London's West End Openings - Winter 2015
In the blink of an eye, winter is almost upon us and the 'C' word seems to be getting closer and closer. As the high street is now firmly in holiday mode and the supermarkets compete for the most festive holiday TV advert, there is still plenty of time to apply the breaks, and take in the latest openings in London's West End.
Whilst it may be the season of giving, make sure that amid the holiday shopping you treat yourself and get in the festive spirit by checking out some of the best theatre on offer this season. From brand new splashy musicals featuring your favourite Elfish characters, to the more traditional takes on the season including The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, there's one thing for certain - and that is you are spoilt for choice! Check out our handy round-up of the best shows to see this Winter:
After enjoying two packed seasons on Broadway, this high energy Christmas musical lands in the West End with enough candy canes, snow and festive cheer to warm even the coldest of hearts. Based on the unforgettable comedy film of the same name, find yourself laughing in the aisles at the story of Buddy the Elf, who finds out he is a human and travels from the North Pole to find his father in New York City. Expect stunning sets, fantastic production numbers and one-fifth of Girls Aloud, in the form of Kimberley Walsh. Adults and children alike will adore this colourful production. Altogether now: "I'm siiiiiiiiiinging! I'm at the theatre and I'm siiiiiiiiiiinging!"
Anyone who has ever seen Derren Brown at work will be mystified beyond belief at his incredible acts of wonder. Part magician, part philosophical mind games, this is a unique opportunity to see the Olivier Award-winning performer live in the heart of the West End. If you've experienced his work on TV, why not make yourself part of the live audience and cast those sceptic doubts aside. If you're lucky, he may be able to convince your other half that you really do need that Diamond from Santa this year...
Now the title may not sound particularly festive, but this sell-out five star smash is set to be one of the biggest new openings this year. Having previously received fantastic reviews at the Royal Court Theatre, this black comedy from Martin McDonagh, the writer of 'The Cripple of Inishmaan' and 'The Lieutenant of Inishmore', is the perfect antidote to Christmas songs and tinsel. Set in a small pub in Oldham, this intimate drama follows the second-best hangman in England on the day that hanging has been abolished. As tense as cold turkey at your mother in law's on Boxing Day.
Now if there's one thing everyone loves at Christmas, it's a pantomime. What's even better than a pantomime I hear you ask? One where everything that possibly could go wrong, DOES go wrong...From the team that brought the West End the hilarious 'Play That Goes Wrong' comes this seasonal outing, once again following members of The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society as they battle against technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes on their way to Never-Neverland. Display some schadenfreude and enjoy a giggle at someone else's expense, whilst hoping that karma doesn't come back to bite you as you attempt to cook a Turkey for 14 people come December 25th.
If you're anything like me, Christmas hasn't officially begun until you've absorbed this Dickensian classic in at least three different forms. Whilst my favourite will remain the Muppets Sing-Along version, there is much to be excited about in this new adaptation of the ever so familiar story of Ebenezer Scrooge by Patrick Barlow. Starring national treasure Jim Broadbent as the Bah Humbug himself, this imaginative new version is set to reinvent the way we think about this tale of Christmas Past, Present and Future. God Bless us, everyone.
If the more traditional fairy tales seem a passé this year, why not treat yourself to the American answer to Hans Christian Anderson, the one and only Dr Seuss. In a first for the Old Vic, they are presenting a colourful musical adaptation of this familiar tale in which a moustachioed and cantankerous critter faces a mission to protect the earth from the greedy, tree-chopping, Thneed-knitting businessman known only as The Once-ler. Expect puppets, music, magic and an eco-friendly message. One for the north-London mummies or those who know how to correctly pronounce 'Quinoa'.
The wonderful page-to-stage adaptation of Michelle Magorian's children's novel returns to the West End for a limited season. Telling the heart-warming tale of William Beech, a young boy who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside during the Second World War and forges a remarkable and heart-warming friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley, this a perfect seasonal treat for all the family. Abandon the iPads and remind the kids of a simpler time when the fresh air of the country was all that was needed for children to bond. Think of it as great PR for when you tell them you're having a fortnight in Dorset next summer rather than Disneyworld.