Shropshire’s Essential Entertainment Guide
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Posted on Thu 26 May
Let your hair down, strut your stuff and dance in the aisles at one or more of the blockbuster musicals making their way to the marvellous Midlands over the course of the next few months.
Check out our 27 seriously scintillating shows below and get booking NOW!
DREAMGIRLS THE MUSICAL Take a rollercoaster ride back to the 1960s with this smash-hit musical inspired by the story of Diana Ross & The Supremes. Dreamgirls debuted on Broadway 39 years ago but is best known from the 2006 film version starring Jamie Foxx and Beyoncé Knowles.
A story of friendship, ambition, and how the former can sometimes be compromised by the latter, the show follows the fortunes of Effie, Lorrell and Deena - three talented young singers in the turbulent ’60s who, managed by a former Cadillac salesman, aim to hit the high notes as girl group the Dreamettes. Featured numbers include And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, Listen, I Am Changing and One Night Only.
BOOKING The Alexandra, Birmingham Tue 6 - Sat 31 December 2022
LES MISERABLES This brilliant new staging of Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical has taken the world by storm and has been hailed “Les Mis for the 21st Century”. With scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the magnificent score of Les Misérables includes the songs I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Master Of The House and many more.
Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 52 countries and in 22 languages, Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals.
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Tues 9 - Sat 27 August 2022
MAMMA MIA! This legendary show is of course a nicely contrived vehicle for the chart-topping music of 1970s super troupers Abba.
The Swedish Fab Four scored mega-hit after mega-hit with catchy numbers including Waterloo, Dancing Queen, The Name Of The Game, The Winner Takes It All and Take A Chance On Me, all of which are present and correct in this blockbuster offering.
BOOKING: Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Tues 17 - Sat 28 January, 2023
THE OSMONDS - A NEW MUSICAL Sure to be a hit with women of a certain age, The Osmonds: A new musical tells the official story from Jay Osmond about the five brothers from Utah who were pushed into the spotlight as children and went on to create smash hits decade after decade. From their star residency on The Andy Williams Show, to the arrival of Donny and Marie, The Osmonds lived a remarkable life recording chart topping albums, selling out vast arena concerts and making record breaking TV shows - until one bad decision cost them everything.
Expect an evening of chart-topping anthems including Love Me For A Reason, Crazy Horses, Let Me In, Puppy Love, One Bad Apple, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool, Paper Roses and more...
BOOKING: The Alexandra, Birmingham, Tues 12 - Sat 16 October, 2022
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Actor, presenter and winner of Strictly Come Dancing Ore Oduba will star as Brad Majors in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the smash hit show features all of the famous musical numbers which have made the show such a huge hit for over four decades, including Sweet Transvestite, Science Fiction/Double Feature, Dammit Janet and, of course, the timeless floor-filler, The Time-Warp.
The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house whilst on their way to visit their favourite college professor. It’s an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits.
BOOKING: Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Mon 30 May - Sat 4 June, 2022
SISTER ACT Brenda Edwards stars as Deloris Van Cartier in a new staging of the award-winning musical. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music, Sister Act tells the hilarious story of the disco diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder.
Under protective custody she is hidden in the one place she won’t be found - a convent! Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own.
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Tues 4 - Sat 15 October, 2022; Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Mon 5 - Sat 10 June 2023; Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Mon 25 - Sat 30 September 2023
STRICTLY BALLROOM Kevin Clifton and Maisie Smith stars in this brand new musical based on the iconic film of the same name. Bringing together a cast of over 20 world class performers, the musical follows rebellious young ballroom dancer, Scott Hastings. When his radical dance style sees him fall out of favour with the Australian Federation, he must dance with beginner, Fran. Together they find the courage to defy tradition and discover that to win, your steps don’t need to be strictly ballroom!
Featuring toe tapping numbers such as Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time, as well as several wonderful new songs by internationally acclaimed artists including Sia, David Foster and Eddie Perfect. Craig Revel Horwood directs.
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Mon 31 October - Sat 5 November, 2022; Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, 13 - 18 February, 2023
WAITRESS Smash-hit Broadway and West End musical Waitress makes three Midlands stop-offs next year as part of its first ever UK tour.
Based on the 2007 movie, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker in a small town who dreams of a way out of her loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may provide her with the chance of a new life, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness...
The show is being brought to life by a groundbreaking female-led creative team.
BOOKING: Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Tues 28 June - Sat 2 July, 2022
WE WILL ROCK YOU A pulsating Ben Elton-written homage to the music of Queen, We Will Rock You may be short on storyline, but it’s got bags of energy - and just about as brilliant a soundtrack as any musical’s ever likely to boast.
The show’s frontline performers give it their all to excellent effect, while the sets and choreography ensure a visual spectacle to remember. For those who care about the wafer-thin plot, the story is set in a future where originality has been quashed, musical instruments banned, and a hero is needed to bring back rock music...
Yes, it’s all a bit contrived, but how else are you going to glue together all of Queen’s greatest hits in a single show?
A fantastic evening's entertainment for fans of Freddie & Co, so catch it when you can...
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Mon 4 - Sat 16 July, 2022
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN Featuring the glamour of Hollywood during the roaring 20’s, the story focuses in silent movie star Don Lockwood. Don has it all - a string of hit films and a studio-engineered romance with the most beautiful actress in town. What Don doesn’t know is that the silver screen is about to find its voice, and a chance meeting with a talented young chorus girl set to steal his heart promises to change both Don, and Hollywood, forever.
Andrew Wright’s high-energy choreography and Simon Higlett’s sumptuous set design (including over 14,000 litres of water on stage every night) combine with the charm, romance and wit of one of the world’s best- loved films. Singin’ in the Rain features the glorious MGM score including Good Morning, Make ‘em Laugh, Moses Supposes and the legendary Singin’ in the Rain.
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Mon 6 - Sat 11 June 2022
THE CHER SHOW Goddess warrior of pop turned Hollywood royalty, the Grammy®, Oscar®, Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning Queen of re-invention has conquered it all. It’s now time to turn back time with this fiercely fabulous kick-ass new musical, from the writer of Jersey Boys, to honour the original Queen of sass - the inimitable Cher.
From a young kid with big dreams, to the dizzying heights of global stardom, The Cher Show tells the story of Cher’s meteoric rise to fame, flying in the face of convention at every turn.
The show promises to be a dazzling glitter fest of flamboyant glory, sparkling with Cher’s signature wit and style set to the sounds of her biggest hits, including The Shoop Shoop Song, I Got You Babe, If I Could Turn Back Time, Strong Enough and Believe.
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Tue 2 - Sat 6 August 2022, Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Tue 30 August - Sat 3 September, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Tue 18 - Sat 22 October
POPSTARS - THE 90'S MUSICAL Fancy a high-energy smash-hits trip back to the 1990s? That’s the journey on offer when Birmingham Hippodrome’s Musical Theatre Youth Programme presents this brand-new show featuring chartbusting numbers from, among others, The Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.
When high school ‘queen bee’ Shannon learns that pop-band impresario Simon Austin is the surprise judge at the state talent show, she dumps boyfriend Mark in favour of fronting a girlband and taking a shot at showbiz stardom.
Rejected by the girl he loves, Mark is down but certainly not out, and with the help of his garage-band pals - plus ultra-talented newcomer Ella - he forms a boyband to take on his ex and snatch fame and fortune from right under her scheming nose...
BOOKING: Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome, Tues 19 - Wed 20 July
TO THE STREETS Inspired by real-life events and performed in the heart of communities across the West Midlands, To The Streets boasts a feelgood score featuring ska, calypso and rock & roll.
As Britain begins to thaw following the big freeze of 1963, tensions run high in Bristol, where the Omnibus Company refuses to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors. Into the fray comes idealistic youth worker Paul and, newly arrived from Jamaica, teenager Lorraine - two individuals who are determined to stand up for what they believe in and play their part in changing the course of history...
This China Plate & Birmingham Hippodrome concert musical - produced in association with Warwick Arts Centre, City of Wolverhampton Council and DRPG Creative - is being presented as part of Birmingham 2022 Festival.
BOOKING: Handsworth Park, Birmingham, Fri 19 - Sat 20 August; Windmill Hill, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed 24 - Thurs 25 August; West Park, Wolverhampton, Sun 28 August
BEAUTIFUL - THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.
Along the way, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation, with countless classics such as (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Take Good Care of My Baby, You’ve Got a Friend, So Far Away, It Might as Well Rain Until September, Up on the Roof, and The Locomotion.
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Tues 30 August - Sat 3 September; Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tues 1 - Sat 5 November
THE COLOR PURPLE In an era marked by conversations about abuse of women and female empowerment, The Color Purple has plenty to say. Initially a story of male control achieved through rape, domestic violence and servitude, Alice Walker’s captivating coming-of-age tale ends on a far more triumphant, celebration-of-feminism kind of note, along the way taking a provocative look at the cycle of slavery in the black community.
Walker’s original novel was published in 1982 and won the coveted Pulitzer Prize. Three years later, Steven Spielberg brought the story to the cinema screen, teasing from Whoopi Goldberg an Oscar-nominated performance and providing Oprah Winfrey with her film debut. A 2005 musical faired less well with the critics, but later versions have enjoyed positive reviews and made the show a definite ‘one to catch’.
This critically acclaimed Birmingham Hippodrome and Made At Curve production is the latest adaptation to fall into the ‘unmissable’ category...
One note of caution, though; the show contains themes of rape, abuse, incest, overt racism and sexism, and as such has been deemed suitable only for audience members aged 14-plus.
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Tues 13 - Sat 17 September
TITANIC THE MUSICAL In the final hours of 14 April 1912, the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, collided with an iceberg. The ‘unsinkable ship’ slowly sank, and 1,517 men, women and children lost their lives...
Based on real people who were aboard the most legendary ship in the world on that fateful voyage, Titanic The Musical first opened on Broadway in 1997 and won five Tony Awards. This currently touring production is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its London premiere.
BOOKING: Birmingham Hippodrome, Tues 18 - Sat 22 April 2023
THE COMMITMENTS Roddy Doyle’s smash-hit musical adaptation of his own bestselling novel follows on from the Bafta-bagging movie version that scored a huge international success way back in the early 1990s.
As with book and film, the stage show finds working-class music fan Jimmy Rabbitte inspiring an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians and friends to become the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced. Along the way, the band treats the audience to more than 20 gold-star soul classics, including: Night Train; Try A Little Tenderness; River Deep, Mountain High; In The Midnight Hour; Papa Was A Rolling Stone; Mustang Sally; and I Heard It Through The Grapevine.
The cast is headed by Nigel Pivaro, best known for playing the recurring character of Terry Duckworth in Coronation Street.
BOOKING: Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Mon 10 - Sat 15 October; Birmingham Hippodrome, Mon 24 - Sat 29 April 2023
FISHERMAN'S FRIENDS - THE MUSICAL Publicised as the true story of the world’s most unlikely, er, buoy-band(!) and ‘packed with more musical treats than you can fit in a lobster pot’, brand-new musical Fisherman’s Friends is breaking the surface of the UK’s theatrical waters some three years after the film version netted a fine catch of rave reviews.
The story revolves around a group of Cornish fisherman whose singing of sea shanties to raise funds for charity comes to the attention of a fish-out-of-water music manager from the big smoke. What follows for the fellas is an unexpected voyage of discovery that ends up with them dropping anchor on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury!
A whale of a tale about friendship, community and music, Fisherman’s Friends premiered in Cornwall last autumn, smashing box-office records as audiences fell for its charms hook, line and sinker...
BOOKING: The Alexandra, Birmingham, Tues 13 - Sat 17 September
SOUTH PACIFIC This Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical sets sail on yet another UK tour, on this occasion helmed by Chichester Festival Theatre and buoyed by a cargo of rave reviews.
Telling a powerful love story set on a South Pacific island during World War Two, the show features some of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most popular standards, including Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, There Is Nothing Like A Dame and Happy Talk.
This latest incarnation of the 1949 Broadway blockbuster has been widely praised for emphasising the original’s progressive message regarding racism, an aspect of the show about which Rodgers & Hammerstein remained resolutely unapologetic in the face of mid-20th-century criticism.
BOOKING: The Alexandra, Birmingham, Tues 27 September - Sat 1 October
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s Depression-era jukebox musical is perhaps best known for featuring a selection of songs by legendary troubadour Bob Dylan, who is unquestionably the most famous son of Duluth, Minnesota, the town where the play’s action unfolds.
At the story’s heartland is the character of Nick Laine, the proprietor of a rundown guesthouse. With the bank threatening to foreclose on the property, Nick is desperate to find a way to save his family from homelessness. The late-night arrival of a self-styled man of the cloth and a down-on-his-luck boxer kickstarts a chain of events which deeply impacts everybody in the house, from Nick and his family through to the guests who are staying there...
McPherson’s play has garnered plenty of praise since debuting in London in 2007, not least from Bob Dylan himself, who confessed that the ending left him feeling touched and tearful.
BOOKING: The Alexandra, Birmingham, Tues 7 - Sat 11 February 2023
PLAYBOY OF THE WEST INDIES Adapted from the late Mustapha Matura’s internationally acclaimed 1984 comedy-drama of the same name, which in turn was inspired by JM Synge’s The Playboy Of The Western World, this ‘toe-tapping, finger-snapping’ musical is premiering in Birmingham.
And it will be an absolute treat to watch, promises Clement Ishmael, who created the score with Dominique Le Gendre.
“Audiences should look forward to being transported into 1950s Trinidad, with the rhythms and the music, the light, the energy,” says Clement. “The play is extremely funny, and I think the music communicates that.”
The story takes place in the quiet seaside village of Mayaro, where the residents’ sleepy existence is shaken by the arrival of a mysterious, charming but dangerous stranger...
Playboy Of The West Indies is being presented as part of Birmingham 2022 Festival.
BOOKING: The Rep, Birmingham, Fri 10 June - Sat 2 July
BUGSY MALONE Gangsters rule the roost in this tongue-in-cheek tribute to the 1920s mobster flick, best known from the 1976 film version written & directed by Alan Parker and starring newcomers Jodie Foster and Scott Baio.
Fat Sam is feeling the pressure. His crooked business rackets are under attack from arch rival Dandy Dan, whose new weapon, the splurge gun, has given his hoodlums the edge. With a St Valentine’s Day massacre on the cards, Sam needs to even the odds - and fast. But is baby-faced Bugsy Malone really the answer to his prayers?... A madcap mobster musical that’s always worth a look, this Lyric Hammersmith production is a revival of the stage adaptation written by Alan Parker himself back in the early 1980s.
BOOKING: The Rep, Birmingham, Wed 27 July - Sun 14 August
NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a Nativity, and at St Bernadette's School they're attempting to mount a musical version! Only trouble is teacher Mr Maddens has promised that a Hollywood producer is coming to see the show to turn it into a film. Join him, his teaching assistant the loveable Mr Poppy, hilarious children and a whole lot of sparkle and shine as they struggle to make everyone's Christmas wish come true.
Commenting on the show returning to Birmingham in 2022, the Rep’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley, said: “We are especially delighted to finally welcome back Debbie’s spectacular and heart-warming hit show to her home city of Birmingham. Christmas is a special time for families to come together, and Nativity! The Musical provides the perfect theatre treat for all ages.”
BOOKING: The Rep, Birmingham, Sat 19 November - Sat 7 January
BLOOD BROTHERS Although it’s effectively a class-driven ‘scouse melodrama’, to describe Blood Brothers as such is to greatly underestimate the emotional response it produces within its audience.
The show features adult actors playing children, a narrator who wanders through the scenes with warnings of impending doom, a good helping of sharp social awareness to counteract the sticky sentimentality, and a raft of much-loved musical numbers, including Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged Tell Me It’s Not True.
BOOKING: Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Tues 13 - Sat 17 September; Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Tues 27 September - Sat 1 October
SIX From Tudor queens to battling boss-women, Six The Musical sees the wives of Henry VIII take to the stage to tell their own versions of their lives.
The one-act production, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, was enjoying a runaway success until Covid put the brakes on - but being a show that sits somewhere between a Girls Aloud gig and a traditional musical, it’s having no trouble whatsoever re-finding its momentum.
A loud and colourful celebration of girl power, the production sees the cast being ably supported by all-female band The Ladies In Waiting.
BOOKING: Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tues 27 September - Sun 2 October; Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Tues 15 - Sun 20 November
FOOTLOOSE Hit Broadway and West End musical Footloose tells the story of city boy Ren’s arrival in Bomont, and the impact which his dancing has on a town held back by the memory of a tragedy. Featuring classic numbers such as Holding Out For A Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear It For The Boy and of course the title track itself, the show stars Dancing On Ice winner Jake Quickenden and West End veteran Darren Day.
BOOKING: Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Mon 4 - Sat 9 July
JERSEY BOYS Rockin’ and rollin’ New Jersey boys Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons scored some truly massive hits during the mid-1960s - and this award-winning jukebox musical tells their story.
Taking a documentary-style format, the show is structured as four ‘seasons’, each being narrated by a different member of the band.
Featured hits include Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby, Big Girls Don't Cry, Sherry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back To You and December 1963 (Oh, What A Night).
BOOKING: Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Mon 7 - Fri 18 March 2023
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