New shows opening in London this summer

UPDATE: CHECK OUT OUR LATEST GUIDE TO SUMMER SHOWS IN THE WEST END FOR 2014 – HERE

Spring and autumn may be the busiest times for new shows in London, but this summer will still pack quite a punch with some big names, high-profile directors and a few surprises in store.

A range of musicals and plays will open in the capital over the next few months, including classic musicals from Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods) and Rogers & Hammerstein (State Fair); starry comedy, including David Hyde Pearce and Joanna Lumley in La Bete, Jeff Goldblum in The Prisoner of Second Avenue and Simon Russell Beal and Jonathan Groff in Deathtrap); dance spectaculars (Burn the Floor), new musicals (Wolfboy), ambitious children’s drama (The Railway Children) and a terrifying new play (Ghost Stories).

MORE INFORMATION AND BOOKING

GHOST STORIES

Duke of York’s Theatre, from 25 June 2010

A truly terrifying theatrical experience written and directed by The League of Gentlemen’s master of the macabre, Jeremy Dyson, and Andy Nyman, co-creator and director of Derren Brown’s television and stage shows and star of Dead Set and Severance.

As three men gather together, each has an uncanny, chilling tale to tell. Ghost Stories played a hugely successful run at the Lyric Hammersmith before transferring to the Duke of York’s theatre in the West End. The show stars Nicholas Burns, David Cardy, Ryan Gage and Andy Nyman.

Strictly for theatregoers aged 16 and older. “A pant-wetter of a night. It’s terrifying” Daily Mail

Book tickets to Ghost Stories at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London

LA BETE

Comedy Theatre, from 26 June 2010

American playwright David Hirson’s rollicking 1991 play, La Bete is a comic tour de force about Elomire (David Hyde Pierce – “Frasier”), a high-minded classical dramatist who loves only the theatre, and Valere (Mark Rylance – “Jerusalem”), a low-brow street clown who loves only himself. When the fickle princess (Joanna Lumley – “Absolutely Fabulous”) decides she’s grown weary of Elomire’s royal theatre troupe, he and Valere are left fighting for survival as art squares off with ego in a literary showdown for the ages.

Other cast include Stephen Ouimette, Lisa Joyce, Greta Lee, Robert Lonsdale, Michael Milligan, Liza Sadovy and Sally Wingert. The play is directed by Matthew Warchus and will run for a limited season at the Comedy Theatre before heading to Broadway.

Book tickets to La Bete at the Comedy Theatre in London

THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE

Vaudeville Theatre, from 30 June 2010

Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic theatre company will produce its first West End show this summer, as a new production of Neil Simon’s 1971 comedy The Prisoner of Second Avenue comes to town. The play stars Hollywood actors Jeff Goldblum (Tall Guy) and Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King) for a limited season at the Vaudeville Theatre.

In the show Goldblum stars as Mel Edison, a man at breaking point. In the heat of a New York City summer his air-conditioning has broken, his neighbours won’t shut-up, his job is hanging by a thread and there are a gang of burglars on the prowl.

Terry Johnson, flush from his Tony success for La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway, will direct the show.

Book tickets to The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the Vaudeville Theatre in London

WOLFBOY

Trafalgar Studios, from 6 July 2010

Psycho-sexual musical thriller starring Daniel Boys (Avenue Q), Emma Rigby (Hollyoaks), Paul Holowaty and Gregg Lowe.

Wolfboy is a dark and disturbing tale of two troubled teenage boys locked in an asylum for their own good. Bernie has attempted suicide; David may or may not have the powers of a wolf. For them the outside world is a frightening place of abuse and violence. Bernie’s brother Christian and Cherry the young nurse on the unit, also hide secrets that surface in the night, when the moon is full.

This new musical premiered at the Edinburgh Festival fringe last year and has a book by Russell Labey, music and lyrics by Leon Parris and is based on a play by Brad Fraser. Labey previously directed New Boy at Trafalgar Studios in 2009, while Parris has won the Vivian Ellis Award for Best Musical, Really Useful Group Award for Most Promising Writer and the Cameron Mackintosh Bursary.

Book tickets to Wolfboy at the Trafalgar Studios in London

STATE FAIR

Trafalgar Studios, from 3 August 2010

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s charming musical follows the Frake family, farming folk on a trip to the 1946 Iowa State Fair. Whilst parents Abel and Melissa are hoping to win a few blue ribbons, their children Margy and Wayne are more interested in finding romance on the way.

Set against the colourful backdrop of America’s rural traditions, the Academy Award-winning score includes such Rodgers and Hammerstein classics as It Might As Well Be Spring and It’s A Grand Night For Singing.

The show has a book by Tom Briggs and Louis Mattioli, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and music by Richard Rodgers.

Book tickets to State Fair at the Trafalgar Studios

BURN THE FLOOR

Shaftesbury Theatre, from 21 July 2010

Burn The Floor is a dance spectacular that has thrilled audiences around the world with its dynamic mix of Latin and ballroom dancing.

Now the West End is set to experience its fiery, passionate power as Burn The Floor comes to the Shaftesbury Theatre in London featuring special guest dancers Brian Fortuna and Ali Bastian, who wowed BBC audiences on Strictly Come Dancing last year.

First conceived as a special performance at Sir Elton John’s 50th birthday celebrations in 1997, Burn The Floor made its UK premiere two years later before setting off on a world tour.

Burn The Floor takes audiences on a journey through the passionate drama of dance, including the elegance of the Viennese Waltz, the exuberance of the Jive, the intensity of the Paso Doble as well as the Tango, Samba, Mambo, Quickstep and Swing.

Burn The Floor features the talents of 20 award-winning dancers from around the globe.

Book tickets to Burn the Floor at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London

DEATHTRAP

Noel Coward Theatre, from 20 August 2010

Deathtrap, the 1978 comedy thriller by Ira Levin, is set for a West End revival at the Noel Coward Theatre this summer.

Famously turned into a film by Sidney Lumet starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve, the play will feature acclaimed actor Simon Russell-Beale, (London Assurance), alongside US heartthrob Jonathan Groff (Glee, Hair the Musical), Academy award-winner Estelle Parsons and Claire Skinner (Outnumbered).

When good-looking young author Clifford (Jonathan Groff) turns up at best-selling author Sidney Bruhl’s Connecticut home with a brilliant new stage thriller, just at a time when Bruhl’s career has hit the skids, an ingenious murder plot is hatched.

The play is directed by Matthew Warchus, who won a Tony award last year for his production of God of Carnage, and has also directed La Bete at the Comedy Theatre.

Deathtrap is produced by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers (Brief Encounter, Equus, Calendar Girls).

Book tickets to Deathtrap at the Noel Coward Theatre in London

INTO THE WOODS

Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park, from 5 August 2010

Stephen Sondheim’s dark and humorous twist on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, presented in the beautiful setting of the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park.

A talented cast includes Hannah Waddingham (A Little Night Music), Jenna Russell (Sunday In The Park With George), Helen Dallimore, Alice Fearn, Mark Hadfield, Beverly Rudd, Ben Stott and Michael Xavier.

Stephen Sondheim, who is 80 years old this year, is one of America’s greatest living composers of musical theatre, and his work includes A Little Night Music, Sunday In The Park With George, Assassins, Company and Follies.

Into The Woods is directed by Open Air Artistic Director Timothy Sheader, who directed last season’s popular production of Hello, Dolly!

Book tickets to Into the Woods at the Open Air Theatre in London

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN

Waterloo Station Theatre from 4 July 2010

A major new production of classic children’s story The Railway Children comes to London this summer in an exciting new venue at Waterloo Station. This new adaptation of E. Nesbit’s much-loved novel stars Marshall Lancaster, best known for playing DC Chris Skelton in BBC dramas Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars, and Caroline Harker, WPC Hazel Wallace in A Touch of Frost.

In a venue within the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo station, Mike Kenny’s new production will start previews from 4 July and is booking until September. A specially built auditorium at Waterloo will feature seating either side of the original railway track, and makes use of the old Gentleman’s saloon carriage from the original classic film plus a period steam train from the National Railway Museum in York.

The show will star Caroline Harker as Mother and Marshall Lancaster as Mr Perks, with other cast including David Baron, Nicholas Bishop, Louisa Clein, Elizabeth Keates, Steven Kynman, Roger May, Blair Plant, Amanda Prior and Sarah Quintrell.

The show is directed by Damian Cruden with design by Joanna Scotcher and music by Christopher Madin.

Book tickets to The Railway Children at Waterloo Station in London
AUTUMN HIGHLIGHTS:

Passion at the Donmar Warehouse, from 10 September 2010

Les Miserables at the Barbican Theatre, from 14 September 2010

Yes, Prime Minister at the Gielgud Theatre from 16 September 2010

Birdsong at the Comedy Theatre, from 18 September 2010

Flashdance at the Shaftesbury Theatre, from 24 September 2010

Onassis at the Novello Theatre, from 30 September

Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 Arena, 3 October 2010

Fela! at the National Theatre, from 6 November 2010

The Master Builder at the Almeida Theatre, from 12 November 2010