Hymn - Almeida Theatre

Top 10 most read London theatre news stories of 2021

Here’s our annual round-up of the most popular and well-read news stories on WestEndTheatre.com in 2021.

Given the scale of Covid disruption that has faced theatre and live events in 2021, the list is a pretty positive read, of new shows opening and new casts revealed.

However, the top spot goes to theatre on TV rather than theatre live on stage, perhaps reflecting the year we had in the West End. The BBC revealing its new Sunday night musicals season got the highest traffic, and other stories about the Christmas TV schedule and further musicals on TV – including the BBC showing Anything Goes – were in the Top 20 stories of the year. In the same vein, news of the Almeida live streaming their production of Hymn starring Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani (pictured) also got high traffic. Some people may not have been able to get out to see a show in 2021, but their passion for seeing theatre, in whatever form, seemed as strong as ever.

Other news stories in the Top 10 include some new show openings, from JAWS comedy The Shark is Broken at the Ambassadors Theatre, to Barlett Sher’s Broadway production of My Fair Lady coming to the London Coliseum in Spring 2022. Also stories centred on casting, with the announcement that Rafe Spall will replace Rhys Ifans in the Aaron Sorkin adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird coming to the Gielgud Theatre in March 2022; Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot were getting aboard Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre; and the full cast for Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward, with company members such as Petula Clarke joining Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp in the show.

Finally, extensions to the length that a show is running in the West End were announced, primarily the date extension of Frozen The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane; and, of course, gossip always gets plenty of attention: will Hello, Dolly! starring Imelda Staunton be coming to the West End in 2023?

For more London theatre news and gossip on what’s coming to the West End, check out our Theatre News section.



BBC’s Sunday Night Musicals starts; This Cultural Life kicks off with Kenneth Branagh
An American in Paris - Dominion Theatre
BBC’s Sunday Night Musicals starts; This Cultural Life kicks off with Kenneth Branagh
New BBC series Sunday Night at the Musicals and This Cultural Life start on BBC Four in the UK
In rehearsal: Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani in ‘Hymn’
In rehearsal: Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani in ‘Hymn’
Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani in rehearsal for Hymn at Almeida Theatre
Imelda Staunton eyes 2023 for Hello, Dolly! West End run
Imelda Staunton, Hello Dolly!
Imelda Staunton eyes 2023 for Hello, Dolly! West End run
Looks like Dolly will be back where she belongs in 2023!
JAWS comedy ‘The Shark is Broken’ to open in West End this October
The Shark is Broken, London Theatre Show
JAWS comedy ‘The Shark is Broken’ to open in West End this October
New dates announced for The Shark is Broken at The Ambassadors Theatre in London
Rafe Spall replaces Rhys Ifans in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’; now to run in 2022
Rafe Spall
Rafe Spall replaces Rhys Ifans in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’; now to run in 2022
To Kill A Mockingbird to open at the Gielgud Theatre in March 2022.
Waitress UK tour to feature Lucie Jones, Matt Willis and Sandra Marvin
Waitress UK tour to feature Lucie Jones, Matt Willis and Sandra Marvin
Casting has been revealed for the UK and Ireland tour of Waitress The Musical which opens this September.
‘Frozen The Musical’ extends West End run into 2022
Disney's Frozen The Musical
‘Frozen The Musical’ extends West End run into 2022
Disney extends Frozen booking period into June 2022.
Bartlett Sher’s My Fair Lady confirmed for London in 2022
My Fair Lady - Broadway
Bartlett Sher’s My Fair Lady confirmed for London in 2022
My Fair Lady to open 7 May 2022 at the London Coliseum in a limited West End revival
Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot board ‘Anything Goes’ at the Barbican
Felicity Kendal & Gary Wilmot
Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot board ‘Anything Goes’ at the Barbican
Anything Goes sails into the Barbican this Summer with an all-star cast featuring Megan Mullally, Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot
‘Mary Poppins’ full West End cast announced
Zizi Strallen in Mary Poppins, London Show
‘Mary Poppins’ full West End cast announced
Petula Clarke returns to Mary Poppins, alongside Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp



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