By Carly-Ann Clements
There are exciting times ahead in the West End this summer as a whole host of hit shows and brand-new productions are hitting Theatreland. From returning favourites to stage-adaptations of best-selling novels, there’s something for everyone.
To help you choose what to see, here are our top picks of shows opening in London this summer.
Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Way, way back half a century ago, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice penned their first West End musical. Based on the Old Testament story of Jacob’s favourite son, Joseph, who is sold into slavery by his 11 jealous brothers. But when a series of events finds Joseph in jail, he discovers he can interpret dreams and soon finds himself trying to solve Egypt’s famine while attempting to reunite with his family. This brand-new re-imagining of the much-loved musical will star Sheridan Smith as the Narrator and Jason Donovan as Pharaoh. It’s the first time the iconic musical has played in London in 10 years so go, go, go to Joseph when it plays at the London Palladium from 27 June to 7 September.
The Girl On The Train
You’ve read the book, you’ve seen the film, now you can watch the thrilling story come to life live on stage. The Girl On The Train tells the story of Rachel Watson, a curious train passenger who tries to escape her own unhappy life by watching a seemingly perfect couple through their window as she passes it on the train every day. However, when the wife suddenly disappears, Rachel finds herself as both a witness and suspect. EastEnders’ Samantha Womack will star as Rachel alongside Chernobyl’s Alex Fern. The stage adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel will be playing at Duke Of York’s Theatre from 23 July to 17 August.
Desperate to see some theatre but don’t want to stay inside this summer? Then the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is the one for you. Based on the true story of the First Lady Of Argentina, Eva Peron, Evita follows a young woman from her poor beginnings to her rise to fame as she becomes the world’s first political celebrity. The inspiring story is set to a timeless score written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Get ready to feel the hairs stand on end when you hear Don’t Cry For Me Argentina performed live alongside other classics including Oh What A Circus, You Must Love Me, and Another Suitcase in Another Hall. Soak in the summer evenings while you watch the critically acclaimed musical from 2 August to 21 September.
He may have swept the nation off its feet as the Hot Priest in Fleabag but now Andrew Scott is set to woo theatre audiences once again when he stars in Noël Coward’s semi-autobiographical play, Present Laughter, alongside Sophie Thompson. Successful actor Garry Essendine is turning 40 and is embarking on an African tour. While he’s trying to deal with his besotted fans, his secretary, his wife and all those around him, he falls into a mid-life crisis. But will rumours of an affair stop his renowned career? The comic play will be performed at The Old Vic from 17 June to 10 August.
On Your Feet!
If Gloria Estefan doesn’t give you summer vibes, we don’t know who will!
This smash-hit jukebox musical On Your Feet! is based on Emilio and Gloria Estefan’s true love story. It follows their journey from the poor streets of Cuba to international stardom all set to their award-winning back catalogue including songs like Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, Conga, Get On Your Feet, Don’t Want To Lose You Now, and 1-2-3. It’ll be playing a strictly limited run at London Coliseum from 14 June to 31 August.
Jesus Christ Superstar
It seems to be the summer of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as their heavenly musical Jesus Christ Superstar is also headed back to the London stage. Telling the story of Jesus’ final week - including his arrival in Jerusalem with his disciples, and crucifixion - it’s a moving tale which depicts the struggles between Judas and Jesus as well as the well-known stories from the Gospels, all set to some serious 1970s style rock. This production comes to the Barbican for a limited run following two sell-out seasons at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. It plays from 4 July to 24 August.
Florian Zeller’s remarkable plays have had the West End cry for The Mother and The Father. Now, it’s time to shed a tear for The Son as the final play in his trilogy comes to London.
Following Nicolas as he tries to navigate his parents’ divorce, The Son is a stirring depiction of the struggles of youth and family politics. Facing his new reality, Nicolas starts to skip school and lie. He wants to move in with his father but when that doesn’t work out, he moves back in with his mother. But if that doesn’t work, where else will he go? Don’t worry. Seeing The Mother and The Father aren’t necessary for watching The Son, but if you have seen them, you’ll know that Florian’s tales are beautiful, devastating and utterly unique. See Amanda Abbington star in this award-winning play at Duke Of York’s Theatre from 24 August to 2 November.