5 Musicals Touring the UK in 2014 (and where to see them)
Dozens of shows make their debut on the West End each year, but fans of musical theatre who live outside of London can have difficulty getting to see these new productions. Thankfully, many of these shows are touring the UK in 2014, so audiences up and down the country will have the opportunity to see some of the best musicals at their local venues.
Shrek the Musical
Many musicals look to the silver screen for inspiration, but few could have anticipated that DreamWorks Studios Oscar winning Shrek series would translate to the stage. However, the fairy tale story which follows a cantankerous green ogre rescuing a princess proved to be an excellent source of material, and the West End production of Shrek the Musical was a huge success. The original West End production received rave reviews and was nominated for several Laurence Olivier Awards in 2012, and the UK tour is expected to be a sell-out success. The national tour will begin at the Grand Theatre in Leeds in July before moving on to Bristol, Nottingham, Belfast, Dublin and Oxford later in the year.
Inspired by the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film of the same name, Top Hat is an irresistibly energetic revival of the glitz and glamour of traditional musicals. Recreating the Golden Age of Hollywood with sparkling costumes and sublime choreography, this multiple Olivier award winning musical will be touring the UK from August 2014. Although performances have only been confirmed for Wimbledon, Milton Keynes and Newcastle, more dates are promised to be added very soon.
Singin in the Rain
Another show inspired by the heyday of musical films, Singin in the Rain is one of the all-time classics. Creatively adapted for the West End with some high-octane choreography and a very, very wet stage, Singin in the Rain is a guaranteed piece of pick-me-up theatre. Starting at the Sunderland Empire Theatre in January and closing at the Southampton Mayflower Theatre in October, the national tour visits all of the UKs major theatres throughout 2014.
Debuting in Broadway in 2003 and scooping dozens of international theatre awards, Wicked is one of the most successful musicals of all time. Taking place in L. Frank Baums world of Oz and promising the the untold stories of the Witches before Dorothys arrival, Wicked has been playing at the West Ends Apollo Victoria Theatre since 2006. The official production is finally visiting the rest of the UK with performances kicking off in Cardiff in March. Book your tickets early and plan accommodation near the Wales Millenium Centre for a guaranteed awe-inspiring night at the theatre.
West Side Story
Few musical numbers are as instantly recognisable as those featured in West Side Story. A collaboration between musical theatre veterans Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story first debuted on Broadway in 1957. Amazingly, the production is still going strong to this day, and an ambitious UK tour will be playing at 15 venues throughout 2014. An unforgettable musical masterpiece, West Side Story is an iconic production which all fans of musical theatre will love.