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The Future Of Musical Theatre: 25 New Musicals To Look Out For

By Daz Gale


2023 is proving to be a great year for new musical theatre with brand new musicals opening in the West End and all over the UK. Many of these are being well received with The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button most recently opening to rave reviews – then there’s the unprecedented rise of the seemingly unstoppable Operation Mincemeat.


Needless to say, it feels like an exciting time for emerging musicals to arrive and there shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Looking at shows that have very recently opened, are opening later this year or are still being workshopped, I wanted to showcase some new musicals that should be on everyone’s radar over the next year.


Here are 25 of them:


THE LITTLE BIG THINGS



Opening at @sohoplace – 2nd September


It feels fitting to start with the show that inspired me to pull this together after being blown away by their performance at West End LIVE last week.

This world premiere of a new British musical is based on the Sunday Times best-selling inspirational memoir by Henry Fraser. It features music and lyrics by Nick Butcher, lyrics by Tom Long and a book by Joe White. An extraordinary true story about an ordinary young man is a life-affirming story of courage, transformation and a reminder that it’s the little things that really do matter the most.



Follow https://twitter.com/TLBTmusical for more information


RIDE – A NEW MUSICAL



Opening at Curve Leicester – 5th July / Southwark Playhouse – 19th July


I debated including this one as it has already had one London run and generated a large fanbase, with the cast recording already released – but then isn’t that exactly what this post is for? To shout about new musicals and how easily they can become success stories?

Written by Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams, Ride won rave reviews from its run at Charing Cross Theatre last year and returns to London next month, following a week in Leicester.

It tells of the triumphs, trials and tribulations of Annie Londonderry who attempts to become the first woman to cycle across the world.



Tickets available from https://www.curveonline.co.uk/ and https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/productions/ride/

Follow https://twitter.com/Ride_Musical for more information


HALLS



Opening at The Turbine Theatre – 7th July


Hailed as a development production, Halls has already got a legion of fans behind it following its previous workshopped outings.

Written by Jennifer Harrison and George Stroud, it centres around eight first-year university students who are brought together when they’re all allocated the same flat in Halls of Residence.

In the next step of this new musicals journey, the way audience engage with the show will help it develop.



Follow https://twitter.com/HallsTheMusical for more imformation



BABIES



Coming Soon


This musical is still in its infancy, having just been born – but this is one to watch as it grows over the months and years.

Written by Jack Godfrey and Martha Geelan, this new musical is centred around a group of Year 11 students who have to look after a baby simulator for a week to varying results.

I caught a workshop of this musical last month and they treated audiences at West End LIVE to a taste of it last week.



Follow https://twitter.com/babiesmusical for all the latest updates

You can stream four songs from the musical at https://tinyurl.com/babiesmusical

THEN, NOW & NEXT



Now playing at Southwark Playhouse


A new heartwarming, original musical written by Christopher J Orton and Jon Robyns.

It follows the journey of Alex Shaw over twenty tears as she struggles with a difficult past, attempting to take steps forward.

This is a show with huge heart, lots of comedy and a warm, positive outlook.



Read more and book tickets at https://www.tnnmusical.com/

Follow them at twitter.com/Tnnmusical

Look out for a review on the website this week.


CLOSE-UP: THE TWIGGY MUSICAL



Opening at Menier Chocolate Factory – 18th September


Written and directed by Ben Elton, this is the story of a skinny kid from Neasden who became the most famous teenager om the planet and the face of the 1960’s.

An intimate portrayal of Twiggy in a story full of tragedy and triumph.


THE BOY WHO SAILED THE OCEAN IN AN ARMCHAIR



Opening at Curve Leicester – 16th August


The winner of NYMT’s 20222 new writing competition, Jordan Li-Smith’s debut musical as a writer and compose is adapted from Lara Williamson’s hit novel.

It tells the story of Becket, whose life is turned upside down when he, his brother and his Dad are running away from home in the middle of the night, leaving behind their almost-mum Pearl without saying goodbye.

Tickets at



THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE



Opening at Apollo Theatre – 7th October


Following an acclaimed run at Chester Storyhouse last year, the musical adaptation based on the best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger is heading to the West End.

With music and lyrics by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart and a book by Lauren Gunderson, it s a joyous, uplifting celebration of the strange wonder of love, however and whenever we experience it and asks the question how do you love across time?



More information and tickets at timetravellerswife.com


GHOST LIGHT



Opening at The Hope Theatre – 11th July


A new musical that tells the story of a washed-up child star named Kat trapped in a cycle of emotional and financial abuse, and the toll that the nature of being a woman in the public eye takes on her mental health. When her sister returns and finds Kat at her lowest, dissatisfied with her own life, she has to decide whether to go back to the world that destroyed her.

Written by Molly O’Gorman, this is a story of love and survival against the odds.


ALAN TURING – A MUSICAL BIOGRAPHY



Touring the UK


Composed by Joel Goodman and Jan Osbourne, this is a journey through the extraordinary life of Alan Turing – the genius whose code-breaking brain saved millions of lives in World War 2.

This musical takes us on a journey through the loss of his closest friend, his romance with a fellow worker, the moment he realises how to beat the Germans, and the growing awareness of his homosexuality.

It has a stop in London at The Other Palace on 11th July – tickets at https://theotherpalace.co.uk/edinburgh-preview-alan-turing-a-musical-biography/

It also plays Edinburgh Fringe – tickets at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/alan-turing-a-musical-biography


THE WITCHES



Opening at National Theatre – 7th November


A new musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s timeless tale, filled with wit, daring and heart.

One of his most loved stories, it tells of witches coming up with their most evil plan yet with only 10 year old Luke and his Gran standing in their way.

Featuring book and lyrics from Lucy Kirkwood and music and lyrics by Dave Malloy.


KIN – A NEW MUSICAL



Coming Soon.


Staged for the first time in a disused factory in Hitchin last year, this new musical has had sold out concert productions, amassed over 1 million views on Tik Tok and released a concept album.

When a cult leader buys an old ranch in a small southern town in America conflict with the locals reaches boiling point!

Written by Emil Dale and Stefan Kelk, last month they completed a workshop of a rewritten musical.



What’s next for them? Keep an eye on their socials to find out.

Head to https://www.kinthemusical.com/ to follow the journey.

Follow https://twitter.com/kinthemusical to stay up to date.


JULIE THE MUSICAL



Currently touring the UK


A brand new musical about queer icon Julie D’Aubigny by up and coming writer and compose Abey Bradury.

It has just completed a run at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester and will now head around the UK for a number of dates, arriving at The Other Palace in London from 25th July.



Look at the full dates and buy tickets at juliethemusical.co.uk

Follow https://twitter.com/Julie_themusical for more information


THE BOOK THIEF



Opening at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry – 11th September/Curve Leicester – 29th September


The stage adaptation of the best-selling novel features a book by Jodi Picoult and Timothy Allen McDonald and music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson.

It had a well-received presentation at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton last year and now returns at two more venues.

Set in 1940 Nazi Germany as 12-year-old Liesel steals a book abandoned in the snow - her first act of book thievery. Soon she is stealing from libraries, churches, and book burnings. But these are dangerous times for a girl with a curious mind. When her foster family hides a Jewish boxer in their cellar, Liesel learns that words are so much more than letters on a page - they hold power. As the Nazi regime wields words as weapons, Liesel, determined to fight back, picks up her pen and starts to write.



Follow twitter.com/TBT_musical for more information.


THE VERGE OF FOREVER



Opening at The Other Palace – 8th August


An exciting new song cucle that blends the sophistication of classic music with the energy and spontaneity of pop and jazz.

It follows two talented teenagers who share a passion for the theatre. As they embark on their journey through the challenging world of drama school auditions, they face numerous obstacles that test their love for each other and their dedication to their dreams.

Written by Olly Novello, this is your first chance to witness a brand new show.


FAKING BAD – THE UNAUTHORISED PARODY METHSICAL



Opening at The Turbine Theatre – 17th August


Widely considered one of the best TV shows of the 21st Century, this unauthorised tribute to Breaking Bad is predicted to be one of the most stupid and best pieces of musical theatre to ever grace a stage. It will feature actor-musicians who, against the backdrop of an old industrial tunnel, condense the epic story of a lost chemistry teacher into a one act musical comedy.

Written by Rob Gathercole, This all singing, all dancing methsical contains a ridiculous array of musical styles and theatrical tropes to speed through 62 hours of television in under 90 minutes



SUPERYOU



Coming Soon


A brand new musical that looks to be UK bound, SuperYou held some workshop performances in London last year and gave audiences a sneak peek with their performance at Musical Con. It has just wrapped up a run at Milwaukee to stay tuned to see what happens next!

Written by Lourds Lane, this is the journey of a woman who reconnects with her dreams when her superheroine creations come to life. Featuring mind-blowing female performers, new, iconic superheroines and an instantly singable, anthemic modern rock score, SuperYou is the heartwarming story of a woman remembering the power of her own voice.



Follow https://twitter.com/SuperYouMusical to find out what’s next for the show.


IN CLAY: A NEW MUSICAL



In concert at The Other Palace – 21st August


Following a well received debut as part of VAULT Festival, the next outing for this exciting new musical will be an all star concert production for one night only.

Written by Jack Miles and Rebecca Simmonds, it tells the story of Marie-Berthe Cazin, a ceramist in her early 40s who reflects on the great joys and sorrows of a life devoted to making art.

In my VAULT review, I stated it was “bursting with numbers that feel destined to become classics” – with particularly impressive lyrics.

Follow https://twitter.com/inclaymusical for more information


ROCK FOLLIES



Opening at Chichester Festival Theatre Minerva – 24th July


Based on the ground-breaking TV series, this new musical features a book by Chloe Moss and songs by Howard Schuman and Andy Mackay.

This punchy new musical is a rousing, riotous rollercoaster of woman power. It’s the 1970s and feminism is on the rise. Fed up with the male-dominated entertainment industry, Anna, Dee and Q take the future into their own hands and form a rock band – the ironically named ‘Little Ladies’. And so begins the musical helter-skelter ride of a lifetime. Can principles and ambition co-exist? And can their friendship survive in the dog-eat-dog world of rock?

Tickets available from http://cft.org.uk/


SCOUTS



Now playing at The Other Palace


Currently playing to rave reviews for a limited run in London, this new musical features music and lyrics by David Fallon and a book and lyrics by Sam Cochrane.

The musical is set at the annual Scout games where Scouts from around the world have gathered to compete, but when someone threatens to sabotage the competition, it is up to Joe and Ayesha to put aside their rivalries and use their newfound skills to save the day!



Follow https://twitter.com/TheGigglemug for more information on this and their other projects.



IN DREAMS – A NEW MUSICAL



Opening at Leeds Playhouse – 3rd July


The world premiere of an exciting new musical takes place next week.

Written by David West Read, it features the music of the legendary Roy Orbinson.

It revolves around former lead singer of a country rock band Kenna as she reaches a critical moment in her life. She throws a party in a family-run Mexican restaurant to reconnect with old friends, while keeping her deeper motivations a secret.


DEATH NOTE



Playing at London Palladium – 21st and 22nd August


Does this count as a new musical? It premiered in 2015 in Tokyo but this year it gets a European and English language premiere with a concert production at the London Palladium.

With a score by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Jack Murphy and book by Ivan Menchell, it tells the story of Light Yagami, a bright but dissatisfied high school student in Tokyo comes across a discarded notebook owned by Ryuk, a mythological god of death. Discovering he can kill anyone by just writing their names in the supernatural notebook, Light takes justice into his own hands by filling the notebook with names of the nation’s most wanted criminals. But a detective only known as “L” is soon tracking him down...

The concert productions sold out in a flash and considering this is how Bonnie & Clyde started, don’t be surprised if we see more of Death Note in the West End soon.




Follow https://twitter.com/DeathNoteLDN for all the latest updates.


TREASON



Touring the UK – From 25th October


This Autumn the highly anticipated British musical gets its full production premiere as part of a tour which explodes into London from 8th November.

Having garnered a global audience following its streamed concert in 2021, staged concert last year and album release, there is a great buzz over this show and for very good reason.

With music, book and lyrics by Ricky Allan, it is an historic tale of division, religious persecution, and brutality, ending in an ambitious yet fateful plot to bring down both the monarchy and the government.




Dates and tickets at http://treasonthemusical.com/

Follow https://twitter.com/treasonmusical for all the latest


SINATRA THE MUSICAL



Opening at Birmingham Rep – 23rd September


A brand new musical based on the life and career of Frank Sinatra, it features a book by Joe DiPietro and will tell the story of Frank from a performance as a 27 year old in 1942 all through the twists and turns across his historic life.

A major world premiere, catch it at Birmingham Rep before anywhere else.

Tickets on sale from http://birmingham-rep.co.uk/


THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON



Concluding its run at Southwark Playhouse on 1st July


It feels fitting to end this post back at the beginning – something that makes sense given the theme of the show in question.

With a book and lyrics by Jethro Compton and music and lyrics by Darren Clark, this show has won rave reviews during its run at Southwark Playhouse over the past month but is the closing next week really going to be the last we ever see of it?

I doubt it. The show feels destined to further life which may include a West End transfer (I hope anyway). The fact they have debuted new artwork in the shows final week makes me think there is more life to come for this stunning show.


Follow https://twitter.com/TCCOBBMusical to find out what’s next


So there you have it. 25 brand new musicals you are able to enjoy right now and in the months and years to come.


Championing new musical theatre is something that will always be incredibly close to my heart and I hope to do more features like this regularly. Send me a message on Twitter or an email with any new musicals you’d like me to include.


See you at the theatre!

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