Experience London shows in a new light with tickets to West End musical revivals
Relive all the joy of classic West End musicals as they return to London in 2023. There's plenty of musicals to enjoy in the capital.
The London theatre scene is renowned not just for its influx of new plays and musicals, but for thrilling revivals of established work — revivals which are, at their best, truly revelatory. Over the past few years, we’ve seen landmark productions like a Sondheim classic completely transformed in Marianne Elliott’s gender-swapped Company, or Michael Longhurst (with a major assist from star Sharon D Clarke) proving that musical Caroline, or Change is an astounding piece of art, and one with plenty to say about modern times.
A great revival can signal the arrival of an exciting new talent, too. Rebecca Frecknall, whose incredible Cabaret stormed the Olivier Awards – and, with its new cast, is still one of the most thrilling shows in town – first burst onto the scene with a luminous production of Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke at the Almeida Theatre in 2018. She’s recently returned to Williams, giving us a jaw-dropping take on A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Patsy Ferran and Paul Mescal.
Many great revivals interrogate the work afresh, perhaps stripping away period trappings or making a significant departure from previous productions in terms of staging, casting or interpretation. They can create a bridge from past to present, finding parallels with our contemporary world or showing how we’re still grappling with the same ideas and issues. But there’s pleasure, too, in revival that really honours the joy of the original – while ensuring it’s just as pleasurable for a new audience.
Here are some of the most eye-catching London musical revivals that you can book for now.
In here, life is beautiful. For West End thrill-seekers looking for the hottest entertainment, say "wilkommen" to Cabaret. The seven-time Olivier-winning revival is currently transforming the Playhouse Theatre into a decadent Kit Kat Club, complete with table seating and in-the-round performances.
From the moment you enter the venue, you're plunged into a Weimar-era jazz club complete with dancing and frivolity. Then, as the Emcee steps on stage, get ready to see Cabaret in a new light. John McCrea (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) and Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education) now play the Emcee and Sally Bowles.
Book Cabaret tickets on London Theatre.
There's no need to worry about rolling the dice for an unlucky result with Guys and Dolls. The hit musical returns for a transformative revival at the Bridge Theatre in 2023.
Guys and Dolls follows Nathan Detroit, a Manhattan trying to keep his crap shooting game afloat, who makes a bet with the legendary Sky Masterson. Nathan tries to strike it lucky, but the cupid unexpectedly strikes at the same time when mission leader Sarah Brown enters the scene. Will everyone get what they wish for?
The ever-popular Guys and Dolls returns to London in 2023 in a new, immersive styling by Nicholas Hytner. The Bridge Theatre auditorium will be renovated to allow standing audiences to travel to Manhattan and Cuba all in one night. Daniel Mays, Marisha Wallace, Andrew Richardson, Celinde Schoenmaker and Cedric Neal star.
Book Guys and Dolls tickets on London Theatre.
Forget all your preconceived ideas about Oklahoma! In this bold adaptation, Rodgers and Hammerstein's iconic musical is transformed for the 21st century by a Tony Award-winning Daniel Fish, who draws out its darker themes, complex morality, and frank sexuality.
The story follows farmgirl Laurey Williams as she's doted upon by two men: confident cowboy Curly, and retiring farmhand Jud. The pair try to win Laurey's hand at a time of sociopolitical upheaval — can the farmer and cowman be friends? And will Ado Annie ever learn to say “yes” to just one man? Oklahoma! is now a steamy, scintillating, unmissable musical, and you can see it at the Wyndham's Theatre in spring 2023 as it transfers from the Young Vic.
Book Oklahoma! tickets on London Theatre.
There is simply nothing like a s’wonderful Gershwin score, a tap-dancing company, and a charming leading man – so Crazy For You, starring the ridiculously talented Charlie Stemp, is joy incarnate. This irresistible revival, helmed by the Broadway legend Susan Stroman (who directed/choreographed the recent Anything Goes), began at Chichester and now hits the West End.
The story centres on aspiring performer/reluctant banker Bobby Child, who is meant to be foreclosing on a small-town theatre – but decides to save it instead, all while wooing local girl Polly. With glorious songs like “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “I Got Rhythm” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, this is a revival with charm to spare.
Book Crazy For You tickets on London Theatre.
It was a monster hit in the West End for years, and now the boys are back in town. You can once again follow Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons as each of the band members (Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi) gives their take on how they rose to fame and where it all went wrong – from mobsters and money to competition between them.
But this success of this revival, which is bringing crowds flocking to the revamped Trafalgar Theatre, also lies in the enduring greatness of the material – including the band’s ridiculously strong back catalogue: “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)”, “Can't Take My Eyes Off You”, “Sherry”, “Walk Like A Man”, “Bye Bye Baby”, “Big Girls Don't Cry”, “Beggin’”, “Working My Way Back to You” and more. It more than deserves this latest excellent West End showcase.
Book Jersey Boys tickets on London Theatre.
West End audiences can take a walk down Sunset Boulevard once more. Thirty years after its world premiere in London, Andrew Lloyd Webber's beloved musical returns to the West End. In this new production directed by Jamie Lloyd, Nicole Scherzinger plays the aging film actress Norma Desmond, who begins a mutually destructive relationship with a young screenwriter in the hopes of revitalizing both their careers.
Since the 1993 premiere, Sunset Boulevard has earned eight Tony Awards in New York, and songs like "As If We Never Said Goodbye" have become musical theatre classics. Lloyd's production is at the Savoy Theatre for 16 weeks only beginning in September, so catch it before it, too, says goodbye.
Book Sunset Boulevard tickets on London Theatre.
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