2016 Musings To Come
With 2016 nearly upon us I wanted to do a roundup of the shows to watch out for in the coming year….
Grey Gardens –
2nd January – 6th February 2016 – Southwark Playhouse The award winning musical finally transfers from Broadway. The show is the first Broadway Musical to be based on a documentary. The cast stars both Jemma Russell and Sheila Hancock – musical theatre royalty combined with the class shows that Southwark Playhouse produce makes it look set to be a show not to miss.
Motown the Musical
This is the story of Motowns founder, Berry Gordy and his journey launching artists such as Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and more and how he broke barriers to define the sound of a generation. It has 40 classic songs such as ‘Stop! In the Name of Love,’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’ Berry Gordy himself has been involved in the production of the show including the auditions to play the man himself (which went to Cedric Nela). The show opens for previews on 11th Feb 2016 and is currently booking until October 2016 at Shaftesbury Theatre.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child –
Palace Theatre – One of the most talked about shows of the year and 2016 hasn’t even started yet. The play is in 2 parts and focuses on Harry as an adult, 19 years after the end of the 7th book. Already there has been controversy over the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermionie and the fact that she is black. Personally I think it is fantastic as Herminoe’s race is not an integral part of the Harry Potter story and it gives young black girls a great example in the arts. The show opens for previews in May 2016 (although they are currently off sale) and it officially opens on the 30th July 2016.
This can be summed up in 5 words….Glenn Close as Norma Desmond! This is her West End debut and she makes it at the Coliseum with the ENO in the semi-staged production. The show is on 1st April – 7th May 2016.
The tickets for this at the Menier Chocolate factory flew like hot cakes, partly thanks to the star casting of Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice. It is on from the 9th April – 10th September 2016 at the Savoy. The reviews have ranged from 3/4 stars but all have agreed that Sheridan Smith is fabulous. This year everyone has been talking about Imelda Staunton as Mama Rose – this time next year it could well be Smith as Fanny Brice.
Aladdin opens on the 27th May 2016 at Prince Edward Theatre. The story itself needs no introduction and it of course features some of the classic songs from the Dinsey film such as A Whole New World as well as new songs composed for the show. Dean-John Wilson is playing Aladdin and after seeing him in Songs For A New World I think he should be perfect casting – a great voice and look for the role.
Dreamgirls the Musical
This is rumored to be finally coming to London! It is due to open in Winter 2016/Early 2017. Watch this space for venue and casting info.
Based on Calendar Girls this is a new musical which opens in Leeds 14th November – 12th December 2016 then Salford from 8th – 30th January 2017 before then transferring to the West End. The music is by Gary Barlow with lyrics by Tim Firth.
School of Rock The Musical
Opening at the Palladium this Andrew Lloyd Webber production has been a hit on Broadway. It is based on the 2003 film starring Jack Black with ALW writing the music for this production. Originally it was scheduled to open in 2016 at the Palladium however this has been pushed back to 2017.
2016 is shaping up to be great year for theatre. Watch this space for reviews on Giuselle at the Hawth, Crawley, Let It Be, Blood Brothers, Perfect Murder, Lord of the Flies, Jackie and America Idiot at the Churchill Theatre, Reel Life by Folio Theatre Co and Bar Mitzvah Boy by Aria Ents.