Top 10 theatre openings in London this April
As we head into April, there are some huge musicals both opening and returning to the London, as well as some great plays in the West End and at fringe venues across the capital. Here’s what you should be booking for this coming month.
After years of work and preparation, and bringing an international icon (semi) out of retirement, the Tina Turner bio-jukebox-musical finally hits the stage. Starring Adrienne Warren as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the musical tells the story of Turner’s life from humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her troubled relationship with partner Ike at the height of fame. We know the songs are good (one even might say they’re “The Best”), so there’s a lot to look forward to at the Aldwych.
Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom began life as a play, then became a film (the first in his Red Curtain trilogy), and now the musical gears up for a West End run. It stars Jonny Labey and Zizi Strallen as two dancers who are set to change the shape of competitive ballroom dancing, alongside Will Young as a band leader, and it’s full of ‘80s hits.
It’s been almost three months since James Graham had a play in the West End, and quite frankly, that’s far too long. He returns to the Noel Coward Theatre after the success of last year’s Labour of Love with Quiz, his take on the Charles Ingram cheating scandal on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The play sold-out at Chichester last year, and examines the court case the 'Coughing Major' found himself caught up in, and uncovers some revelations about the ordeal that are bound to make you think twice. There’s also a pub quiz for the audience, so that’s fun too.
Bat is back, which is devilishly good news for those who loved the show at the London Coliseum last year. The majority of the cast return to London’s Dominion Theatre this month, bringing with them all of Meat Loaf’s biggest hits: “I Would Do Anything for Love”, “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and, of course, “Bat Out of Hell”. It’s over-the-top, it’ll get the blood pumping, and it promises to be the loudest* show in the West End.
*actual volume not confirmed
David Hare’s play first ran at the Hampstead Theatre in 2015, and stars Roger Allam as John Christie, founder of world-renowned opera house Glyndebourne. Nancy Carroll plays Audrey Mildmay, a soprano singer with whom Christie was absolutely smitten, and the production is directed by Jeremy Herrin.
Click here for The Moderate Soprano tickets.
Cuba Gooding Jr takes centre stage as Billy Flynn in the return of Kander and Ebb’s Broadway musical to the West End. Gooding makes his stage debut alongside Chicago vets Sarah Soetaert as Roxie, Josefina Gabrielle as Velma and Ruthie Henshall who, when she plays Mama Morton, will have played all three female lead parts in the musical. A night with Chicago always provides “A Little Bit of Good”, but this production might just have that extra Razzle Dazzle to make it something special.
Click here to buy Chicago tickets.
Heading into the Lyttelton hot on the heels of John Tiffany’s magical Pinocchio is Rodney Ackland’s Absolute Hell, set in a boozy Soho club in the centre of a post-Blitz London. Joe Hill-Gibbins directs a cast which includes Kate Fleetwood, Jonathan Slinger, Sinead Matthews and Stephanie Jacob.
Thomas Eccleshare’s Royal Court debut is about a couple, Harry and Max, who decide to give parenting a second go after they weren’t happy with their first attempt. The second time around, they have a step-by-step instruction manual to help them out, and a ‘30-day money back guarantee’. Jane Horrocks and Mark Bonnar star as the couple, Max and Harry.
Click here to buy Instructions for Correct Assembly tickets.
The Almieda Theatre’s latest season made a statement; as some theatre’s are being criticised for not programming enough work by women, their season is dominated by female writers and directors. Blanche McIntyre directs Ella Hickson’s play about a young writer (Romola Garai) who challenges the patriarchy and the power that comes with it.
David Haig stars in a revival of his play Pressure, which is about a Scottish meteorologist during World War Two, as the decision whether or not to attack comes down to the weather forecast. Set over a three-day period, it tells of James Stagg advising President Eisenhower whether conditions are adequate to green light the D-Day landings. John Dove’s production is revived at the Park Theatre.