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Wind In The Willows

! FACT ! The character of Toad was inspired by Grahame’s son

LONDON PALLADIUM From June 17, 2017

Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved book charting the adventures of Ratty, Mole, Toad and Badger has delighted generations of children since it first appeared in 1908. Various stage and film adaptations have followed but the latest musical looks set to raise the bar. Written for the stage by Julian ‘Downton Abbey’ Fellowes, with music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe – the dream team behind the recent Mary Poppins musical – this is bound to be one of the most spectacular and engaging stage versions yet. The only serious challenger in recent years was Will Tuckett’s dance version featuring Teddy Boy weasels. If Fellowes and co can beat that then they have a winner on their hands.


An American In Paris

Words: Neil Norman

DOMINION THEATRE Booking until September 30, 2017

More info: www.reallyusefultheatres.

Bat Out Of Hell

LONDON COLISEUM Booking until July 22, 2017

PERFEC FOR balle T t buffs

One of the most cherished of the MGM musicals, Vincente Minnelli’s 1951 movie An American In Paris is a ballet/musical like no other. Having triumphed in Paris and New York, Brit choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s brand-new stage production finally lands at London’s Dominion Theatre. Wheeldon’s production pays tribute to the movie while enhancing the story for the theatre. Set in a newly-liberated Paris in 1945, it tells of an American GI who decides to stay and try his luck at being an artist. More info: american-in-paris

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Having roared its way around the UK, this Jim Steinman musical is finally set to land at London’s Coliseum for an extended summer run. Bat Out Of Hell is a rock ’n’ roll fantasy featuring songs from Meat Loaf’s back catalogue. A romantic epic set against a post-apocalyptic landscape, it is science fiction, love story and rock opera all rolled into one. When Meat Loaf first saw the show he was so moved that he is reported to have been moved to tears. And with hits including I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Paradise By The Dashboard Light, it is likely to have the same effect on its audiences More info:

The Girls

PHOENIX THEATRE Booking until July 15, 2017 This tale of a plucky Women’s Institute group raising funds for a hospital where one member’s husband spent his final days is now a familiar one, thanks to its retelling in the film Calendar Girls. However Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical is the finest version yet. The ladies of Rylstone, Yorkshire’s scheme to create their own version of the Pirelli calendar (with the help of some strategically placed cupcakes) famously went on to raise more than £4million for Leukaemia research and makes for a heartwarming story. From the opening number Yorkshire to Annie’s song of loss, Kilimanjaro, Barlow and Firth’s songs bring both light and shade to a colourful bunch of women. More info:

42nd Street THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE Booking until July 22

Billed as Broadway’s biggest show on London’s largest stage, 42nd Street is the 1980 musical based on a 1933 Warner Bros film with dance sequences by the indefatigable Busby Berkeley. A backstage musical about the trials and struggles of chorus girls and stars of a Broadway show during the Great Depression, it is one of the most exuberant and lavish musicals ever created and de-livers on all fronts: songs, dancing and story. 42nd Street won a Tony for Best Musical and when it first arrived in the West End in 1984 it made a star of an unknown chorus girl named Catherine Zeta-Jones, who stepped into the lead role when the star fell ill. Now if that isn’t a classic Hollywood tale then Spotlight doesn’t know what is. With its battalions of chorus girls, lavish sets and costumes, this is one show that should not be missed. More info:

Sheena Easton with the cast of 42nd Street

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