2020 has not been a good year for the arts (or for anyone really!). We have seen British theatres being closed for over six months, with many of their workers being left on furlough or made redundant. However, all hope is not lost! Thankfully, 2021 is looking like it’s going to be a great year for British theatre. Here’s everything that we are looking forward to.
If I’m going to the theatre, it’s always to see a musical. In 2021, it looks like I’m going to be spoiled for choice!
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, starring Carrie Hope Fletcher (Les Miserables, Heathers), is set to open in April at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Victoria Hamilton-Barrit (Death Of A Salesman, In the Heights) is set to join Fletcher, as her stepmother. Apart from these castings, not much is known about the production, although Webber is describing it as a ”complete reimagining of the original” and I, for one, can’t wait to see it.
Having closed on Broadway, Frozen is set to open at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane at the beginning of April. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve never seen a Disney show in the West End before, or because I’ve watched a lot of Disney+ over lockdown, but I am ridiculously excited to see this one. It looks like it is going to be the perfect show for the entire family.
Another exciting event that we have to look forward to is the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s rescheduling of their Summer 2020 season. It is expected to open with a brand new 101 Dalmatians musical in May. However, I’m most looking forward to the production of Carousel, which begins at the end of July.
Last year, I had the pleasure of seeing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at London’s Palladium, so I’m delighted that the production will be opening again in July 2021. I have a special place in my heart for Joseph, and this production is the best one I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot). It’s just a blast; I laughed, danced, and cried a bit. I would recommend it to everyone.
If you can’t, or don’t want to, make the trip down to London, don’t worry. There are an abundance of musicals going on tour next year! Waitress, The Addams Family, and Book of Mormon have all moved their tours to next year. Waitress (which was previously at the Adelphi) will now open its tour at the Bradford Alhambra in May. If you’re looking for a theatre-themed Christmas present, The Addams Family tour begins in Cardiff in January 2021. The Book of Mormon will begin its tour in March in Leeds.
A special mention has to be given to to Six the Musical. The smash-hit about the six wives of Henry VII is paving the way for theatres reopening. Originally, they had organised a series of drive-in performances for the Summer, but they were cancelled. Fortunately, that didn’t stop these queens, who have now organised a transfer to the Lyric Theatre to begin socially-distanced performances. They will also perform at The Lowry in Salford.
In all honesty, the only play I’ve seen is Twelfth Night at the Globe Theatre, and it was an amazing experience; watching Shakespeare under the stars was breathtaking. Luckily, the Globe has announced their 2021 performances, and they all look amazing!
Whilst there is no set date for the New Vics production of Angela Carter’s Company of Wolves, it should be on at some time during 2021. The show is perfect for anyone who is a fan of fairytales and the macabre, and I know that there’s a lot of people with their eyes peeled for an announcement.
Much to everyone’s joy, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will return to London for a limited, seven week run at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre over the festive period. (18 November 2020 to 10 January 2021.) Depending on the success of this, as well as government guidelines in the new year, the show could be expected to make a full, 2021 return sooner than we think.
Unfortunately, we are yet to hear news about new dance productions in 2021. However, any fans of street dance and Britain’s Got Talent will know of Diversity’s announcement of a UK tour, beginning in March 2021. They recently made headlines for an emotive and thought-provoking #BlackLivesMatter performance on television, so I’m certain that this tour is going to be an event you don’t want to miss.
The English National Ballet’s adaptation of Giselle is set to go on international tour next year, subject to Coronavirus restrictions. Although there’s a long time between now and then, we can only hope that the infamously “ominous, gothic” score gets its chance to shine in 2021.
Words by Orla McAndrew.
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