledon, Folkestone, Woking, Torquay, Stoke, Birmingham & Southport

    There's really nothing quite like the excitement of seeing your favourite characters brought to life on stage in front of you, so CITV's live production of The Sooty Show is bound to delight. Izzy Wizzy let's get busy!




    Peppa Pig's Big Splash

    Peppa Pigs Big Splash

    Brighton, Aylesbury, Richmond, Manchester, York, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Wimbledon, Bromley, Grimsby, Woking & Bristol

    The stupendous show stopping success of Peppa Pig's Party and Treasure Hunt takes a turn for the wet as our favourite pig makes a Big Splash with another all-singing, all-dancing, and game-filled adventure.





    Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy

    Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy

    Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London & Cardiff

    Disney really did nail children's films, didn't they? Well, what better way to bring your family's favourite Disney moments to life than with this dazzling ice-skating display? With high speed stunts, a foray into The Little Mermaid's undersea kingdom, pixie-dust galore and a harem-scarem Toy Story race for home, the excitement to be hand from this spectacle knows no bounds.



    Dance


    Russian State Ballet

    Russian State Ballet season: Giselle Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty & Swan Lake

    Edinburgh, Oxford, Aylesbury & Bromley

    There's something quite remarkable about seeing ballet dancers on stage. I can never quite get over how incredibly graceful and athletic they are - how do they get their bodies to do what they do?? - but it's even more of a special event when you're watching the absolute classics performed by the best of the best. So if you fancy seeing a real class act, then look no further.



    Tap Factory

    Tap Factory

    Grimsby, Manchester, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Torquay, Bromley, Oxford, Woking & Aylesbury

    Prepare to be bedazzled. Considering the speed at which they move, it's like the performers' feet have a life of their own. Throughout this sensational piece, the rhythm never stops and you sure as heck won't want it to.




    Anton du Beke

    Anton du Beke

    Milton Keynes

    Strictly Come Dancing has given us all a taste for classic dancing and, most especially, for one Mr Anton du Beke. With astonishing elegance he dominates the ballroom numbers and brings huge charisma to broadway's razzle dazzle moves. Plus there are blooming fabulous classic hits to enjoy while you see him shooting around stage.




    Dance 'Til Dawn

    Dance 'Til Dawn

    Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Oxford, Milton Keynes & Woking

    Three questions for you: 1) Do you watch the Strictly Come Dancing? 2) Did you see Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace's dazzling duo show, Midnight Tango? 3) Have you got tickets to see Dance 'Til Dawn yet, the show that brings the pair back to wow UK audiences all over again?

    If you've answered yes to all these questions, then true happiness is yours. If not, then you know what to do...



    Riverdance

    Riverdance

    Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Sunderland & Oxford

    As the Riverdance show moves out of teen years into the heady 20s, we'd like to celebrate with them by raising a textual toast to their successes - past, present and future. From the first time they captured the public's heart at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin back in 1994, they've gone from strength to strength. So let's help 'em celebrate their C20th anniversary in style...



    Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies

    Glasgow & Liverpool

    What better way to bring William Golding's classic novel to life than through the medium of dance? And when Matthew Bourne has got involved (he's adapted and directed it) we can be pretty sure that it's going to do the original proud.


    Panto

    Pantomimes

    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 in Liverpool or Woking, or go from rags to riches with Cinderella at Wimbledon, work with seven handy helpers with Snow White at Manchester and Richmond, or stay forever young with Peter Pan at Glasgow and Milton Keynes.


    Go on, knock yourself out. You know you want to.





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