The best theatre to look out for in 2018

Red

Alfred Molina and Alfred Enoch star the first UK revival of John Logan’s Red since Michael Grandage directed the play at the Donmar Warehouse. The production first opened in 2009 and went on to win six Tony Awards following a Broadway transfer, including one for Best Play. Red is about artist Mark Rothko (Molina) and his young assistant Ken (Enoch), and the up and coming artists of the new generation. Rothko is dealt his toughest challenge to date: paint a number of murals for the lavish Four Seasons restaurant.

Wyndham’s Theatre from 4th May to 28th July 2018.

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

MCG Artistic Director Michael Grandage directs stage and screen actor Aidan Turner in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Martin McDonagh’s critically acclaimed, brilliant satire on terrorism. Mad Padraic may be a terrorist deemed too violent to be a member of the IRA, but he has one weakness: he loves his cat more than anything in the world. When he returns from bombing and torturing in Northern Ireland to find that his cat has been run over on the island of Inishmore, Mad Padraic will be seeking some answers to the fate of Wee Thomas. Best known for playing the title role in BBC’s hit series Poldark, Aidan Turner plays mad Padraic in this hilarious, acute observation of violence in contemporary culture. The production comes on the heels of Michael Grandage’s award-winning production of another McDonagh play, The Cripple of Inishman, in 2013.

Noel Coward Theatre from 23rd June 2018 to 8th September 2018.

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From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner didn’t just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new stage musical, presented in association with Tina Turner herself, reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race.

One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner has won 11 Grammy Awards and her live shows have been seen by millions, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo performer in music history. Featuring her much-loved songs, TINA, The Tina Turner Musical is written by Olivier Award-winning playwright Katori Hall and directed by the internationally acclaimed Phyllida Lloyd.

Don’t miss this world premiere, opening at London’s Aldwych Theatre 21 March 2018 – 16 June 2018.

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Enter the intoxicating world of STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL, a spirited place of hot-blooded passion, hard-won dreams and vibrant self-expression. Based on Baz Luhrmann’s legendary movie Strictly Ballroom, the soul-stirring musical stars the popular newcomer Jonny Labey (Winner ITV’s Dance Dance Dance) and Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) as the star-crossed, dance-crazed lovers Scott and Fran. Also starring the acclaimed international artist Will Young (Cabaret) as the show’s charismatic band-leader and a 30-strong cast to create a wondrous world of brilliant songs and astonishing moves to truly affirm that Love is in the Air.

When maverick championship ballroom dancer Scott defies all the rules of competition to follow his heart, he teams up with left-footed partner Fran to win the Pan Pacifics his way. The musical features the film’s classic break-into-song numbers such as Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time alongside electrifying new songs. Drew McOnie (whose dazzling choreography for In The Heights earned him the 2016 Olivier Award) will direct and choreograph. Strictly Ballroom is based on the original Australian musical created by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, with a book by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.

Piccadilly Theatre, London from 29 March to 21 July 2018.

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The King and I tickets were some of the hottest on Broadway. The West End revival of The King and I will be some of the most sought after tickets of 2018. Howard Panter’s The King and I is scheduled to return to the London Palladium in June 2018. The Tony award winning Broadway was produced by Howard Panter and directed by Bartlett Sher. This winning team and the stars of the Broadway revival will bring The King and I back to the London Palladium after nearly twenty years. Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanbe were both widely acclaimed by audiences and critics alike for their performances in the Broadway revival.The production was nominated for 9 Tony Awards and came away with 4, including one for Kelli O’Hara for Best Leading Actress. Both O’Hara and Watanabe will make the jump across the pond to reprise their roles in the West End revival of The King and I.

This classic musical tale of East meets West brings us to the court of the King of Siam who is eager to change the way he is viewed by the world. Anna, a refined Welsh widow is tasked with educating the royal children in the ways of the West. What could ever develop between two people so firmly rooted in their personal, and often deeply opposed, traditions and values. The King and I features such beloved classics as I Have Dreamed, Getting to Know You, I Whistle a Happy Tune, Shall We Dance, and Something Wonderful. Producer Howard Panter is his award winning revival of The King and I to the London Palladium ahead of a possible international tour to multiple destinations including Japan, Korea, and Australia.

London Palladium, from 21st June 4th to August 2018.

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Hans Christian Andersen is famous across the world as the author of many of the best-known and most beloved fairy tales. His works include The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina. Like the Grimm Brothers’ output, many of Andersen’s stories contain a mixture of the magical and the macabre. A Very Very Very Dark Matter delves behind the author’s stories and looks at what inspired his writing. The answer: a woman in the attic. In a plot twist that fans of Jane Eyre will appreciate, the secret to Andersen’s stories is the presence of a woman living in the same house as him who cannot be known to the world.

Jim Broadbent leads the cast as the Danish author. The acclaimed actor starred in films including Paddington, Vera Drake and also Iris, winning an Oscar for his performance in the latter. He also recently appeared as Archmaester Ebrose in Game Of Thrones. He previously appeared in McDonagh’s The Pillowman when it premiered at the National Theatre.

Bridge Theatre from 10 October to 29 December 2018.

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James Graham’s play Quiz is due to transfer to London’s West End following its world premiere at Chichester Festival Theatre. Graham’s play is about the Charles Ingram scandal of 2001, where he conspired to cheat his way to the top prize of the ITV game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Noel Coward Theatre from 31st March 2018 to16th June 2018.

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Suranne Jones, Jason Watkins and Nina Sosanya will star in the piece, which is about a mother whose child goes missing. Frozen originally premiered at the Birmingham Rep in 1998 and ran on Broadway in 2004 when it was nominated for a Tony Award for Best New Play. It ran at the National Theatre in 2002. The piece, set in present day England, focuses on three characters: a serial killer, a psychiatrist and a child’s mother. Jones has previously starred in Doctor Foster, as well as Scott & Bailey, Lawless and Doctor Who. Watkins has starred in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, Trollied and W1A.

Theatre Royal Haymarket from 9 February to 5 May.

 

 

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