Theatres in London’s West End and around the UK are getting a new lease of life in 2020, with multiple shows opening or heading out on tour this year. From stunning new productions to award-winning musicals, there’s plenty of reasons to make 2020 your ‘year of the theatre’.
So have a scroll and discover which theatre shows you should see next.
Theatre shows opening in 2020
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Alan Cumming (Spy Kids, The Good Wife) join forces in two Samuel Beckett’s plays. Endgame features Hamm, a blind tyrant and servant Clov, who find themselves butting heads. The play is followed by a sketch of Beckett’s Rough for Theatre II, as two bureaucrats encounter a man standing before an open window at the top of a building.
Where: Dominion Theatre, London
When: 27th January – 28th March
Adapted from DreamWorks’ animation, the musical features powerful tracks and an emotive story. The production premiered in Silicon Valley and was well received in Denmark, and arrives in London for a run of 32 weeks. Featuring the Academy Award-winning song ‘When You Believe’, The Prince of Egypt is a stunning theatrical experience for all the family.
Where: Dominion Theatre, London
When: Opening 5th Feb 2020
Making his West End debut, Dave Mitchell reprises his role on the show in this stage production of Upstart Crow. The play takes place in the early 17th century, where Shakespeare – played by Mitchell – is struggling to create his new hit. Gemma Whelan will also join her costar on stage as Kate, the ambitious daughter of Shakespeare’s landlord.
Where: Gielgud Theatre, London
When: 7th Feb – 25th April
The unforgettable romcom of the 1990s has now followed the trend of films being transformed for stage. Pretty Woman first delighted Broadway, and now crosses the pond for UK audiences. It features an original scored by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and songwriting partner Jim Vallance, as well as a book by the director of the film, Garry Marshall and screenwriter JF Lawton.
Where: Piccadilly Theatre, London
When: 13th Feb 2020 – 2nd Jan 2021
Based on the cult film, the stage adaptation takes you back to the 80s with Marty McFly and Dr Brown. The show comes from an award-winning production team, as well as an impressive cast to fill the shoes of Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd. The musical will premiere in Manchester for 12 weeks before opening in the West End.
Where: Manchester Opera House
When: 20th Feb – 17th May
An impressive cast leads this creative revival of City of Angels. Rebecca Trehearn, Vanessa Williams and Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud will transport audiences to the Golden Age of Hollywood in this jazzed-up Olivier Award-winning musical. The show first premiered in 2014, and will now dazzle the West End in 2020
Where: Garrick Theatre, London
When: 5th March – 5th September
Making her West End debut, Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) transforms into Nina, a young woman desperate to find fame. The Seagull is Anton Chekvo’s tale, modernised by Anya Reiss and directed by Jamie Lloyd. It’s a story of ambition, heartbreak and learning to lean on others.
Where: The Playhouse Theatre, London
When: 11th March – 30th May
One of the most anticipated arrivals of 2020, To Kill A Mockingbird finally makes its transfer from Broadway. The story takes inspiration from Harper Lee’s childhood in Alabama. It’s considered one of literatures most memorable novels, while the stage show continues to be successful. Starring Rhys Ifans (King Lear), the show is the new adaptation of the classic novel that garnered 9 Tony Awards.
Where: Gielgud Theatre, London
When: 21st May – 5th September
Jake Gllyenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford bring their Broadway magic to the West End, as Sunday in the Park opens at the Savoy. The Pulitzer Prize-winning show follows painter Georges Seurat as he strives to finish his infamous painting – A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
Where: Savoy Theatre, London
When: 11th June – 5th September
Life of Pi
Adapted from Yann Martel’s Man Booker Prize-winning book, Life of Pi brings the extraordinary tale of a young boy who is lost at sea with a zebra, orangutan, hyena and tiger to keep him company in the lifeboat. The production by Lolita Chakrabarti uses incredible puppetry and visuals to bring the journey for survival to life.
Where: Wyndham’s Theatre, London
When: 24th June – 4th October
There’s perhaps nothing more exciting than the thought of seeing Whoopi Goldberg reprising her role as Deloris Van Cartier live on stage. The lounge singer unexpectedly finds herself a witness to a crime, and must retreat and hide in a convent as the choir leader. With Jennifer Saunders joining the cast, get ready to laugh out loud and sing along to some of the film’s biggest moments.
Where: Eventim Apollo, London
When: 29th July – 30th August
The Queen of Soul, Beverley Knight stars in this new musical opening in autumn. It unveils the story of The Drifters, with Knight playing the role of their manager. Expect to hear tracks like ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’, ‘Under the Boardwalk’ and ‘Stand By Me’.
Where: Theatre Royal Newcastle; Garrick Theatre, London
When: 5th Sept – 19th Sept (Newcastle); 1st Oct 2020 – 13th Feb 2021 (London)
My Best Friend’s Wedding
X Factor winner, Alexandra Burke, who has made her name in the world of theatre in Sister Act and The Bodyguard stars in this new adaptation. The musical saw Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz go head to head over Dermot Mulroney. And who could forget Rupert Everett’s rendition of ‘I Say A Little Prayer For You’! You can now relive it live on stage as this new musical takes us back.
Where: Theatre Royal Plymouth; Manchester Palace Theatre; His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen; Regent Theatre; Stoke-on-Trent; Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin; Milton Keynes Theatre; Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
When: 19th – 26th Sept (Plymouth); 29th Sept – 3rd Oct (Manchester); 19th – 24th Oct (Aberdeen); 26th – 31st Oct (Stoke-on-Trent); 3rd – 7th Nov (Dublin); 16th – 21st Nov (Milton Keynes); 1st-5th Dec (Eastbourne)
Theatre shows going on tour in 2020
Some huge productions are making the journey around the UK this year, meaning you don’t have to be a West Ender to enjoy some top theatre shows in 2020. From the cherished Disney’s The Lion King to biographical musicals like Beautiful and killer soundtracks in Thriller Live and We Will Rock You, you’ll be spoilt for choice this year.
Take a look at the list below:
- We Will Rock You (9th Dec 2019 – 14th July 2020)
- Thriller Live (8th Jan – 11th July)
- Heathers the Musical (9th June – 26th September)
- Beautiful – The Carol King Musical (11th Jan – 29th August)
- Disney’s The Lion King (5th Dec 2019 – 10th Oct 2020)
- Sister Act (21st April – 4th October)
- Mamma Mia (22nd Jan – 6th Feb 2021)
- On Your Feet (20th Jan – 13th June). Read our review of the production.
- Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (8th Feb – 16th August)
- Motown the Musical (10th Jan – 12th October)
- The King and I (10th Dec 2019 – 17th May 2020). Read our review of the production.
- Waitress The Musical (beg autumn 2020)
- Dreamgirls (12th Sept – 2nd Jan 2021).
- Bat Out of Hell (10th Sept – 2nd Jan 2021)
- The Phantom of the Opera (22nd Feb 2020 – 20th Feb 2021) More dates tba
- My Best Friend’s Wedding (19th Sept – 5th Dec)
Theatre shows closing in 2020
The curtains are closing on these productions with their final showings in sight, making way for the wave of new theatre shows in 2020. Sadly the show can’t always go on, so don’t miss your chance to see these top theatre shows this year before they close!
- Death of a Salesman, Piccadilly Theatre (4th January)
- The Wedding Singer, Troubadour Theatre (1st March)
- The Simon and Garfunkel Story, Lyric Theatre (30th March)
- The Secret Garden, London Palladium (11th April)
- The Glee Club, Kiln Theatre (27th June)
For more inspiration or to book your tickets to theatre shows in 2020, visit TickX’s theatre page.