London’s West End, renowned as one of the world’s premiere theatre districts, is never short of its own, home-grown shows. But more is never enough for us, and as the curtain rises on 2024 we’ve listed a selection of shows from around the UK and Internationally that we hope will transfer to the West End this year.
So here’s our a list of shows we’d like to see transfer to London in 2024.
Based on Tim Burton’s hit film, Broadway musical comedy Beetlejuice centres on a strange and unusual teenager who attempts to scare away her insufferable parents with help from a degenerate demon from the Netherworld, and the former owners of her house – who just happen to be dead! Underneath this light-hearted comedy is a remarkably touching show about family, love, and making the most of every day.
Producers remain tight-lipped on this transfer but rumours in theatre-land predict a 2024 West End debut.
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The brand new musical stage adaptation of Burlesque is set to premiere at Manchester Opera House in June 2024. Producers have already announced plans are afoot to transfer the show to London’s West End – let’s hope it make’s it to London for Winter 2024.
This thrilling new stage adaptation of the blockbuster musical movie that starred Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Eric Dane, Dianna Agron and Kristen Bell features songs from the movie, plus brand new songs written especially for the stage show. Directed by Nick Winston ((Bonnie & Clyde, Fame), the show has a book by Steven Antin, who also wrote the movie, with additional material by Kate Wetherhead, and Music and Lyrics by Christina Aguilera, Sia, Diane Warren, Todrick Hall & Jess Folley.
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Max Webster’s Donmar Warehouse production of Macbeth starring David Tennant & Cush Jumbo was one of the most highly anticipated, critically acclaimed and talked about shows of 2023. Running at the intimate Donmar Warehouse, this 5-star revival of Shakespeare’s most extraordinary psychological drama uses binaural technology to create an intense and unnerving 3D sound world, which the audience experience through wearing headphones, placing them right inside the head of the central couple.
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The electrifying Broadway musical Jagged Little Pill, inspired by Alanis Morissette’s seminal album of the same name, was supposed to land in London’s West End in 2022, however we’re hoping 2024 is the year we’ll finally see it in London.
Nominated for 15 Tony Awards, this rock musical has an original story that centres on a seemingly perfect suburban family striving to ‘keep it all together’ when a troubling event shakes their community. The West End production will feature the original Broadway creative team headed by Tony Award winning director Diane Paulus (Waitress) and Oliver Award winning choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
The musical features Morissette hits such as ‘You Oughta Know,’ ‘Head Over Feet,’ ‘Hand In My Pocket,’ and ‘Ironic’, as well as 2 brand new songs written just for the show.
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Groundhog Day The Musical returned to London last year for a short stint at the Old Vic Theatre. The hit musical comedy from director Matthew Warchus and lyricist Tim Minchin enjoyed fabulous reviews from the London critics and sold exceptionally well. The West End could do with more musical comedy’s so it’s time to give this show a full West End season. Australia is about to get The Old Vic version, also starring Andy Karl, so maybe the West End will follow?
Based on the hit 1993 film starring Billy Murray, Groundhog Day is the story of a cynical TV weatherman who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in an isolated small town of America. When he suddenly finds himself caught in a time loop, he’s forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again.
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Who doesn’t like disco? Vibrant musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical charts the incomparable life of Donna Summer — the undisputed Queen of Disco. The show features over 20 of Donna Summer’s classic hits and electric dancing – all in tribute to the voice of a generation. It’s typical juke-box fare but audiences flocked to the show on Broadway with the hit musical playing to 92% capacity and grossing over $1 million in a week. Expect a party time when this disco queen transfers.
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7. Cold War
Described as “one of the best plays of 2023” by i News in its 5-star review, Cold War is a new stage adaptation of Paweł Pawlikowski’s Academy Award-nominated film of the same name. It premiered at the Almeida Theatre in November 2023 to great reviews, and is an epic love story spanning the decades and breadth of Europe at its most divided featuring
Adapted by Conor McPherson (Girl from the North Country) with direction by Rupert Goold (Dear England), this poignant new musical features traditional Polish songs, stirring choral arrangements, and music from Grammy Award-winner Elvis Costello.
Cold War is currently playing at the Almeida Theatre until 27 January 2024. No news on if this will transfer, however the buzz we are hearing is very positive that this show will transfer to London’s West End in 2024.
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Bill Kenwright‘s legendary production of the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers is currently touring the UK to sell-out performances, and it has been quite a few years since this much-loved show was last in the West End… too long!
Written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell (Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine), few musicals have been received with such acclaim as the multi-award-winning Blood Brothers. Considered “one of the best musicals ever written” (Sunday Times), it has been affectionately christened the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’.
With former Mrs Johnstone Melanie C performing the show’s knock-out song Tell Me It’s Not True at the Royal Variety Performance this year with Ben Forster, in tribute to the late Bill Kenwright who died last year, we are hoping this inspires a new generation of Blood Brothers fans.
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9. The Prom
Who doesn’t love a camp musical comedy? This hilarious Broadway show, which won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, is a musical about big Broadway stars, a small town, and a love that unites them all. It’s even inspired by a true story! – and is probably best known because of Ryan Murphy’s Netflix film adaptation starring Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman and Kerry Washington.
It would be great to see it make its way to London.
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10. The Artist
Drew McOnie’s highly anticipated stage adaptation of the Oscar winning film The Artist will premiere out-of-town at Theatre Royal Plymouth this May and is hotly tipped to transfer to London’s West End. This beguiling love story is reinvented for the stage in a dazzling celebration of silent cinema that blends cutting-edge theatre-making with iconic music of the period.
The Plymouth production will star Broadway’s Robbie Fairchild (An American in Paris) alongside Gary Wilmot (Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz) and Briana Craig (Singing In the Rain, 42nd Street).
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11. Starter for Ten
Starter for Ten is the joyous new musical based on the smash-hit movie starring James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall, which in turn was based on the best-selling book by David Nicholls.
Premiering at Bristol Old Vic this Winter, the show is billed as a bright, big-hearted coming-of-age musical comedy set against the backdrop of legendary British quiz show University Challenge in 1980’s Britain.
Featuring an irresistible, original soundtrack inspired by the riotous student scene of the 80s, Starter for Ten is a bright, big-hearted coming-of-age musical comedy about love, belonging and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom. A strong cast includes Mel Giedroyc, Adam Bregman, Eubha Akilade, Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, Miracle Chance, Emily Lane and Will Jennings.
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James Graham’s (Ink, Quiz, This House) powerful new adaptation of Alan Bleasdale’s television series Boys From The Blackstuff premiered at the Royal Court Liverpool to all-round 4-star reviews in 2023. Described as “Ambitious and timely” by The Stage (★★★★), “Blistering” by the Financial Times (★★★★) and a “Powerful portrayal of working-class pride” by The Guardian (★★★★), the play follows five men trying to make ends meet with job opportunities few and far between in 1980’s Liverpool.
The original TV series was considered groundbreaking when it was first broadcast for its depiction of working class men in 1980’s England. Based on James Graham’s current record – which includes the mega-hit National Theatre play Dear England, this seems like a transfer dead-cert.
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Here You Come Again, a new musical comedy set to the music of Dolly Parton will receive its UK premiere at Leeds Playhouse later this year. Fingers crossed it will transfer to London’s West End immediately after that – Dolly’s legion of fans will surely demand it.
The show is about a has-been-who-never-was comedian and his unusual relationship with his longtime idol, Dolly Parton. First seen in America, this new British production has been adapted by Jonathan Harvey (Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Coronation Street) and will star Tricia Paoluccio as Dolly Parton. A celebration of Dolly’s music, this show is proudly authorised by the Queen of Country music herself and features favourite Dolly songs “Jolene”, “9 to 5”, “Islands in the Stream”, “I Will Always Love You”, “Love is Like a Butterfly”, “Two Doors Down”, “The Seeker” and “Here You Come Again”.
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Sinatra The Musical, a new stage musical charting the rise, fall and rebirth of the legendary Frank Sinatra played a limited run at The Rep in Birmingham last year, starring Broadway’s Matt Doyle.
Brought to life by two-time Tony winner writer Joe DiPietro (Memphis, What’s New Pussycat?) and three-time Tony winner director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes, Kiss Me, Kate, The Panama Game) the show features 25 of Sinatra’s iconic hits. A West End transfer hasn’t been announced yet but with the enduring interest in Ol’ Blue Eyes and the positive reaction to the show, the chances are good – that’s if Broadway doesn’t nab it first.
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15. Free Your Mind
Free Your Mind is a large-scale and immersive retelling of the classic sci-fi film The Matrix. Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Frankenstein), the show depicts a world where humans are enslaved by algorithms – asking can we break free? And do we even want to?
A huge dance, music and visual effects immersive experience the show premiered last year at the new Aviva Studios venue in Manchester. No news on a London transfer as yet, but it seems a sure bet.
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Described as a five-star “utterly beautiful, achingly emotional new musical” by the Daily Express, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby) is a heart-wrenching and timeless tale of a love that defies all odds. Set to a thunderous, foot-stomping folk score where the actors play their own instruments, this show most recently ran at Southwark Playhouse in 2023 where it starred Jamie Parker.
We don’t think its story ends there, and canny West End producers are surely looking at the show for a possible further London run.
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17. The Witches
The National Theatre’s acclaimed adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches is a rip-roaring musical version of Dahl’s timeless tale, filled with wit, daring and heart. Featuring a book and lyrics by Olivier Award-winner Lucy Kirkwood (HBO Succession), music and lyrics by Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy, direction by Lyndsey Turner and choreography by Stephen Mear (Mary Poppins), this hit deserves a West End transfer in 2024, or maybe another outing on the stage of the Olivier Theatre at the National for Christmas 2024?
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