After a London Palladium concert and subsequent runs at The Other Palace, the comic book tale of Eugenius! has been on the radar of many theatre lovers, and fans were thrilled to hear of the show’s reworked return at the Turbine Theatre. The sweet characters and over the top tale are back like before, but somewhere along the way, the musical has lost some of the sparkle and infectious joy that previously made it such a charming production.
‘You couldn’t really ask for a more genuinely touching show’: THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF MUSICAL – Noel Coward Theatre ★★★★
A British institution, Bake Off is may not seem like the most likely source for a musical but thankfully, its musical adaptation, The Great British Bake Off Musical at the Noel Coward Theatre, works incredibly well and is an easily digestible, heart-warming show and a love letter to the series so many love.
‘A stunning addition to the West End’: OKLAHOMA! – Wyndham’s Theatre ★★★★
One of the most exciting and invigorating productions of recent time, Oklahoma! at the Wyndham’s Theatre is truly a spectacle of theatre which uses a number of engaging elements to transform this old school show, into something which feels fresh and bracing.
‘Entertaining & enchanting’: THE KING & I – Touring ★★★★
A gem of classic musical theatre, The King and I is in top form as it embarks on a sparkling UK tour. Brimming with humour and character growth, Bartlett Sher’s production is a less menacing version of the show which still provides all you could ask for in a night out at the theatre.
‘It’s the epitome of razzle dazzle’: MOULIN ROUGE THE MUSICAL – Piccadilly Theatre ★★★★
A tale of two halves, Moulin Rouge the Musical is both a spectacular spectacular and a chaotic conundrum. Based on the 2001 film of the same name, it tells the story of fated lovers Christian and Satine, who despite the hardships which surround them, just want to be free to love one another. This musical adaptation takes elements from the film but also puts an extreme jukebox spin on the whole thing.
‘It is certainly a good night out’: THE COMMITMENTS – Touring
Originally from the Roddy Doyle book, which was also adapted into a wonderful Neil Jordan film, this is the latest touring
version of the musical, The Commitments. Set in 1980s Dublin, this is the story of a young band coming together to ‘bring soul’ to Ireland, before it all falls apart. Featuring a great soundtrack of soul songs, this has been around in some form in the UK for the last 10 years, and for good reason.
‘As vibrant & wonderful as ever’: SIX THE MUSICAL – Vaudeville Theatre ★★★★★
Going into a new year it’s great to see that Six the Musical is as vibrant and wonderful as ever. The current queens of the castle do an outstanding job of keeping the energy of the show fresh and truly engaging so that both first time audiences audiences and longtime Six fans can feel like they’re experiencing something special.
‘The energy & precision is truly mesmerising’: NEWSIES – Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre ★★★★
As temperatures soar below zero, the heat is definitely up at the Troubadour theatre in Wembley as the venue’s long awaited production of Newsies sizzles and soars.
‘Perfectly packaged Christmas show’: ELF THE MUSICAL – Dominion Theatre ★★★★
If you’re looking for some festive magic this year, look no further than the Dominion Theatre for a gloriously Christmassy, sparkly production of Elf The Musical. Based on the cult classic film, it tells the story of Buddy the Elf who finds out he’s really a human, so makes the journey from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father and experience the world. This musical adaptation has all the most iconic parts of the film plus a heap of theatrical magic that makes it the perfect festive treat.
‘Sassy, sexy musical comedy’: & JULIET – Broadway
Musical theatre’s new guilty pleasure, & Juliet is an accelerated endorphin rush that leaves the cheering crowd on a giddy high. A jukebox musical so in touch with its identity that it literally starts with a jukebox on the stage, & Juliet corrals more than two dozen of 100-plus hits of mega successful songwriter Max Martin into a sassy, sexy musical comedy.
‘Often hilarious & surprisingly moving’: AN IMPROBABLE MUSICAL – Hackney Empire
When you book tickets to a musical you would ordinarily expect to see a highly polished, carefully choreographed production where every line, step and song has been rehearsed a hundred times. Not so if you’re heading to Hackney Empire for An Improbable Musical, a show which will be improvised before your eyes.
‘There’s certainly heart to the story’: BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER – Turbine Theatre ★★★
Since its opening in 2019, the Turbine Theatre in Battersea has been a leading player in showcasing new musicals, while providing a safe space to try out modern and exciting work. Their most recent is a musical version of the cult classic film But I’m a Cheerleader. Producer, Paul Taylor-Mills has been championing this show for several years and after personally seeing it as a workshop version at MT Fest, it’s great to see how the musical has developed and progressed to its current form.
‘A treat to see such strong performances’: THE CHER SHOW – Touring ★★★
Turning back time from her Las Vegas residencies, The Cher Show begins in the 1950s with a young Cherilyn Sarkisian who’s longing to be a star, and progresses through her various ventures, successes and failures up to the modern day. Taking on the role of the musical icon, are three superstars who share (cher) the role and show her at various stages of her life. Debbie Kurup plays the Star, Danielle Steers is Lady and Millie O’Connell is the youngest, Baby.
‘Fantastically good fun’: Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder – Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Musical comedy Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder by Jon Brittain and Matthew Floyd Jones at Roundabout @ Summerhall is a hilarious caper that embraces the genre’s fans, life’s unexpected heroes and the quest to find yourself.
‘You’d have to be a scrooge not to enjoy it’: Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Touring ★★★★★
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a staple and rite of passage for many musical theatre fans so when a production is mounted there’s always a ready and willing audience to view it. Thankfully for current audiences, the Palladium production which is currently touring the country is absolutely top notch and a dream night out.
‘Highlights the heartwarming & empowering messages’: Kinky Boots the Musical in Concert – Theatre Royal Drury Lane ★★★★
Kinky Boots the Musical in Concert at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is a fantastic showcase of a great cast as well as the heartwarming story that works surprisingly well in concert form. I can only imagine how great this ensemble would be in a fully staged production with all the glitz and glam the show deserves.
‘Sets the standard against which future productions will be judged’: SOUTH PACIFIC – Sadler’s Wells & Touring
This is a smart and thoughtful interpretation of South Pacific that takes carefully considered approach to some of the problems in the scenario without fully absolving the characters for their behaviour and choices. Managing to balance the sparkle of the big set-pieces and the not so charming effects of military occupation with some serious emotional clout that will leave you wrung through at the end, this sets the standard against which future productions will be judged. With a UK tour running until November, Bali Ha’i is calling you, don’t resist.
‘The sumptuous score is showcased to the highest degree’: CHESS THE MUSICAL IN CONCERT – Theatre Royal Drury Lane ★★★★
After the success earlier in the year of Bonnie and Clyde in Concert, the bar has been set rather high for what concert productions at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane can provide, and Chess the Musical in Concert certainly hits the mark.
‘The comic timing from the cast is certainly on point’: SISTER ACT – Eventim Apollo
Based on the hit 1992 comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg, this is the latest touring incarnation of the highly entertaining musical Sister Act. Originally set to star Goldberg in a reprise of the role, the cast instead has the more than able replacement of Beverley Knight. Joined by Jennifer Saunders, Lesley Joseph and Clive Rowe, this revival certainly isn’t lacking firepower in the casting department.
‘Hurray for new British writing’: MILLENNIALS – The Other Palace ★★★★
There may be a little final sprinkle of fairy dust missing but Millennials at The Other Palace is one of the funnest shows about and it’ll be brilliant to see where it progresses.