Look Forward: Our top 10 theatre tips for 2017

Here are our top 10 tips for things to come in the world of theatre in 2017.

As the year begins to draw to a close, not only are we celebrating all things 2016, but looking forward to what the new year has to offer.

The stage has the opportunity to transfix, transport and mesmerise. With the last 12 months already having seen some seriously exciting new talent emerging across the nation, things only look set to continue come 2017.

We asked our industry experts to pull together a list of what has them trembling with excitement as we welcome in the new year.

For all of our Looking Back and Looking Forward features as they come, head here.


Set to reopen the Victoria Palace Theatre in London’s West End in October 2017, Hamilton is already destined to be a suitable follow-up to smash hit Billy Elliot. The production has made huge waves stateside, encouraging some high-profile commercial cover versions of its songs and recently finding itself an important voice in the US election.

The story follows American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton as he develops from a Caribbean outsider to war hero and George Washington’s trusted right hand man. Hamilton celebrates diversity through both its plot and its widely inspired musical genres. Understandably the theatre world is eagerly anticipating the production’s trip over to London’s West End.

Bat Out Of Hell

A musical inspired by the iconic 1977 Meat Loaf album of the same name, Bat Out Of Hell promises to be epic, fantastical and highly theatrical. The whole thing is suitably soundtracked by Meat Loaf’s back-catalogue, including I’d Do Anything for Love, Paradise by the Dashboard Light and Dead Ringer For Love.

The all-important story follows Strat and his The Lost as he attempts to rescue the beautiful Raven in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan. So, that’s enough rock and roll to please any alternative music lover, plus a visual spectacle befitting of a West End stage, all in one explosive production. Bat Out Of Hell opens in London and Manchester in 2017. [Tickets]

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

First opening on Broadway in 1962, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? has celebrated a particularly illustrious career on the stage. It was revived in 1976, 1980, 2005 and 2012, and is now set to run at London’s Harold Pinter Theatre next year. There have also been plenty of amateur, touring and professional performances of the play during that time. It’s even been made into a film.

The story follows Martha and George who are forced to evaluate their relationship once inviting Nick and Honey as guests. It’s title plays with Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf, a theme that runs throughout the production. This production opens in London in February 2017, starring Imelda Staunton, Conleth Hill, Luke Treadaway and a West End debut by Imogen Poots. [Tickets]

The Girls

Friends for 25 years, Gary Barlow and Tim Firth have joined forces as writers of comparably new musical, The Girls. The production tackles the true story of the Yorkshire Calendar Girls, who raise money for a local hospital by posing for tasteful yet provocative photos. It’s based on the 2003 film, also written by Firth.

Having originally opened in Leeds’ The Grand Theatre, the musical comedy arrives at London’s Phoenix Theatre at the end of January 2017. [Tickets]

Don Juan In Soho

Written by Patrick Marber, David Tennant stars in Don Juan In Soho, a play that prides itself on being both funny and dark. It follows the protagonist as he embarks on one final debauched adventure around England’s capital city.

It’s been 10 years since the production last ran at the Donmar Warehouse, and this new version sees Tennant joined by the likes of Adrian Scarborough and Gawn Grainger. Opening at Wyndham’s Theatre in March, the play carries an age recommendation of 16 plus. [Tickets]

An American In Paris

Another move from Broadway to London’s West End, An American In Paris is inspired by the MGM film of the same name. It follows an American soldier who tries to rebuild his life as a painter in the French capital following the end of the war.

The London production sees the leading Broadway cast coming to the capital to reprise their Tony Award-nominated roles, and promises a visually spectacular set, based in the “City of Light”. It arrives at London’s Dominion Theatre on 4 March 2017. [Tickets]

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Marking 50 years since it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the latest incarnation of Rosencrantz and Guidenstern welcomes the return of Daniel Radcliffe to the stage, joined by Joshua Maguire.

Spinning out of Hamlet, the production follows two otherwise minor characters as they are forced into the spotlight. The comedy takes place as the titular characters attempt to make sense of their role in the wider production, which occasionally infiltrates this play. It reaches London’s Old Vic at the end of February 2017. [Tickets]


The iconic Rogers & Hammerstein musical Carousel arrives at the London Coliseum as a semi-staged production featuring opera superstar Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe. It follows Billy Bigelow as he returns to earth following a badly planned and ultimately deadly armed robbery. Faced with some unfinished business, Bigelow starts to learn the error of his ways.

Bringing the singing legends together for the first time on stage, Carousel also sees input by members of the English National Opera’s award-winning Orchestra and Chorus. The production opens at the Coliseum on 7 April 2017. [Tickets]

Miss Saigon

Moving out of the West End, the newest version of Miss Saigon hits the road in mid-2017. Having enjoyed an amazing run two years ago in the West End, Cameron Mackintosh’s production will reach Birmingham, Dublin, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Southampton.

The story follows Kim, a young bar girl who meets American GI Chris, only to be torn apart by the fall of Saigon. The original show premiered in London in 1989, with the latest production having won nine awards, including Best West End Show and Best Revival of a Musical at last year’s awards. [Tickets]

The Wind In The Willows

Based on Kenneth Grahame’s tale, The Wind In The Willows follows Mr Toad who must escape from Chief Weasel. The musical adaptation promises “an explosion of anarchy, humour and heart”, featuring comedian Rufus Hound in the leading role.

The Wind In The Willows opens on in June 2017 at the London Palladium. [Tickets]

As we welcome in 2017, check out the West End Guide for more. Find it on