Top West End Shows to look out for in 2017
As Christmas seems but a distant memory this week the focus is wholly on 2017 and what delights the new year may bring. Following an excellent year of theatre in 2016 the next twelve months certainly have a lot to live up to in terms of exciting theatrical productions, and looking at which shows have already been announced in the West End, it's certainly shaping up to be another memorable year in theatreland.
To keep you up to date with the most anticipated new shows of 2017, we've put together a list of highlights for new productions hitting the West End that should certainly be on your radar. With tickets on sale for most of the productions, make sure you keep one step ahead of the game and prepare to ring in the new year with a brand new theatrical treat.
The Duke of York's Theatre from 26 January.
It's been quite a few years since London saw a high profile revival of Tennessee Williams' classic family drama and this new production comes to the West End following a successful run on Broadway and in Edinburgh. Directed by John Tiffany with movement by Steven Hoggett, this tight four-character memory play features Broadway icon Cherry Jones stars as former Southern Belle Amanda Wingfield, along with Michael Esper as Tom, Kate O’Flynn as Laura and Brian J. Smith as 'Gentleman Caller'. Originally performed in 1944 the play is distinctly autobiographical and features characters based on Williams' own family including his fragile sister Rose. A true 20th century classic and a genius new production that is not to be missed.
Not to Miss: Cherry Jones is a sensational stage performer and makes a rare West End appearance in the role of a lifetime.
Apollo Theatre from 3 February
Following a sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Tom Hollander stars as Henry Carr in Tom Stoppard’s dazzling comedy of art, love and revolution. Directed by Patrick Marber this production was universally praised on its debut and lands in the West End for a limited run co-starring Amy Morgan as Gwendolen, Freddie Fox as Tristan Tzara, Clare Foster and Forbes Masson. Famous figures such as James Joyce, Tristan Tzara and Lenin are remembered - and misremembered - by a minor British diplomat in Zurich 1917, leading to a mad-cap comedy of errors.
Not to Miss: One of Tom Stoppard's most iconic plays back in the West End with a killer cast.
Phoenix Theatre from 28 January
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's musical adaptation of the hit British film Calendar Girls arrives in London following successful runs in Leeds and Salford. Based on a true story, The Girls focuses on a group of ladies who achieved something quite extraordinary in their quest to raise money to buy a sofa for the visitor’s centre at their local hospital. By appearing in a nude calendar, they raised over three million pounds and became a global phenomenon. Set in Yorkshire, this quaint new musical brings to life the extraordinary tale of a fearless band of W.I ladies set to a punchy original score by the Take That front man. The ever wonderful Sophie-Louse Dann is joined by the hilarious Michele Dotrice and West End favourite Joanna Riding in this heart-warming new musical.
Not to Miss: A new British musical with an original score by one of pop music's most tuneful composers.
Old Vic from 25 February
Stoppard fans can rejoice at the second West End revival in early 2017, a fiftieth anniversary production of his Tony Award-winning Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Old Vic Theatre. Daniel Radcliffe returns to the London stage in this new production alongside Joshua McGuire, directed by David Leveaux. The celebrated play focuses on two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, offering the audience the opportunity to see that story from another point of view. Several major characters from Shakespeare’s revered play appear in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and enact snippets from the original play, much to the delight of audience. The play first ran in 1966 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before making its London premiere at the Old Vic on 11th April 1967.
Not to Miss: A cracking play with a wonderful cast. Don't miss the boy wizard back on stage.
Harold Pinter from 22 February
Edward Albee's iconic drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? makes a welcome return to the West End in 2017 starring triple Olivier Award-winning actress Imelda Staunton in the role of Martha alongside Olivier Award-winner and Tony nominee Conleth Hill as George. Directed by James Macdonald the explosive drama won the 1963 Tony Award for Best Play as well as the 1962–63 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and is fondly remembered for its 1966 film adaptation which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. A true modern classic this new production is set to be one of the most eagerly anticipated revivals of the year, providing a welcome opportunity for Staunton to make a West End return following her Olivier Award-winning turn in Gypsy.
Not to Miss: One of the greatest plays ever written starring an impeccable central duo. Unmissable.
Wyndham's Theatre from 17 March
David Tennant returns to the West End in a new production of Patrick Marber's Don Juan in Soho, directed by the author. Based on Moliere’s 1665 comedy 'Dom Juan' or 'The Feast with the Statue', Marber relocates the play to the heart of modern day Soho with Tennant playing the role of sex-addict Don Juan. Described as being "savagely funny, disturbingly dark and disgracefully sexy" this is a play that's not recommended for anyone under the age of 16. Tennant may well be remembered for reinventing the role of Doctor Who, but his stage pedigree in roles such as Hamlet and Richard II make him one of the most exciting stage actors London has to offer.
Not to Miss: A sizzling play and a welcome return to the West End from David Tennant.
Dominion Theatre from 4 March
This stunningly beautiful new musical comes direct from a Tony-nominated run on Broadway. Directed and choreographed by The Royal Ballet's inimitable talent Christopher Wheeldon, the musical blends classical ballet with an unforgettable score by George and Ira Gershwin and careful book by Craig Lucas. Remembered for its dazzling set and costume design by Bob Crowley, the London production will star British dancer Leanne Cope who will reprise her Drama Desk and Tony-nominated role of 'Lise Dassin', alongside Robert Fairchild who originated the role of 'Jerry Mulligan' on Broadway. Pure theatrical bliss and a wonder to behold, this is a truly beautiful and original new musical that should certainly be on your London to-do list in 2017.
Not to Miss: Beautiful design meets stunning dancing and a memorable score in this instant musical hit.
Theatre Royal Drury Lane from 20 March
Come and meet those dancing feet as one of Broadway's most successful musicals taps its way back into London's West End in a glorious new production starring Sheena Easton. Directed by original creative team member Mark Bramble, this necessary revival uses the full expanse of the Drury Lane stage to offer a visually dazzling revival of this backstage Broadway drama. With a string of hit songs such as "We're in the Money", "Lullaby of Broadway" and "Shuffle Off to Buffalo", this rags-to-riches showbiz fable features incredible routines backed by an impressive chorus of performers. Escapist bliss.
Not to Miss: Wonderful routines, memorable songs and London's largest chorus line of talent.
Theatre Royal Haymarket from 24 March
A second dose of the late Edward Albee comes to the West End in Spring 2017 as his late comedy The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? returns to London in a new production directed by Ian Rickson and starring Emmy Award winner Damian Lewis. Winner of the 2002 Tony Award for Best Play, it tells the story of Martin, a middle-aged, hugely successful architect whose seemingly perfect life is thrown into total turmoil when he confides in his best friend that he has fallen in love with a goat named Sylvia. The revelation brings tragedy to the Gray family, as his wife Stevie and son Billy struggle to understand his secret and recover from the confusing betrayal. Ultimately, there can be no return from this improbably love affair. Albee’s unique and dark witty turn of phrase, brings this comedy to life, alongside and impressive cast of stage veterans Sophie Okonedo and Damian Lewis.
Not to Miss: A genius pairing will bring this hilariously dark Albee play to life once again in the West End.
National Theatre from 11 April
The National Theatre present a revival of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning double bill Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes directed by Olivier and Tony award-winner Marianne Elliott. Set in America in the mid-1980s in the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, the double-bill follows New Yorkers who grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of both shows, and this new production features an incredible cast including Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Denise Gough and Russell Tovey.
Not to Miss: A true landmark play in the perfect setting of the National Theatre.
National Theatre, late 2017
It may have been some time since the National Theatre mounted a Sondheim production but this new revival of Follies is set to be one of 2017 biggest musical productions. Imelda Staunton, Janie Dee and Philip Quast will head this all-star cast to bring Sondheim and James Goldman's iconic 1971 musical back to London following numerous productions all around the world. Dominic Cooke will direct the show at the Olivier Theatre alongside choreographer Bill Deamer, raising the curtain on the crumbling stage of a Broadway theatre as the musical brings together past performers from the Weismann's Follies as they reunite for one final time before the venue's destruction. One of the greatest musicals ever written, mark your calendars to make sure you don't miss the revival of the year.
Not to Miss: An incredible musical staged at the National Theatre with an all-star musical theatre cast.
Victoria Palace Theatre, October 2017
Believe the hype. Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop inspired Pulitzer Prize-winning musical finally lands in London's West End in October 2017. After months of breaking records on Broadway and entering the cultural zeitgeist, the hit show will reopen the Victoria Palace Theatre where it is expected to be the breakout hit of the year. Inspired by the book 'Alexander Hamilton' by Ron Chernow Hamilton features a diverse and eclectic original score that draws on Hip-Hop, RnB, Rap and traditional Broadway and has redefined our idea and concept of what musical theatre has the potential to be. The winner of 11 Tony Awards, Hamilton is set to rock London audiences - make sure you join the revolution and keep an eye out for tickets going on sale. Beg, steal or borrow a ticket.
Not to Miss: Superlatives don't do this musical justice. Prepare to be amazed.