There are several new musicals opening in London’s West End over the coming season and in the New Year so these present fresh opportunities for theatre breaks to those who may have already seen most of the old favourites that have been around for some time. It was beginning to look as though genuine new musicals were becoming something of a rarity, with revivals more the order of the day for risk averse investors in expensive stage productions, but let me point out some of the new shows in London, recently opened or arriving in the near to mid future.
Five new Musicals for Theatre Breaks:
Starting off with – a revival! “Merrily We Roll Along” is a Stephen Sondheim classic musical which he wrote in collaboration with George Furth and this production can be seen at the Menier Chocolate Factory1 opening night being November 28th 2012. Theatre breaks to see Merrily We Roll Along may not be the most heavily promoted in the generic publicity but for Sondheim fans this is a gorgeous musical, not to be missed.
Viva Forever is a great example of a truly new British musical, original in every respect except for the songs of course, which are anthems from the Spice Girls own 1990s compositions. The story has been crafted from the stable as Mamma Mia! and follows the fortunes of a Reality TV Star wannabe and her mother. Jennifer Saunders provides the sharpest of scripts and the show opens on November 27th 2012 promising to be a big hit for Viva Forever theatre breaks over the Christmas and New Year period at least, and well into 2013 just to start the run. It will have a long way to go to match Mamma Mia! itself though, now in it’s 13th year and cloned all over the world.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Tim Burton movie was repeated on UK TV recently and I was reminded how well the contrasting music genres and styles of the various songs performed by the Oompah Loompahs work with the developing crazy plotline in the film. The transition to a stage musical is already half way there in that cinematic remake, so you can expect the West End version with Douglas Hodge as Charlie to become a family favourite theatre breaks choice, hopefully for years to come at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane from May 2013, bookable now via our Readers Offers pages.
Now then, you may not want to be in when the Mormon’s come knocking at your front door to tell you the news but would you even dream of going to see a musical called “The Book of Mormon“? How about if I told you it was written by the people behind “Southpark” Well it depends if you like the type of shocking humour behind Southpark I suppose, but The Book Of Mormon has become a surprise hit on Broadway so it’s worth a punt for London too. The show doesn’t open until spring 2013 but there have been large adverts on the side of our red double decker buses in London proclaiming “The Mormons Are Coming!” for some time already.
Who else is coming – well Loserville is already here. It’s another story of American High School teenagers, a little bit less rock and roll and more geeky for once, and brought to you by a British team at the Garrick Theatre now, but not really expected to last very long unless it suddenly becomes a kind of ironic cult hit or something. The setting is meant to be 70s and the music is kind of 90s from former Busted band member so the decades are kind of all over the place?
Another new musical just opened in London, at the Adelphi theatre is “The Bodyguard” a stage adaptation from the film, starring the late Whitney Houston’s songs which has been buoyed up by the unfortunate songwriters death, in much the same way as Thriller Live! the Michael Jackson show has become a lasting presence on Shaftesbury Avenue. Theatre breaks to see The Bodyguard are bookable right through to April 2013 at least.
I must also briefly mention a few more new musicals for the sake of completion – “A Chorus Line” is eagerly anticipated at the London Palladium for February 2013, “The Sound Of Music” is booked into Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre for August 2013, “Daddy Long Legs” at the tiny St James Theatre from November 7th, “Kiss Me Kate” at the Old Vic from November 20th 2012 and available for theatre breaks, and the return of Spamalot on November 14th, not really new at all, but new to the Playhouse Theatre I suppose.
So there we go, I’m sure to have missed a couple of obvious choices that could have been included in my list of new musicals for theatre breaks but I’ve mentioned six and and further four in passing, so all in all it’s business as usual for the coming and going of new musicals into London’s ever changing West End – where there’s always something new to see.