Top new musicals to see in 2022
Will the back end of 2022 be a perfect time for musical fans?
We work in a resilient industry that refuses to yield so, as far as we're concerned, there will always be another op'nin', another show...
This intrepid show follows the remarkable true story of a young woman who sets out to defy all the odds and cycle across the world – cooking up a biking storm in the process. It had a small West End preview last year but the show is getting a well-deserved London run now. Charing Cross Theatre from 25 August to 17 September.
Hello, poppets! Another Broadway tuner swiftly making its way to our shores is the musical adaptation of Mrs Doubtfire. Adapted by Wayne Kirkpatrick, Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell (who all previously collaborated on Something Rotten!) and based on the beloved 1993 film starring Robin Williams, the musical follows down-and-out actor Daniel Hillard, who, following a divorce, creates an alter ego in the form of British nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire to spend more time with his children. Who will follow in Williams' famous (low-heeled) footsteps at the UK premiere in Manchester next year? You can find out now...
Manchester Opera House, from 2 September to 1 October 2022
The Book Thief
Novels being adapted into musicals is a running trend for the next three shows – but we're particularly excited about this new version of Markus Zusak's seminal novel, about a Jewish refugee who befriends a young girl during the Second World War. Casting has also been announced.
The Famous Five
Book by Elinor Cook, music and lyrics by Theo Jamieson and direction by Theatr Clwyd's artistic director Tamara Harvey – what a dream team! Enid Blyton's quintet of intrepid young things is hitting stages in Mold and Chichester later this year. Theatr Clwyd, from 23 September to 15 October, Chichester Festival Theatre from 21 October to 12 November
The Time Traveller's Wife
Her: a woman looking for love. Him: a man untethered and disillusioned, wanting some stability in life – who happens to uncontrollably travel in time. A tale for all ages, we're pretty excited to see how this one pans out – there are even songs from Joss Stone and Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics fame), as well as a book from Lauren Gunderson. Bill Buckhurst (Sister Act) directs. Chester Storyhouse, from 30 September to 15 October.
Jagged Little Pill
The Tony Award-winning hit closed rather unceremoniously on Broadway in December, but it's blitzing its way into the West End this autumn! Alanis Morrissette's unforgettable tunes are the foundation for the narrative, penned by Diablo Cody (Tully). West End venue is to be confirmed, reportedly set to run from November 2022
Though the ArtsEd production was hailed as a brilliant ushering in of new talent, the official UK premiere of the show is now on its way – and it's coming in the round! So with flying news boys, top notch choreography (from Matt Cole) and a malleable space that will surely hold a few surprises.... there're so many reasons to seize tickets (on sale now). Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre from 22 November.
A bio-musical based on one of the most significant men in the last couple of centuries has certainly got us excited. With a book by Laiona Michelle, music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, the show recently announced some top-notch casting – Broadway Hamilton star Michael Luwoye will play the title role of Nelson Mandela, with Danielle Fiamanya (currently understudy Elsa in Frozen) as Winnie Mandela. Young Vic, from 29 November to 4 February 2023.
Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol
There are few things that would get us excited about another staging of A Christmas Carol, and Dolly Parton's creative presence is one of them. Though the singer isn't appearing in the show, she's lending her endless talents to creating what is surely going to be a festive treat. Southbank Centre, from 8 December 2022 to 8 January 2023.
Claus The Musical
Is it too early to start talking about next Christmas? You bet your festive baubles it's not! The Lowry in Salford has big plans for 2022 with a world premiere up its sleeves. Claus the Musical is adapted by Simon Warne from the 1902 book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L Frank Baum (also responsible for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, of course). The show features music and lyrics by Andy Collyer, direction by Kate Golledge and lashings of ho-ho-holiday spirit.
The Lowry, from 14 December 2022