Musicals

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Frankie Valli musical Jersey Boys to tour UK in 2014

14 Feb 2014

The jukebox musical features the hit songs ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ and ‘Bye Bye Baby’

The award winning musical Jersey Boys will embark on its first ever UK tour this September, travelling to Sunderland, Manchester, Birmingham, Stoke and Edinburgh. Backed by the original Broadway production creative team, Jersey Boys, written by…

Rod Stewart musical Tonight’s the Night set for 2014 UK tour

22 Jan 2014

Touring version of Ben Elton's 2003 musical hits Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and more

Having sold out almost the entire opening week of the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow last autumn, public affection for Rod Stewart and his music isn’t likely to abate soon, especially not in Scotland. This touring version of the 2003 Ben Elton musical…

The stage adaptation of The Lion King to call at Sunderland's Empire Theatre

17 Jan 2014

Tickets for the run in autumn 2014 will go on sale from Tue 21 Jan

Julie Taymor's blockbuster stage adaptation of The Lion King is set to continue its tour around the UK with a run at Sunderland's Empire Theatre in autumn 2014. The musical version of Disney's epic 'Hamlet with lions' animation will visit the theatre…

Tim Minchin and Matthew Warchus developing musical stage adaptation of Groundhog Day

10 Jan 2014

The Matilda collaborators are working with original screenplay writer Danny Rubin on the project

Following their massive success with the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda, comedian Tim Minchin and lyricist-director Matthew Warchus have turned their attention to iconic 1993 comedy Groundhog Day. The pair are reportedly working on the…

West Side Story

18 Dec 20134 stars

New production sensibly refers back to the original staging & Jerome Robbins' balletic choreography

West Side Story's continued relevance relies heavily on the power of its inspiration, Romeo and Juliet. When the original creators, including a young Stephen Sondheim, choreographer Jerome Robbins and composer Leonard Bernstein, developed the…

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White Christmas

9 Dec 20133 stars

Steve Houghton and Paul Robinson star in a schmaltzy stage adaptation of Irving Berlin's musical

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, a quick recap: ex-soldiers turned entertainers Phil and Bob are planning their new show in Miami when they meet singing sisters Judy and Betty. After a bit of back and forth, the boys follow the girls to…

Steven Houghton, Graham Cole and Wendi Peters star in White Christmas stage adaptation

25 Nov 2013

Stage adap of Irving Berlin's classic Christmas musical features 17-piece orchestra

Some theatres try to stand against the tide of pantomimes: the Traverse pretends that Christmas isnʼt happening, while the Citizens has an adaptation of The Jungle Book. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, however, straddles the divide between the festive…

The Lion King

7 Nov 20134 stars

Costume and puppet designs steal the show in Julie Taymor's stage production of the Disney film

The Lion King has played to audiences the world over, with different casts bringing the Disney film to life each time. Everywhere it goes, the show is a hit, regardless of who dresses up as Simba, Scar or Pumbaa. And why? Because unusually for a stage…

Top 5 musicals based on true stories at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013

7 Aug 2013

Featuring Blood Ties, Forest Boy, Bridge and Gilbert and Sullivan: The Musical

Blood Ties Based on a true event, this dark comedy features a murder, a wedding and a suicide as a group of girls are forced to address long-standing issues on a bachelorette weekend gone horribly wrong. theSpace @ Venue45, 510 2381, 12–24 Aug (not…

33

5 Aug 20134 stars

Musical take on 2010 copper mine incident by The Wardrobe Ensemble

Book-ending Tom Brennan's production is an eccentric appearance by Edison Pena on legendary US chat show The David Letterman Show. Pena is one of the 33 miners who survived a major cave-in for 69 days in the Copiapo copper mine, San Jose in 2010 and who…

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[title of show] fuses musical theatre and real life at 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2013

UK premiere of quirky US Broadway musical hit

Anyone who saw Daniel Kitson’s 2012 Fringe sell-out, about a writer writing a play about writers writing another play, will agree that the show-within-a-show format has grown serious legs in recent years. This year Patch of Blue Theatre stride out with…

TV star Natalie Casey talks about performing in 9 to 5: The Musical

19 Jul 2013

A stage version of the Dolly Parton-starring comedy is touring the UK

Toe-tapping transitions from the silver screen to the theatre stage have become common practice for those writing musicals in recent years, with several popular films being revisited and revitalised for a new audience. Cultish 80s romp 9 to 5 is the…

Belle and Sebastian's Mick Cooke discusses Cannibal Women of Mars

10 Jun 2013

The BAFTA-winning composer has crafted 'a musical for people who don’t go to musicals'

I went to see Avenue Q about five years ago and thought that there is bound to be more space for stuff like this: a musical for people who don’t go to musicals,’ says Mick Cooke, founder member of Belle and Sebastian, BAFTA-winning composer and the…

Long-running West End musical Blood Brothers on 2013 UK tour

6 Jun 2013

The musical, which concerns a pair of twins separated at birth, stars Sean Jones and Tracy Spencer

Compare actor Sean Jones’ 14-year association with the hugely successful touring musical Blood Brothers to a marriage, and he gently replies that it actually is. He met his wife (actress Tracy Spencer), while working on the show, where he plays Mickey…

High Society

17 Apr 20134 stars

A clever and satisfying production of the musical best known as The Philadelphia Story

Easy on the eye and easy on the ears – despite a plot which exalts the uninhibited flaunting of wealth – this is a witty and effervescent revival of the Cole Porter favourite. High Society hits the stage running. A tightly drilled, black-and-white…

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Priscilla Queen of the Desert UK tour 2013

20 Feb 2013

Stage version of 1994 film with Jason Donovan returning to role of drag queen Tick

When The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert hit cinema screens 20 years ago, the tale of three Aussie drag queens on an epic road trip, became a cult classic, its high-octane pop soundtrack and madcap wardrobe making it a star-spangled shoe-in…

Dirty Dancing

6 Dec 20123 stars

Straightforward stage recreation of the hit 80s film, boosted by an excellent live band

There are some iconic moments that never get old. No matter how many times you see Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey finally crack ‘the lift’ at the end of Dirty Dancing, it always brings a thrill, and possibly a wee tear to the eye. Had the…

The Ladykillers

15 Nov 20123 stars

Graham Linehan-penned take on classic movie retains its spirit

It was a wise move of Graham Linehan’s to retain the period setting for his stage version of The Ladykillers. That way he could focus on filling it with more gags than the classic Ealing black comedy contained when it was released in 1955. And after a…

Glasgow Girls

7 Nov 20124 stars

Dynamic musical tribute to power of friendship and community that packs a fearless political punch

There’s a scene in this lively new National Theatre of Scotland-produced musical in which the youthful heroines sing of their deep affection for Glasgow, for all its rough edges. The show itself inspires a similar reaction: there’s the odd cheesy moment…

American Idiot

26 Oct 20123 stars

Bold, flashy adaptation of Green Day's concept album

American Idiot is a bit of a hard sell, too clean cut for punk fans, too scuzzy for lovers of musicals. Which is a shame as it brings a freshness to the form that is a world away from other jukebox musicals such as Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You. It’s…

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Cora Bisset on Glasgow Girls: the Musical

18 Oct 2012

The production tells the true story of three Drumchapel teenagers taking on the immigration system

The dramatic story of the 21st century Glasgow Girls, the teenagers from Drumchapel who, in 2005, banded together to take on the immigration system when one of their friends was threatened with deportation, is an obvious one for the stage. Cora Bissett…

Good Grief

17 Aug 20123 stars

Meandering musical hour of delightful schadenfreude

Gone Rogue’s likeable, funeral-set musical might start off in a subdued atmosphere of deep sorrow, but by the end of the show most of the mourners have ended up half naked, high on hash cookies or reeling from shocking family revelations. Using a family…

Newland

17 Aug 20124 stars

Funny and intelligent jazz-inflected Western

Love and betrayal jostle for the starring role in this non-traditional Western from the talented cast of M&T Productions. Within the first two minutes of the fast-paced musical, murder, betrayal and cover-ups tumble forth, causing the sheriff of…

Clinton The Musical

17 Aug 20123 stars

Ex-president inspires high-energy, catchy musical from talented ensemble

Former United States president Bill Clinton should offer any theatre production – let alone an all-singing, all-dancing musical – some great inspiration for material is a given. But, from his inauguration through to his sexual relations with ‘that…

Through the Looking Screen

13 Aug 20123 stars

A black tale of loneliness and log-ins

The experience of turning The Office into an operatic extravaganza for Comic Relief in 2009 clearly gave Anne Chmelewsky a taste for the comedic possibilities of a musical form normally associated with grim tragedy. But the ‘high heels and high Cs…