It feels as though you can’t move nowadays for celebrity stars in the West End. Famous names from across the world are coming to Theatreland to tread the boards on some of the UK’s biggest stages. At London Box Office, we love to connect our audiences with all their idols so that they can enjoy their performances live and in person.
Here are our top 5 London shows on right now that are headlined by the biggest names in the business:
It’s been nearly 12 months since the Savoy Theatre opened its doors to the Dreamgirls in a fresh new version designed to delight. The star of the show this time around is Glee’s Amber Riley, a songstress and diva with a truly massive voice.
Amber Riley played the role of the remarkable soul diva Mercedes Jones through six seasons of Glee, the hit TV show. Now she has won over the theatre audience in her central role as Effie White, winning a WhatsOnStage Award and an Olivier Award for her performance.
Rather than stick to the original, producer Sonia Friedman has completely re-imagined Dreamgirls to give it a boost worthy of the 21st century, while keeping the musical just as powerful now as it was when it first premiered. It just goes to show what an enduringly popular and inspirational story this is.
Miranda Hart may have stepped down as the terrifying Miss Hannigan, but Craig Revel Horwood has stepped into those stilettos with ease. The dancer, choreographer and theatre director lends his cutting wit, first showcased as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, to Annie for another precious few weeks in the Piccadilly Theatre.
Annie first appeared on the capital’s stage way back in 1977 and proved an instant hit. The show’s famous charm won over the city’s hearts instantly, thanks to a compelling plot studded with a string of classic show tunes – “It’s A Hard Knock Life”, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile” and the iconic “Tomorrow”.
This is director Nikolai Foster’s 40th anniversary production of Annie, with Revel Horwood reprising a role he first played on the show’s touring production in 2015. Craig leaves this stage after November, so grab those tickets now.
Venus In Fur
This two-hander is a double helping of TV stars. Both David Oakes, from ITV’s Victoria, and Natalie Dormer, from global success show Game Of Thrones, come to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for nine weeks only in David Ives’ brilliant off-Broadway hit, Venus In Fur.
What’s the story? Thomas Novachek is taking auditions for his latest production and is beginning to despair of ever finding a suitable leading lady. But when the mysterious actress Vanda Jordan suddenly appears out of the blue, the audition becomes a clever and entertaining dance of seduction that thrills audiences every time.
If having the star-studded duo wasn’t enough, the play has also been turned into a French film and won a nomination for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. An intoxicating dark comedy of desire and fantasy, this limited run is set to be a monster hit, so grab tickets while you can.
Labour of Love
If the last duologue wasn’t famous enough for you, check out Martin Freeman and Tamsin Grieg in Labour of Love, which plays at the Noel Coward Theatre for just eleven weeks this year. Grieg stepped in at the last minute to replace Sarah Lancashire, who pulled out due to illness.
The world premiere of James Graham‘s new play has won over the critics as a razor-sharp political comedy. The play also reunites the playwright with the respected director Jeremy Herrin, a collaboration that last brought popular hit This House to the West End. And it looks as though this reunited partnership is set to be just as successful once again.
Labour of Love is an in-depth and highly creative look at one particular fictional Labour MP, David Lyons. He cares deeply about modernisation and electability, but his constituency agent Jean Whittaker cares more about principles and the community she serves. This latest masterpiece will be gone before you know it, so book to see two theatre experts in action.
Apologia is a fresh masterpiece by playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell. It reveals a totally disastrous family reunion and premièred at London’s Bush Theatre in June 2009. Now it’s back for one more month and with its cast of celebrities and theatre professionals, it’s safe to say this is one of the hits of the season.
The plot? Kristin Miller is in her 60s, a successful, well known art historian. Jaded, cynical and approaching retirement, she has just written a book about her youth, but it completely fails to mention her two children Simon and Peter. When the family get together at their mother’s country cottage in the countryside to celebrate her 60th birthday, she ends up baffled and outraged by the two men’s wholly different versions of the past. As the evening progresses, everyone at the cottage is forced to deal with the emotional cost of Kristin’s dedication to her youthful passions.
Directed by one of the country’s most prolific young theatre makers, Jamie Lloyd, Apologia boasts a cast that includes Doctor Who’s Freema Agyeman, Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael and, last but by no means least, Tony Award and Emmy Award winner Stockard Channing, most famous for her role as Rizzo in Grease. If that doesn’t get you down to Trafalgar Studios straightaway, nothing will.
Article written by Daniel Perks.
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