BEST Shows to see in the Midlands!

2017 is already shaping up to be a very exciting year for regional theatres in the Midlands. Here is a few of my personal recommendations and ones that I am excited about.

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Birmingham Rep is playing host to a new stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning masterpiece ‘La Strada‘ and its a show that’s incredibly high on my hit list. It looks beautiful and with direction by Olivier Award nominee Sally Cookson (Jane Eyre & Peter Pan National Theatre, Hetty Feather West End) and an international cast of actor musicians, it promises to be a feast for the eyes and ears.

Moving between the dazzling lights of the circus and the bare landscapes of rural Italy, this production of La Strada promises to be a theatrical feast for all the senses.

La Strada – Birmingham Rep | Mon 08 – Sat 13 May | Tickets: birmingham-rep.co.uk

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Daniel Radcliffe starred in the film of the same name but nothing can compare to the horror and thrill of experiencing it live. ‘The Woman In Black’ literally comes alive onstage in this gripping production that is still playing to West End audiences after 25 frightful years, a fact that is a testament to the show. I’m happy to admit that I screamed out loud numerous times and I certainly didn’t expect it to be quite as tense as it is. This is one that I insist that everyone should consider seeing. It stops off at Wolverhampton this May.

Join the 7 million theatregoers worldwide who have experienced “The most brilliantly effective spine-chiller you will ever encounter” Daily Telegraph.

The Woman In Black – Wolverhampton Grand | Mon 22 – Sat 27 May | Tickets: grandtheatre.co.uk

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Adam Sandler is a bit like marmite, you either love him or you hate him but ‘The Wedding Singer‘ is the one exception that everybody loved and now the smash-hit film is taking UK theatres by storm in the form of a new musical that is the ultimate party. I saw this production in its original state in Leicester and enjoyed it far more than I expected. Its everything that the film is and more, with the original music being the biggest highlight – you will LOVE it. I had such a blast that I would not hesitate to see it again. The cast are insanely talented and the production is produced to the highest of standards.

Don’t miss your chance to join the party of the year – with a musical that promises to get you up dancing faster than your Dad at a wedding, packed with songs which capture all the fun and energy of the Adam Sandler smash hit film.

The Wedding Singer – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham | Tues 23 – Sat 27 May | Tickets: atgtickets.com

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Michael Morpurgo is a renowned author and saw huge success with his record-breaking theatrical phenomenom ‘War Horse‘ which will soon make a welcomed return to Birmingham Hippodrome, but this is not the show I want to highlight at the moment. Currently, another of his wonderful books has leaped on to the stage in a stunning new adaptation. ‘Running Wild‘ is the production that I am most excited for this year. Its a fusion of a breathtaking true story and captivating puppetry from the team that brought us ‘War Horse‘. It looks to be a wondrous treat for the entire family, do take a look at some of the beautiful production shots via the ticket link.

Direct from Regent’s Park Theatre’s sensational summer season, Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to lush life with extraordinary heart, vibrant colour and exceptional creativity, wowing audiences of all ages and critics alike.

Running Wild – Wolverhampton Grand | Tue 6 – Sat 10 June | Tickets: grandtheatre.co.uk

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The Play That Goes Wrong‘ has became an international hit and has just transferred to the bright lights of Broadway but us regional folk are still lucky enough to catch it in all its glory at the Birmingham Rep this June. I have already seen it and couldn’t resist wanting to go again. Whether you love or work in theatre, enjoy an old-fashioned farcical comedy or are simply looking for an entertaining night out, this is the show that ticks all the right boxes.

Hailed “a gut-busting hit” by the New York Times, Mischief Theatre’s sell-out West End comedy has won a host of celebrity endorsements from the likes of Joanna Lumley – “We laughed until the tears ran down our faces, it has to be seen” to Ant & Dec – “The funniest show we’ve seen! If you can get a ticket, go!”

The Play That Goes Wrong – Birmingham Rep | Mon 19 – Sat 24 June | Tickets: birmingham-rep.co.uk

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Each year, Birmingham Hippodrome house a huge West End hit for their summer season with ‘Matilda the Musical’ taking up 2018’s two month slot but this year is incredibly special as the legendary ‘Miss Saigon’ takes flight in the second city. Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s hit has taken the West End and Broadway by storm and is now preparing to fly around the UK in a huge national tour. Annoyingly, I have never seen it live and so I cannot miss this chance to see the spectacular helicopter literally take flight live on stage. The story is beautifully thrilling and the music is spine-tingling, I haven’t heard one bad comment about this show of epic proportions.

Winner of a record-breaking nine Whatsonstage Awards 2015 including Best Show, this epic love story tells the tragic tale of young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with an American GI called Chris – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.

Miss Saigon – Birmingham Hippodrome | Wed 26 July – Sat 23 Sept | Tickets: birminghamhippodrome.com

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Dusty Springfield’s distinctive songbook is soon to become the basis of a new jukebox musical ‘Son of a Preacher Man‘ which will make a stop in Birmingham this September. The show is already being hailed as the ‘sparklingly funny and sweetly touching new musical’ and I don’t doubt that at all, I’m particularly keen to see how it transfers to the stage. Craig Revel Horwood is to directed and choreograph the production which could go either way. His recent production of Sister Act was terribly done and so I’m praying he stays clear of the ‘actor-musician’ approach as he seems to think it works for everything, but as Sister Act showed, it doesn’t. I have a feeling that this show could turn my opinion around, and I hope it does just that. That catalogue of songs can beat any possible production fault, so snap up a ticket now.

‘Son of a Preacher Man’ is the sparklingly funny and sweetly touching new musical featuring the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield.

Son of a Preacher Man – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham | Tues 12 – Sat 16 Sept | Tickets: atgtickets.com

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‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’, is in its 3rd year in the West End and now the Olivier award-winning production is coming to Birmingham in November. Initially, I wasn’t bothered about this show at all until I started doing a little of bit of research (talking to my nan mainly). I knew the show followed the life of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom but I didn’t realise how long her list of hits was, especially how many of them I knew. With countless classics such as You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, Take Good Care of my Baby, You’ve Got a Friend, Up on the Roof and Locomotion, what’s not to love? Then I saw the production shots and it looks gorgeous, so I had to book and I cant wait! And yes, I’m taking my Nan.

Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical – Birmingham Hippodrome | Tues 7 – Sat 11 Nov | Tickets: birminghamhippodrome.com

Have any recommendations yourself? Do share them!

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