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15 new musicals to see over the next year

We pick some brand new musicals that we're particularly excited about coming soon!

Carrie Hope Fletcher, Beverley Knight, Samantha Barks and Moulin Rouge!
(© Left: AKA, centre right and left: Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage, right: Matthew Murphy)

It's an exciting 12 months for musicals, so we've picked out 15 shows either making their UK or world premieres. An odd number of these shows also end in "!", for some reason!


The Wicker Husband/ Our Man in Havana

Stephen Leask, Yazdan Qafouri and Eilon Morris
© Pamela Raith

Okay fine, we've doubled up on this one but that's only because the Watermill in Newbury is presenting two new musicals next summer – the first is a long-awaited show about a man made of wood coming from Darren Clark (responsible for the five-star Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Rhys Jennings, while the second is a new adaptation of Graham Greene's hit novel about a spy in Cuba. Both look cracking. The Watermill Theatre, 12 March to 4 April (The Wicker Husband) and 11 June to 25 July (Our Man in Havana)


Orfeus: A House Music Opera

Nmon Ford

The Young Vic's last musical was the emotionally harrowing and brilliant Fun Home back in 2018. This new piece, based on the tale of ancient Greek songsmith Orpheus, looks like a bit of a departure – directed by Motown's Charles Randolph-Wright, it features opera, theatre and house music. Already gaining marks for novelty, the production stars award-winning baritone Nmon Ford (who also supplies words, music and libretto). Young Vic, 14 April to 30 May


101 Dalmatians – the Musical

101 Dalmations
© Feast Creative and Oliver Rosser

How will they bring all 101 dogs to the stage? We don't know, but we recommend planning ahead and booking now just to find out. Oh, and Kate Fleetwood is attached, which is inspired casting. Open Air Theatre, from 17 May


Bring It On

Bring It On

Despite an attempt a few years back, it is remarkable that the smash-hit musical featuring the talents of Lin-Manuel Miranda has never been seen professionally on UK shores (BTAS did a remarkable production last year). So this new touring show, which kicks off next year, is an exciting prospect. Tour opens at Birmingham Hippodrome, 2 to 6 June, and continues until 10 January 2021


Monsoon Wedding

Monsoon Wedding

The award-winning film is being adapted into a musical with the rather brilliant Mira Nair and Stephen Whitson co-directing (Nair also directed the original), alongside book by Sabrina Dhawan and Arpita Mukherjee, lyrics by Masi Asare and Susan Birkenhead and music by Vishal Bhardwaj. A fantastic creative team will take the Delhi story to Leeds initially, before the show transfers to the Roundhouse in Camden. Leeds Playhouse, 22 June to 11 July, and the Roundhouse, 17 July to 29 August


Identical

Identical

Audiences will be seeing double when this brand new musical, based on the The Parent Trap novel (responsible for those pretty brill films), opens in Nottingham before transferring to Bath with direction from the fabled Trevor Nunn. Featuring identical twins (hence the title) the piece sees two sisters use a classic switcheroo to try and bring their family back together. Nottingham Playhouse, 31 July to 22 August, and Theatre Royal Bath, 4 to 19 September


Sammy

Giles Terera
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Giles Terera takes on the role of the iconic musician Sammy Davis Jr in this new musical, created at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and featuring book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, one of David Jr's long-standing collaborators. Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, 28 July to 19 September


The Drifters Girl

Beverley Knight
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

If you don't think you know the music of The Drifters, then we can guarantee that you know the music of The Drifters, with hits including "Under the Boardwalk" and "Save the Last Dance for Me". West End legend Beverley Knight stars in this brand new show, with book by Ed Curtis and direction by Jonathan Church. Theatre Royal Newcastle, 5 to 19 September, and Garrick Theatre, from 1 October


My Best Friend's Wedding

Alexandra Burke
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Alexandra Burke heads up a brand new musical based on the film about a couple of late-20-somethings that promise to marry each other if they don't find anyone else. It features a shedload of Burt Bacharach and Hal David songs so will probably be a cockle-warming experience with lots of romance to boot. Tour opens at Theatre Royal Plymouth, from 16 September


Something Rotten!

Something Rotten!

The ten-time Tony Award-nominated musical Something Rotten! has FINALLY made its way to the UK. It isn't the first musical to parody Shakespeare on UK shores (& Juliet has been all over that recently), but given the hype attached to the show, it'll surely go down a treat. Birmingham Rep, 8 to 31 October


Cinderella

Carrie Hope Fletcher
© AKA

A new Andrew Lloyd Webber is always a momentous occasion, and with the performance calibre of Carrie Hope Fletcher leading the cast, this new take on the classic Cinderella story might well the perfect post-corona tonic. Emerald Fennell supplies the book. Gillian Lynne Theatre, from 9 October


The Magician's Elephant

Marc Teitler and Nancy Harris in a workshop for The Magician's Elephant
© RSC, photograph by Sam Allard

The RSC's winter musical this year, The Boy in the Dress was a five-star footie smash. In 2020 things are taking a turn for the animalistic in a new staging of the Kate DiCamillo best-selling book. Jack Wolfe takes on the lead role and the piece looks like a hoot. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, 29 October to 17 January 2021


Frozen

Samantha Barks will star as Elsa in Frozen, it has been confirmed
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Disney, Samantha Barks, "Let It Go". What more needs to be said – this is going to be massive. Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, from October 2020


Get Up, Stand Up!

Bob Marley (left) and Arinzé Kene (right)
© Left: Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Adrian Boot. Right: Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Bob Marley is an iconic musical figure, so it'll be extra special to see his story come to life on stage, with stalwart performer Arinze Kene of Misty fame in the lead role. We're already excited and it doesn't open for another 10 months! Lyric Theatre, from 6 February 2021


Moulin Rouge!

The Broadway production of Moulin Rouge!
© Matthew Murphy

It's an epic Broadway bonanza and already audiences in the UK are eager to get a slice of the bohemian knees-up. The show will head into the Piccadilly Theatre post-Pretty Woman, Piccadilly Theatre, from March 2021

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