London’s West End has always been a global pinpoint for culture, entertainment and talent.
At the end of another thriving year we’re already looking forward to what the theatre industry has in store for 2019!
Highlights from last year saw new musical, Tina, win over crowds at the Aldwych Theatre, as well as Bat Out Of Hell coming back to the West End at the Dominion Theatre. We also saw the return of one of theatre’s most successful shows, Chicago, landing at the Phoenix Theatre and a West End transfer of The Inheritance to the Noel Coward Theatre, which is praised to be ‘play of the year’ by many and even ‘of the decade’ by others.
It was a strong and steady year for theatre, which means a shake-up is on the horizon. Going into early 2019, many theatres are changing up their shows and exciting new material is coming in! We at IN Covent Garden cannot wait, and we hope after seeing this list, you won’t be able to either.
Here’s our list of some of the early 2019 shows you won’t want to miss.
1. WAITRESS – ADELPHI THEATRE (musical)
Start Previewing: 8th February 2019
Opening Night: 7th March 2019
Currently Booking Until: 25th May 2019
The musical, based on the 2007 film of the same name, has had roaring success on Broadway. Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress with a talent for pie-making who is held back from achieving anything more due to her abusive partner. However, when Jenna discovers she’s pregnant her life takes a drastic turn. She starts having an affair with her gynaecologist and sees a pie baking contest’s grand prize as a way out of her current situation. With music and lyrics by pop sensation Sara Bareilles, the songs are as sweet as pie! Waitress proudly boasts to be the first all female creative team and with the recent addition of SMASH’s Katharine McPhee in the lead role for the West End run, this show will fit perfectly into 2019.
2. 9 TO 5 – SAVOY THEATRE (musical)
Start Previewing: 28th January 2019
Opening Night: 19th February 2019
Strictly Limited Season Ends: 31st August 2019
Based on the 1980 film of the same name, this show has ‘fun’ written all over it! Music and lyrics written by Dolly Parton (please note she will not be appearing in the production), the show stars Louise Redknapp, Amber Davies and Natalie McQueen as three workmates pushed to their limits by their egotistical and sexist boss. Also starring Bonnie Langford and Brian Conley, this musical is the toe-tapping, exhilarating hit you expect it to be!
3. HOME, I’M DARLING – DUKE OF YORK’S THEATRE (play)
Start Previewing: 26th January 2019
Opening Night: 5th February 2019
Strictly Limited Season Ends: 13th April 2019
After a sold out run last year at The National Theatre, Laura Wade’s new play about a woman attempting to be the perfect 1950’s housewife transfers to the West End for 11 weeks only. Katherine Parkinson reprises her role as Judy in this bizarrely brilliant piece of writing about a woman trying everything she can to fit the ideals she has set for her herself.
4. ALL ABOUT EVE – NOEL COWARD THEATRE (play)
Start Previewing: 2nd February 2019
Opening Night: 12th February 2019
Strictly Limited Season Ends: 11th May 2019
Ivo van Hove’s new adaption of this classic is bound to make sound waves from its premiere. Starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James, All About Eve is about jealousy, ambition, stardom and everything theatre. It has been advised as unsuitable for under 16s. “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!”
5. COME FROM AWAY – PHOENIX THEATRE (musical)
Start Previewing: 30th January 2019
Opening Night: 18th February 2019
Currently Booking Until: 25th May 2019
As it continues its Broadway success, Come From Away lands in London. The uplifting musical tells the story of 7,000 air passengers grounded in a small Canadian town during the wake of 9/11. It’s a story about human kindness, connection and hope. West End and Broadway star, Rachel Tucker leads the incredible cast of 12 as they collectively play 84 characters across 100 minutes.
Now, this is a little stretch as this show isn’t premiering until November 2019. However, the buzz behind this London production has become so big, that many people see it as having the roaring success that Hamilton had when it finally made its way across the pond!
DEAR EVAN HANSEN – NOEL COWARD THEATRE (musical)
(specific date still to be announced)
This critically acclaimed musical premiered on Broadway in 2016 and in doing so picked up six Tony Awards including Best Musical. Dear Evan Hansen is about a young man with social difficulties trying to connect with others. You’ve probably come across some of the songs already like ‘Waving Through A Window’ or ‘You Will Be Found’. It has now been confirmed to arrive in London at the end of the year and we are all currently awaiting ticket information and casting. Keep an eye out!
All these exciting shows and more will be showcased in the 35+ venues in London’s West End. Due to the high-profile casts and must-see productions, limited runs are much more common, so get your tickets while you still can.
Words: Tomm Ingram