At this point, it’s not clear whether the heatwave across Southern Europe will share any of its sunshine with us in London. But you can always guarantee that the summertime will bring some of the hottest musicals of the year – here’s a guide to some of the London events kicking up a big song and dance over the next couple of months.
La Cage aux Folles
Most exciting of all is the revival of the warmly inclusive and highly tuneful La Cage aux Folles in the beautiful surroundings of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s LGBTQ+ musical comedy classic has never gone out of style but its message of love is love is love couldn’t feel more timely in these increasingly intolerant times.
Booking from 29th July-16th September and sure to sell out.
Next to Normal
Perhaps at the other end of the entertainment scale, but no less anticipated for it, is the Donmar Warehouse’s UK premiere of Next to Normal, by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. Winner of several Tonys and a Pulitzer Prize, this huge Broadway hit has mental illness as its focus, as it follows the impact of a bipolar disorder diagnosis on a suburban wife and mother and on her family too, as she goes through the rough ride of treatment.
Booking from 14th August – 7th October and already sold out, stalk their website for returns!
A Strange Loop
Keeping things a little bit left-field, the Barbican are bringing another Broadway premiere to London in the form of A Strange Loop. Michael R Jackson’s musical also comes loaded with Tonys and Pulitzers but is altogether a more unconventional affair. Kyle Ramar Freeman plays Usher who is a young, gay, Black writer who hates his day job, so writes a musical about a young, gay, Black writer who’s writing a musical about a young, gay, Black writer…
Booking until 9th September
Guys & Dolls
It’s been open for a while now, but the thrills of the immersive production of Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre remain undimmed. Frank Loesser’s musical comedy is always a reliably good time but Nicholas Hytner’s production really ups the ante with a crack cast including Andrew Richardson, Celinde Schoenmaker, a stellar Marisha Wallace and Cedric Neal, plus new leading man for the summer Owain Arthur. Whether you choose to sit or stand, The Hot Box has never been hotter.
Booking now, Daniel Mays returns to the production from 16th October.
Crazy For You
Another undoubted crowdpleaser is Crazy For You, a true dance spectacular that will not fail to put a smile on your face. A big hit in Chichester last year, it arrives at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in fine form, leading man Charlie Stemp almost impossibly good as he croons through Gershwin classics and swoons with stage partner Carly Anderson. A company of more than 30 fill the stage with choreographic delight and the whole thing is just so highly entertaining in its joyousness.
Booking until January 2024
Article produced in collaboration with Skiddle