Hilarity, stardust, and all-out spectacle: London’s Theatreland’s Spring influx of superb shows truly has every base covered this new season.
In March, the West End is leant a further helping of comic brilliance with the adaptation of Molière monetary satire The Miser, starring beloved comedians Griff Rhys Jones, Lee Mack and Mathew Horne, playing at the Garrick Theatre from 1 March; passion and purse strings go head-to-head, and hilarity abounds, when the cost of affection threatens a wealthy matchmaker’s fortune.
Meanwhile, toes will be tapping at the Vaudeville Theatre from the same date, as everybody’s favourite talent judge Amanda Holden, as well as Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicola Stephenson and Natalie Casey, lead the cast of Richard Harris’ award-winning tap dance comedy Stepping Out, in which an initially widespread left feet affliction amongst an eclectic dance class paves way to a heart-warming and witty comedy showcasing the will to improve.
Less tapping, and more sweeping off, of feet will take place at the Dominion Theatre from 4 March, where An American In Paris is set to transport audiences to a post-war French capital beautifully adorned with artistic possibility, set to a backdrop of timeless George and Ira Gershwin music and lyrics and breathtakingly arresting production values. Magnifique, indeed.
Star power will also be in full force with the arrival of Don Juan In Soho at Wyndham’s Theatre, with none other than former Doctor Who star David Tennant playing the savagely funny and filthy titular role. The debauched and hedonistic protagonist arrives in Theatreland on 17 March, bringing his wicked exploits with him for a strictly limited season only.
Those seeking tremendous spectacle are in luck this season, with dazzling song and dance arriving in the shape of the all-singing, high-kicking 42nd Street. Featuring a cast of over 50 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the show is set to explode on to the West End’s oldest and biggest stage, following a starlet who dreams of a shot at Broadway stardom… and wishes, of course, unexpectedly come true. The American dream fable of theatre begins performances on 20 March.
Finally, stage and screen star Damian Lewis makes an eagerly awaited return to the West End stage in Edward Albee’s black comedy The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? Presumably more concerned with familial relationships than farmyard animals, the show focuses on an improbable and impossible love affair which tears apart a couple and their teenage son; expect Albee’s characteristically witty comedy to entertain and provoke at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 24 March.
To top off a superb two months, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s iconic musical Carousel comes to the London Coliseum from 7 April, starring musical icons Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe. With so much star talent around, this Spring’s theatrical line-up is sure to leave theatre aficionados in a similarly dizzying spin.
... and last chance to see
As the seasons change towards Spring, so, aptly, departs a true staple of the West End scene, with the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons musical, the audience favourite Jersey Boys, embarking on a second national tour at the end of a nine year stint in Theatreland.
With a soundtrack including numerous hits such as Sherry, 1963 (Oh What A Night), and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, London theatregoers yet to catch the Olivier and Tony Award-winning show will need to Walk Like A Man to the Piccadilly Theatre before the 26 March to witness the remarkable staging of the backstory of one of the most iconic pop quartets in history.
Two more recent West End hits are also set to depart this Spring, with the surreal, subtle, and bafflingly brilliant Tom Stoppard comedy Travesties concluding its run at the Apollo Theatre on 29 April. Meanwhile, the beautifully haunting and affecting Tennessee Williams drama, The Glass Menagerie, leaves Duke Of York’s Theatre on 29 April, with this multi award-winning production leaving West End audiences with much to reflect upon.