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Photo credit: Arinze Kene in Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story

Top West End shows coming in 2021

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

UPDATE: New shows added 16 Feb. 2021.

2020 began with lots of West End premieres, with the likes of Leopoldstadt and Pretty Woman: The Musical. But, due to a certain global pandemic, the fate of most productions scheduled for 2020 were scuppered. Although we can't be certain when West End theatres will reopen, we're still looking forward to a ton of theatrical treats in the near future.

We round up our top picks of West End shows coming in 2021* and listed them in order of date of opening night.

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Cinderella

West End sensation Carrie Hope Fletcher originates the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical, finally receiving its world premiere in 2021. Not much is known about the synopsis, however Cinderella will play away from stereotypes, instead focusing on individuality and self-love. Andrew Lloyd Webber has teamed up with Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell to bring the revamped princess to life, and there's also newcomer performances to look forward to, with Ivano Turco making his West End debut as Prince Sebastian.

Gillian Lynne Theatre, previews from 30 June.

Cinderella tickets are on sale now.

Anything Goes

Nobody needs reminding that "times have changed." Yes, we wish we could rewind the clock too. But, with 2021 giving us a West End revival of Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster, we're grateful for the theatre this year will bring. The Golden Age, jolly musical is an intoxicating delight, complete with Cole Porter hits like "I Get A Kick Out of You" and "You're the Top." Audiences can sail on the S.S. American too, and if we can imagine we're on holiday, then that's a bonus too.

Barbican, previews from 23 July.

Anything Goes tickets are on sale now.

Carousel

"You'll never walk alone" with Carousel tickets, set for a stunning open air revival in summer 2021. Continuing the theatre's tradition of innovative stagings of classic musicals, fall in love with Rodgers and Hammerstein once more, and rediscover Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan's romance. With a creative team including Timothy Sheader and Drew McOnie, we're expecting big things.

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, previews from 30 July.

Back to the Future

A musical about going back in time before it's too late seems a bit too on the nose for 2021. Nevertheless, we can't wait for the famous DeLorean to pull into town for Back to the Future's West End premiere. Based on the cult movies, join Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown as they head to 1955, meddling with time in order to save Marty's parents. With tracks like "The Power of Love", as well as a book by Back to the Future screenwriters Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, get your flux capacitors at the ready for this high-energy musical.

Adelphi Theatre, previews from 20 August.

Back to the Future tickets are on sale now.

Frozen

"For the first time in forever", West End audiences will finally be treated to Disney's Frozen, staged at a newly renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Samantha Barks has already given audiences a little teaser as Elsa, belting "Let It Go" at the Royal Variety Performance but we can't wait to escape the real world for a few hours in Arendelle. Michael Grandage's Broadway production was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, so we're expecting a (snow) flurry of Oliviers here too.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, previews from 27 August.

Frozen tickets are on sale now.

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story

Arinze Kene steps into the shoes of Jamaica's greatest singer for this Bob Marley jukebox musical. Dramatising Marley's ascension to superstardom, his story will be lived out on stage, all the way from the rural Caribbean to London and beyond. A Bob Marley musical wouldn't be complete without his groundbreaking melodies, including "Exodus", "3 Little Birds" and "No Woman No Cry." Clint Dyer will direct Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story, and with this formidable creative team, we're expecting the musical to gain worldwide recognition.

Lyric Theatre, previews from 1 October.

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story tickets are on sale now.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

First seen at the National's Dorfman Theatre, the Olivier Award-winning play The Ocean at the End of the Lane makes its long-awaited West End transfer. Adapted from Neil Gaiman's best-selling fantasy novel, it's all about youthful escapism; a man goes back in time to his 12th birthday and must escape a perilous world before it's too late. Plunging audiences into a make-believe world, you'll never want to leave. Take our word for it

Duke of York's Theatre, previews from 23 October.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane tickets are on sale now.

The Drifters Girl

Beverley Knight will lead The Drifters Girl company this year in a new world premiere bringing Motown to life. Knight will paly Faye Treadwell, the world's first African-American female music manager who looked after The Drifters, a 1950s American doo-wop and soul vocal group.

Garrick Theatre, previews from 4 November.

The Drifters Girl tickets are on sale now.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Baz Luhrmann's Academy Award-winning film Moulin Rouge! The Musical is now a musical, and what a theatre spectacle it is. Nominated for 14 Tony Awards, this epic musical follows the love story of Christian and Satine, set to a soundtrack featuring snippets of over 70 songs. Casting is to be confirmed, but we just can't wait to be welcomed into the Moulin Rouge for ourselves.

Piccadilly Theatre, performances from 12 November.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical tickets are on sale now.

Life of Pi

Roaring its way from Sheffield to the West End, the award-winning adaptation of Life of Pi will open at the Wyndham's. Hiran Abeysekera reprises his performance as Pi, a young Indian boy who struggles to survive alone after a shipwreck. Left with just animals for company, Pi does all he can to protect himself and his fellow creatures. If it's not the human acting, then watch out for Finn Caldwell's sublime puppetry, transporting audiences to the ocean.

Wyndham's Theatre, previews from 14 November.

Life of Pi tickets are on sale now.

*All performance dates are correct at time of publication. All performance dates are subject to change, due to changing rules regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo credit: Arinze Kene in Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story

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