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Show Boat

First Published 26 April 2016, Last Updated 26 April 2016

What’s it all about?

Love, family, loyalty and love again. This is the timelessly romantic tale of the lives of three generations born on the Cotton Blossom as it sails the Mississippi River. An epic history of racial tension, prohibition and American progress plays out as the early 20th century rolls on.

Daniel Evan’s ambitious restaging of Hammerstein and Kern’s beast of a musical transfers to the West End in all its glorious, heart soaring, touching and magnificently performed glory.

Who’s in it?

The Cotton Blossom is in safe hands with a sensational Malcolm Sinclair behind the wheel, radiating warmth as Captain Andy Hawks, and a fierce, wonderfully dry Lucy Briers as his matriarch wife.

Gina Beck is outstanding as their daughter, who, as the years roll on, makes the transformation from a youthful, exuberant bubbling young romantic to a steely put upon wife look utterly seamless. The London stage has been a poorer place without her incredible vocals, but the wait proved worth it to hear her sing alongside a striking Chris Peluso’s in Hammerstein and Kern’s passionate and joyful duets and an equally gorgeous-voiced Rebecca Trehearn in soulful ensemble numbers.

With an ensemble of this strength and size, every audience member will likely come away with a favourite of their own. For me it was Emmanuel Kojo as dock worker Joe. His stirring rendition of Ol’ Man River is complete musical perfection. Trust me, it’s not something you’ll be likely to forget for a very long time.

What should I look out for?

A fresh new tip for finding love. Sick of Tinder? Feeling dejected by Happn? Take a cue from Gaylord Ravenal and take a stroll down Regent’s Canal singing woefully about how you’re sort of okay on your own but would quite like a girl/boyfriend. If his attempts on the Mississippi are anything to go by, you’ll be married by sunrise. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, oh to live in a musical…

In a nutshell?

Step aboard the Cotton Blossom for Daniel Evans’ glorious, joyful and flawlessly performed production that breathes new life into this exhilarating classic.


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Will I like it?

You know that comforting feeling of settling down to lose yourself in a classic Sunday afternoon film? This is the theatrical equivalent: pure class, total escapism and a goosebump-inducing, heart soaring score.

Admittedly the story is a tad unrealistic in parts, but leave your cynicism at the door and you’re rewarded with a gorgeously rich, touching evening that soars. Trust us, this is one boat you have to catch.

Show Boat is booking until 7 January. You can book tickets through us here.


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We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.