All the performers returning to iconic roles in the West End and beyond
This is a great time to see the definitive portrayals of some of the best roles in theatre. Not only are there numerous fantastic revivals and returning productions in town, but the lead actors who previously starred in those shows are heading back to the West End too. From Michael Ball and Beverley Knight to Wicked and Bonnie and Clyde leads, here are some of the West End actors you can see reprising roles right now.
Rob Madge in My Son’s A Queer, (But What Can You Do?)
Madge’s dream continues with a well-deserved West End encore for their hit solo show. It’s another chance for audiences to hear this inspiring tale: from creating shows in their living room to making that childhood passion a professional reality, and coming to understand their sexuality and identity – all with incredible family support. All of that, plus fab songs and a Disney parade.
Paul Whitehouse in Only Fools and Horses: The Musical
What lovely-jubbly news! Paul Whitehouse, who originated the role of Grandad in the West End production of Only Fools and Horses – and is also one of the musical’s co-writers – has returned to the show for its extended 2023 run. You can see him alongside Tom Bennett as Del Boy and Ryan Hutton as Rodney. Go on, get booking: you’d be a 42-carat plonker to miss him.
Book Only Fools and Horses - The Musical tickets on London Theatre.
Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton in Bat Out of Hell: The Musical
Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman’s rock-tastic musical is back, and there are some very familiar faces among its cast. Yes, they would do anything for love: original cast members Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton – who, respectively, play the tyrannical ruler Falco and his conflicted wife Sloane – are reprising their roles for the show’s West End return. Let’s hope it’s all coming back to them now…
Michael O’Reilly and Kira Malou in Dirty Dancing
Nobody puts Baby in a corner – nor the stars of this beloved movie-turned-stage musical. Michael O’Reilly is bringing back his smooth moves as hunky ballroom instructor Johnny Castle for the show’s West End return, and Kira Malou is once more carrying that watermelon. They lead an exciting mix of established and new cast members, including Charlotte Gooch and Georgina Castle, all having the time of their life.
Book Dirty Dancing tickets on London Theatre.
Tom Hollander in Patriots
Peter Morgan’s riveting and timely drama about Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky, aka the man who made (and was subsequently destroyed by) Vladimir Putin, was a hit at the Almeida Theatre last year and is now coming to the West End. Happily, its brilliant lead cast are back as well, notably Tom Hollander as Berezovsky, Will Keen as Putin, and Luke Thallon as Abramovich.
Book Patriots tickets on London Theatre.
Andy Karl in Groundhog Day
Appropriately for this superb musical adaptation of a film about being caught in a time loop, Andy Karl will be reliving the lead role of weatherman Phil Connors as the show returns to the Old Vic – although hopefully it’ll be a less torturous experience for the Olivier Award winner! Karl originated the part in Tim Minchin and Danny Rubin’s show in 2016, and also reprised it on Broadway.
Book Groundhog Day tickets on London Theatre.
Charlie Stemp in Crazy For You
The s’wonderful star of Susan Stroman’s glorious Gershwin revival, which delighted Chichester audiences last year, is strapping his tap shoes on again for its summer West End run. Charlie Stemp plays Bobby Child, alongside fellow returning cast members Carly Anderson, as his romantic partner Polly, and Tom Edden, as impresario Bela Zangler. Who could ask for anything more?
Book Crazy For You tickets on London Theatre.
Michael Ball in Aspects of Love
Nothing was ever the same for Michael Ball once he played Alex in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love in 1989. He went on to win two Olivier Awards for Hairspray as Edna Turnblad, and the title barber in Sweeney Todd. Now, 34 years later, Ball returns to the romantic musical, as George. It's a passionate, steamy musical; Alex falls in love with Rose, only for Uncle George to change their lives and relationships forevermore. Aspects of Love plays at the Lyric Theatre in spring 2023. Who knows, will Ball sing the "Love Changes Everything" once more?
Book Aspects of Love tickets on London Theatre.
Alexia Khadime in Wicked
After 13 years away from the Western skies, Alexia Khadime is going green once more as Elphaba in Wicked. Khadime made history as the first actress of colour to play the role, paired alongside Dianne Pilkington as Glinda. It's not uncommon for Elphaba actresses to return to the show: Kerry Ellis and Rachel Tucker have done multiple stints as the Wicked Witch of the West. In spring 2023, she'll star alongside Lucy St. Louis at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.
Book Wicked tickets on London Theatre.
Dan Partridge and Olivia Moore in Grease
Nobody wants to wave goodbye to those summer nights. And for Danny and Sandy, they don't have to. Dan Partridge and Olivia Moore return for a second year as Rydell High's loved up sweethearts in Grease. They already go together in the West End, and now they'll go together with a new cast, including Louise Redknapp as Teen Angel.
Book Grease tickets on London Theatre.
Arthur Darvill in OKLAHOMA!
The revamped Rodgers and Hammerstein musical heads to the West End with plenty of familiar faces from the Young Vic. Doctor Who actor Arthur Darvill returns as cowboy Curly, alongside Anoushka Lucas as Laurey, Olivier winner Liza Sadovy as Aunt Eller, and Broadway Oklahoma! stars Patrick Vaill and James Patrick Davies.
Book OKLAHOMA! tickets on London Theatre.
Beverley Knight in Sylvia
The queen of British soul and gospel music first played Emmeline Pankhurst in a limited 2018 run of Sylvia. Five years later, the female suffrage musical heads back to the Old Vic. The hip hop musical is all about Sylvia Pankhurst, Emmeline's daughter, who continued the fight for the right to vote and stood up for what she believed in. Discover more about Sylvia in the West End and raise your loud, powerful voice.
Frances Mayli McCann and Jordan Luke Gage in Bonnie and Clyde
The world will remember this duo. After playing Bonnie and Clyde at the Arts Theatre in spring 2022, Frances Mayli McCann and Jordan Luke Gage return to play the formidable criminal masterminds for a second time. The pair spoke to London Theatre about drawing out real events in the production, as well as performing the folk score eight times a week.
Book Bonnie and Clyde tickets on London Theatre.
Photo credit: Bonnie and Clyde (Photo courtesy of production)
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