This Year's Top Summer Theatre Picks
| By Shaun Nolan
As soon as I hear a mention of the word “summer”, I immediately think about how much more theatre I can pack in to my weeks of freedom. Sometimes though, it can be pretty overwhelming when you’re faced with so much fantastic theatre to choose from and you just can’t decide what to go and see. So, to rectify that for you, I thought I’d share with you some of the best things I’ve seen in recent months that you simply must catch this summer, as well as what I’ve booked in to see for myself.
The Elephant Man had a very successful and critically acclaimed run at the Booth Theatre on Broadway not too long ago and it’s fantastic to see Bradley Cooper and the entire Broadway company come over to London and bringing this show with them for a limited run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket this summer. Performances have already begun and the production ends its run this August so catch it while you can! This touching story about a man, his deformities and how he overcame the troubles that they posed to him is a must-see for all straight play fans.
Another show playing a limited run this year is the Broadway classic Gypsy, which is playing the Savoy Theatre until November this year. Gypsy is one of my all-time favourite musicals and I caught the show a few months back when it was still in previews and it did not disappoint. The entire company is incredible, especially leading lady Imelda Staunton who plays the role that will define her career forevermore. If you’re a fan of classic, lavish musicals then head down to the Savoy Theatre this Summer; it really won’t disappoint.
Speaking of revivals, Miss Saigon just had a major cast change and this new cast are said to be “even better than the original revival company” by so many different theatre outlets. If you haven’t caught this incredible revival of one of the most iconic musicals of all-time then this summer is as good a time as any to catch it. It’s my favourite musical of all time and trust me, you will leave wanting to book to see it again and again and again... Trust me, I know from experience.
Whilst on the topic of iconic musicals, this year’s Olivier Award-winning Best Musical is Sunny Afternoon; a jukebox musical that uses the music of The Kinks to tell their back story of how they came to fame. I’m planning on catching this smash hit show this August with some friends and I know that you should as well. If you’re a fan of The Kinks’ music, or if you’re simply a fan of a good song and dance with your mates, then I’m sure you’ll love this show on a hot evening this Summer.
Another band that is seeing their music come to life on the West End stage this year are Green Day when their musical American Idiot comes to the Arts Theatre this July. With X Factor alum Amelia Lily taking the lead, this musical (which is an original story told with the music of Green Day) is sure to be a teenage phenomenon having already wowed audiences on Broadway many years ago. If you’re a teen and fancy a good night out or if you loved We Will Rock You, then I’m most certain you’ll love American Idiot; I can’t wait to see it this Summer!
There is, however, a totally new musical that’s only just started performances in London this year. Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical is a musical adaptation of the cult favourite British movie which is already playing at the Phoenix Theatre. The music for the show has taken inspiration from Indian musical styles as well as classic show tunes... sounds good to me! I can’t wait to see it in a few weeks time – I think it’s this Summer’s must-see show!
What are you seeing this summer, do you think you’ll catch any of the shows I’ve mentioned? Tweet me @shaunycat and let me know what you thought if you do!