Crossing the pond: Broadway’s biggest hits invading the West End

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I really love Broadway; I can sing the entirety of If/Then (out of tune), I knew all the words to Welcome to the Renaissance from Something Rotten! before the cast recording even came out and if I go much more than a week without watching a video I start to go mad. So it’s a bit of an issue then that I live about 3480 miles away (I actually just calculated that). That doesn’t stop me though, and I get really excited about rumours that some of the shows I feared I would never be able to see are making it to the West End!

The show I’ve probably been waiting the longest for to transfer is Newsies. It’s been rumoured to be coming to London for years now (leading me to have little belief in it actually happening), but every now and then another rumour comes along and gives me some false hope of seeing these dancing newsboys in full flow. Book writer Harvey Fierstein has recently brought his show Kinky Boots to the West End, so perhaps he is treating this as a potential experiment to see if there’s an appetite for Newsies too. I know at least one person that will be buying a ticket for opening night (clue: it’s me).

No surprises here, but another show I’m really hoping comes to London is Something Rotten! You can read what I thought of the cast recording here, but I really think this show would work brilliantly in London – its portrayal of Shakespeare as a rockstar would be even more funny in the place where he lived (for a while), and where so many of his plays were performed. Rumour has it the show’s aiming to make an appearance in early 2016, which is not too long to wait!

Another two 2015 Tony-winning shows eying up the West End are Best Musical Revival winner The King and I and Best Musical winner Fun Home. I really enjoyed both these performances at the Tonys and think they’re the sort of shows that you really need to see to fully appreciate. I’ve tried listening to the cast recordings but neither really grabbed my attention first time round (I need to go back and try again!), so hopefully being able to see them in London will be especially exciting as I will have no idea what’s going to happen next (an unusual occurrence considering my previously mentioned ability to memorise entire musical soundtracks).

2014 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is (apparently) ‘definitely coming to the West End’. I’d be interested to see this show – I love all the music and think it would have a cool, rock concert atmosphere. It needs a fairly small theatre, and a big personality to play the lead character, but with these two components I’m sure the transfer will be brilliant.

Two other interesting rumours – Sting’s The Last Ship and Jason Robert Brown’s The Bridges Of Madison County are supposedly heading to the UK soon. I feel like The Last Ship might go down better on the West End than it did on Broadway – Sting is British after all, and the show focuses on the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear. The Bridges of Madison County is also a show I would love to see; Jason Robert Brown’s scores are some of my favourites and I’ve never actually had a chance to see one of his shows before (though my tickets are booked for the London production of Songs For A New World!).

It’s definitely an exciting time for the West End and its Broadway invasion. I will be buying tickets to anything above as soon as (or if) they become available!


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