This year has been an exciting one for top West End musicals. From Top Hat to Kiss Me, Kate, with the brilliant Sweeney Todd, and The Bodyguard, not to mention Viva Forever, there have been some fantastic musicals on offer.
Here are just some of the great shows we have to look forward to next year:
1. A Chorus Line, London Palladium from 2 Feb
Back in the West End for the first time since the 70s, the award-winning A Chorus Line comes to London’s Palladium in February, starring John Partridge and Scarlett Strallen as Zach and Cassie, with Leigh Zimmerman playing Sheila and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt playing Diana. Altogether now: â€œOneâ€¦ singular sensation, every little step she takesâ€¦â€
2. The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre from 26 Feb
Another multi-award winning show, The Book of Mormon is the first of two Broadway imports to hit the West End in 2013. This first will make its UK premiere at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it’s the story of two teenage Mormon missionaries trying to convert a Ugandan village. As it contains explicit language, this is a show for over 18s only: time will tell whether UK audiences love it as much as their US counterparts.
3. Once, Phoenix Theatre from 16 Mar
This year’s Tony Award for Best New Musical went to Once; and from March we can see it on our side of the pond at the Phoenix Theatre. Based on the 2006 Irish musical film of the same name, Once features an ensemble cast of actor/musicians and tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant and their shared love of music.
4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane from 18 May
Hot on the heels of Matilda comes a new Roald Dahl-based musical. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features a host of musical stars including music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, a book by the award-winning playwright David Greig and choreography by Peter Darling, the chap behind both Billy Elliot and Matilda. It’s directed by Skyfall director Sam Mendes, and stars Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, and plays at the wonderful Theatre Royal Drury Lane from May. Sounds like a perfect recipe for successâ€¦
5. The Sound of Music, Open Air Theatre from 25 Jul
Finally for musicals in 2013, I’m really excited about a new production of The Sound of Music at the Open Air Theatre. Opening in July, this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is sure to be a real treat: the past few musicals from the Open Air Theatre have been amazing, including three winners of the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.
If you prefer your shows without all that lovely singing and dancing, check out my tips for the top London plays coming in 2013.
What musicals are you looking forward to seeing in 2013? Let us know in the comments below.