Cut loose and get back in the musical theatre habit
London’s not the only place to experience the best of the West End. With performances in theatres from Glasgow to Torquay, there’s bound to be a great musical playing near your home town, and it’s often a chance to see powerhouse productions and big names in more intimate settings.
Many musicals have romance at their core and some of the most popular love stories are taking to the road.
Footloose (until October 2016) stars Gareth Gates and Maureen Nolan in the story of a city boy trying to bring dance back to a rural American town.
Later in the year, the stage adaptations of the uplifting Dirty Dancing (September 2016 to June 2017) and tear-jerker Ghost (September 2016 to April 2017) begin their UK runs.
So whether you want a night of 1980s hits, the raunchy dance parties of 1963 or the tenderness of that infamous scene set to Unchained Melody, there’s a show for the perfect ‘date night’.
Contact our dining specialists who can suggest nearby restaurants to make sure your appetites for food and culture are equally satisfied.
For family entertainment
A trip to the theatre can provide a magical experience whatever the weather and there are plenty of shows to keep children of all ages happy this summer.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats (until November 2016) offers a fun introduction to musical theatre. As the ‘cats’ roam through the audience, get to know their unique personalities including those of cheeky duo, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer and the Magical Mr Mistoffelees.
In the Olivier Award-nominated Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (until February 2017), a rotating cast of big names including Lee Mead, Jason Manford and Phill Jupitus will whisk audiences away on an adventure to outwit the evil Childcatcher.
Or how about escaping to the hills of Austria? Join Maria von Trapp and her family in their bid to escape the Third Reich, as they sing all along the way in beloved classic, The Sound of Music (until September 2016) which includes favourites such as Do-Re-Mi and the beautiful Edelweiss.
If you’re looking for other family-friendly activities, contact our Attractions team who can help to plan days out locally or further afield.
For iconic soundtracks
Numerous soundtracks from musicals are world-famous and you can hear some perfect examples live in the coming months.
Chicago (until December 2017) made its debut on Broadway in 1975 and although instantly popular, the 2002 film adaptation brought the songs to new levels of prominence. This touring production stars Hayley Tamaddon (Emmerdale) and John Partridge (Eastenders) alongside X Factor winner Sam Bailey in the role of Mama Morton.
Alan Menken’s score for Little Shop of Horrors (August to November 2016) provoked a cult following among theatregoers and songs like Suddenly Seymour and Somewhere That’s Green remain irresistibly infectious. The far-fetched plot about a bloodthirsty plant makes for a fantastic comedy mixed with a little romance.
A cult following of a different nature began when The Kinks arrived on the 1960s rock music scene. The band’s legacy lives on in Sunny Afternoon (August 2016 to March 2017), a jukebox musical charting their rise to fame and featuring the hits You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, Lola and many more.
For dancing in the aisles
Some songs have a beat that’s hard to resist and these shows are full of toe-tapping numbers.
Perfect your Time Warp dance moves and spend the evening at Dr Frank-N-Furter’s eerie house, on the current tour of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show (until December 2016).
Midsummer sees the start of X Factor winner Alexandra Burke’s run in Sister Act (July 2016 to July 2017) as she takes on the role originated by Whoopi Goldberg in the 1992 film. Composer Alan Menken has once again written a score of memorable songs and with disco at its heart, there is plenty of room for entertaining choreography from Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood.
Last to begin its tour is Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments (October 2016 to May 2017). Chronicling the formation and career of a Dublin-based soul band, the show is filled with classics that will make it hard to sit still, including I Heard It Through the Grapevine and River Deep Mountain High plus the show’s synonymous hit, Mustang Sally.
Pictured: the cast of Sunny Afternoon – photo credit Kevin Cummins