Updated weekly every Monday, this feature includes details on returning and new productions in the West End, elsewhere in London, around the UK and at festivals, and on Broadway
Mamma Mia! joins the roster of returning productions to the West End this week: “My My, Just how much we’ve missed you”, as the tagline of their return ad says. It follows last week’s opening of the show’s first-ever UK outdoor run in the grounds of Harwood House in Yorkshire (running to August 30).
The Daily Mail’s fanboy Andrew Pierce was there, and wrote, “Many in the Harewood audience were dressed to impress — in neon colours, tinsel wigs, feather boas, sateen and towering platform heels straight out of Abba’s famously garish wardrobe. Not one to be outdone, I was wearing the specially made, bright pink suit I wore on the best night of my life: when I was an extra in the West End show in 2018.”
Critics don’t usually go dressed for the part — in fact, they hardly dress up at all (and I include myself in that) — apart from my indefatigable friend Blanche Marvin, often mistaken on press nights for Joan Plowright to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance, who at 95 still attends many first nights, and always goes dressed to impress but often also in character of the show she is seeing, just like Pierce.
Pierce, who has seen the show 26 times and tells us he’s already booked for the 27th, also wrote: “The real secret of its success is that Mamma Mia! is Abba magic on tap; and it’s impossible to resist joining in with every single song.” I really hope he doesn’t. I was at Jersey Boys last week in the West End, and there was an altercation in the stalls as someone remonstrated with someone who was singing along too vigorously. I saw her complaining to the theatre manager afterwards. When we come to see a West End show, we’re there to hear the performers singing — not our seat neighbours.
This list will continue to update the latest shows that are announcing their returns or new premieres.
PRESS NIGHTS/RE-OPENING THIS WEEK (August 23-29)
Wednesday August 25
- Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre) Resuming performances from August 25. https://mamma-mia.com/london-tickets.php
- Cirque Beserk! Return season of the circus show created specially for proscenium-arch theatres will run at the Garrick Theatre from August 25 (also press night) to September 11. Press contact: Claire Cummins/John Potter at the Can Group. https://www.cirqueberserk.co.uk
Thursday August 26
- Once upon a time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia (Almeida Theatre, August 21-September 18, press night August 26) Eleanor Rhode directs the world premiere of Josh Azouz’s play about home and identity, marriage and survival, blood and feathers. Azouz’s plays include The Mikvah Project (Orange Theatre Theatre and Yard Theatre) and Buggy Baby (Yard Theatre). The cast comprises Adrian Edmondson, Laura Hanna, Ethan Kai, Pierro Niel-Mee, Yasmin Paige and Daniel Rainford. last Press contact: Alexander Milward at the Almeida. https://almeida.co.uk/whats-on/once-upon-a-time-in-nazi-occupied-tunisia/21-aug-2021-18-sep-202
- Back to the Future — the Musical (Adelphi Theatre), from August 20, press night September 13. The film’s co-writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis adapt a stage musical version, with a cast led by Olly Dobson as Marty McFly and Broadway’s Roger Bart as Doc Brown. With original music by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard (Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror), alongside hit songs from the movie including The Power of Love, Johnny B. Goode, Earth Angel and Back in Time, it is directed by John Rando. Press contact: Amanda Malpass PR. https://www.backtothefuturemusical.com/ockets and Blue Lights (National’s Dorfman Theatre) August 25-October 9, press night September 2
- Rockets and Blue Lights (National’s Dorfman Theatre) August 25-October 9, press night September 2. Winsome Pinnock’s play is co-produced with Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre where the play had to close in March 2020 having played only three previews. Set across multiple time frames the action moves between the stories of Lou, an actor working on a new film about artist JMW Turner, and Lucy and Thomas, two Londoners coming to terms with the meaning of freedom. It is directed by Miranda Cromwell. Press contact: National Theatre press office. https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/rockets-and-blue-lights
SHOWS AHEAD AFTER THIS WEEK: LONDON’S WEST END AND BEYOND
(Dates shown are for first performances, with press nights separately indicated where announced)
- Frozen (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), from August 27, opens September 8. Michael Grandage brings his Broadway stage version of the Disney film to the West End, with a cast led by Samantha Barks as Elsa and Stephanie McKeon as Anna (pictured above). Press contact: Kate Morley PR. https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/frozen-musical/
- Six (Vaudeville Theatre) The hit musical, currently at the Lyric to August 29, after moving from its original home the Arts last December, now moves again, to run at the Vaudeville from September 29. Press contact: Kevin Wilson Public Relations.
- The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre) Resuming performances from September 7. The West End’s second-longest running play (after The Mousetrap) returns. In response to the show’s enduring popularity with young people, the producers have announced that those aged 18 and under will be able to see the West End production free of charge, alongside each full paying adult ticket. Additionally, persons aged 25 and under will be eligible for a £25 ticket rate. A new national tour will also embark from Cambridge’s Arts Theatre from June 17. Press contacts: Emily Webb or Simon Raw at Simon Raw PR.
- Witness for the Prosecution (London County Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1) Originally announced as resuming performances August 3, this production of Agatha Christie’s courtroom drama has now changed its return date to September 14. It plays in the former council debating chamber of what used to be the seat of London’s local governance. Lucy Bailey’s production (pictured above) had already run for over two and a half years and had just played to its 1000th performance when Covid forced it to suspend performances. Joe McNamara makes his professional stage debut as the accused, Leonard Vole; he will be joined in leading roles by Emer McDaid, Jonathan Firth, Teddy Kempner, Miles Richardson and Martin Turner. Press contacts: Laura Myers and Chloe Pritchard-Gordon at About Grace PR. http://www.witnesscountyhall.com/
- Wicked (Apollo Victoria) Resuming performances from September 15, with a celebratory performance planned for September 28 to mark its imminent 15th anniversary in the West End. Casting is yet to be announced. Press contacts: Rebecca Byers/David Bloom at Storyhouse PR. https://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/
- Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre) Resuming performances from September 16, as this autumn marks its 10th anniversary since its transfer to the West End. Press statement from Catherine Mallyon, executive director of The RSC: “It is fantastic to see London’s West End re-opening and for our company, freelance colleagues, and creative team to be back at the Cambridge Theatre, preparing for performances in the autumn. We all know how challenging the past year has been, and that makes this moment even more special and important. We will not only celebrate 10 brilliant years of Matilda The Musical in the West End but also that our audiences can join us once again to experience the power of live theatre.” Press contact: Chloe Pritchard-Gordon, at About Grace PR.
- Blithe Spirit (Harold Pinter Theatre) September 16-November 6, press night September 21. After its original West End transfer from Bath’s Theatre Royal to the Duke of York’s was curtailed after 12 performances in March 2020, following the arrival of the first lockdown, Richard Eyre’s production of the Noel Coward play returns with Jennifer Saunders reprising her role as the preposterous clairvoyant Madame Arcati. She is joined by original cast members Geoffrey Streatfeild as Charles Condomine, Lisa Dillon as Ruth Condomine, Simon Coates as Dr Bradman, Lucy Robinson as Mrs Bradman, and Rose Wardlaw as Edith. Press contact: Lewis Jenkins at Storyhouse PR. https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/blithe-spirit/harold-pinter-theatre/
- & Juliet (Shaftesbury Theatre) Resuming performances from September 24. The new Shakespearean musical based on the back catalogue of pop hit maker Max Martin, including such iconic songs as ‘Baby One More Time’, ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’, ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and ‘Can’t Feel My Face scored three Olivier Award wins for cast members Miriam-Teak Lee (Best Actress in a Musical) as Juliet, with Cassidy Janson and David Bedella winning Best Actress and Actor in a Musical in a supporting role respectively. https://www.andjulietthemusical.co.uk/
- Only Fools and Horses (Theatre Royal, Haymarket) Resuming performances from October 1. As the TV show it is based on celebrates its 40th anniversary year (it first aired on September 8, 1981 on the BBC), the musical version returns, with Paul Whitehouse returning as Grandad, alongside Tom Bennett as Del Boy and Ryan Hutton as Rodney. In a press statement, Whitehouse comments: “I’m over the moon because, finally, the West End is coming back to life and Only Fools and Horses The Musical will return to the Theatre Royal Haymarket this October. The last year or so has been very difficult for a lot of people, so I know I speak for the whole cast when I say that we genuinely cannot wait to get back on stage in front of a live audience – we’ve missed it so much. Roll on 1st October, we can’t wait to see you. Mange tout!” Press contact: Neil Reading PR. https://onlyfoolsmusical.com/
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre) Resuming performances from October 14, in the original, full two-part version, not the reduced one part version that will resume on Broadway in November (see below) In a press statement, co-producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender said: “Re-opening Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two in the West End and being part of the return of British Theatre makes us both happy and proud. To be back at the original home of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – the mothership – with our incredibly talented and committed company and welcoming back our audiences after such a devastating and prolonged closure will be emotional and thrilling for all of us. The world premiere in 2016 was such an extraordinary, historic moment in British theatre and it was just the beginning of the most incredible and unexpected journey for our show. It’s an exceptional local and global success story and we are so grateful to everyone who has come along for the ride, particularly those who will see us re-open in October.” The cast will be led by Jamie Ballard as Harry Potter. Susie Trayling as Ginny Potter and Dominic Short who plays their son Albus Potter. Thomas Aldridge returns as Ron Weasley with Michelle Gayle as Hermione Granger and Phoenix Edwards as their daughter Rose Granger-Weasley. Also returning to play Draco Malfoy is James Howard with Luke Sumner as his son Scorpius Malfoy. Press contact: Janine Shalom at Premier Communications. https://uk.harrypottertheplay.com/
- Magic Goes Wrong (Apollo Theatre) Mischief Theatre’s latest West End show, which was running at the Vaudeville when theatres shut down in March 2020, will resume performances at the Apollo from October 21, to complete its West End run to February 27. Press contacts: Jo Allan and Hannah Stockton at Jo Allan PR. http://www.magicgoeswrong.com
- Dear Evan Hansen (Noel Coward Theatre) Resuming performances from October 26, the 2020 Olivier winning musical will also return to Broadway, re-opening at its original home the Music Box from December 11, five years after its opening there. The US national tour will also re-launch its tour on December 7. In a press statement, producer Stacey Mindich has commented, “It’s a remarkable feeling to put plans in place to relaunch all three Dear Evan Hansen companies, though we, like everyone in the theater industry, are facing considerable challenges. We will proceed safely and smartly to ensure a safe and equitable workplace for everyone when we return, and protect our cast, crew and audiences amidst a world forever changed and continuously evolving due to both the global pandemic and the cultural and racial reckoning. We hope that Dear Evan Hansen’s message of human connection and acceptance will feel more vital than ever.” Press contact: Janine Shalom at Premier Communications.
NEW PRODUCTIONS FURTHER AHEAD (From August 23 onwards)
- Statements after an Arrest Under the Immorality Act (Orange Tree Theatre, August 28-October 2, press night September 2) The annual JMK Award for emerging theatre directors has been won by Diane Page, who will direct Athol Fugard’s classic. In a press statement, she has called it “a brilliant and poignant play that is in dialogue with the world now. Press contact: Riona Kelly/Freya Cowdry at Kate Morley PR. https://orangetreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/statements-after-an-arrest-under-the-immorality-act/
- Fever Pitch (Hope Theatre, London N1, August 31-September 25, press night September 2) Joel Samuels’s adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel about his own obsession with Arsenal Football Club is to be the first — and last * in-house show at Islington’s Hope Theatre to be directed by outgoing artistic director Kennedy Bloomer. Press contact: Arabella Neville-Rolfe at ANRPR. https://www.thehopetheatre.com/productions/fever-pitch/
- The Memory of Water (Hampstead Theatre, September 3 to October 16, press night September 9). Alice Hamilton will direct a new production of Shelagh Stephenson’s Olivier award-winning play that first premiered at Hampstead in 1996, before transferring to the West End and later being adapted into the 2002 film Before You go. In a press stamtenet, Stephenson comments: “The Memory of Water as been on quite a journey since it premiered at Hampstead Theatre all those years ago. I look back, and I see we were in a more hopeful place then. So I’m happy it’s coming home in these dark, uncertain times. I hope it brings laughter, and despite the subject matter, joy.” Press contact: Clare McCormack at Hampstead Theatre.
- Indecent (Menier Chocolate Factory) September 3-November 27, press night September 13. Paul Vogel’s Tony winning play, originally premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre in 2015 before transferring to Off-Broadway’s Vineyard in 2016, then Broadway in 2017 — receives its European premiere, with original director Rebecca Taichman directing a cast that comprises Cory English, Beverley Klein, Finbar Lynch, Molly Osborne, Alexandra Silber and Joseph Timms, with musicians Merlin Shepherd, Anna Lowenstein and Josh Middleton. The production was in previews in March 2020 when the arrival of the pandemic shut it down. In a press statement, artistic director David Babani commented, “We couldn’t open with any other production – Indecent was days into previews when we had to shut down in March last year, and we were determined to reunite our brilliant company of actors and share Rebecca’s beautiful production with audiences here in the UK; the themes of which could not be more timely and prescient for the moment we find ourselves in.” Press contact: Kate Morley. https://www.menierchocolatefactory.com
- Call me Madam (Upstairs at the Gatehouse) September 9-October 10, press night September 14. Irving Berlin’s 1950 musical gets a rare outing, with Rosemary Ashe starringas Sally Adams, a Washington society lady who is appointed US ambassador to the tiny Grand Duchy of Lichtenburg. She is joined by Richard Gibson. Mark Giesser directs. Press contact: Chris Hislop.
- The Lodger (Coronet Theatre) September 10-October 9, press night Sept 15. Geraldine Alexander directs Penny Downie, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Matthew Tennyson and Iniki Mariano in the world premiere of Robert Holman’s play, which is described as “a story about identity, maturity and the possibility of reconciliation”. Press contact: Sharon Kean.
- Camp Siegfried (Old Vic, September 7-October 30, press night September 15). Patsy Ferran and Luke Thallon star in the world premiere of Bess Wohl’s story of two teenagers embarking on a first relationship a a summer camp run exclusivelyn for American youth of German descent; it is based on the real Camp Siegfried, which operated on New York’s Long Island in the 1930s. Press contacts: Hannah Stockton, Kitty Greenleaf, Jo Allan at Jo Allan PR. https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2021/watch-at-the-theatre/camp-siegfried
- Is God Is (Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, September 10-October 23, press night September 16) RoyaCourt associate director Ola Ince directs the UK premiere of Aleshea Harris’s revenge taler about two women seeking justice and taking control of their own narratives, that has previously won an Obie Award in New York. Harris has commented, “The Royal Court’s commitment to producing my play is one I receive with deep gratitude. To know that it would see the light of day on their stage has been uplifting during this past year of loss and uncertainty.” Press contact: Anoushka Warden at the Royal Court. https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/isgodis/
- The Last 5 Years (Garrick Theatre), September 17-October 13, press night September 23. Southwark Playhouse’s 2020 production, which played two runs there last March and September but was shut down on both occasions early by the arrival of lockdowns, moves to the West End, where it will now play the Garrick (instead of the originally announced Vaudeville) with Molly Lynch and Oli Higginson reprising their roles in Jonathan O’Doyle’s production. Press contact: Alexandra Buchanan at Amanda Malpass PR. https://www.nimaxtheatres.com/shows/the-last-five-years/
- Shining City (Theatre Royal Stratford East) September 17-October 23, press night September 23. Nadia Fall directs the first London revival of Conor McPherson’s play since it was originally premiered at the Royal Court in 2004, now starring Brendan Coyle (pictured above second from left). He is joined by Michelle Fox, Rory Keenan and Curtis-Lee Ashqar (left to right beside him). Press contact: Hannah Stockton at Jo Allan PR. https://www.stratfordeast.com/whats-on/all-shows/shining-city
- Malindadzimu (Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, September 17 to October 30, press night September 23) World premiere of Mufaro Makubika’s play, set in Nottingham and Zimbabwe, which explores a mother and daughter’s search for belonging, their struggle with a multicultural heritage, and a haunting history that they cannot ignore. Malindadzimu, (“Hill of the Ancestral Spirits”) is situated in the Matobo National Park in south-west Zimbabwe. It is considered to be a sacred place by locals. Controversially, Cecil John Rhodes is buried on the summit of Malindadzimu. Press contact: Clare McCormack at Hampstead Theatre.
- Search Party (Donmar Warehouse) September 21-25. Poet, playwright and performer Innua Ellams (best known theatrically for his play Barber Shop Chronicles, seen at the National) launches the new Donmar season with his audience-led poetry event. Prompted by audience suggestions, he will search through his extensive archive of work and perform a reactive and spontaneous selection. Press contact: James Lever at Jo Allan PR, firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.donmarwarehouse.com/
- The Mirror and the Light (Gielgud Theatre). September 23-November 28, press night October 6. Jeremy Herrin directs Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light (the third and final part in her Wolf Hall trilogy), adapted for the stage by Mantel and Ben Miles (who stars as Cromwell, reprising a role he also played in the RSC stage version of the first two parts in 2014), with Nathaniel Parker resuming his Olivier winning role as Henry VIII. Also returning to their roles from the earlier plays are Nicholas Boulton (Duke of Suffolk), Matt Pidgeon (Stephen Gardiner) and Giles Taylor (Archbishop Cranmer). They are newly joined by Rosanna Adams (Anna of Cleves), Paul Adeyefa (Christophe), Aurora Burghart (Elizabeth Seymour), Terique Jarrett (Gregory Cromwell), Jordan Kouamé (Rafe Sadler), Geoffrey Lumb (Thomas Wriothesley), Olivia Marcus (Jane Seymour) Tony Turner (Kingston), Leo Wan (Richard Riche) and Nicholas Woodeson (Duke of Norfolk). Adams, Burghart and Kouamé are making their professional debuts. Press contacts: Maisie Lawrence and Ben Chamberlain at Bread and Butter PR email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org https://themirrorandthelight.co.uk/
- The Normal Heart (National’s Olivier Theatre) September 23-November 6, press night September 30. Dominic Cooke directs a new production of the largely autobiographical mid-1980s play by Larry Kramer (pictured above) charting the emerging rise of the AIDS crisis in New York then, and the formation of the AIDS activist group ACT UP that he co-founded. Ben Daniels stars as Ned Weeks, his alter ego, in a cast that also features Dino Fetscher as his partner Felix, with Robert Bowman, Liz Carr, Daniel Krikler, Daniel Monks, Elander Moore, Luke Norris, Henry Nott, Freddie Stabb and Danny Lee Wynter. Press contact: Sophie Wilkinson at National Theatre.
- The Tragedy of Macbeth (Almeida Theatre, September 25-November 20, press night October 5). JamesMcArdle plays the title role in Yaël Farber’s new production, with four-time Academy Award-nominated Saoirse Ronan making her UK stage debut as Lady Macbeth. Press contact: Alexander Milward at the Almeida. https://almeida.co.uk/whats-on/the-tragedy-of-macbeth/29-sep-2021-20-nov-2021
- >> CASTING UPDATE: Hamlet (Young Vic) September 27-November 13, opens October 4. Greg Hersov directs Cush Jumbo [pictured above] in the title role of Shakespeare’s play, postponed from 2020. She is joined by Adrian Dunbar as Claudius, Tara Fitzgerald as Gertrude, Norah Lopez Holden as Ophelia, Jonathan Ajayi as Laertes & Joseph Marcell as Polonius. Press contact: Emma Hardy at Young Vic. https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/hamlet-cush-jumbo
- >> UPDATE: CASTING ANNOUNCED: What If If Only (Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, September 29-October 23, press night October 1) James Macdonald directs Linda Bassett and John Heffernan in a new short play (running 14 minutes) by Caryl Churchill, whose plays including Cloud Nine, Top Girls, A Number and Far Away premiered at the Royal Court, as well as more recent work like Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp and Escaped Alone. Press contact: Anoushka Warden at the Royal Court. https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/whatififonly/
- Metamorphoses (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, at Shakespeare’s Globe) September 30-October 30, opens w/c October 4) A new piece of theatre inspired by Ovid’s myths of chaos and creation, written by Globe writers-in-residence Sami Ibrahim, Laura Lomas and Sabrina Mahfouz. Press contacts: Claudia Conway at Claudia Conway, or Jessica Strawson at the Globe. https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on/metamorphoses-2021/
- White Noise (Bridge Theatre) October 5-November 13, press night October 12. Polly Findlay directs the European premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks’s new play, originally premiered at New York’s Public Theater in 2019. Press contact: Janine Shalom at Premier Communications. https://bridgetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/white-noise/
- Love and other Acts of Kindness (Donmar Warehouse) October 7-November 27, press night October 14. Cordelia Lynn’s new play, commissioned by the Donmar after she won the 2020 Berwin Lee Award, is premiered in a production directed b y Elaye Ismail, and with a cast that includes recent Central graduate Abigail Weinstock and Richard Katz. It is described as a subversive and intimate love story about inheritance and the cycles of politics and history. Press contact: James Lever at Jo Allan PR, email@example.com. https://www.donmarwarehouse.com/
- The Shark is Broken (Ambassadors) October 9-January 15 (press performances October 19-21, with review embargoed to midnight October 21). An Edinburgh Fringe hit in 2019 that goes behind-the-scenes of the making of Spielberg’s Jaws transfers to the West End’s Ambassadors Theatre, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions. It is co-written and performed by Ian Shaw, son of Jaws star Robert Shaw who also plays his father, and Joseph Nixon. In a press statement, Ian Shaw comments, “I first watched Jaws when I was about eight. I loved it, even though it terrified me! Like many others, sharks inhabited my dreams, and swimming was off the menu. Over forty years later, the prospect of playing my father in a play that Joseph and I wrote, and bringing to light the off-screen intrigue and comedy that went into the making of a masterpiece, is a unique and very special one.” Press contact: Chloe Pritchard-Gordon or Laura Myers at About Grace PR, firstname.lastname@example.org; laura@Aboutgracepr.com. https://thesharkisbroken.com/
- Rice (Orange Tree Theatre, October 9-November 13, press night October 13) Matthew Xia directs the UK premiere of an award-winning Australian play about globalisation, politics and family by Asian-Australian writer Michele Lee. Press contact: Riona Kelly/Freya Cowdry at Kate Morley PR. https://orangetreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/rice/about
- The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Lyric Hammersmith, October 9-November 6, with a press night on October 13) Co-produced with Chichester Festival Theatre, where this production will play first from September 3 to October 2, this revival of Martin McDonagh’s play will be directed by Rachel O’Riordan, artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith. It will feature Ingrid Craigie and Kwaku Fortune. Press contact: Sue-Ann Chow-Seegoolam. https://lyric.co.uk/shows/the-beauty-queen-of-leenane/
- Get Up Stand Up! – The Bob Marley Musical (Lyric Theatre) From October 1, opens October 20. With a script by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), direction by Clint Dyer (new deputy artistic director of the National Theatre) and Arinzé Kene (as Bob Marley), this musical will feature such Marley standards as ‘Exodus’, ‘No Woman No Cry’, ‘Waiting in Vain’, ‘Three Little Birds’, ‘I Shot the Sheriff’, ‘Could You Be Loved’ and ‘Redemption Song’. Press contact: Ben Chamberlain at Bread and Butter PR. https://getupstandupthemusical.com
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Duke of York’s), October 26-February 12, opens November 4. Delayed transfer for the National’s hit production adapted from Neil Gaiman’s book. https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane/duke-of-yorks-theatre/
- Indecent Proposal (Southwark Playhouse, October 22-November 27, press night November 2). A new musical (book and lyrics by Michael Conley with music by Dylan Schlosberg), based on the novel by Jack Engelhard that became a 1993 film will feature Ako Mitchell, Jacqui Dankworth and Norman Bowman, directed by Charlotte Westenra. Press contact: Madelaine Bennett at the Gingerbread Agency. https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show-whats-on/indecent-proposal/
- Brian & Roger — A Highly Offensive Play (The Mixing Room at the Menier Chocolate Factory) October 22-December 18, press night November 1. A new studio space opens at the Menier with the world premiere of Harry Peacock and Dan Skinner’s play, inspired by their hit podcast Brian & Roger, that they also perform. It is directed by the Menier’s artistic director David Babani. Press contact: Kate Morley. https://www.menierchocolatefactory.com
- The Drifters Girl (Garrick Theatre) November 4-March 26, 2022, opens November 25. Beverley Knight to star as Faye Treadwell, the legendary manager of The Drifters in Jonathan Church’s production. She is joined by Adam J Bernard, Tarinn Callender, Matt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud as The Drifters. Prior to the West End, it will run at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from October 9-23. Press contact: David Bloom at Storyhouse PR. https://www.nimaxtheatres.com/shows/the-drifters-girl/
- Rare Earth Metal (Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, November 10-December 18, press night November 16) Al Smith, whose plays include Harrogate that was seen at the Royal Court, returns with what is described as a epic new play exploring risk, delusion and power. In a press statement, he comments, “We were halfway through rehearsals when the first lockdown began. I feel very fortunate to be able to return to that work we were making, and enormously grateful to the Court for their unwavering commitment to my play when everything creative felt shattered. I can’t wait to share it.” Press contact: Anoushka Warden at the Royal Court. https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/rareearthmettle/
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre) Previews from November 12, press night December 8. The hit 2019 Broadway version of the iconic 2001 Baz Luhrmann film transfers to the West End. With a book by playwright John Logan, direction by Alex Timbers and choreography by Sonya Tayeh, it is produced by Carmen Pavlovic and Gerry Ryan OAM for Global Creatures and Bill Damaschke. In a press statement, Timbers has commented, “The last 12 months have proven uniquely challenging in engaging with performers as we look to cast the UK production. Nevertheless we have all been astounded by the perseverance and sheer talent of those we have seen, and I am excited to see the cast coming together. It feels great to finally be confirming our UK premiere dates. I am thrilled now that we can look forward to bringing Moulin Rouge! to life in London and to welcome our audiences.” Press contact: David Bloom at Storyhouse PR. https://www.moulinrougemusical.co.uk/
- A Christmas Carol (Old Vic, November 13-January 8, 2022, press night November 24). Matthew Warchus’s now perennial stage version of Dickens returns once again, this time live after last year’s version was presented ‘In Camera’ (when it was live-streamed from the theatre starring Andrew Lincoln as Scooge). Press contacts: Hannah Stockton, Kitty Greenleaf, Jo Allan at Jo Allan PR.https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2021/watch-at-the-theatre/a-christmas-carol-5
- Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club (Playhouse Theatre, from November 15) Eddie Redmayne (pictured above) is the Emcee in a brand-new production of Kander and Ebb’s 1960s musical, set in 1930s Berlin, and now revived in 2020s London in an entirely reconfigured Playhouse Theatre, transformed into an in-the-round auditorium with re-imagined spaces. Jessie Buckley also stars as Sally Bowles, under the direction of Rebecca Frecknall. Choreography is by Julia Cheng and set and costume design by Tom Scutt, with lighting by Isabella Byrd, sound by Nick Lidster, musical supervision and direction by Jennifer Whyte and casting by Stuart Burt. Press contacts: Simon Raw/ Emily Webb/ Stacey Pedder at Raw PR. https://kitkat.club/
- Manor (National’s Lyttelton Theatre) November 16-January 1, press night November 23. Moria Buffini’s new play stars Nancy Carroll as the owner of a rundown manor house, which shelters an explosive mix of people during a storm including Ted Farrier, a charismatic leader of a far-right organisation, played by Shaun Evans. Press contact: Katie Marsh at National Theatre. https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/manor
- The Comedy of Errors (Barbican Theatre) The RSC’s new production, currently running in a new outdoor space at Stratford-upon-Avon HQ until September 26, is to transfer indoors to the Barbican Theatre, from November 16-December 31, press night November 23. In a press statement, director Philip Breen has commented, “I am beyond excited to be making my debut at the Barbican this autumn with this production of The Comedy of Errors. It’s an extraordinary play, not least because of how it resonates with the times we now find ourselves in – a play of family reunions, people finding each other once again, people holding each other at sunset – it seems entirely apt for this moment, and for the RSC to be reunited with the Barbican once again this autumn.” https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2021/event/royal-shakespeare-company-the-comedy-of-errors Press contact: Kate Evans at The RSC.
- Four Quartets (Harold Pinter Theatre) Ralph Fiennes, currently touring in his own solo production of TS Eliot’s poem, transfers to the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre for 36 performances only from November 18 to December 18 2021. Press contact: Lewis Jenkins at Storyhouse PR. email@example.com. https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/four-quartets/harold-pinter-theatre/
- While the Sun Shines (Orange Tree Theatre, November 20-January 8, press night November 24) Orange Tree artistic director Paul Miller’s 2019 production of Terence Rattigan’s 1943 play set during the London blitz returns. Press contact: Riona Kelly/Freya Cowdry at Kate Morley PR. https://orangetreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/while-the-sun-shines/about
- Red Riding Hood (Theatre Royal Stratford East) November 27-December 31, press night December 4. This year’s pantomime has book and lyrics by Carl MIller and music and lyrics by Robert Hyman. Press contact: Hannah Stockton at Jo Allan PR. https://www.stratfordeast.com/whats-on/all-shows/red-riding-hood
- Spring Awakening (Almeida Theatre, November 30-January 22, press night December 14) Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s 2006 Broadway musical version of Frank Wedelind’s play about adolescent anarchy and sexual awakening, which won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Musical and subsequently also won the Olivier when it transferred to London’s Lyric Hammersmith and the West End’s Novello, is revived in a new production by Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold. The cast will include Amara Okereke as Wendla and Laurie Kynaston as Melchior. Press contact: Alexander Milward at the Almeida. https://almeida.co.uk/whats-on/spring-awakening/2-dec-2021-22-jan-2022
- Best of Enemies (Young Vic Theatre) December 2-January 22, 2022 (press night to be confirmed). The Young Vic and Headlong co-produce James Graham’s new play, inspired by the documentary by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon. Set in 1968 — a year of protest that divided America — it revolves around the battle between the conservative William F Buckley Jr and the liberal Gore Vidal, who feuded nightly in a new television format. Little did they know that they were about to open up a new frontier in American politics, and transform television news forever. It will be directed by Jeremy Herrin. Press contact: Emma Hardy at the Young Vic. https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/best-of-enemies
- The Book of Dust — La Belle Sauvage (Bridge Theatre, December 2-February 19, opening night December 14). New stage version of Philip Pullman’s 2017 book, adapted by Bryony Lavery, is to be directed by Nicholas Hytner, who previously brought Pullman’s His Dark Materials (set twelve years after the events in The Book of Dust) to the National’s stage, with designs by Bob Crowley and puppetry by Barnaby Dixon. Press contact: Janine Shalom at Premier Communications. https://bridgetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/la-belle-sauvage/
- Habeas Corpus (Menier Chocolate Factory) December 3-February 26, press night December 13. Patrick Marber returns to the Menier where he previously directed a revival of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties that transferred to both the West End and Broadway, to now direct Alan Bennett’s 1973 comedy, last revived in London in a production at the Donmar Warehouse in 1996. Press contact: Kate Morley. https://www.menierchocolatefactory.com
- Hex (National’s Olivier Theatre) December 4-January 22, press night December 15. Rufus Norris directs and writes the lyrics for a new musical, with book by Tanya Ronder and music by Jim Fortune, that is based on the 17th-century Sleeping Beauty folk tale, but beyond the kiss that woke her. Norris previously directed a version of the story at the Young Vic in 2002; this production reunites him with the designer of that production Katrina Lindsay The cast is led by Rosalie Craig, Tamsin Carroll, Kat Ronney and Michael Elcock. Press contact: Sophie Wilkinson at National Theatre. https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/hex
- >> NEW ENTRY: Pantoland at the Palladium (London Palladium) December 4 to January 9. The run of last year’s Palladium panto was aborted just six days into its run when the December lockdown was imposed; now it returns, with Donny Osmond newly joining headliners who include regulars Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot, as well as Jac Yarrow and Sophie Isaacs reprising their roles from last year. Created, produced and directed by Michael Harrison, he has commented in a press statement: “Pantoland at The Palladium was originally created for the 2020 season and was sadly cut short due to the tiering system which meant we only played 6 performances to a reduced capacity of just 1000 people per performance. However, the reaction to the show was unlike anything any of us had seen before so the thought of bringing it back as an even bigger and better Christmas extravaganza was too good an idea to resist. Imagine my excitement when Donny Osmond, one of the greatest entertainers in the world, agreed to join my brilliant returning favourites as the Wizard of Pantomime. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see one of the world’s greatest stars alongside the greatest performers in pantomime at the world’s greatest theatre.” Press contact: Janine Shalom at Premier Communications. https://www.palladiumpantomime.com/
- Bring It On The Musical (Queen Elizabeth Hall) December 8-January 22, 2022. The Broadway cheerleading musical, due to run here last Christmas, has been re-booked for this Christmas, starring Amber Davies and Olympic gymnast Louis Smith. The songs are by Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Next to Normal’s Tom Kitt, plus lyricists Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) and Amanda Green. UPDATE: Following the London season, it will embark on a UK/Ireland tour, beginning at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre from January 26-29. PR: Emily Webb or Simon Raw at Raw PR. https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/bring-it for London; for full tour dates, visit https://www.bringitonthemusicaluk.com/
- Force Majeure (Donmar Warehouse) December 10-February 5, press night December 16. Ruben Östlund’s award-winning film comedy about a family falling apart is adapted by Tim Price (whose play Salt Root and Roe received its premiere at the Donmar in 2011 and directed by the Donmar’s artistic director Michael Longhurst. The cast will include double Olivier winner Rory Kinnear (for Othello and The Man of Mode, both seen at the National). Press contact: James Lever at Jo Allan PR, firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.donmarwarehouse.com/
- A Number (Old Vic, January 24-March 19, 2022, press night February 1). Lennie James and Paapa Essiedu play father and son(s) in Caryl Churchill’s play, directed by Lyndsey Turner. Press contacts: Hannah Stockton, Kitty Greenleaf, Jo Allan at Jo Allan PR. https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2022/watch-at-the-theatre/a-number
- Henry V (Donmar Warehouse) February 11-April 9, press night February 22. Max Webster, now an associate director at the Donmar, directs Kit Harington in a modern production of Shakespeare’s study of nationalism, war and the psychology of power. Press contact: James Lever at Jo Allan PR, email@example.com. https://www.donmarwarehouse.com/
- The Key Workers Cycle (Almeida Theatre, January 31-February 5) A cycle of nine short plays about those who keep our daily lives running, like teachers, funeral directors, delivery drivers, midwives, refuse collectors and supermarket workers, performed by a company of professional actors, local community participants and key workers. Press contact: Alexander Milward at the Almeida. https://almeida.co.uk/whats-on/the-key-workers-cycle/28-jan-2022-5-feb-2022
- Into the Woods (Old Vic, April 16-July 8, 2022, press night TBC). Terry Gilliam and Leah Hausman co-direct Sondheim and Lapine’s 1987 Broadway musical, originally seen in London (in a different production to the Broadway original) in the West End in 1990, when Richard Jones directed it at the Phoenix Theatre; it has since been revived twice in major productions in London, at the Donmar Warehouse (1998) and Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park (2010, in a production that subsequently was re-staged — with a new American cast — at Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre). Press contacts: Hannah Stockton, Kitty Greenleaf, Jo Allan at Jo Allan PR. https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2022/watch-at-the-theatre/into-the-woods
- Marys Seacole (Donmar Warehouse) April 15-June 4, press night April 21. Nadia Latif, who previously directed the UK premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview at the Young Vic in 2019 when she was Genesis Director there, now directs the UK premiere of Drury’s play about a pioneering Jamaican nurse who bravely voyaged to heal soldiers in the Crimean War. Press contact: James Lever at Jo Allan PR, firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.donmarwarehouse.com/
- Jerusalem (Apollo Theatre) April 16 to August 6, 2021, opening night April 28. Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook reprise their performances in the return of Ian Rickson’s production of Jez Butterworth’s play to its original West End home that it played at in 2010, after transferring from the Royal Court where it had premiered in 2009. To sign up for priority booking for August 16, visit https://jerusalemtheplay.co.uk. Press contact: Janine Shalom at Premier Communications.
REGIONAL THEATRE OPENINGS (at selected venues only)
- Bedknobs and Broomsicks, Newcastle Theatre Royal, August 16-21, then touring. National press night will be held at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre on Friday August 27. World premiere stage version of the 1971 Disney film musical, with songs by the Sherman Brothers (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins, both of which have also been adapted for the stage, with the latter returning to the Prince Edward Theatre from August 7). New songs and additional music and lyrics will be provided by Neil Bartram. The book is by Brian Hill. Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison, who co-founded Vox Motus (whose installation Flight was recently seen at the Bridge Theatre), co-direct, with Harrison also designing the set and illusions. The cast will be led by Dianne Pilkington as Miss Eglantine Price (the role played on film by Angela Lansbury), and Charles Brunton as Emelius Browne. The tour, which is currently booking to April 2022, will include a Christmas residency at Leeds Grand Theatre (December 8-January 9). For full tour dates, visit https://www.bedknobsonstage.com/tour-dates. Press contact: David Bloom at Storyhouse PR.
- Curtain Up (Theatre Clwyd, August 16-September 4, press night August 19) A three week season of 15 short plays by Welsh writers, with 10 actors a week (30 in all) performing five of those plays each week. Another twist: The audience decide who plays who and their props and costumes. Artistic director Tamara Harvey directs with associates Francesca Goodridge and Emyr John. Press contact: Kate Morley. https://www.theatrclwyd.com/event/curtain-up-week-1; https://www.theatrclwyd.com/event/curtain-up-week-2; https://www.theatrclwyd.com/event/curtain-up-week-3
- Beauty and the Beast (Bristol Hippodrome, August 25-September 18, then touring) Brand-new production of Disney’s stage version of their animated film classic, with a cast led by Courtney Stapleton and Emmanuel Kojo in the title roles (pictured above), and also featuring Gavin Lee (Lumiere), Tom Senior (Gaston), Sam Bailey (Mrs Potts), Nigel Richards (Cogsworth), Martin Ball (Maurice), Samantha Bingley (Wardrobe), Emma Caffrey (Babette) and Louis Stockil (Le Fou). A national press night will be held at Liverpool Empire on September 29. Press contact: David Bloom at Storyhouse PR. https://www.beautyandthebeastmusical.co.uk/
- Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (The Lowry, Salford Quays, September 1-12, with dates currently booked to April 23, 2022) The national touring version of the ongoing West End hit resumes, with Layton Williams reprising the role of Jamie that he has previously played in the West End, and Shane Richie playing Hugo/Loco Chanelle (to November 20), then replaced by RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Roy Haylock (aka Bianca Del Rio, from November 23 to January 8); they are joined by Shobna Gulati as Ray. The tour includes a four week Christmas season in Brighton (Theatre Royal, December 7-January 2), followed by Southampton (January 4-8). The tour will then pause for six weeks in January as the show opens in Los Angeles for a run at the Ahmanson Theatre. The UK tour will then recommence from February 23, with dates booking to May 2022. Press contact: Jo Allan PR.
- The Beauty Queen of Leenane (MInerva Theatre, Chichester, September 3-October 2, press night September 9) It is directed by Rachel O’Riordan, artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith, where this co-production with that theatre will transfer after Chichester, playing in London from October 9-November 6, with a press night on October 13). The cast will feature Ingrid Craigie and Kwaku Fortune. Press contact: Lucinda Morrison at Chichester Festival Theatre. https://www.cft.org.uk/whats-on/event/the-beauty-queen-of-leenane
- Waitress (New Wimbledon Theatre, September 4-11, then touring) Jessie Nelson and Sara Bareilles’s Broadway musical, whose West End run was curtailed by Covid, launches a UK national tour, with Lucie Jones and Evelyn Hoskins reprising the roles of Jenna and Dawen respectively that they played at the Adelphi, joined by Sandra Marvin as Becky and Matt Willis (from the pop group Busted) as Dr Pomatter. After Wimbledon, it will tour to Leeds, Crawley, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Eastbourne, Sunderland, Manchester, Aberdeen, Stoke-on-Trent, Northampon, Edinburgh, Leicester, Hull, Bristol, Woking, Bromley, Belfast, Newcastle, Plymouth, Llandudno, Inverness, Glasgow, Oxford, Liverpool, Birmingham, Southampton, Cardiff, Dublin, Torquay, Wolverhampton, Dartford, Brighton, Nottingham, Bradford, Canterbury, Southend and Norwich. Though Lucie Jones is announced for the whole tour, there will be cast changes after Hull. Press Contact: Simon Raw, Stacey Peddler, Emily Webb at Raw PR. https://www.waitressthemusical.co.uk/
- School of Rock — The Musical (New Theatre, Hull, September 7-18, then touring to July 2022) As Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical Cinderella opens in the West End in July, his most recent previous show embarks on its first national tour. Originally premiered on Broadway in 2015 before transferring to the West End in 2016, it is based on the 2003 film of the same name, about a failed would-be rock star who becomes a substitute prep school teacher — and turns his students into a rock band. Press contact: David Bloom at Storyhouse PR.
- Matthew Bourne’s The Midnight Bell (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, September 9-11, then touring, with dates booked to November 27) The world premiere of New Adventures’s latest show, inspired by novelist Patrick Hamilton. In a press statement, Bourne commented, “Patrick Hamilton’s literary world could be seen as the flip-side of his close contemporary, Noel Coward, whose witty and glamorous world of cocktails and high society made him so fashionable and successful. Hamilton, on the other hand, wrote about the lives of everyday people, full of pathos, comedy and thwarted romance. Indeed his own personal setbacks and increasingly serious drinking problem became the source from which he created his finest and most individual work. More than any other author of the time, Hamilton’s characters speak with the authentic voice of the era and it’s the raw passion and secret lives that lie beneath the conventional exterior that appeals to me so much”. The 12-strong company includes Liam Mower (one of the original trio of Billy Elliott’s when that musical first opened). It will tour to 13 venues, including a week at London’s Sadler’s Wells (October 4-9). Press contact: Simon Raw at Raw PR.
- >> DATE CHANGE: Rock of Ages (Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, September 9-11, then touring) Tour resumes for the Broadway musical comedy that features 25 classic rock anthems, directed and choreographed by Nick Winston. Press contacts: Simon Raw, Stacey Pedder or Emily Webb at Raw PR. https://www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk/
- Missing Julie (Theatr Clwyd, September 16-October 9, press night September 21) World premiere of a play freely adapted from Strindber’g Misss Julie by Kaite O’Reilly. The production’s director is to be recruited as part of the #OpenHire campaign. Press contact: Kate Morley
- Typical Girls (Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, September 24-October 16, press night September 28) Co-produced with Clean Break Theatre Company, the company’s joint artistic director Róisín McBrinn directs a new punk musical play by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm Press contact: Hannah Stockton at Jo Allan PR. https://www.cleanbreak.org.uk/productions/typical-girls
- The Mountaintop (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester) September 25-October 27, press night September 30. Roy Alexander Weise, joint artistic director at the Royal Exchange, directs his first production since he assumed the post, with a revival of Katori Hall’s Olivier Award winning plan about Martin Luther King, starring Tomiwa Edun as Dr King and Ntombizodwa Ndlovu as Camae, a maid in the hotel he is staying at in Memphis after giving what was his final speech. Weise previously directed the play at the Young Vic after winning the James Menzies Kitchin Award. Press contact: Paula Rabbitt at the Royal Exchange. https://www.royalexchange.co.uk/whats-on-and-tickets/the-mountaintop
- Mum (Drum Theatre, Plymouth, September 30-October 16. then Soho Theatre, London) New play by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (who wrote Emilia, that transferred from the Globe to the West End’s Vaudeville), that will transfer to London’s Soho Theatre after its Plymouth debut,running there from October 20-November 20, with press night on October 26. Press contact: Laura Myers at About Grace PR.
- >> UPDATED: The Cherry Orchard (Theatre Royal, Windsor, October 1-November 13) Francesca Annis stars as Ranevskaya, Ian McKellen as Firs and Jenny Seagrove as Gaev, after also previously featuring in Hamlet. They are newly joined by Martin Shaw (Lopakhin) and Robert Daws (Pishchik). Press contact: Dee McCourt, Borkowski. https://theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk/thecherryorchard/
- The Long Song (Chichester Festival Theatre, October 1-23, press night October 7) Suhayla El-Bushra adapts Andrea Levy’s novel for the stage, and Charlotte Gwinner directs. Press contact: Lucinda Morrison at Chichester Festival Theatre. https://www.cft.org.uk/whats-on/event/the-long-song-1
- What’s New Pussycat? (Birmingham Rep, October 8-November 14) Luke Sheppard, who is represented by the Max Martin jukebox hit & Juliet in the West End, directs Joe DiPietro’s new musical that folds the hits of Welsh troubadour Tom Jones into Henry Fielding’s comic novel The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling, including such hits as Green, Green Grass of Home, It’s Not Unusal, Delilah and the title track. Arlene Phillips will choreograph. Presented by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Flody Suarez, Joshua Andrews and Stuart Galbraith from Kilimanjaro Theatricals, with Donna Munday as Executive Producer. Press contact: Ben Chamberlain at Bread and Butter PR. https://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk
- Home (Minerva Theatre, Chichester, October 8-November 6, press night October 13) Josh Roche directs David Storey’s 1970 play that is regarded as a modern classic. Roche won the JMK Award for his production of My Name Is Rachel Corrie at the Young Vic with Erin Doherty in the title role. Press contact: Lucinda Morrison at Chichester Festival Theatre. https://www.cft.org.uk/whats-on/event/home
- Wuthering Heights, Bristol Old Vic, October 11-November 6, press night October 20, then touring to York Theatre Royal form November 8-20, with runs at the National Theatre in 2022 and a national tour to follow) World premiere of Emma Rice’s adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, in a coproduction with the National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and York Theatre Royal. Lucy McCormick stars as Cathy. Press contacts: Kate Morley, Freya Cowdry at Kate Morley PR. https://bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/wuthering-heights
- Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical (Hall for Cornwall, Truro) October 13-30. World premiere of a new musical based on the true story of the Cornish singing sensations and the hit 2019 film, reopening Hall for Cornwall after a period of closure for a multi-million-pound transformation. Written by Brad Birch, directed by James Grieve, designed by Lucy Osborne and with musical supervision by David White, it will feature hit shanties made famous by the band including Keep Haulin’, Nelson’s Blood, No Hopers Jokers & Rogues and Sweet Maid Of Madeira. The show will be produced by Royo, in association with Hall for Cornwall’s new in-house producing company, Cornwall Playhouse Productions. Press contact: Amanda Malpass. https://www.fishermanonstage.com/
The Good Life (Theatre Royal Bath from October 7-16, then touring). A new stage comedy based on the iconic 70s BBC TV series, originally scripted by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, and now written and directed for the stage by Jeremy Sams. Rufus Hound is to play Tom (originally Richard Briers on tv). Press contact: David Bloom/ Lewis Jenkins at Storyhouse PR, email@example.com /firstname.lastname@example.org Full tour dates: https://thegoodlifeonstage.com/
- Isla (Theatr Clwyd, October 16-November 6, press night October 21) Clwyd artistic director Tamara Harvey directs the world premiere of Welsh playwright Tim Price’s Isla. Press contact: Kate Morley.
- The Wiz (Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, November 24-January 16, 2022) Matthew Xia directs a new outing of the 1975 Broadway re-telling of The Wizard of Oz story, with an all-black cast, that has music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, book by William F. Brown and original orchestrations by Harold Wheeler. Press Contact: Jo Allan PR. https://hopemilltheatre.co.uk/events/the-wiz
- Les Miserables (Glasgow’s King’s Theatre, November 24-January 1, then touring) National tour resumes for the blockbuster musical, in the production that was first conceived in 2009 to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary year. After Glasgow, in 2022 it will visit Liverpool, Dublin, Southampton, Salford, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Hull, Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich, Canterbury, Sunderland, Leeds and Cardiff (running into 2023). https://www.lesmis.com/uk-ireland-tour
- Jersey Boys (New Wimbledon Theatre, from November 25-27, then touring, with dates currently announced to November 12) The Broadway hit musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, also returning to the West End at the newly reinstated Trafalgar Theatre from July 28, embarks on a new national tour. Press contact: Sarah Wharton at Amanda Malpass PR. http://www.jerseyboyslondon.com/
- Dreamgirls (Liverpool Empire, December 14-January 1, then touring) The 1981 Broadway musical embarks on its first-ever UK tour, in the production first seen at the West End’s Savoy Theatre in 2016, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw. Nicole Raquel Dennis, a finalist on the 2019 season of The Voice and who was in the original London cast of Dear Evan Hansen, will play Effie White. Following Liverpool, it will tour into 2022 to Bristol, Milton Keynes, Sunderland, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Wimbledon, Nottingham, Norwich, Leeds, Canterbury, Plymouth, Lladudno, Aberdeen, Manchester, Oxford, Glasgow, Blackpool, Southampton, Northampton, and Birmingham, with further dates to be announced in 2023. Press contact: Lewis Jenkins at Storyhouse PR. https://www.dreamgirlsthemusical.co.uk/
POSTPONED PRODUCTIONS (DATES TBC):
- Sunday in the Park with George (Savoy) Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford reprise their roles from the Broadway revival.
- Sister Act (Eventim Apollo) Whoopi Goldberg can no longer star in the production now that it has been postponed twice, but it is due here in 2022 now.
- Good (Pinter) David Tennant in a revival of CP Taylor’s play originally premiered at the Donmar Warehouse under the RSC’s auspices in the 1980s.
- 4,000 Miles (Old Vic) Eileen Atkins and Timothée Chalamet are due to star in Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer nominated play.
- The Doctor (Duke of York’s) Juliet Stevenson in Rob Icke’s production originally seen at the Almeida.
- Life of Pi (Wynham’s) Lolita Chakrabarti’s stage version of Yann Martel’s epic story of endurance and hope, first seen at Sheffield’s Crucible in 2019 in a production directed by Max Webster, is finally due to transfer to the West End in November, after being delayed by COVID-19.
- Edinburgh Fringe Festival (August 6-30): Events will be published and bookable on https://www.edfringe.com/. According to a press release issued April 14, “As Scotland navigates its roadmap out of lockdown, much is still unknown about what the Fringe will look like this August. However, a range of scenarios are being prepared for, from socially distanced live events to digital offerings. The Fringe Society is supporting artists and audiences to find and book work online across a range of platforms, including the brand-new Fringe Player. This online platform aims to bring some festival magic into homes across the world, while providing a secure platform for artists, companies and venues to host their shows. The platform is available to any registered 2021 Fringe show or venue to use if they wish”. Press contact: Rebecca Monks at Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.
- Edinburgh International Festival (August 7-29): A ‘re-imagined’ EIF for 2021 will use ‘bespoke outdoor venues to safely reunite artists and audiences to rediscover the magic of live performance.’ According to a press release issued April 13, “a selection of performance spaces across the city will include three temporary outdoor pavilions designed especially for live performance. The pavilions will be situated at iconic city locations including Edinburgh Park and the University of Edinburgh’s Old College Quad [pictured above in an artist impression] and will feature covered concert stages and socially distanced seating.” This year’s festival includes 170 classical and contemporary music, theatre, opera, dance and spoken word performances, including 15 new commissions and premieres. The theatre programme includes the world premiere of Edna Walsh’s Medicine (Traverse Theatre, August 4-29, with a cast that includes Domhnall Gleeson); A Grand Night for Singing (Edinburgh Academy Junior School, August 8-13, a 1993 Broadway revue of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs, directed by and starring Kim Criswell, joined by Danielle de Neise, Anna-Jane Casey, Damian Humbley, and Richard Morrison. Press contact: Emma Goodacre (media manager), Hugo Mintz (head of communications).Theatre: https://www.eif.co.uk/whats-on/category/theatre; Opera: https://www.eif.co.uk/whats-on/category/opera; Dance: https://www.eif.co.uk/whats-on/category/dance.
ONE-OFF PERFORMANCES & OTHER LIMITED RUN
- Well-Behaved Women (Cadogan Hall, September 3, 7.30pm) A new song cycle by Carmel Dean celebrating women across history. Julie Atherton directs a cast that comprises Maisey Bawden (Lady Liberty), Anna-Jane Casey (Billie Jean King and Janet Armstrong), Janie Dee (Eleanor Roosevelt), Nicole Raquel Dennis (Eve), Hiba Elchikhe (Cleopatra and Malala Yousafzai), Kerry Ellis (Boudicca), Gabriela García (Frida Kahlo), Cassidy Janson (Virginia Woolf), Rachel John (Maya Angelou), Linda John-Pierre (Harriet Tubman) and Rachael Wooding (Mary Magdalene), accompanied by an all-female live band. PR: Freya Cowdry at Kate Morley PR. https://cadoganhall.com/whats-on/well-behaved-women/
- Jenna Russell solo concert (Cadogan Hall) November 7, 6.30pm. The Olivier winner — soon to play Piaf at Nottingham Playhouse (see regional, above) — will perform a solo show, with musical director Nigel Lilley. Also in Fourth Wall Live’s season: Shoshana Bean (December 4, 7.30pm) and Jessica Vosk (February 27, 6.30pm) will appear. Press contacts: Simon Raw or Emily Webb at Raw PR. https://cadoganhall.com/whats-on/jenna-russell-live-in-concert-2021/
- Bonnie and Clyde in Concert (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, January 17-18) Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan, who played the title roles in Frank Wildhorn’s short-lived 2011 Broadway musical (it opened and closed after just 36 performances in the same December month, following 33 previews beforehand), reunite for a two-night concert performance. https://www.bonnieandclydeconcert.com Press contact: Emily Webb/ Simon Raw at Raw PR.
- Camelot in Concert (London Palladium, February 6) Bradey Jaden, Ramin Karimloo and Lucy St Louis star in a concert performance of Lerner and Loewe’s 1960 Broadway musical.
- Pass Over (August Wilson Theatre) Performances began August 4, opens September 12, runs to October 10. Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s play — the first of seven already announced for this season by people of colour – follows two black men trapped on a city block — both by existential dread, and by the fear of being killed by police. Described by the New York Times as a a taut riff on Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and the Book of Exodus,was originally premiered ar Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in 2017, where it was filmed for Amazon Prime Video by Spike Lee, and was subsequently seen in New York at Lincoln Center Theatre in 2018. It has also been produced at London’s Tricycle Theatre in 2019, though tis run was curtailed by the pandemic.
- Hadestown (Walter Kerr Theatre) Resuming performances from September 2, the 2019 Tony winning Best Musical is the first Broadway show to return. In a press statement, producers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy, commented, “For the past 15 months, ‘spring will come again,’ has become our mantra. Anaïs Mitchell’s elegant lyric has gotten us through a year of profound change, soul searching, and more than a few sleepless nights. Now, as spring is in full bloom in New York, that mantra continues to show itself in wonderful ways, as we’re able to announce not only our return to Broadway, but our North American tour, and our first-ever international production in South Korea. Bringing Hadestown back to stages all over the globe is a fundamental celebration of theater’s survival, about the power of this beloved art form, and the strength of millions of arts workers who are bringing it back to life. It will be an honor to sit in the audience on Thursday, September 2 at the Kerr and see fans welcome our cast, crew, and band back to the stage where they belong.” Press contact: Rick Miramontez / Aaron Meier at DKC/O&M. https://www.hadestown.com/#home
- Waitress (Ethel Barrymore Theatre) The Broadway musical version of Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 film, scored by singer-songwriter Sara Bereilles with a book by Jessie Nelson, returns to Broadway after closing on schedule just ahead of the pandemic’s arrival, with Bareilles herself initially returning in the lead role of Jenna that she has previously played both on Broadway and reprised in the West End, for performances from September 2-October 17. The show itself will run to January 9, 2022 at the Barrymore Theatre, on the same block — west 47th Street — as its original home, the Brooks Atkinson (now occupied by Six). In a press statement, Bareilles has commented, “I couldn’t miss the opportunity to be there when Broadway welcomes audiences back into theaters that have been sitting dark for over a year. It is a gift to get to revisit the beautiful story of Waitrss, centered around hope, resilience, and the support of our chosen family. It’s so special to be able to celebrate those same qualities at this moment in time within our theater family. Like so many people all over the world, this community has endured great loss and tremendous hardship, and we are all changed. But with this change comes powerful motivation to bring what we have learned and experienced this past year to make something even more beautiful and more intentional. Broadway is grit and grace, magic and mayhem, and I can’t wait to feel the electricity that pulses through all of us as the curtains rise once again.” Press contact: Adrian Bryan-Brown/Jackie Green at Boneau/Bryan-Brown. https://waitressthemusical.com
- Chicago (Ambassador Theatre) Resuming performances from September 14, Broadway’s longest-running American musical of all time resumes performances, as it approaches its 25th anniversary since opening on Broadway in November 1996, after transferring from New York CIty Center, where this Encores! revival was first seen earlier that summer. Press contacts: Adrian Bryan-Brown/Heath Schwarz at Boneau/Bryan-Brown. https://chicagothemusical.com/
- Six The Musical (Brooks Atkinson Theatre) Six, the British musical whose Broadway opening night was cancelled two hours before it was due to take place on March 12, 2020 when all of Broadway was shut down, will finally open officially, after resuming performances from September 17, prior to a new opening night on October 3. Press contacts: Adrian Bryan-Brown, Heath Schwartz, Imani Punch at Boneau/Bryan-Brown. http://www.sixonbroadway.com/
- Chicken & Biscuits (Circle in the Square, previews from Spetember 23, opens October 10) A new comedy by Douglas Lyons, is to transfer from the Queen’s Theatre in the Park (where it was running when theatres shut down in March 2020) to Broadway’s Circle on the Square. The cast will be led by Norm Lewis and Michael Urie. It is one of seven new plays (so far) by black writers that have been announced will be seen on Broadway this season: the others are Pass Over by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu; Lackawanna Blues by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II; Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress; Clyde’s by Lynn Nottage; and Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau. Press contact: Vivacity Media Group. https://chickenandbiscuitsbway.com/
- The Lehman Trilogy (Nederlander Theatre, resuming performances from September 25 prior to an official opening on October 14, to run for 99 performances only to January 2, 2022) The transfer of Sam Mendes’s production, originally premiered at the National Theatre in 2018 and subsequently presented in New York at the Park Avenue Armory in 2019 before returning to London for a sell-out West End run at the Piccadilly in 2019, resumes its run on Broadway, which was aborted by the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020. Original cast members Simon Russell Beale and Adam Godley are newly joined by Adrian Lester, replacing Ben Miles, to make his Broadway debut. In a press statement, Mendes has said: “It couldn’t be more perfect that Adrian Lester will be joining our production of The Lehman Trilogy on Broadway. He was the first person I offered the role to, way back when we first mounted the production in London at the National Theatre, so on some level it feels like destiny. His joining the company at this moment in time offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the Lehman family history.” Mendes and Lester previously worked together on a London revival of Sondheim’s Company at the Donmar Warehouse in 1995 that subsequently transferred to the Albery (now Noel Coward Theatre). Lester comments, “This will be the second time I’ve worked with Sam after Company and though I have played New York before, this will be my first time on Broadway. Years after Sam and I first discussed my involvement in this incredible project, I am now so pleased the ups and downs of actors’ availabilities has finally offered me the chance to be a part of this fantastic production.” Press contract; Rick Miramontez/Marie Bshara at DKC/O&M. https://thelehmantrilogy.com/
- To Kill a Mockingbird (Shubert Theatre) Resuming performances from October 5, with Jeff Daniels returning to reprise the role of Atticus Finch that he originated when this version of the Harper Lee novel first premiered on Broadway in 2018, with Tony winner Celia Keenan-Bolger returning as Scout. Orin Wolf was been named Executive Producer to oversee all aspects of the production. In an interview with the New York Times, Wolf has commented, “The Broadway company will no longer pay any compensation to Scott [Rudin] as a producer, and he’ll no longer have any managerial or decision-making role of any kind. He does have a small investment position, which is passive.” Press contact: Rick Miramontez/ Marie Bshara at DKC/O&M, email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org. https://tokillamockingbirdbroadway.com/
- Girl from the North Country (Belasco Theatre) Resuming performances from October 13, the London-born hit transferred to Broadway where it opened on March 5, days before Broadway was shut down by the pandemic. In a press statement, producers Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons commented, “Bob Dylan once said ‘You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future’. We are thrilled to go forward by welcoming audiences safely back to The Belasco this fall and reunite with our beloved Broadway family. At the heart of Girl From The North Country is the Depression-era story about a community coming together to find hope while facing hardships during difficult and uncertain times. After the turbulent past year of experiencing great pain, suffering, and loss, the global pandemic has tested our resolve and resilience in countless ways, revealing in the process the deep divides and inequities in our society, and strengthening our commitment to change and moving forward. Girl From The North Country resonates powerfully today, and is a love letter to America celebrating its strength and resilience with the poetry of Bob Dylan’s music to unite, heal, uplift, inspire, and illuminate through the darkest of times.” Press contact: Amy Jacobs at Rubenstein. https://northcountryonbroadway.com/
- Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations (Imperial Theatre) will resume performances October 16. In a press statement, producers Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce said, “Ain’t Too Proud has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our career, but over the past year, the Temptations’ story of strength, hope, and standing up for justice has taken on an added significance. Our return to the Imperial on Saturday, October 16 will be an epic performance full of love, laughter, and tears of joy, but we know the hard work still lies ahead and we embrace the task whole heartedly.” Press contact: Rick Miramontez / Aaron Meier at DKC/O&M. https://www.ainttooproudmusical.com/
- The Phantom of the Opera (Majestic Theatre) The longest-running musical in Broadway history — which has been running since transferring from the West End in 1987 — resumes performances from October 22. Press contact: The Publicity Office. https://us.thephantomoftheopera.com
- Mrs Doubtfire (Stephen Sondheim Theatre) The new Broadway musical version of the 1993 film comedy resumes performances from October 21, after a hiatus brought about by the closure of Broadway in March 2020, prior to an official opening December 5. Rob McClure plays the title role, originally played on screen by Robin Williams, in Jerry Zaks’ production. Press statement from producer Kevin McCollum: ““Broadway is about celebrating a shared experience together and after 18 months away there is no one better to bring us all together again than Mrs. Doubtfire. I’m thrilled that the Mrs. Doubtfire company will reunite on Broadway this fall bringing their indomitable spirit and talent to this new production based on one of the most beloved films of all time. After just three preview performances, Mrs. Doubtfire was shut down along with the rest of Broadway. Now, it’s time to re-launch this hysterical new musical comedy that reminds us there is nothing more important than love and finding your family.” Press contact: Adrian Bryan-Brown at Boneau/Bryan-Brown. https://mrsdoubtfirebroadway.com/
- Company (Bernard B Jacobs Theatre) Marianne Elliott’s revival of Sondheim and Furth’s 1970 musical is now to resume performances from November 15, prior to an official opening on December 9. It was previously announced to begin on December 20, prior to oeping on January 9, after previously being shut down during previews in March 2020 when Broadway was closed. In a press statement, Elliott commented, “We always wanted to bring Company back as soon as possible and when the opportunity was presented to start performances a month earlier, we knew we had to jump on it. This production has always been about bringing people together to share in laughter, joy, and friendship and I’m beyond thrilled that we are able to reunite almost all of our remarkable cast to make this happen.” Katrina Link stars as Bobbie, with Patti LuPone reprising her London performance as Joanne. They are joined by joined by returning Broadway cast members Matt Doyle as Jamie, Christopher Fitzgerald as David, Christopher Sieber as Harry, Jennifer Simard as Sarah, Terence Archie as Larry, Etai Benson as Paul, Nikki Renée Daniels as Jenny, Claybourne Elder as Andy, Greg Hildreth as Peter, Rashidra Scott as Susan, and Bobby Conte Thornton as P.J. Press contacts: Rick Miramontez / Aaron Meier at DKC/O&M. https://companymusical.com
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Lyric Theatre) Resuming performances from November 16, this stage extension of the Harry Potter story is being re-staged as a single show, not in two parts as before. In a press statement, JK Rowling, Harry Potter’s original creator and co-author of the play with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, commented, “Collaborating on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been one of the great joys of my professional life. While no one would wish for what has happened over the last year, it has given Jack, John and the first-class creatives who first breathed life into the production the opportunity to revisit the play, and to find a new way to frame our story — with amazing illusions and some exquisite new staging— all the while keeping our original story intact. I’m so proud to be associated with this new, reimagined version.” The original 2-part version will continue to play in Melbourne (now on), London (from October 14) & Hamburg (December 1). Press contacts: Adrian Bryan-Brown/ Heath Schwartz at Boneau/Bryan-Brown. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.harrypottertheplay.com/us/
- Diana: The Musical (Longacre Theatre) Previews will resume November 2, prior to an official opening night on November 17 (brought forward from December 1/16 respectively) for this new musical (with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan), after its original 2020 run was curtailed by the closure of Broadway. Celebrating the life of Princess Diana and the light of her legacy that continues to shine across the world, it will premiere two months ahead of its Broadway return as a special presentation on Netflix of a filmed version of the stage production that was filmed after Broadway was locked down. In a joint press statement, the Diana producers said, “The chance to share our show, first with Netflix’s global audience, and then welcoming a live audience back on Broadway, is something we’ve all been dreaming about for more than a year. We could not be more thrilled to finally share both the film and the Broadway musical with the world.” The cast is led by Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles, and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth. Press contact: Rick Miramontez / Pete Sanders at DKC/O&M.
- Dear Evan Hansen (Music Box Theatre) Resuming performances from December 11, five years after its opening there. The US national tour will also re-launch its tour on December 7; and will resume in the West End at the Noel Coward Theatre from October 26 (see above).
- The Music Man (Winter Garden Theatre) Beginning performances December 20, prior to an official opening February 10, Hugh Jackman plays ‘Professor’ Harold Hill, the music man of the title, in a revival of Meredith Willson’s 1957 musical, co-starring Sutton Foster as Marian Paroo. Jerry Zaks directs, with choreography by Warren Carlyle, the same team behind the 2018 revival of Hello, Dolly! Press contact: DKC/O&M.
- MJ – The new Michael Jackson Musical (Neil Simon Theatre) Beginning performances December 6, prior to an official opening February 1, this musical inspired by the life of the late pop icon will now star newcomer Myles Frost in the title role, replacing the originally annnounced Ephraim Sykes who has departed to shoot a film. It has a book by Lynn Nottage, and will be directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon (whose last Broadway show An American in Paris transferred to the West End). Press contact: DKC/O&M. https://mjthemusical.com/
- Plaza Suite (Hudson Theatre) New dates announced for actor-turned-director John Benjamin Hickey’s new production of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite starring husband and wife team Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, that was originally due to begin performances at the Hudson Theatre on March 13, 2020 — the day after Broadway was shut down. It will now begin previews nearly two years later at the same venue, from February 28, prior to opening on March 25. Press contacts: Rick Miramontez / Aaron Meier at DCK/O&M. email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org. http://plazasuitebroadway.com/
- Tracy Letts’ The Minutes, originally set to open at Broadway’s Cort Theatre in March 2020 but shut down during previews when Covid closed the theatres, will now resume performances two years later, in March 2022, at a new venue Studio 54, prior to official opening April 7. Anna D Shapiro directs; the cast is still be confirmed. (It originally starred Armie Hammer, who announced in April that he has departed the production, following allegations of sexual assault, which he strongly denies. In a press statement in April, he announced, “I have loved every single second of working on The Minutes with the family I made from Steppenwolf. But right now I need to focus on myself and my health for the sake of my family. Consequently, I will not be returning to Broadway with the production.” Press contacts: Matt Polk/Jeffrey Fauver at Polk & Co. https://www.telecharge.com/Broadway/The-Minutes/Overview