2014 West End

I Can't Sing new 200x3002014 has been yet another exciting year for theatre in London’s West End, one of the best places for theatre in the world. A whole host of productions arrived on the scene, including brand new musicals, revivals of classic shows and show stopping plays. Here’s our pick of the most notable productions to hit the West End this year.

One of the first new productions of 2014 was I Can’t Sing, the X Factor musical written by comedian Harry Hill. It simultaneously celebrated and poked fun at the TV show which has dominated our living rooms for ten years. It was a controversial choice for the West End and it split the critics, with many saying it should have started out on the fringe circuit instead of jumping straight into the cavernous London Palladium. The production cost an alleged £6 million – one of the most expensive shows in recent history. It opened on 26th March but was a huge flop, only running for a total of 10 weeks.

Boublil and Schonberg’s musical Miss Saigon was the most hotly anticipated show of the year, arriving at the Prince Edward Theatre in May. It retuned to the West End 15 years after its renowned original run under the watchful eye of MS_Encore_141x175producer Cameron Mackintosh. This legendary musical is based on the opera Madame Butterfly, but has been relocated to Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It tells the story of G.I soldier Chris and local Vietnamese girl Kim, who fall in love during the last days of the war. 18 year old Eva Noblezada, who made her West End debut as Kim, has been praised for her performance in the show and has been hailed as the next big thing on the West End. The show includes famous songs including “The Heat is on in Saigon”, “Sun and Moon” and “Last Night of the World”.

The Tony award winning musical Urinetown transferred from the St James Theatre to the Apollo Theatre in September this year. It’s been dubbed the most hilarious musical since The Book of Mormon, which is quite a claim! It’s set in a dystopian city which has been suffering from a serious drought for 20 years. To save water the Government puts a stop to peeing for free. They charge ludicrous amounts of money for people to use the public toilets owned by Urine Good Company. But Bobby Strong, apprentice at the city’s worst public toilet Amenity #9, soon suspects Government corruption and plans to overthrow them. Comedian Phill Jupitus recently joined the cast as the show’s bad guy and has so far been a hit.

Andrew Lloyd Webber brought the ‘80s back to town with Cats the musical, which arrived at the London Palladium on December 6th. Webber himself returned to work on the production along with original director Trevor Nunn and choreographer Gillian Lynn. The original production was known for it’s ‘in the round’ staging but this new version was updated to be end on. The show’s original designer reworked the stage and added contemporary rubbish to the set, including car tyres, mobile phones and modern food packaging. Ex Pussy Cat Doll Nicole Scherzinger stars in the show as Grizabella the Glamour Cat and impressed the critics with her rendition of the show’s biggest song, “Memory”.

CTT Gypsy SmallThe Chichester Festival Theatre is known for its West End transfers, and 2014 has been no exception! The Sondheim musical Gypsy had an extremely successful run in October starring actress Imelda Staunton, and is now transferring to the Savoy Theatre from March 2015. The show is widely thought to be the best production in Broadway history and hasn’t been seen on the West End for over 40 years. It follows Momma Rose, a terrifying mother who wants her two daughters to be musical stars. It’s been a terrific production at the Chichester Festival Theatre and is destined for great things in 2015.

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