The sun may well have abandoned us this summer, but the culture and the theatrical brilliance of London’s vibrant West End never stops. With more theatres and shows than you could shake a stick at, why not wrap up this summer with a trip to the theatre and take a look at some of the most eagerly awaited West End shows for 2012 and 2013.
Spice up your life with some tickets to the much anticipated Viva Forever musical, based on the story of a girl following her dreams of becoming a pop star. After her success on a reality TV show, Viva must choose between taking the risk of attempting a solo career or staying with her band. Tracking her explosion into an overnight celebrity, Viva Forever! is a story of loyalty, family and friendship.
The show is produced by Mamma Mia’s Judy Craymer, and opens at Piccadilly Theatre with previews from November 27th. Jennifer Saunders, who has written the script, has appeared in a number of sketches with the Spice Girls for French and Saunders and Absolutely Fabulous. Which of the group’s many hit songs are going to be included in the musical is yet to be confirmed.
Show starts November – The Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denham Street.
The Bodyguard Musical
Thea Sharrok, who is currently directing comedy The Sunshine Boys at the Savoy Theatre, is making her musical debut with hot new musical The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre. It is a romantic thriller based on the 1992 hit film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner and will include a host of Whitney’s songs such as “One moment in time” and “I will always love you”. Previews start on November 6th.
The Bodyguard will star Broadway legend Heather Hedley as Rachel Marron, and Lloyd Owen as Frank Farmer. Heather won a Tony Award for best actress in Disney and Elton John’s musical “Aida” and played Nala in Lion King; and Lloyd was last seen on the London stage in Loyalty at the Hampstead theatre and Blood And Gifts at the National Theatre. The musical features Rachel as a world famous singer who comes under threat when she starts receiving letters from an unknown stalker. When her management hires Frank Farmer, a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, a power battle begins between the two, with neither expecting to fall in love.
Show starts November – The Adelphi Theatre, The Strand.
Charlie and the chocolate factory
Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is hitting the stage at the London Palladium in June 2013, directed by award-winner Sam Mendes. Dahl’s well known story focuses on the mysterious character of Willy Wonka, who opens the doors of his chocolate factory for one day, and humble boy Charlie Bucket gets a chance in a lifetime. Mendes is best known for his career in film directing American Beauty, Revolutionary Road and soon to be released 23rd James Bond film Skyfall. The extremely talented Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who wrote songs for Hairspray and Broadways Catch Me If You Can, have written new songs to bring the musical to life.
Show starts June 2013 – The London Palladium, Argyll Street.
We all love it when our favourite actors from the big screen hit the West-end stage, and we actually get to see them in the flesh! Matthew Lewis, who you may know as Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter, is joining Cian Barry, Arthur Darvill and Laurence Fox in the upcoming production of Jonathan Lewis’ Our Boys. The drama conveys the emotions that young soldiers face when recovering from injuries incurred in the line of duty. The trio will star as young soldiers whose daily routine is torn apart by the arrival of an unwelcome authority figure, a young officer from Sandhurst. When the friendship of this threesome is threatened by an act of betrayal, the fighting really begins. Directed by David Grindley, it will play for a 12 week limited season from September 26th to December 15th at the Duchess Theatre.
Show starts September the 26th – The Duchess Theatre, Catherine Street.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
We know it’s over a year away, but we are so excited for the exciting combination of Sheridan Smith and David Walliams! This is surely guaranteed to have everyone in stitches. From 7th September 2013 to 16th November 2013, one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is hitting the Noel Coward Theatre in London.
Lysander loves Hermia and Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius; Demetrius used to love Helena but now loves Hermia. When Hermia’s father forces her to take Demetrius as a suitor, she makes a getaway with Lysander into the surrounding forest where Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the Fairies are having their own battle of love. Madness takes over when love at first sight creates happiness for some yet makes a fool out of others. Sheridan Smith plays Titania and David Walliams plays Bottom in this new production.
Show starts September 2013 – Noel Coward Theatre, St Martin’s Lane.
This article was written by Kim on behalf of Door2Tour, one of the UK’s leading coach holiday and tour organisers. For more information on holidays or tours, including trips to Europe, major sporting events or theatre breaks in London see the Door2Tour website for more details.