Following on from my look back on 2016, I thought I’d give you a taste of what’s to come to London theatre in 2017…
1. Hamilton - *Squeals* Yes, Hamilton will finally be reaching our shores. If you haven't heard about this show, where have you been? This American musical, created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is a fresh and innovative piece of theatre about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton set to rap music. Sounds wild, right? It will be opening its West End run in the Victoria Palace in November 2017, and will no doubt be just as successful here as it has been in America.
2. The Girls - This is a production I'm very excited about, as I think Calendar Girls is a great British film and previous reception to productions of this show has been good. I think it's great to have another female-led production to cause a stir in the West End. As well as that, its music is penned by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth so it'll be interesting to see what they've done with the story, and how it works as a musical. Previews start 28th January at the Phoenix Theatre.
3. Finding Neverland - There's still a big question mark on this as to how soon we will be getting it. It's been in the pipeline for 2017 for some time now, and is still listed on their website as coming in 2017. Here's hoping the waiting game for further details ends soon because I'm not sure I can wait much longer...
4. 42nd Street - I have to admit, I know very little about this show, but it will be interesting to see how this revival of a story about the American dream of Broadway will fare at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Previews begin from the 20th March.
5. Wind in the Willows - Following great reviews from its premiere in Plymouth, it quickly announced it was slated to head to London's Palladium in June. Sadly, I'm not one of those people that has grown up with this story, but I can see myself enjoying it and am intrigued to see what it's all about. I think it'll be a great, family-friendly, summer hit.
6. The Kite Runner - Previews begin in late December, but it officially opens at the Wyndham's Theatre in January for a limited season. This play is adapted form the book of the same name, and is a haunting tale of friendship which spans cultures and continents, as it follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.While this is another show I know little about, but I can imagine it being a success.
7. An American In Paris - I feel I should definitely know more than I do about this musical, but this will be opening in March at the Dominion, as it comes over from Broadway with the original cast, It tells a tale of an American GI (Jerry Mulligan) striving to make it as a painter in a city suddenly bursting with hope and possibility. He then has a chance encounter with a beautiful young dancer named Lise, and the streets of Paris become the backdrop to a sensuous, modern romance of art, friendship and love in the aftermath of war... I personally really hope I can get myself to this.
8. Star-Studded Plays - There seems to be a surge of plays with celebrity names for 2017, which is always exciting if you get the chance to see some of your favourite stars on stage. Highlights include: Emilia Fox starring in the UK premiere of Sex with Strangers at the Hampstead theatre for a limited run. The Boys In The Band at the Vaudeville features Mark Gatiss. Cherry Jones is starring in the Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie. Imelda Staunton makes a swift return to the West End with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Don Juan in Soho stars Doctor Who’s David Tennant. Gemma Arterton in Saint Joan. Plus there are plenty more so keep your eyes peeled!
9. UK Tours - There are dozens of exciting UK tours taking place. Some may be continuing on from 2016, but some of the ones to come include: The Addams Family (How exciting does this look?!), Funny Girl (Fresh from its success on the West End, with select dates starring Sheridan Smith), Hairspray (Following its previous success, it's going back on tour late 2017!), Wonderland (A new musical), Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, Grease, Miss Saigon and Flashdance. There’s a lot to look out for!
10. Stay Local - No doubt you have some brilliant local productions, whether they be specifically local or other nationwide tours like the UK tour mentioned above; do check your local theatre listings because you never know what gems you may find. I know for a fact, there are a few exciting tours and independent shows coming to my corner of the country. As well as Showstoppers! The Improvised Musical making a return, after a stint on the West End so I can't wait to see them again.
And I have no doubt there are many more to be announced! I've already booked tickets to a few shows, so I can't wait to see what else I get myself to.
Also while we're here, may we bid farewell to the likes of In The Heights, Jersey Boys, The Railway Children and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who will be leaving the West End in 2017. Thank you for entertaining us over the years, we shall miss you but enjoy your next journeys and hopefully we'll see you again!
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