Sunday, January 1

West End and Touring Musicals in 2012

Despite Andrew Lloyd Webber describing the weeks the Olympics will be held in the UK this year as a “bloodbath in the West End” with some shows due to close during that period, there are still some excellent musicals (both new and old) due to open in London or go on a UK tour,

First this year are two transfers from Chichester Festival Theatre: Singin’ In The Rain starring Adam Cooper at the Palace Theatre previews in February  and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett is at the Adelphi in March.

The stage premiere of the musical Top Hat starring Tom Chambers and  Summer Strallen comes to the Aldwych in April  following a very  successful regional tour that plays two more dates at Woking and Bristol to try out some new material  before moving into the West End,.

A bunch of new home grown commercial shows are in development to open after the Olympics including the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever which has been written by Jennifer Saunders: Bridget Jones’ Diary with music by Lily Allen starring Sheridan Smith: The Bodyguard and  The Commitments.  The much-hyped Broadway hit Book Of The Mormon is also looking to open in London.

New touring productions include Chicago starring Ali Bastian as Roxie Hart, Stefan Booth as Billy Flynn, Tupele Dorgu as Velma Kelly and Bernie Nolan as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton.

The Broadway classic Wonderful Town starring Connie Fisher and Michael Xavier will open in Salford Quays backed by the full Halle Orchestra in March before going on a four month tour of Britain.

Monkee Business is a new musical featuring the songs of The Monkees is due to open at the Manchester Opera House in March

Hair the Musical starring Gareth Gates, Zoe Birkett and Amy Diamond is hitting the road in April starting at the Liverpool Empire.

A new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera starring John Owen-Jones  starts touring in February and Starlight Express direct by Arlene Phillips kicks off a tour at Wimbledon Theatre in May.

Opera North is opening a new production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Carousel in Leeds and Salford Quays before bringing it to the Barbican in August.

The Tony Award winning musical American Idiot featuring songs by the influential rock band Green Day will have its UK premiere at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton in October before embarking on a short tour with the US cast which finishes at the Hammersmith Apollo in December.

Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds: The New Generation - Alive on Stage is going on a UK arena tour again at the end of the year with Liam Neeson replacing Richard Burton appearing in 3D holography as the story's narrator journalist George Herbert.

Other new touring productions  include Save The Last Dance For Me from the same team behind Dreamboats And Petticoats: Rainy Days & Mondays featuring music by the Carpenters and I Dreamed A Dream which is based on the life story of Susan Boyle.

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