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Theatre Revivals

By Claudia Lander

I love theatre revivals - and so do many people, it would seem. It gives us the chance to see our favourite musical again, or catch that play we missed a few years back.

With Miss Saigon taking home nine awards at 2015's What's On Stage Awards (the organisations' 15th annual ceremony) and the recent return of Cats at the London Palladium, Evita at the Dominion, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown revived from Broadway at the Playhouse, Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory and a UK tour of Annie Get Your Gun, the musical revival trend continues into this year, with Gypsy, starring Imelda Staunton arriving at the Savoy Theatre on 28 March and upcoming UK tours of Mary Poppins, Avenue Q and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. After its revival from Broadway in the West End, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, is also soon to embark on an extensive UK tour.

And it's not just musicals being spruced up and returned to their former glory - the recent Trafalgar Transformed season at the Trafalgar Studios has seen James McAvoy in a successful revival of 1968 play The Ruling Class. From Broadway, Jez Butterworth's Mojo ran at the Harold Pinter last spring and this summer The Importance of Being Earnest returns to the Vaudeville Theatre.

With revivals becoming such a trend, I can't help but dream my own line up of revivals. They look something like this:


Being a little bit obsessed with the Broadway cast recordings and the 2009 film adaptation of the 1982 musical, Nine is number one on my list of dream revivals. It ran in the West End in 1996 and I am forever hoping for its comeback.

My dream cast: Leading a predominantly female cast would be Sally Hawkins (left) as Italian film director, Guido's, neglected wife Louisa. Guido's young mistress, Carla, would be portrayed by rising star Yasmin Paige (right).


I am more than ready for a third West End revival of my childhood favourite My Fair Lady. All I want is for Eliza to return to a stage near me.

My dream cast: I would love to see Hannah Tointon following in her sister Kara's footsteps, after her 2011 appearance as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion,at the Garrick. I would also love to see Martin Freeman and Ben Caplan take on the roles of Professor Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering.


I was lucky enough to see the 2011 futuristic reimagining of Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory. I loved every minute of it. Originally directed by Bob Fosse and with Stephen Schwartz's 1970s pop style score, this show has some serious potential to be a West End hit. Please bring it back! 

My dream cast: Aneurin Barnard as the troubled young prince Pippin and Olly Alexander as his younger brother, Lewis.


The last West End revival of another childhood favourite of mine was last seen in 2001. South Pacific would be the perfect summer revival.

My dream cast: I can't imagine many things more wonderful than seeing Lea Salonga (left) play an incredibly beautiful Bloody Mary. After seeing Sheridan Smith (right) play a brilliantly bubbly Elle Woods in Legally Blonde both in the West End and on tour, I think that this starlet would be perfect to play the equally spirited Nellie in this star studded dream cast.


Elegies For Angels Punks and Raging Queens, featuring a series of songs and monologues inspired by the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, has one of my favourite musical scores of all time. With its last West End run being in 1993, I think that a revival is definitely overdue. 

My dream cast: Having seen Graham Norton in the 2009 West End production of La Cage aux Folles, I would love for him to portray the narrator role of Patrick in this dream revival. Oliver Thornton (left) would be great as lead vocalist, Brian.    

Are there any shows that you would like to see revived? Who would you like to see cast in those shows? Tweet us  {tweetbutton #theatrerevivals} with your thoughts!