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Moulin Rouge! The Musical

West End shows to watch in 2021

Experience the best of London’s West End theatre. Following a complete shut-down in 2020 London’s theatre scene returns in 2021 with a spectacular array of plays, musicals, comedy and drama. Running for a strictly limited engagement, don’t miss these highly anticipated West End shows.

1. Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Baz Luhrmann’s Academy Award®-winning film is brought to life on stage in this highly anticipated new musical direct from Broadway. Moulin Rouge! The Musical is scheduled to begin performances at the Piccadilly Theatre in March 2021.

Why? Set to become the most glamorous big budget musical playing in London. Experience the splendour of Paris’ famous dance hall, as this memorable love story unfolds set to high-energy score jam packed with some of the most iconic pop songs of the last 30 years. Moulin Rouge! is an escapist extravagant big ticket musical not to be missed.

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Jake Gyllenhaal

2. Sunday In The Park with George

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford star in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama winning musical. This much loved musical follows painter Georges Seurat (Jake Gyllenhaal) in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, as he alienates his lover and friends in order to ‘finish the hat’. Originally scheduled to run at the Savoy Theatre in 2020, the production will now run from 2021 with specific dates to be confirmed.

Why? Two reasons. 1. It’s a masterpiece. 2. You get to see Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford make their West End debuts in a production that had the critics raving when they performed it on Broadway.

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To Kill A Mockingbird, London

3. To Kill A Mockingbird

It seems like 2021 is the year of Broadway transfers, but Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird – the most successful play in Broadway history – should have opened at the Gielgud Theatre in 2020. The postponed production will now premiere in June 2021 with specific dates to be announced.

Why? Harper Lee’s iconic story is one of America’s modern classics. Set in the Deep South of 1930’s America, To Kill A Mockingbird is the story of one family’s fight to do the right thing in a time of racial segregation. A timely story of rights and injustices it continues to ring true in today’s society. Expect a tour de force production starring Rhys Iffans (Notting Hill, Harry Potter series)in the role of Atticus Finch.

Hairspray The Musical

4. Hairspray The Musical

West End favourite Michael Ball returns to his Olivier Award winning role as Edna Turnblad in this fun filled musical. Set in 1960s Baltimore this huge-hearted smash-hit musical arrives at the London Coliseum in April 2021.

Why? It’s an inspirational, fun-loving and fabulously uplifting musical sensation with a starry cast including Michael Ball, Marisha Wallace and Paul Merton.

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Cinderella - March 2021

5. Cinderella

The classic fairytale story gets a 21st century make-over by Killing Eve script writer Emerald Fennell with music by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. Starring Carrie Hope Fletcher in the title role and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Stepmother, Cinderella opens from 19 March 2021 at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

Why? ermmm did we mention Andrew Lloyd Webber (CATS, Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom of the Opera) is the driving force behind this new musical. Throw in a time honoured fairytale, Carrie Hope Fletcher, one of the West End’s most talented actresses, and a book by a Killing Eve scriptwriter and it’s a no-brainer.

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Jac Yarrow in Joseph

6. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

Tim Rice and Andrew LLoyd Webber’s iconic musical returns to the London Palladium with rising star Jac Yarrow and Jason Donovan reprising their roles from the 2019 production.

Why? This classic, family friendly musical has been gloriously reimagined for today’s audiences – young and old. With the production moved to 2021 Sir Andre might even be able to entice Sheridan Smith back to reprise her scene stealing role as the Narrator. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will run Thursday 1 July 2021 until Sunday 5 September 2021 at the London Palladium.

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The Doctor

7. The Doctor

First do no harm! Juliet Stevenson stars as a doctor in this “provocative, wonderfully upsetting” (Independent) whirlwind of gender, race and identity politics. Premiering to 5-star reviews at Almeida Theatre, Robert Icke’s acclaimed contemporary adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi – scheduled to run in 2020 – transfers to the Duke of York’s theatre in 2021 (dates to be confirmed).

Why? Olivier Award winner Juliet Stevenson delivers “one of the performances of the year” (Evening Standard) in this knock-out, five-star production. The ever in-demand Stevenson said “Very occasionally in a career, maybe once a decade if you’re lucky, you get the chance to perform in a play that speaks so powerfully to its time that it captures everyone’s hearts and minds.”

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frozen the musical
Frozen (Original Broadway Cast Recording)

8. Disney’s Frozen

Disney’s new musical Frozen will sweep you into a world filled with wonder, fairytale princesses and thrilling spectacle when it arrives at London’s majestic Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Originally slated for October 2020 the Broadway spectacle will now open in London in 2021 with Samantha Barks and Stephanie McKeon leading the show.

Why? It’s the musical stage adaptation of one of Disney’s most successful animated films in the last decade. With a captivating score, heartwarming story of sisterly-love and the full force of Disney theatricals , this magical high end musical guarantees a fulfilling theatrical experience.

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Get Up, Stand Up

9. Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story

A new Bob Marley biopic musical premieres at the Lyric Theatre in February 2020. Taking inspiration from Bob Marley’s visionary lyrics to tell his extraordinary personal story, this highly anticipated new musical is brought to the stage by the Olivier Award-winning writer Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), director Clint Dyer and stars Arinzé Kene as Bob Marley.

Why? Billed as the definitive Bob Marley musical, with full backing of the Marley family, this new musical features an electrifying mix of Bob Marley hits played live on stage.

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image of Mean Girls The Musical, Broadway

10. Mean Girls The Musical

Tina Fey’s Broadway musical is set to premiere in London in 2021. Based on the classic film starring Lindsey Lohan, this Broadway smash-hit musical features a feisty toe-tapping score and a hilarious book. The story follows Cady Heron, as she moves from the plains of Africa to the halls of an all-American suburban high school. The wilds of Africa have not prepared this naïve newbie for the fierce and vicious ways of the popular girls in high school. Mean Girls is rumoured to open in Spring 2021.

Why? Ferociously funny, who’d expect anything less of 30 Rock’s Tina Fey, it’s a faithful adaptation of the film, and features some great numbers with lyrics by Legally Blonde lyricist Nell Benjamin.

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11. Tammy Faye – A New Musical

Flying under the radar, this new musical from Elton John, James Graham and Jake Shears is bound to be a smash-hit. Based on the life of American televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker – Tammy’s life story has all the highs, lows, camp and drama you could hope for in a musical. Quietly tipped to begin performances at the Almeida Theatre in 2021, this is guaranteed to transfer to London’s West End.

Why? Whilst UK audiences most likely couldn’t name check Tammy Faye – it’s a worthwhile story that is being brought to life by a trio of award-winning creatives Elton John, James Graham (Ink, Quiz) and Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters.

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Back to the Future The Musical, London

12. Back To The Future: The Musical

Based on the classic 80s film franchise starring Michael J Fox, Back To The Future: The Musical follows Marty McFly, a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back in time, but before he can return to 1985 he must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order to save his own existence. Receiving its world premiere in Manchester in 2020, Back To The Future will transfer to London’s Adelphi Theatre in May 2021 starring Olly Dobson as Marty McFly and Roger Bart as Doc Brown- this a musical not to be missed.

Why? From page to stage this musical took over a decade to reach Manchester, and according to the audience it was well worth the wait. If you’re after some 80’s nostalgia with some cracking tunes this looks like you’re bet for a great night out. Back To The Future: The Musical is booking from14 May 2021 until 19 December 2021 at the Adelphi Theatre.

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Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida

13. Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida

An epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal, Aida’ follows two star-crossed lovers torn between their conflicting loyalties to their feuding nations and to each other. Written by Elton John & Tim Rice in the late 90’s this Tony Award winning musical set in Ancient Egypt is rumoured to receive its London premiere in 2021 (dates to be announced).

Why? A Disney backed musical with a stirring contemporary score and a powerful love story from the multi-award winning Elton John & Tim Rice.

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The Drifters Girl

14. The Drifters Girl

Beverley Knight leads the world premiere production of The Drifters Girl – a new musical charting the trailblazing Faye Treadwell, the legendary manager of The Drifters who fought for three decades to turn the group into a chart topping global phenomenon. The show opens at The Garrick Theatre in London for a limited engagement from 4 November 2021.

Why? An inspiring story that features some of the most iconic songs in history, including Stand By Me, Saturday Night at the Movies, Under The Boardwalk, Save The Last Dance For Me and Kissin in the Back Row of the Movies. It’s also directed by Jonathan Church (Singin’ In The Rain, Sweeney Todd).

Tickets available for The Drifters Girl.


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