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With Boris’s roadmap still on track, the city’s theatres have stepped up their programming and are feeling positive about shows being able to go ahead for early summer onwards.
They’ve announced lots of productions – including quite a few postponed from last year – so get your diaries ready because a night at the theatre (or an afternoon if you’d sooner do the matinee) looks like being an option again at last.
Here are 12 shows which are now available to book …
Corrie’s Julie Hesmondhalgh won rave reviews and an award for this sell-out show at the Edinburgh Fringe which is a real heart-warmer. It’s a love story which begins when a man wakes to discover that the world has stopped. The only sign of life is a light in the house opposite where a woman in an over-sized Bowie T-shirt stands, looking back at him. At the Playhouse from June 29-July 3.
Liverpool actor Andrew Lancel teams up with writer Jonathan Harvey and producer Bill Elms for a sharply funny, clever and poignant one-man show which opens Unity Theatre’s live season. First on at the Liverpool Theatre Festival last September, Andrew returns as gay, fortysomething, English teacher Dave Titswell who finds life, love and the ever-changing politics of the staff room are never easy. At the Unity for six performances from July 1-3 before a short north of England tour.
We could all use a good laugh and Ellen and Rigby, which stars our Lindzi Germain and Andrew Schofield promises to deliver loads. Former (by quite a few years) Miss Old Swan Ellen is unlucky in love, while nearly rock star Joe could use someone to get his life in order – will true love find a way when they’re trapped together between vaccinations? Gerry Linford’s brilliant new comedy reveals all, at the Royal Court from July 2-31.
If you’re looking for a feelgood funny musical to get you back in the mood for live shows, they don’t come much better than this one. Head back to the 60s and join our big girl with big hair heroine Tracy Turnblad who’s aiming to dance her way to fame on TV and find love with local hottie Link Larkin. Get your dancing shoes ready for You Can’t Stop the Beat, Hairspray’s at the Empire from Aug 30-Sept 4.
Love a good murder mystery? If so then Dial M for Murder definitely offers plenty of suspense and a gripping tale. Actor Tom Chambers, best known for his stints in Holby City and Casualty, and for his win on Strictly all the way back in 2008, plays charismatic and manipulative ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice who turns his mind to the perfect crime when he discovers his wife has been unfaithful. At the Playhouse from Sept 14-18.
It had to close due to lockdown back in March last year after a handful of performances, but everyone who missed out will finally get to see Josie Lawrence and Annette Badland starring in Jonathan Harvey’s fabulous comedy drama, written for the Everyman. Our Lady is all about the telling of secrets and the brutal honesty of mixed-up families, centred around two very different sisters, Garnet and Sylvie. It’s on at the Everyman, Sept 17-Oct 9.
A spectacular musical which families will absolutely love, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is back at the Empire this autumn for a three-week run. It tells a tale as old as time, and it’s been around for 26 years but the love story between Belle and her Beast is showing no signs of growing old. Get ready for some fabulous stage effects as well as a great familiar soundtrack. At the Empire from Sept 23-Oct 16.
Remember when we could all go on holidays? Well this play, presented by Out the Attic and part of Unity’s Open Call programme, might be a reminder because it centres around six young women on a trip to Ibiza. Based on real-life experiences of the cast, it explores their different lives, the friendships that they create and the experiences they share that are universally relatable regardless class, race and background. At the Unity on Sept 25.
We all love a Homebaked pie if we get the chance, so it’s only right that they – and their creators – should be immortalised in their own stage show. Starring Pauline Daniels, this new musical comedy tells the inspiring David and Goliath story behind the bakery in Anfield which, when faced with losing their neighbourhood to developers, took their idea for a community business and cooked up something very special. At the Royal Court from Sept 24-Oct 23.
Ant Middleton’s definitely not a guy to mess with – he’s best known as the chief instructor for C4’s show SAS: Who Dares Wins and with skills honed in the special forces he’s been touring since 2017 with his Mind Over Muscle tour. In it he explains his approach to harnessing fear and using the power of your mind to live your best life. For one night at the M&S Bank Arena on Nov 13.
And we are telling you, you should be going … OK, maybe only Dreamgirls fans will get that, but still, if you love a big showstopper ballad musical then this one shouldn’t be missed. And if you’ve watched the film with Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson more times than you can remember then even better. Big songs, glittery costumes, a great story and some real powerhouse performances, what’s not to love? Dreamgirls is at the Empire from Dec 14-Jan 1.
Theatre at Christmas just doesn’t feel the same without the Everyman’s rock ‘n’ roll panto and the good news is it’s back and tickets are already on sale. For 2021/22 it’s Robin Hood and as usual writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton have put their comedy spin on a classic and added loads of fantastic sing-a-long hits for the super-talented cast to play and the audience to join in. Nov 20-Dec 22.
Book tickets here.
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