London's West End Summer 2016 Theatre Preview
With June bustin' out all over, we can finally say that summer is officially just around the corner. Whilst you may be dreaming of your summer holidays or fortnight in the sun, it's important to remember that London remains one of the top destinations for foreign visitors, as well as those coming from all over the UK.
With so much on the theatrical calender, we take a look at this summer's hottest shows to give you a run down of those productions that should certainly be on your radar for the coming months. From hit Broadway musicals to new productions of popular classics, the sun is certainly set to shine on the West End during Summer 2016.
Disney fans rejoice - the hit Broadway musical finally lands in London's West End, ready to transport audiences to a "whole new world" of entertainment. Based on the timeless animated classic, this Tony nominated production is helmed by The Book of Mormon's choreographer and director Casey Nicholaw, and is brimming with show stopping production numbers, glamorous set pieces and costumes and more hit songs that your childhood allows you to remember. Jump aboard a magic carpet to the Prince Edward Theatre and prepare to have your theatrical senses blown. With a talented cast of West End and Broadway performers, Disney's Aladdin is set to be London's next family friendly hit. Book your tickets and be the "first on your block to meet his eye". We guarantee you're going to love this guy!
Buy tickets for Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre (now in previews).
Whilst Aladdin brings the scale and spectacle, this new British chamber musical proves itself to be something quite different altogether. Based on the popular book by L. P. Hartley, this charming and haunting new musical by Richard Taylor and David Wood tells the story of an elderly man, Leo Colston, who accidentally unlocks the memories of his past which he had long ago left buried, when he was unwittingly enlisted into an adult affair of deceit and forbidden passion. Musical theatre legend Michael Crawford stars in the lead role, returning to the West End for the first time since 'The Wizard of Oz', bringing to life Richard Taylor's beautiful and highly original score. Fans of the original novel, and indeed the recent TV adaptation will not want to miss this gem of a musical that brings a welcome new style to the West End this summer.
There can be few people who are unfamiliar with Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, thanks in part to the film of the same name which starred Audrey Hepburn as the infamous Holly Golightly. Set in New York in 1943, the drama follows a young writer from Louisiana who meets the charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl, with whom everyone is in love. Pixie Lott stars in the central role in a production that comes to London following a UK tour, directed by Nikolai Foster. Numerous previous attempts at staging the story have failed throughout the decades, but we're excited to see Richard Greenberg's brand new adaptation, especially to see if Pixie Lott performs the haunting "Moon River"...
The Queen of Soul Beverley Knight is back to play the Queen of the Night, Rachel Marron in the internationally successful musical adaptation of 'The Bodyguard'. The musical first wowed audiences at the Adelphi Theatre before embarking on a UK tour, and returns to the West End for a limited run at the Dominion Theatre. Based on the unforgettable film of the same name which starred Whitney Houston, the musical follows former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer who is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. The show features a string of Whitney Houston hits including "I Have Nothing", "Queen of the Night" and of course, "I Will Always Love You" and is an entertaining musical thriller. Beverley Knight has become a favourite of the West End following roles in 'Cats' and 'Memphis', so don't miss your chance to see her recreate this iconic role once again.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's classic rock opera is now celebrating its 45th year with a brand new production at the stunning Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park. Directed by Tim Sheader, this will no doubt be a bold re-imagining of a classic piece of musical theatre, starring Eastender actor and West End leading man Declan Bennett in the leading role. The musical follows the final seven days in the life of Jesus Christ, and features songs such as "I Don't Know How to Love Him", "What's the Buzz?" and "Superstar". One of Lloyd Webber's most famous musicals, this is a unique opportunity to enjoy it in an immersive and exciting new environment.
Billed as the biggest theatrical event of the year, if not the decade, the West End is gearing up to welcome the eight part of J.K Rowling's Harry Potter franchise in a brand new stage production, running over two parts. Tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2 sold out for over a year in advance, so those who weren't lucky enough to 'accio' a golden ticket will have to wait to read the published script when it's released on Harry Potter's birthday - 31 July. For those desperate to see the show, each Friday 40 tickets are released for the next weeks performances, available at their official website. The world of Harry Potter is extremely precious to many people, and producers have kept details of the show very close to their chests. Having just released a set of photos for the show, author J.K Rowling also pleaded with fans who are seeing the production, to save the secrets. We can't wait to report back from the show on opening night.
At the Palace Theatre from 7 June 2016.
One of the most exciting new musicals of the year comes from the team behind the international smash hit 'Matilda'. With a book by Danny Rubin and music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, the musical is based on the film of the same name that follows Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, when sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, finds himself caught in a time loop where he is forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again. Excitement has been building around the show for a couple of years, and the Old Vic run is billed as 'prior to Broadway', so there's no better way to catch New York's potential next hit than seeing it in the West End. Who knows, you may end up seeing it over and over and over and over...