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Stars on Stage - which famous faces are coming to the West End in 2017?
With so many fantastic and diverse new West End shows announced for 2017 it can be quite difficult to decide exactly what to see. Whilst some people are drawn to familiar titles or revivals of their favourite plays others enjoy seeing familiar famous face up-close and personal in a theatrical setting. Many of these stars on stage have earned recognition for their work in live theatre, film, TV and other performance mediums have allowed them to be seen by fans all over the world. The lure of the West End stage is often too great to keep these famous faces away for too long, and 2017 is shaping up to be a bumper year for celebrities treading the boards.
With the help of our handy Stars on Stage page, we've put together our top list of stars coming to the West End over the coming months to get you excited for another fantastic year of theatrical talent.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (from 22 Feb), Follies (TBC)
There's not one but two chances to see the triple Olivier Award-winner Imelda Staunton in the West End in 2017, starting with a welcome revival of Edward Albee's magnum opus Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? followed by a revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical Follies at the National Theatre. Anyone who witnessed her incredible performance as Mama Rose in the revival of Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre can attest to her incredible stage presence, exceptional timing and committed vocal presence, and the roles of Martha and Sally Durant certainly offer up a meaty challenge. Whether you're a fan of classic drama or musical theatre, don't miss your chance to welcome Ms Staunton back to the London stage.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (from 25 Feb)
The boy wizard himself is no stranger to the West End stage having previously starred in a successful revival of Equus as well as a leading role in Michael Grandage's The Cripple of Inishmaan, both of which went on to transfer to Broadway. A stint in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway saw him in a brand new light, and his most recent stage success came in the form of the Donmar Warehouse's production of Privacy which also ran in New York. On screen, Radcliffe is obviously known for creating the role of Harry Potter in the internationally successful film franchise along with darker roles in 'The Woman in Black', 'Horns' and the independent film 'Kill Your Darlings'. Don't miss Radcliffe take on a brand new challenge in the form of one of Tom Stoppard's most challenging comedies at the Old Vic Theatre from 25 February 2017.
An American in Paris (from 4 March)
English actress Jane Asher has a career that spans over six decades, having been a child star and making a name for herself with film and TV roles in 'The Masque of the Red Death', 'Alfie', 'Deep End', 'The Mistress', 'Crossroads', 'Death at a Funeral' and 'The Old Guys'. Her work on stage includes Festen at the Arts Theatre, The World's Biggest Diamond at the Royal Court Theatre, Peter Hall's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce at the Rose Theatre, Kingston and more recently Charley's Aunt at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Pride and Prejudice at the Open Air Theatre. She returns to the West End in the original London company of the hit Broadway musical An American in Paris in the glamorous role of Madame Baurel.
Don Juan in Soho (from 17 March)
Ex-Doctor Who David Tennant is a West End regular, yet every time he comes back to the theatre it's certainly big news. Back in 2008 his star turn as Hamlet in the RSC's production sold out in just one day with fans clamouring to see him as the troubled Danish prince. His most recent Shakespearean performances include Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre with Catherine Tate in 2011, and the title role in Richard II which toured internationally as well as a run at the Barbican Theatre. Probably best known for his TV roles in 'Casanova', 'Jessica Jones' and 'Broadchurch', his next challenge is the title role in a revival of Patrick Marber's Don Juan in Soho, a modern take on Molière’s classic Dom Juan. Rush for tickets.
42nd Street (from 20 March)
As the only artist in history to have top five records on five major Billboard charts, Sheena Easton's return to the stage is big news for music fans from all over the world. Having sold over 20 million records worldwide, she's a Scottish singer, recording artist and stage and screen actress who has developed a very loyal fan base. Her music hits include the James Bond theme "For Your Eyes Only", "Strut", "U Got the Look" and "The Arms of Orion" with Prince, "The Lover in Me" and "What Comes Naturally" which sit alongside Broadway credits which include revivals of Man of La Mancha of Grease.
The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (from 24 March)
The 'Homeland' star was last seen in the West End in a revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo, and he returns to London in another revival of a work by an American great. His work on screen includes 'Band of Brothers', 'The Forsyte Sage', 'Dreamcatcher' and 'Keane' along with 'Jeffrey Archer: The Truth', and his Emmy and Golden Globe winning performance as Nicholas Brody in 'Homeland' opposite Claire Danes. Having worked on stage across London in plays such as Five Gold Rings at the Almeida Theatre, Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre and The Misanthrope at the Harold Pinter Theatre, he's perfectly placed to bring this Tony Award-winning Albee play to life.
Angels in America (from 11 April)
The celebrated Broadway actor Nathan Lane will return to London in a highly anticipated revival of Angels in America at the National Theatre. Recognisable to countless fans for roles in film, TV and stage, his highlights include the films 'The Birdcage', 'The Producers', 'MouseHunt', 'The Lion King' and TV roles in 'Modern Family', 'The Good Wife', and 'American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson'. On the Broadway stage he's known for hit after hit, with roles such as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Max Bialystock in the musical The Producers and Gomez in The Addams Family being met with excellent reviews and fantastic ticket sales. Make sure you don't miss this rare West End outing in what is shaping up to be the National Theatre's hit of the year.
Carousel (from 7 April)
Classical music fans can rejoice at the pairing of Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe in a large scale revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's second musical Carousel which comes to the English National Opera later this year. Backed by a full on-stage orchestra, the pair take on the roles of Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow to tell this explosive tale of love, redemption and forgiveness. With a fantastic score of hit songs and soaring vocals between them, expect this to be a unique opportunity to see a classic musical presented once again in London.
Woyzek (from 6 May)
Whilst he's now most recognisable due to his breakout film role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, Boyega cut his teeth working at both the Tricycle Theatre, and the National Theatre. In 2011 he starred in the film 'Attack the Block' in a role which earned him a Black Reel Award for Best Actor, as well as nominations for numerous awards including an Empire Award and a London Film Critic’s Circle Award. After developing a wide fan base thanks to the success of Star Wars, he will return to the West End stage in Jack Thorne’s new version of Woyzeck, at the Old Vic Theatre in what is sure to be an exceptionally demanding role and one that will display his diversity as an actor.
Check out our full Stars on Stage page for up-to-date listings.