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2016 in Review: 4 Big Musicals that Opened in 2016

Sunday, 15th Jan 2017

Well we’re finally at the end of the year and it is that time when we take a look back at the big events on the West End calendar. As with any year in the capital we have seen many shows come and go but we’re going to take a look at some of the big musicals that opened their doors in 2016 and will continue to draw in the crowds in 2017 as well.

1). Dreamgirls – Savoy Theatre
The most recent addition to the West End landscape on this list is Dreamgirls, which recently opened its doors at the Savoy Theatre and, as seen by its recent booking extension, has already proven popular with audiences. The hit Broadway musical has enjoyed a long life in the spotlight, with the 2000s film version also drawing in the crowds, and now audiences can see Amber Riley take on the popular role of Effie White in the West End.

Dreamgirls is currently booking at the Savoy Theatre for performances up to Saturday 21st October 2017.

2). Aladdin – Prince Edward Theatre
2016 saw the arrival of another Disney musical in the capital, following on the footsteps of hits like Beauty And The Beast, The Lion King and Mary Poppins. Aladdin, like the 1994 film on which it is based, takes us to the streets of Agrobah, where we meet the ‘street urchin’ of the title and follow his adventure with a magic lamp and a genie as they fight a villainous sorcerer.

It runs at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End and is likely to entertain audiences for some time to come. It is booking there until Saturday 3rd June 2017.

3). School of Rock – New London theatre
One thing that these musicals all have in Common is that they have all been seen on the big screen as well as the stage and this remains true for School Of Rock, which also doubles-up as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical.

Having already wowed audiences on Broadway, the New London Theatre now welcomes the story of Dewey Finn (David Fynn), a down-on-his-luck musician who tricks his way into substitute teaching, leading a group of pupils on a journey of rock’n’roll discovery.

Based on the famous Jack Black film of the same name, School Of Rock opened at the New London Theatre in November 2016 and is currently booking there for performances up to Sunday 9th April 2017.

4). The Bodyguard – Dominion Theatre
This one is in fact a returning show, having already entertained audiences at the Adelphi Theatre in 2012, and this time takes up shop at the Dominion Theatre. Beverley Knight plays Rachel Marron, the part made famous by Whitney Houston in the 1990s film, and the show features an array of popular musical numbers.
This current run began at the Dominion Theatre in July 2016 and reminded audiences of why this was such a popular production in the first place. Now it is booking at the venue until January 2017.

5). Honourable Mentions
A quick shout out to some of the briefly-appearing shows in the West End now as some shows opened their doors at the end of the year and are due to bow out Once the festive season is over. One of those is Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage, which runs at the Phoenix Theatre as part of a brief run that takes it to New Year’s Eve 2016.

Then there are the myriad Christmas productions, ranging from the annual The Snowman to The Gruffalo and Mr Popper’s Penguins. All in all it is clear that it has been a busy year in the West End!

Chris Packer
Chris Packer Chris Packer has been writing about the West End for many years and wishes this knowledge would help him win some pub quizzes. When he’s not writing about the newest shows he’s probably watching films or anticipating the latest releases.