For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur
Strike Up the Band!

Strike Up the Band!

Welcome to Strike Up the Band!, our snapshot of the shows the professional musical theatre scene has to offer now and over the next few months.

Why do we dare talk about the professional industry in a magazine aimed at the amateur sector? There are many reasons actually, and the three main ones are:

  • Professional productions represent the level we, as amateurs, aspire to.
  • These shows are the titles that will, one day, be available to amateurs.
  • As regular theatregoers, who doesn’t love a great night out at a show?


Gillian Lynne Theatre, London WC2B 5PW
Until 1 March 2020
W: | F: schoolofrockmusical | T: @schoolofrockuk
After a run of three years, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s worldwide hit musical will play its last performance at the Gillian Lynn Theatre (where it has played more than 1,400 times) on 1 March before embarking on a major UK tour next year.



Arts Theatre, London WC2H 7JB
Booking extended until January 2021
W: | F: sixthemusical | T: @sixthemusical
The musical that’s taking the world by storm has extended its West End run until 2021.
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived… is merely scratching the surface. Don’t miss the show that has come from nowhere!



Photo: Pamela Raith

Savoy Theatre, London, WC2R 0ET
Until 23 May 2020
W: | F: 9to5TheMusicalUK | T: @9to5MusicalUK
Louise Redknapp and Brian Conley will return to play Violet Newstead and Franklin Hart Jnr. respectively in Dolly Parton’s hit musical. Redknapp will take over from Caroline Sheen on 10 Feb, with Conley coming in for David Hasselhoff from 2 March – with Sean Needham filling a stop-gap from 10 – 29 Feb. The pair will join Chelsea Halfpenny as Judy Bernly, Natalie McQueen as Doralee Rhodes and Bonnie Langford as Roz Keith.
Based on Patricia Resnick’s original screenplay and Parton’s iconic score, the London show opened last February and already has a touring counterpart travelling around the UK.
Set in a large corporate office, Doralee, Violet and Judy are three workmates, pushed to boiling
point by their sexist and egotistical boss.



Photo: Matthew Murphy

The Adelphi Theatre, London WC2R 0NS
Until 4 July 2020
W: | F: waitresslondon | T: @WaitressLondon
The musical has welcomed Evelyn Hoskins to the role of Dawn while original London cast member Marisha Wallace has also returned to the West End production. The show’s writer, Sara Bareilles has also joined the West End cast as Jenna opposite Gavin Creel as Dr Pomatter.






Sondheim Theatre, London W1D 6BA
Booking until 17th October 2020
W: | F: lesmisofficial | T: @lesmisofficial
Matt Lucas stepped in to play the role of Thénardier when Gerard Carey was unable to perform in the new production at the Sondheim Theatre. However, a back injury has meant Lucas himself is now unable to continue. Ian Hughes has now stepped in from the UK tour.



Lyceum Theatre, London WC2E 7RQ
Booking until 12 February 2021
W: | F: DisneyUK | T: @Disney_UK
After twenty landmark years in the West End (more than 7,500 performances), The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Based on the 1994 animated film, the musical has broken all records.



Photo: Matthew Murphy

Noël Coward Theatre, London WC2N 4AU
Booking until 30 May 2020
W: | F: DEHWestEnd | T: @DEHWestEnd
A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Both deeply personal and profoundly contemporary, this is a new musical about life and the way we live it.






Photo: Craig Sugden

Phoenix Theatre, London WC2H 0JP
Booking until 23 May 2020
W: | F: ComeFromAwayUK | T: @ComeFromAwayUK
The award-winning musical enters its second year in the West End and will welcome new cast members from Monday, 10 February.
The true story of 7,000 stranded air passengers in Newfoundland during the wake of 9/11.



Photo: Manuel Harlan

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BB
Until 8 March 2020
W: | F: thersc | T: @thersc
The best-selling first novel by David Walliams features sixteen original compositions by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers. The show opened at the RSC to five-star reviews at the end of November and may give Matilda a run for its money – is a West End transfer on the cards?
The heart-warming comedy tells the story of star striker and fashion-lover Dennis. Directed by Gregory Doran and adapted by Mark Ravenhill.





Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, Wembley HA9 0SP
Until 1 March 2020
W: | TroubadourWPark | T: @troubadourWPark
Strictly dancer, Kevin Clifton, has teamed up with Rhiannon Chesterman again since the pair performed together in the recent UK tour of Rock of Ages for this month-long run in West London.




Photo: Pamela Raith

Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP
Until 8 February 2020
W: | F: ParkTheatreLondon | T: @ParkTheatre
There are only days left to see this show before it closes. The musical transferred from Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre at the start of Jan and features music & lyrics by Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz. Fresh from Ellis Island, a mother and her son search for a new life and a sense of home in America as the 20th Century beckons.



Photo: Richard Davenport

Touring now until 11th April 2020
W: | F: CurtainsMusicalUK | T: @MusicalCurtains
From creators of Cabaret and Chicago (Kander & Ebb) this Tony award-winning backstage murder mystery musical stars another ex-cover star, Jason Manford – who is making a big name for himself in musical theatre.
The stand-up comedian plays Frank Cioffi who is tasked with solving an onstage murder… lucky he’s a big community theatre performer himself.



Photo: Johan Persson

Touring now until 6th June 2020
W: | F: MBNewAdventures | T: @new_adventures
Matthew Bourne’s triumphant adaptation of the legendary film has won two Olivier Awards and dazzled audiences across the UK and USA. It’s a tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion. Music comes from Bernard Herrmann.



Photo: Mark Yeoman

Touring now until 18th April 2020
W: | F: soundofmusicGB | T: @soundofmusicGB
Another Bill Kenwright production, and an all-time favourite from Rodgers & Hammerstein. The musical masterpiece tells the true story of the Von Trapp family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria becomes part of the Third Reich.



The Other Palace, London SW1E 5JA
12 February – 3 May 2020
W: | F: BeMoreChillMusical | T: @bemorechill
The atypical love story of a boy, a girl… and the supercomputer inside the boy’s head guiding him every step of the way. The boy is desperately trying to fit in. The girl’s longing to be noticed. And the supercomputer just wants to take over the world.
The hit Broadway musical bursts with addictively catchy songs.



Dominion Theatre, London W1T 7AQ
5 February – 12 September 2020
W: | F: PrinceOfEgyptUK | T: @PrinceOfEgyptUK
“Journey through the wonders of Ancient Egypt as two young men, raised together as brothers in a kingdom of privilege, find themselves suddenly divided by a secret past. One must rule as Pharaoh, the other must rise up and free his true people; both face a destiny that will change history forever.”



Photo: Francis Loney

Sasha Regan’s All-male H.M.S. PINAFORE
Touring from 15 April – 24 June 2020
W: | F: allmalehmspinafore | T: @allmalehms
The team that brought the All-Male The Pirates of Penzance to Wilton’s Music Hall re-imagine G&S’s acclaimed comic opera. Set on a World War II ship, the captain’s daughter has fallen for a lower-class sailor… but what lies in store for the lass and her hearty seafarer?



Photo: Dale Wightman

Touring from 20 February – 11 July 2020
W: | F: Friendsical | T: @Friendsical
The 2019 Edinburgh Festival hit is the original and unique parody musical inspired by the gang in Friends, the iconic TV show. The musical opened to a rapturous response from audiences, becoming one of the top ten best-selling shows of 2019’s festival. However, when Sardines reviewed the show at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls, our reviewer only gave it two stars!



Photo: Johan Persson

Touring now until 13th June 2020
W: | F: OnYourFeetUK | T: @OnYourFeetUK
The inspiring true love story of Emilio and Gloria and charts their journey from its origins in Cuba, onto the streets of Miami and finally to international superstardom.







Touring now until 25th April 2020
W: | F: BKLProductions | T: @bkl_productions
John Partridge and Kara Lily Hayworth are reportedly bringing the best-ever version of Bill Kenwright’s established production to the stage, as Emcee and Sally Bowles respectively. Anita Harris also stars as Fraulein Schneider in one of Kander & Ebb’s most-loved musicals.



Photo: Andrew Ross

SWAN LAKE – Now touring until 4 April 2020
FIRST STEPS: SWAN LAKE – Now touring until 3 April 2020
SWAN LAKE DREAMS – Now touring until 31 March 2020
W: | F: bhamroyalballet | T: @brb
Ballet’s greatest love story returns in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s lavish production. This romantic fable of ill-fated passion, powerfully illuminated by Tchaikovsky’s legendary score played live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, has bewitched audiences for generations.





Photo: Oliver Rosser

Piccadilly Theatre, London W1D 7DY
Performances from 13 February 2020
W: | F: prettywomanuk | T: @prettywomanuk
Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance supply the music to the Broadway hit which, in the West End, will star Aimie Atkinson as Vivian Ward, Danny Mac as Edward Lewis, Rachael Wooding as Kit De Luca, Bob Harms as Happy Man/Mr Thompson, Neil McDermott as Philip Stuckey and Mark Holden as James Morse.






Photo: Joseph Sinclair

Trafalgar Studios 2, 14 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DY
5 February – 7 March 2020
W: | F: TrafStudios | T: @TrafStudios
The Olivier Award-nominated producers of the 2017 smash-hit La bohème, announce the full cast for the Puccini double-bill, Opera Undone: Tosca & La bohème. The production will run at Trafalgar Studios 2 from 5 February to 7 March 2020. Adam Spreadbury-Maher, Artistic Director of the King’s Head Theatre, will also direct the production, with musical direction from David Eaton.





Touring from 10 March – 4 July 2020
W: | F: MillionDollarUK | T: @MillionDQuartet
Back by popular demand following huge success on Broadway and the West End, this is the Tony Award-winning musical inspired by the famous recording session that brought together rock‘n’roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. Peter Duncan stars as Sun Records’ Sam Phillips.



Photo: Johan Perrson

Touring from 8 February – 16 August 2020 as well as the Apollo Theatre West End production
W: | F: JamieMusical | T: @jamiemusical
The upcoming tour of the smash-hit West End show will include Layton Williams who currently stars as Jamie in the West End as well as Shane Richie who played Hugo/Loco Channelle at the Apollo Theatre. They are joined by Shobna Gulati as Ray and George Sampson as Dean.
Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.
With catchy songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells, and book and lyrics by writer Tom MacRae, this funny, fabulous, feel-good, musical sensation has been wowing audiences and critics alike. Sixteen: the edge of possibility. Time to make your dreams come true.





Photo: Simon Annand

Touring from 16th November – 6 December 2020
then… Sadler’s Wells: 8 Dec 2020 – 24 Jan 2021
W: | F: MBNewAdventures | T: @New_Adventures
The sweetest of all Matthew Bourne’s treats returns with family-sized helpings of his trademark wit, pathos and magical fantasy.



Photo: Specular

Touring from 10th Sep 2020 – 2 Jan 2021
W: | F: BatTheMusical | T: @BatTheMusical
Featuring Jim Steinman and Meatloaf’s greatest hits, this show wowed critics and public alike when it played at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and London’s Dominion Theatre in 17-19.



Touring from 2nd June – 28 November 2020
W: | F: selladoortheatre | T: @sell_a_door
Inspired by the film of the same name, the musical takes you on a high-flying, energy-fuelled journey which tackles friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness – wrapped up in explosive choreography and tricks.
Music & lyrics are co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Tom Kitt, music, and Amanda Green, lyrics).



Gillian Lynne Theatre, London WC2B 5PW
Opening in September 2020
W: | F: ALWCinderella | T: @alwcinderella
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s highly anticipated new musical will be a complete reinvention of the classic fairytale, and is based on an original idea by Emerald Fennell, the Emmy Award-nominated lead scriptwriter of the second season of international smash hit Killing Eve, with a brand new score from the legendary composer.



Photo: Alastair Muir

Touring from 14th July – 3 October 2020
W: | F: ddonstage | T: @DDOnStage
A renewed version of the show will bring eager audiences the iconic story of Baby and Johnny, featuring the hit songs: Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and the heart stopping (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, returns to the stage, following two blockbuster West End runs, four hit UK tours, and multiple sensational international productions.




Photo: Matt Crockett

Touring from 12th September 2020 – 2 January 2021
W: | F: DreamgirlsMusicalUK | T: @Dreamgirls_UK
Featuring the classic songs And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, Listen and One Night Only, this sensational, multi-award-winning new production had its critically acclaimed West End Premiere in December 2016 at London’s Savoy Theatre, thirty-five years on from opening on Broadway. Join Effie, Lorrell and Deena as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the realities of show business.



Adelphi Theatre, 409-412 Strand, London WC2R 0NS
Performances from 11 August 2020
W: | F: HelloDollyLDN | T: @HelloDollyLDN
Jerry Herman’s unforgettable score includes: Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Before the Parade Passes By, It Only Takes a Moment and Hello, Dolly!
Imelda Staunton stars alongside Andy Nyman and Jenna Russell. Dominic Cooke will direct.




Leeds Playhouse: 22nd June – 11 July 2020
Roundhouse (London): 17 July – 29 August 2020
W: | F: Monsoonmusical | T: @Monsoonmusical
Nearly twenty years after the multi-award-winning film became one of the most successful international movies of all time and introducing a worldwide audience to Indian culture through the joy of the rom-com, the story of finding love against the odds returns as a new musical.




Touring from 19th September – 5 December 2020
W: | F: mbfwmusical | T: @mbfwmusical
The show will star Alexandra Burke as Julianne Potter in the musical based on the wickedly funny film of the same name. Featuring songs from Burt Bacharach & Hal David including I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, Walk on By, I Say A Little Prayer, What’s New Pussycat.



Adelphi Theatre, 409-412 Strand, London WC2R 0NS
Touring from 26 Sep 2020 – 26 Jun 2021
W: | F: strictlyballroomtouruk | T: @sbtourUK
Craig Revel Horwood will fittingly direct the show based on the award-winning, global film phenomenon, Strictly Ballroom that inspired the world to dance.
Songs include Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time.



Music & Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
YouTube: | F: warnerbrosuk | T: @WarnerBrosUK
In The Heights will be released nationwide in August by Warner Bros. Pictures. The creator of Hamilton and the director of Crazy Rich Asians invite you to the event of the summer, where the streets are made of music and little dreams become big… In the Heights.
Starring Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, the film is based on the musical stage play which wowed Londoners in 2015.





Photo: Kevin Cummins

Touring from 7 August – 5 December 2020
W: | F: sunnyafternoonthemusical | T: @kinksmusical
The multi Olivier Award-winning hit musical tells the story of the early life of Ray Davies and the rise to stardom of The Kinks, who exploded on to the 60s music scene with a raw, energetic new sound that rocked a nation. The Kinks’ best-loved songs, include You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, All Day and All of the Night and Lola.




Sunday, 16 February 2020, 7pm
W: | F: LWTheatres | T: @luciejones1, @AdamBlanshayPro, @LMTOrch
The live February show will be recorded and released as a live album, available in Spring 2020, with specific release details to follow.
It is also announced that joining Lucie on stage will be guest artists, fellow Welsh musical star John Owen Jones and her Waitress co-star Marisha Wallace.
Lucie said: “The Adelphi has become so special to me while playing Jenna over the past year. Being able to step out onto that stage just as Lucie is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and recording the show for a live album is the icing on the cake – or pie! I’m so excited to share the evening with everyone, with a twenty-two-piece orchestra playing some of our favourite tunes, plus a few stories from me and a couple of incredible guests. I know I’ll be reliving the night through the album for the rest of my life!”
Lucie Jones Live at the Adelphi will be a celebration of all that Lucie has achieved to date across her multi-platform career, and will be accompanied by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra.
The show will be packed with old classics and modern hits, and will feature stories from Lucie’s remarkable career.