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Five top shows to see outside of London

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements Published 11 May 2018

West End theatre is arguably the best in the world. But, did you know, not all West End shows live and die in Theatreland? Many of London’s best shows actually start elsewhere or transfer to regional theatres so people all over the country have the opportunity to see them. And that’s not to mention the incredible regional theatre you can only see locally – and for a very limited time.

Between tours of top musicals, award-winning dramas, and brand new shows from rising stars, there could very well be a hit show playing just a stone’s throw away from you. And the best part, you can use Theatre Tokens to buy tickets. More than 240 venues nationwide accept Theatre Tokens and they don’t have an expiration date which gives you flexibility – especially if you’re buying a gift.

To celebrate some of the incredible shows around the country, here are five absolute must-sees that could be coming to a theatre near you.

Miss Saigon

In 2014, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Boublil and Schönberg’s epic musical took the West End by storm. Since, Miss Saigon has gone on tour and is making waves all over the country.

During the last few days of the US occupation of Saigon, an American GI named Chris meets a 17-year-old war orphan called Kim. Kim’s services have been bought for Chris against his protestations, and despite their reluctance, the pair spends the night together and trigger a tragic love story that spans continents and changes lives forever.

Miss Saigon is playing at Manchester Palace Theatre, Bristol Hippodrome, and Sunderland Empire among other stops between now and 17 November 2018. Get your Theatre Tokens here, and find out more about the show.

This House

If you’ve not heard his name yet, you definitely will soon because James Graham is blowing the theatre world up. He’s just won an Olivier Award for his play Labour of Love, and his newest play, Quiz, is currently on at the Noël Coward Theatre – after its initial run at Chichester Festival Theatre.

This House is James’ biting, energetic and highly critically-acclaimed political drama that was awarded a flurry of five stars when it played the West End last year.

Set in 1974, This House is set in Westminster during an era of chaos. The hung parliament results in fist fights in parliamentary bars, high-stake tricks and games, plus sick or dying MPs being carried through the lobby to register their crucial votes.

This House is playing at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield from 29 May – 2 June 2018. Get your Theatre Tokens here, and find out more about the show.

Hairspray

Based on John Waters’ 1988 film of the same name, Hairspray is a feel-good show and exactly what you (and the world) needs right now. A show filled with love, acceptance and revolution, Mark O’Donnell, Thomas Meehan, Marc Shaiman, and Scott Wittman’s stage adaptation will make you feel great about yourself and everyone around you.

Set in the 60s, Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with bigger hair and an even bigger heart. Despite snide comments and social norms, Tracy attempts to fulfil her dream of becoming a dancer on the national TV show, The Nicest Kids In Town. Tracy’s audition makes her an instant star and she uses her newfound influence to fight for equality… and to win the love of the show’s heartthrob, Link Larkin.

Hairspray is playing all over the UK. To buy Theatre Tokens and see where it’s playing, click here.

The Play That Goes Wrong UK Tour

The Play That Goes Wrong

When it’s not knocking the wind out of its actors, the Olivier and Tony Award-winning farce is knocking the socks off of audiences around the world. Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong is quite unlike anything else you’ll see. The hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, and somewhat worrisome show is a laugh and gasp a minute production.

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, it’s not all right on the night. The accident-prone thesps battle against the odds to reach their final curtain call, all while hilarious mishaps ensue.

The Play That Goes Wrong is playing all over the UK. To buy Theatre Tokens and see where it’s playing, click here.

A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams’ classic tale is beloved the world over. English Touring Theatre’s bold revival of the timeless masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire, has been winning over critics thanks to its brutal and riveting interpretation.

“Every man is a king,” and Stanley Kowalski is no exception. Until his sister-in-law, Blanche comes to stay. The anxious, seductive and fiercely clever Blanche is barely keeping it together. But as the temperature soars and passions intensify, a burning desire threatens to tear their world apart.

A Streetcar Named Desire is playing at Oxford Playhouse and Southampton Nuffield Theatre among others between now and 16 June 2018. Get your Theatre Tokens here, and find out more about the show.

You can use Theatre Tokens all over the UK including London’s West End. To find out more, click here.

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a streetcar named desire hairspray miss saigon the play that goes wrong