Heathers (TUE 5 OCT – SAT 9 OCT), Palace Theatre
Following two smash hit record-breaking seasons in London West End, Heathers The Musical embarks on its first national tour.
Set at Westerberg High, where Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day. But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity finally start to come true. Until JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder to be a somebody.
Rock of Ages (TUE 5 OCT – SAT 9 OCT), Opera House
Strictly winner Kevin Clifton (Singin’ in the Rain) who thrilled audiences as rock star ‘Stacee Jaxx’ on tour in 2019 goes back to the ‘Bourbon Room’ when he plays alongside Luke Walsh (lead role ‘Drew’ Rock of Ages 2018/19 Tour), Rhiannon Chesterman (Mrs Henderson Presents), Ross Dawes (Phantom of the Opera), Gabriella Williams (MAMMA MIA!), Jenny Fitzpatrick (Tina The Musical), returning favourites Vas Constanti, Andrew Carthy, Erin Bell and new talent Joe Gash as ‘Lonny’ in the ultimate ‘80s rock ‘n’ roll musical.
Rock of Ages is the hilarious musical comedy lavished with over 25 classic rock anthems, including Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Wanted Dead or Alive, Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight this Feeling and I Want To Know What Love Is, played loud and proud by an awesome live band.
Leave it all behind and lose yourself in a city and a time where the DREAMS are as BIG as the HAIR, and yes, they can come true!
Now a global smash with hit seasons on Broadway, London’s West End and Las Vegas and a star studded Hollywood movie version, we promise you the best night out around!
Where To Belong (14 OCT), HOME
Where to Belong is the tender, moving autobiographical story of artist and performer Victor Esses’ journey to find home. Esses is Jewish-Lebanese, Brazilian, and gay; this is an exploration of how to find your place in a rich and complex world of identities. What actually is home? Is it the four walls that surround us, is it the person we spend time with or is it a feeling and sense of place? If we had to leave where we live today, where would we go and what would we take?
In 1975, Victor’s mother fled Lebanon as a refugee of the Civil War and, in 2017, Esses visited Lebanon for the first time. In 2018, amidst the elections that saw Brazil choose a far-right president, he travelled from London to São Paulo to show his partner the city of his childhood. This very personal story sees Esses visit Lebanon for the first time, video calling his mother now in Brazil from the Lebanese flat she was forced to abruptly leave.
Esses’ method of storytelling is subtle, touching and also deeply moving. With his complex heritage and identity many of his family won’t accept him for who he is; Where to Belong is not just about finding oneself but also about seeking acceptance from those who surround you. Using a mixture of video projection, photographs, music and songs to suggest what home means to him, Esses explores the universal themes of identity, togetherness, compassion and empathy in this remarkable production.
Victor Esses has performed at venues including Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and Whitechapel Gallery. During the pandemic, he has worked on digital project Unfamiliar at Home with his partner and fellow artist Yorgos Petrou. This online tour was based on Unfamiliar which was nominated for the 2019 Lukas Awards.
Victor Esses comments, The trip to my parents’ homeland of Lebanon was an intense and emotional experience that really highlighted the particularities of my different identities, and how they impact the way in which I relate to the world. Given the increasingly alarming homophobic attacks happening all over the world, it feels particularly important for me to give voice to this and connect with audiences over our fundamental similarities. After such an isolated time, it also feels very pressing to present a piece which is all about connection and understanding.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert (MON 11 OCT – SAT 16 OCT), Palace Theatre
Grease The Musical (MON 11 OCT – SAT 23 OCT), Opera House
After a whirlwind summer romance, leather-clad greaser Danny and girl-next-door Sandy are unexpectedly reunited when she transfers to Rydell High for senior year. But can they survive the trials and tribulations of teenage life and find true love once more?
With its phenomenal score, bursting with hits including Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re the One That I Want, this thrilling new version is brought to life by a fresh young cast who bring energy, vitality and passion to this ultimate musical classic.
Directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster, Choreographed by Arlene Philips and starring very special guest artist – Peter Andre as Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine – reignite your passion and get ready for an explosion of summer loving.
So round-up your Burger Palace Boys, pick up your Pink Ladies and re-discover why Grease really is the one that you want this term!
Please note: Peter Andre will not appear in the performances on Mon 11, Mon 18 and Sat 23.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (TUE 19 OCT – SUN 24 OCT), Palace Theatre
With the original songs by the legendary Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), including Portobello Road, The Age Of Not Believing, The Beautiful Briny and new music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill, Bedknobs and Broomsticks will be brought to life by award-winning theatre-makers Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison.
When the three orphaned Rawlins children are reluctantly evacuated from wartime London to live with the mysterious Eglantine Price, they have no idea what adventures lie ahead. Upon discovering Eglantine to be a trainee witch, they join forces to search for a secret spell that will defeat the enemy once and for all. Armed with an enchanted bedknob, a bewitched broomstick and a magical flying bed, they encounter surprising new friendships on their journey from Portobello Road to the depths of the beautiful briny sea.
Dianne Pilkington will star as Miss Eglantine Price, the mysterious lady that the three orphaned Rawlins children are evacuated from wartime London to live with. Dianne’s West End credits include Les Miserables, Wicked, Mamma Mia! and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.
Charles Brunton will play Emelius Browne. Charles starred in the iconic role of Miss Trunchbull in Matilda both in the West End and on Broadway. Other credits include Love Never Dies, Chess and Scrooge.
The rest of the company includes Mark Anderson, Jessica Aubrey, Georgie Buckland, Kayla Carter, Jonathan Cobb, Jacqui Dubois, Matthew Elliot-Campbell, Sam Lupton, Rob Madge, Vinnie Monachello, Nathaniel Morrison, Conor O’Hara, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Robin Simoes Da Silva, Emma Thornett and Susannah Van Den Berg. The Rawlins children will be played by Dexter Barry, Izabella Bucknell, Haydn Court, Poppy Houghton, Evie Lightman and Aidan Oti.
This magical musical starts its UK Tour this year….it’s time to start believing!
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is produced by Michael Harrison by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions.
Hairspray (MON 25 OCT – SAT 13 NOV), Palace Theatre
The international musical phenomenon Hairspray returns to Manchester this year! After breaking box office records and delighting audiences in the West-End, on Broadway and on the big screen since 1988, this smash hit musical-comedy has quite the legacy, and now we’re heading back out on tour around the UK and Ireland in 2021.
Welcome to the 60s, where everyone’s grooving to a brand-new sound! Enter our vivacious heroine Tracy Turnblad, who has big hair, a big heart, and big dreams to dance her way onto national TV, and into the heart of teen idol Link Larkin. When Tracy becomes a local star, she is able to use her newfound fame to fight for liberation, tolerance, and interracial unity in Baltimore. But can she win equality – and Link’s heart – without denting her ’do?
This fun-filled, feel good show is bursting with show-stopping numbers, dazzling costumes, and dizzying dance-routines that you can’t help but shimmy too! Featuring some of musical theatre’s biggest and best hit songs, including Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat, Good Morning Baltimore and so many more, Hairspray is the hilarious, joyous, and uplifting musical that everyone needs right now!
Book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan; Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman.