Sunday, 6 January 2013

Feature: What Not to Miss in 2013

After a tremendous 2012, we can only have high hopes for what’s to come in the year ahead. Below, you will find the West End shows that we urge you not to miss, and which we’re very excited about.

Once: The Musical
Once has taken a long journey from an Oscar winning film to a multi Tony award winning Broadway show to finally making it's way to the West End. This beautiful show tells the story of a young Irish musician and a Czech mother who connect over their love for music and together enter into a heavenly romance through the power of the music. The actor-musicians will revive all the hit songs on stage at the Phoenix Theatre in March capturing the hearts of the audience with a passionate story that only comes round once in a lifetime.

The Lightning Child
After the huge success of Che Walker's Frontline at the Globe Theatre in 2009, Che and his team are back with another brilliant story in September. This new play is set in a cross between Ancient Thebes and modern London that entwines these two cities with their stories to create a heart warming show, that will combine the old and the new in perfect harmony in the way Che Walker knows best.

Passion Play
This May Passion Play by Peter Nichols returns to the West End 30 years after it was first performed but still feeling as fresh and exciting as if it were written yesterday. The play tells the story of James and Eleanor who, after 25 years of happy marriage, see their lives change as James enters into an affair with their friend Kate slowly unravelling the secrets and passions hidden by everyday life. With David Leveaux's direction and Zoe Wanamaker in the lead as Eleanor, this is set to be a show not to miss.

Peter and Alice
2013 is set to see not one but five new fabulous productions arrive to the Noël Coward Theatre with the Michael Grandage Company featuring some of the best talent in the performing world. The second of these five plays opening in March is a new play by John Logan: Peter and Alice. Starring Ben Whishaw and Judi Dench as Peter and Alice, in 1932 they meet at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition realising they have come face to face with the real Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. This play is set to tell the remarkable story of these two extraordinary characters as reality and enchantment collide.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
After the phenomenal success of the RSC production of Matilda, the West End is set to welcome another Roald Dahl classic this year. Mr Wonka will open his doors this summer in the début musical production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. Douglas Hodge will lead this whiz-bang of a show that will no doubt captivate a new generation and enlighten older hearts.

This House
After a sell out run at the Cottesloe theatre, James Graham's acclaimed show is opening in the Olivier Theatre in February 2013. Although set in 1974 this political play resonates with the feelings of government today. This play takes politics right back to basics and looks at those people who roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the answers needed, even if that means bending the rules a little bit.

This year James McAvoy returns to the stage for the first time since 2009 in Macbeth at the newly configured Trafalgar Studios, directed by Jamie Lloyd. Although Macbeth is a popular show with various productions happening simultaneously this looks like it's going to be a show to remember and certainly not one to miss.

A Chorus Line
After a record-breaking run in the West End and on Broadway, A Chorus Line is set to return to the West End at last. With a star-studded line up and no doubt a lot of sparkles, this is going to be the hit musical of 2013. A Chorus Line tells the story of a group of budding young performers determined to make a name for themselves; the individual stories famously come from real actors who sold their stories to the director for $1million! With all the glitz and glamour and fabulous musical numbers this show will have you singing all the way home.

Henry V
“Once more onto the breach dear friends...” Whether your first experience of Shakespeare's Henry V is through Kenneth Brannah or a performance at school or even this production starring Jude Law, Henry V is a must see. A timeless story of war and heroism that will have an impact not only on those mouthing along the famous speeches but to those learning about this epic of a play for the first time. Journeying through battle from start to finish telling a truly remarkable story that, although written over 500 years ago, still rings true today.

The Audience
Lately, the Queen has been the centre of attention and shown how important her role is, and has been over the last 60 years. The Government, however, has been the centre of mixed controversy. Over the last 60 years, every week the Queen has met with the Prime Minister to discuss current affairs and maybe even personal matters. The Audience takes those private conversations and imagines what it could be like behind those closed doors, from Churchill to Cameron; sometimes emotional and sometimes heated the Queen is always there to listen. 

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