Top new musicals to see in 2023
There's plenty to make a song and dance about next year!
Ring out the old, bring in the new... new musicals, that is!
It's time to get excited about the wealth of shows currently scheduled for 2023 and we're happy to report that next year's offerings are spread incredibly evenly across the country. So, worry not, if you don't live in the Greater London area!
Now, let's that a look at the new musical gems heading our way in 2023...
On the Ropes
This world premiere musical combines blues, reggae and boxing to tell the story of Vernon Varniel. It charts his journey as part of the Windrush Generation, leaving Jamaica aged six, heading to the UK and eventually becoming one of the most influential Black British boxers of the '70s and '80s. Park Theatre, 6 January to 4 February
George Takei's Allegiance
Star Trek icon George Takei is heading to the London stage with his musical inspired by his post-Pearl Harbor childhood memories. His 2015 Broadway co-star Telly Leung (Disney's Aladdin) is also joining him for this UK premiere. Charing Cross Theatre, 7 January to 8 April
Head Over Heels
Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre brings us the UK premiere of Broadway musical Head Over Heels in the New Year. Brimming with songs from The Go-Go's back catalogue (and a couple of Belinda Carlisle solo hits for good measure), this colourful twist on The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia promises diversity, inclusion and a whole lot of laughs! Hope Mill Theatre, 26 January to 4 March
Beverley Knight returns to the boards and takes on the role of pioneering suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, alongside Sharon Rose as daughter Sylvia, in this new musical, which previously mounted a preview run during the development stage back in 2017. Now, it's ready for its world premiere! The Old Vic, 27 January to 1 April
Helmed by Royal and Derngate's artistic director James Dacre and based on the children's book by Michael Rosen, Unexpected Twist is adapted for the stage by Roy Williams (Death of England). Featuring original music by rising R'n'B star Yaya Bey and BAC Beatbox Academy's Conrad Murray, it tells the story of a school girl named Shona, whose life starts to feel like it is melding with the very book she's studying – Oliver Twist. Royal and Derngate in Northampton from 11 February and on tour from 28 February
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Billed as "the perfect first musical for young families", Stiles and Drewe's The Three Billy Goats Gruff will celebrate its UK premiere next spring under the direction of Justin Audibert. Are you ready to get "trolled"? Unicorn Theatre, 12 March to 23 April
Drew McOnie (King Kong) directs and choreographs this new show, which blends together the genres of concert gig, ballet and musical theatre to tell the story of the famous 18th-century French queen Marie Antoinette. Let them eat Cake in 2023, we say! On tour from 13 March
Disney's Winnie the Pooh - The New Musical Adaptation
Following hugely successful runs across the pond, everyone's favourite honey-loving Pooh bear is bringing the 100 Acre Wood to these shores in 2023. Expect classics from the Sherman Brothers and all those joyous A A Milne creations (oh, and Tigger too!). Riverside Studios, from 17 March and on tour from 31 May
This world premiere musical by Ricky Simmonds and Simon Vaughan examines the infamous political leader but through a feminist lens, allowing three formidable women in Berlusconi's life to tell their side of the story. Southwark Playhouse Elephant, 25 March to 29 April
Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations
The celebrated 2019 Broadway musical makes its way to the West End in 2023, bringing a plethora of Temptations hits with it! From "My Girl" and "Just My Imagination" to "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", the show charts the rise, trials and tribulations of the popular Motown group. Anyone ready for some Tony-winning choreography to boot? Prince Edward Theatre, 31 March to 1 October
The Secret Life of Bees
Based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd about a pairing forced to escape to a solitary and somewhat unusual honey bee farm, Lynn Nottage (MJ the Musical), Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and Susan Birkenhead's (Jelly's Last Jam) musical already made waves Off-Broadway in 2019 and is now buzzing for its UK premiere. Almeida Theatre, 4 April to 27 May
The SpongeBob Musical
Just a Simple Sponge? We think not! Surprising and delighting critics on Broadway in 2017, Nickelodeon's iconic and aquatic hero finally hits these shores with a musical that boasts original songs from the likes of Panic! at the Disco, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles and John Legend to name just a few. On tour from 5 April with a summer season at the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall from 26 July to 26 August
The UK premiere of the new Cole Porter musical, adapted from the Oscar-winning 1953 film, heads to Bath next summer, telling the tale of a young princess named Ann, who visits Rome on a goodwill tour and meets Joe, an American journalist who offers to show her around the city. Expect a bunch of Porter classics from "Easy To Love" and "You Do Something To Me" to "Just One Of Those Things" and "Night and Day". Theatre Royal Bath, 10 June to 1 July
& Juliet director Luke Sheppard and writer David West Read have teamed up once again to bring us a brand-new show that weaves the songs of Roy Orbison into a contemporary love story set in New Mexico. Anything you want, anything you need (in a jukebox musical), anything at all, you got it! Leeds Playhouse, 3 July to 5 August
Next to Normal
Michael Longhurst will direct the long-awaited London premiere of the 2009 Broadway musical Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. Revolving around a mother struggling with bipolar disorder, the New York production picked up three Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize across the pond. Expectations are high! Donmar Warehouse, 12 August to 7 October
The story of the Austrian-born musical adaptation's journey to its English-language premiere could make for a rollercoaster of a musical itself one day. But for now, fans can rejoice that Rebecca is finally gracing the London stage next autumn. The piece is based on the famous Daphne de Maurier novel, which tells the tale of a young woman who marries a wealthy widower, only for the new husband's past to come to haunt the couple. Charing Cross Theatre, 4 September to 18 November