Firstly, if you missed our list of top new musicals to see in 2022, published earlier this week, then you simply must rectify this post-haste by taking a little look here.
Secondly, if you're wondering which musical masterpieces from the past are currently scheduled to be reimagined, reinvented and remounted on our stages next year, then look no further…
As the theatre world continues to mourn the loss of legendary composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, his legions of fans can nevertheless take heart from the fact that his work will live on forever. Indeed, one of his most cherished musicals – 1986's Into the Woods – which gleefully mashes together characters from several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, will continue to be revived on stages across the globe and we'd like to take this opportunity to recommend two upcoming productions right now. Northern Ireland Opera will mount their revival in Belfast, whilst director Terry Gilliam's version will run in Bath next year.
Lyric Theatre, Belfast from 3 to 27 February 2022
Theatre Royal Bath from 19 August to 10 September 2022
A brand-new production of the hit show Beautiful – The Carole King Musical will be hitting the road next year courtesy of Curve's artistic director Nikolai Foster. The bio-musical, showcasing the life and career of the famed singer-songwriter behind the epochal album "Tapestry", enjoyed celebrated runs of almost six years on Broadway and two and a half years in the West End. Now, it's time for audiences across the country to feel the earth move under their feet to hits such as "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "It's Too Late" and "You've Got a Friend" once again.
UK tour opens at Curve, Leicester on 28 February
Marking the first time a production of Zorro has been staged in London since its original premiere back in 2008, the Charing Cross Theatre will serve as the new home for everyone's favourite latino crusader from March of next year. The musical features a book by Stephen Clark, music by the Gipsy Kings and John Cameron and lyrics by Clark, so expect such hits as "Baila Me" and "Bamboleo" along the way.
Charing Cross Theatre, from 2 April to 28 May 2022
Get ready to experience the origin of love one more time, folks! Co-produced by Leeds Playhouse and HOME Manchester, RuPaul's Drag Race UK runner-up Divina de Campo will take on the titular role in a new staging of cult favourite Hedwig and the Angry Inch next spring. De Campo and John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's rock musical, which explores notions of gender expression and identity, are the perfect match, in our humble opinion, and could well propel her to leading lady status in theatreland.
Leeds Playhouse, from 2 to 23 April 2022
HOME Manchester, from 27 April to 11 May 2022
The Kings Theatre Portsmouth is set to stage a new in-house production of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's epic 1997 Titanic musical next year and promises the biggest company ever assembled at the venue. With artistic director Jack Edwards, Charlotte Alldridge and John Paul McCrohon at the helm, the piece will commemorate the 110th anniversary of the ill-fated maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic, exploring the lives and aspirations of the passengers and crew onboard, when the ship infamously sank on 15 April 1912 and over 1,500 lives were lost.
Kings Theatre Portsmouth, from 11 to 24 April 2022
Director Daniel Fish's radical reimagining of the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1943 classic Oklahoma! (complete with electric guitars and steaming bowls of chilli for the audience) made waves on Broadway in 2019, picking up 'Best Revival of a Musical' at the Tonys that year. Kudos to the Young Vic for housing its London transfer and letting the story of the complex love triangle between farm girl Laurey Williams, cowboy Curly McLain and sinister farmhand Jud Fry be regaled on these shores once more. We cain't say no to this one!
Young Vic, from 26 April to 25 June 2022
Stage star Ruthie Henshall (Billy Elliot, Chicago, Cats, She Loves Me) is always a theatre treat, but seeing her spearhead a new take on what is a much-loved Sondheim classic (the show is said to be putting the character of Fosca at the heart of the action) will be an extra special occasion for all.
Hope Mill Theatre, from 5 May to 5 June 2022
Lincoln Center Theater staged a classy Broadway revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's My Fair Lady in 2018 and next year the production finally transfers to the very city where its story is based. Young cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle will once again go toe-to-toe with linguistics professor Henry Higgins on the British stage, enchanting audiences with such standards as "Get Me to the Church on Time", "On the Street Where You Live" and "I Could Have Danced All Night". The piece, directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, continues the London Coliseum's annual tradition of mounting acclaimed musical revivals.
London Coliseum, from 7 May to 27 August 2022
Omigod You Guys! Regent's Park Open Air Theatre is kicking off its 2022 season with a bend and snap… erm, we mean… with a new production of fan favourite musical Legally Blonde. With SIX co-creator and co-director Lucy Moss at the helm, we're sure the story of Elle Woods conquering Harvard Law School against all odds will be boosted with an extra dose of girl power next summer.
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, from 13 May to 2 July 2022
Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Capital Theatres will present a new production of the 2007 musical Sunshine on Leith, which follows two soldiers from Edinburgh, who return to their hometown after serving in war-torn countries and begin to question what ‘home' really means. Penned by Stephen Greenhorn, the show features hits from The Proclaimers, including the likes of "I'm On My Way", "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and, of course, the titular song.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre, various dates from 20 May to 1 October 2022
King's Theatre, Edinburgh from 7 to 18 June 2022
Cirencester's Barn Theatre is set to debut a new production of Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux's Million Dollar Quartet next summer. The musical, set on 4 December 1956 at a recording studio in Memphis, bringing four of the music industry's greatest icons together for a once-in-a-life-time event, features the songs of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley.
Barn Theatre, Cirencetser from 6 June to 16 July 2022
It's hard to believe that the Olivier Award-winning West End production of Billy Elliot – The Musical closed way back in April 2016, before heading out on a UK tour. So, it's high time Lee Hall and Elton John's electrifying show finally returned to our stages. Thanks again to Curve artistic director Nikolai Foster, the story of the young boy with balletic aspirations, set against the bleak backdrop of the miners' strikes in County Durham, will be getting a fresh take in 2022.
Curve, Leicester from 7 July to 14 August 2022
Who's gonna be in this mammoth revival? We don't know but they're sure to be pretty whopper, if former star Whoopi Goldberg (who had to drop out for schedule reasons) is anything to go by. The show's script is being rejigged to reflect the different actor ages. Not too shabby!
Eventim Apollo Hammersmith from 19 July to 28 August 2022.