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Ten summer theatre shows you need to book for

Here's ten summery shows ready and waiting for you

The cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream
© Perou

Summer is almost here and although we understand that when it's hot and sunny, it's hard to sit in a dark theatre, there are a few shows on which are very likely to intensify your summer's enjoyment. Here's just a few of them.


Audrey Brisson in Amélie
© Pamela Raith

It's bright, breezy and filled with joy. What could be more summery than the musical adaptation of the hit French film, with a cast that includes Audrey Brisson and Danny Mac? After its opening at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, the show heads out on a UK tour until October, so there's plenty of time to catch the heart-lifting tale of love. Watermill Theatre until 18 May, then touring

Alex Mugnaioni as Captain Corelli and Elizabeth Mary Williams as Psipsina in Captain Corelli's Mandolin
© Marc Brenner

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Louis de Bernière's 1994 novel was infused with hot Greek weather and intense love affairs. The new stage adaptation is out on tour now, and we can confirm there are genuine mandolins involved. This one is bound to get you right into the long hot summer mood. Touring and then at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London from 4 July

Samantha Pauly


Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's classic portrait of the Argentinian legend returns to the stage this year. And quite apart from the fiery tale of Eva Peron, the heat will also come from the fact that the show is running summer at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. Get a picnic before, we recommend it. Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, 2 August to 21 September

The cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream
© Perou

Midsummer Night's Dream

What could be more summery than Shakespeare's classic, A Midsummer Night's Dream? There's plenty of productions to choose from this year, but we'd recommend booking for the Bridge Theatre's upcoming (starring Gwendoline Christie and Oliver Chris), as well as Sean Holmes' interpretation at Shakespeare's Globe. Midsummer, Bridge Theatre from 3 June, Midsumer, Shakespeare's Globe from 28 June

Jason Donovan

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

That coat of many colours is back! This huge-scale revival arrives in London for the summer, starring Jason Donovan and Sheridan Smith alongside newbie Jac Yarrow as Joseph. With Laurence Connor as director (he helmed School of Rock, Les Mis and many more) it's looking like it'll be this summer's blockbuster hit. London Palladium, from 27 June to 8 September



There seems to be renewed interest in this musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, with a reimagined version now playing in New York. There's little that's been released about this revival, but Chichester has been known to stage excellent versions of classics, and what's summer without a cowboy or two? Chichester Festival Theatre, 15 July to 7 September

Clive Owen
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Night of the Iguana

Tennessee Williams' plays are filled with long sultry summers and unhappy people. This one is set in Mexico and follows the Rev Shannon who is recovering from a nervous breakdown and is trying to re-establish his life as a tour guide. It stars Clive Owen, Lia Williams and Anna Gunn and with that cast is bound to be sizzling. Noel Coward Theatre, 6 July to 28 September

Sujaya Dasgupta, Waleed Akhtar and Shala Nyx

A Thousand Splendid Suns

It's true, this show's title definitely qualified it for a place on this list. But it's also true that this new adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's hit novel about three generations of Afghan women is looking like tantalising stuff. Roxana Silbert directs and Ursula Rani Sarma adapts and the cast looks great, so best watch out in case this one comes to a theatre near you. Birmingham Rep, from 2 to 18 May and then touring

On your Feet

Fancy a bit of summer conga infused with Cuban rhythm this summer? Gloria and Emilio Estefan have your back. The jukebox musical, featuring classic tracks such as "Rhythm is Gonna Get You", "Conga" and "Get On Your Feet", should be the ideal ingredient to make the next few months perfect. Leicester Curve, 3 to 8 June, then London Coliseum from 14 June to 31 August and then touring

Raj Ghatak, Mina Anwar and Tom Espiner
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Life of Pi

There will be water and sun aplenty in this stage adaptation of Yann Martel's brilliant book about a boy sharing a small boat with a tiger (and quite a lot of other animals) in the Pacific Ocean. Who knows how puppet masters extraordinaire Tim Hatley and Finn Caldwell will manage to translate all that to the stage, but if anyone can do it, they can. Sheffield Theatres from 28 June to 20 July