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Top new musicals to see in 2021

Get these dates in your diary for 2021

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 fair to say that we can't wait for 2021 to appear. With the prospect of vaccines and faster Covid tests, we expect some sort of normality to return at some point, ushering in a variety of wonderful stage shows and the chance for audiences to witness brand new pieces set to become much-loved classics. With this in mind, we round-up some of the new musicals coming your way in the next 12 months...


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 even open until next year! Lyric Theatre, from 28 May 2021


Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

The Sherman Brothers certainly know how to craft an iconic tune – so we're very excited to see the eagerly anticipated stage version of the 1971 Disney film

UK and Ireland tour opens at Newcastle Theatre Royal on 14 August


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 soundtrack is enough to keep us sated for now, but it won't be long before we're clamouring for sequined excess and larger-than-life numbers. The show will head into the Piccadilly Theatre post-Pretty Woman. Piccadilly Theatre, from autumn 2021


Cinderella

Carrie Hope Fletcher
© AKA

A new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is always a momentous occasion, and with the performance calibre of Carrie Hope Fletcher leading the cast (which also features Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and newcomer Ivano Turco), this new take on the classic Cinderella story might well the perfect post-corona tonic. Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve) supplies the book. Gillian Lynne Theatre, from 30 April 2021


Frozen

Stephanie McKeon and Samantha Barks
© Disney, photo by Julia Kennedy

The coolest musical of the lot! Frozen has already unveiled casting with the wonderful Stephanie McKeon and Samantha Barks playing the two sisters Anna and Elsa. A gargantuan film franchise, we expect similar results when the live version finally lands in the West End. The show is currently scheduled to run at Theatre Royal Drury Lane from 2 April 2021


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. Newcastle and the West End in autumn 2021


101 Dalmations

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. Casting for the show, which is adapted by Zinnie Harris with music and lyrics by Douglas Hodge, is still to be announced. From 15 May 2021


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 who 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 Manchester Palace Theatre on 20 September 2021


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 big new musical has revealed 2021 dates after being postponed. Kate DiCamillo best-selling book, about a magical flying mammal, looks set to be the sort of wondrous fun that will captivate audiences this festive season. Thursday 14 October 2021 to Saturday 1 January 2022



Something Rotten!

Something Rotten!

Welcome to the Renaissance – 2021 is, fingers crossed, set to be a rebirth of the theatre industry once vaccines have been rolled out and social distancing can be eased, and that means a chance to finally witness the Broadway smash Something Rotten!. UK premiere at Birmingham Rep, 7 to 30 October 2021


The Osmonds

The Osmonds
© Getty Images (approved for press use)

The music of the iconic family will be hitting the open road for the first time in this brand spanking new musical – promising a riveting story and some instantly recognisable tunes. Who's up for "Having a Party"? UK tour commences in Wimbledon on 26 August




Other important musicals can also be found at the annual MTFestUK – which will show off a variety of new musicals being workshopped for future productions. While technically not brand new – the imminent revamped return of Back to the Future should also be cause for celebration. There are also postponed shows we hope will be staged in 2021 – What's New Pussycat?, Monsoon Wedding and Identical among them.

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