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15 new musicals to see in 2020

We pick 15 new shows worth having on your radar for the new year

Orfeus: A House Music Opera

Let's face it, musicals bring in big crowds – the West End has a blend of old classics and new fan favourites in its various houses, while venues across the country revive or host touring productions of exciting work. But what, in 2020, will be the next Six, or Hamilton? We round up the new musicals hitting stages in the new year.

Be More Chill

Renee Lamb, Millie O'Connell, Scott Folan and Blake Patrick Anderson

It has amassed a pretty sizeable fandom across the pond, and it seems only natural to assume the same thing will happen in the UK when this hit musical has its premiere at The Other Palace. With a cast featuring Scott Folan, Michael Mell, Renee Lamb and Millie O'Connell, we expect the musical won't need the help of any special pills to become popular. The Other Palace, 12 February to 3 May 2020.

The Wicker Husband / Our Man in Havana

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)

The Prince of Egypt

Liam Tamne, Alexia Khadime, Christine Allado and Luke Brady
© Darren Bell

Miracles may well be on their way to the West End as the eagerly anticipated stage version of the iconic DreamWorks Animation classic comes to the Dominion Theatre. Featuring a cast of West End pros, a brilliant ensemble as well as hit musical numbers (including new tunes by Stephen Schwartz) including "When You Believe", this show looks like it'll be the recipe for epic drama. We've also heard word that the show will include some major aquatic sequences, but how exactly remains to be seen... Dominion Theatre from 5 February 2020


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

Crongton Knights

BAC Beatbox Academy's Frankenstein was one of our favourite shows in a while, so seeing composer Conrad Murray turn his hand to creating tunes for Emteaz Hussain's adaptation of Alex Wheatle's award-winning novel is exciting news. The classic story is being toured across the UK by Pilot Theatre, and it looks set to be a rollicking ride. Tour opens at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre on 8 February before visiting York, Brighton, Salford, Derby, Huddersfield and Peckham

Dennis and Gnasher: Unleashed

Dennis and Gnasher

A musical version of the hit cartoon character sounds like the perfect theatrical tonic, and this new production courtesy of Will Brenton will hopefully capture the Beano magic. Plus there will be loads of on-stage skateboarding, which we're intrigued by. UK tour opens in Aylesbury on 23 January 2020


Another classic movie getting the musical treatment is romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, which is going to wow audiences from March next year. The recent try-out production starred Kimberley Walsh and Michael D Xavier, but we are yet to have confirmation as to who will be taking on the lead roles in the new year. Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, from 21 March

Back to the Future

Olly Dobson as Marty McFly

Great Scott – it's finally happening! The iconic '80s film Back to the Future is coming to the stage, with Olly Dobson stepping into the self-tying sneakers of Marty McFly while Broadway legend Roger Bart plays Doc Brown. A West End date hasn't been announced yet, but you won't need a time machine to predict it won't take long for the show to continue its life after an initial run in Manchester. Manchester Opera House, 20 February until 17 May 2020


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, from 31 July to 22 August, and Theatre Royal Bath from 4 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 from 5 to 19 September and Garrick Theatre from 1 October 2020

My Best Friend's Wedding

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 2020

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 from 2 to 6 June 2020

Pretty Woman

Aimie Atkinson and Danny Mac
© Oliver Rosser

Featuring that iconic song by Roy Orbison as well as a brand spanking new score by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, the musical version of the hit film has recently wrapped up its Broadway run and now comes to the West End. Aimie Atkinson and Danny Mac star as the romantically entwined leads, with the show playing a limited season at the Piccadilly Theatre. From 13 February

Orfeus: A House Music Opera

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 Dalmations – the Musical

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
© Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

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. Open Air Theatre – from 17 May 2020

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