It’s official. 2019 is the year of the London musical. We’ve already seen a massive wave of brilliant new shows hit the West End, and there’s still more to come. From new productions of classic shows to exciting revivals and stage adaptations of cult films – there’s a little bit of everything to tickle anyone’s fancy.
To help you get the most out of theatre this year, here are the new productions and new musicals you need to see in 2019. Some you may have seen already, and some you’ll be eagerly looking forward to like the rest of us. Just be quick, as plenty are on for a very limited run!
You can currently dream the impossible dream because the classic musical Man Of La Mancha has returned to London after a 50-year hiatus. Kelsey Grammer is making his West End debut, playing the lead Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote in this timeless show based on the novel, you guessed it, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
Closing: 8 June 2019
Well, you’re not expecting run-of-the-mill musical when you stumble upon a title like Dead Dog In A Suitcase, are you? Kneehigh’s vivacious adaptation of The Beggar’s Opera is taking contemporary music to tell the satirical tale in a genuinely unique and new way.
Watch as the notorious urban assassin, Macheath who decides to leave town with his new wife Polly Peachum when Mayor Goodman is assassinated along with his dog. But with the infamous killer on the loose, what is the world coming to?
Using trip hop, folk, ska, grime and dubstep, plus puppets, this contemporary adaptation of the savage political comedy will be one of the most fascinating shows you’ll see all year.
Opening: 21 May 2019
Closing: 15 June 2019
The rhythm really will get you at this brilliant new musical from Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Coming straight to London from its smash-hit Broadway run, this bright, colourful and upbeat musical is congaing its way into the West End’s heart.
Telling the true love story of Gloria and Emilio, On Your Feet! charts the couple’s journey from Cuba to the streets of Miami to international superstardom.
This is the ultimate summer party show! Get feel-good vibes and a world of inspiration by watching this upbeat show which features the iconic songs Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Conga, Get On Your Feet, Don’t Want To Lose You Now and 1-2-3. It’s only on for 12 weeks so get on your feet and make it happen!
Opening: 14 June 2019
Closing: 31 August 2019
Every musical theatre fan has their favourite Joseph. For some, it’s Philip Schofield. For others, it’s Lee Mead or Jason Donovan. This exciting 50th anniversary revival of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has potentially dreamed up another: West End debutant Jac Yarrow will be sporting the most multi-coloured of threads at The London Palladium this summer.
One of the world’s most beloved family musicals is back in the West End – and it comes with a spectacular cast. The likes of Jason, who returns to play the Pharaoh, and the magnificent Sheridan Smith, will be around to get us “ahhh”ing in unison once again.
For some of us, it’ll be a rediscovery – for others, the chance to encounter a classic for the first time. One thing’s for sure: we’ll all love it. But be quick, because the jaw-dropping coat will only be on display between 27 June and 7 September.
Opening: 27 June 2019
Closing: 7 September 2019
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It’s a pairing that rivals tea and biscuits, cheese and pickle, even eggs and bacon. Through their working relationship, the duo has written some of the biggest musicals of all time including Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and, of course, Evita.
It charts the true story of Eva Peron – from her poverty-stricken beginning to her time as the First Lady of Argentina and spiritual leader of the country. Using her influence and fame, she campaigned for the rights and needs for those less fortunate gaining love from her people and celebrity across the world. The beautiful story is told through a score of skin-tingling songs – believe us, it won’t be the summer evening weather that will be giving you chills with this one.
Don’t cry for yourself once this production takes its final bow on 21 September after its short seven-week run. Make sure you head to the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre to see it while you can.
Opening: 2 August 2019
Closing: 21 September 2019
When it was first performed on Broadway back in 1964, it won nine Tony Awards. Since, it’s received many revivals and many more nominations and awards. Fiddler On The Roof is an iconic musical. So iconic, in fact, that theatre fans would shy away from admitting they haven’t seen it.
It tells the story of Tevye and his five daughters. His Jewish faith and traditional point-of-view make it hard for him to accept his daughters’ choices of husbands, especially when the Tsar is evicting Jewish people from their village. But soon, Tevye opens up his heart to new possibilities and a new hope.
Though it’s one of the greats, Fiddler On The Roof rarely comes to town so when it does, you should grab the opportunity to see it with both hands. And as this production from Trevor Nunn received rave reviews during its sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory and has been extended at the Playhouse Theatre due to popular demand, there’s never been a better time to see it.
Booking Until: 28 September 2019
Ruddy Nora! Del Boy, Rodders and Granddad have arrived in the West End, haven’t they? One of Britain’s most successful and beloved sitcoms has hit the stage, bringing with it all your favourite characters, catchphrases and jokes to life along with some original songs. Written by Paul Whitehouse and Jim Sullivan – the son of the show’s creator, John Sullivan – this is a unique opportunity to experience the show like never before.
Booking Until: 28 September 2019
Sue Townsend’s book inspired a whole generation (and more) to keep a diary. Now, it’ll inspire you to go to the theatre this summer.
Based on the timeless tale, The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ – The Musical follows a socially awkward teenager as he tries to do his best to get by in the world. Get an insight into the tortured soul as he tries to deal with family struggles, unrequited love, misunderstandings, homework, and everything else in between.
If you missed it when it played at the Menier Chocolate Factory back in 2017, don’t risk missing it again! It’s only playing from 15 June until 12 October at the Ambassadors Theatre.
Opening: 15 June 2019
Closing: 12 October 2019
Serving up a slice of Broadway brilliance is Waitress – the heartwarming musical based on the 2007 film of the same name with music from six-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. Telling the story of an ordinary waitress with a big dream and an extraordinary talent, it’s an inspiring tale of self-belief and friendship which has scored legions of fans at the Adelphi Theatre.
Booking Until: 19 October 2019
Remember its name because Fame is returning to London with its triumphant 30th-anniversary tour production. Based on the 1980 pop culture film phenomenon, it follows the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts while they navigate their way through the highs and lows of a performer’s life.
Opening: 11 September 2019
Closing: 19 October 2019
Something Big this way comes because the stage-adaptation of the Tom Hanks cult film is on its way to town.
Big The Musical is about Josh Baskin, a small-for-his-age 12-year-old boy who grows up overnight after his wish of being big is granted by a Zoltar machine. But when Josh finds himself with a job and a love interest, navigating adulthood becomes a lot trickier than he thought.
Fresh from his stint in Rip It Up – The 60s, The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness will reprise his role of Josh, with Kimberly Walsh, Matthew Kelly and Wendi Peters starring alongside him.
Opening: 6 September 2019
Closing: 2 November 2019
Next up is a major hit – Six The Musical. It was a massive success at the Arts Theatre last year. So much so, they decided to bring it back for 2019, when it received four Olivier Awards nominations. Retelling the story of Henry VIII’s wives from their point-of-view, this rocking musical-meets-pop concert is full of style and sass-itude that will give you a new appreciation for her-story.
Booking Until: 5 January 2020
Another show which has landed to rave reviews is Come From Away – a joyous story of acceptance, friendship and the strength of the human race. Set in a remote town in Canada where 7,000 air passengers are grounded the day after the 9/11 attacks. Based on a true story, this heartwarming musical swept Broadway off its feet and earned seven Tony Award nominations. It’s done similarly well in the West End, with four 2019 Olivier Awards to its name, including Best New Musical.
Booking Until: 15 February 2020
Ever thought Juliet deserved a better ending? So did David West Read – the writer of Netflix’s Schitt’s Creek. That’s why he wrote & Juliet. It takes off where Romeo And Juliet leaves off. But this time, instead of succumbing to the dagger, Juliet decides to go on a trip to Paris with Nurse and her friends on a journey of self-discovery.
Using music from the past three decades, & Juliet features songs from Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry. So get ready for a pop-infused night of fun and see how anyone can rewrite their story.
Opening: 2 November 2019
Booking Until: 28 March 2020
If you’re looking for a musical that’s practically perfect in every way, then look no further! The multi-award-winning musical Mary Poppins, based on the books by P.L. Travers and the original Disney film, is blowing back into the West End with an umbrella, medicine bag and stellar cast in tow.
The magical tale of two children and their slightly peculiar nanny has been seen by over 12 million people worldwide. When it last played in London, it won two Olivier Awards and now it’s back to win over even more musical lovers.
Starring Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp, this show is bound to be supercalifragilistic.
Opening: 23 October 2019
Booking Until: 29 March 2020
Clocking into the West End in 2019 has been the stage-adaptation of the hit movie 9 To 5. Starring Louise Redknapp, Brian Conley, Amber Davies and Natalie McQueen, this brilliant musical tells the story of Doralee (Natalie), Violet (Louise) and Judy (Amber) – three workers who are constantly pushed to the edge by their sexist, narcissistic boss (Brian). With music and lyrics by the legendary Dolly Parton, you know you’re going to leave the theatre singing those incredible country songs for days on end.
Booking Until: 4 April 2020