If you saw my 27 before 27 bucket list, you’ll know I’m on a mission to see 20 theatre shows in 2024. It’s the same goal I set myself in 2023 and happened to surpass, catching no fewer than 27 productions in the last 12 months.
As we step into the new year, I’ve taken a look at some of the shows I’m planning to catch in 2024, including UK premieres, reimaginings of some of my favourite films, must-see musicals and plays. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the productions that have me counting down the days until the curtains rise:
- Jesus Christ Superstar – Regent Theatre, Hanley
Kicking off the list is rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, which is heading to The Regent Theatre for one week only this February. The reimagined production tells of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. With its legendary score and compelling narrative, this Andrew Lloyd Webber masterpiece has been on my to-watch list for a while, and has finally made its way back to Hanley for the first time since 2016 – certainly the first time since I started reviewing theatre.
Jesus Christ Superstar runs from Monday, February 19-Saturday, February 24 at The Regent Theatre, Hanley. Tickets are available from £13 here.
- Madagascar the Musical – Regent Theatre, Hanley
Starring CBBC and Strictly Come Dancing star, Karim Zeroual as King Julien, audiences can join Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria and those plotting penguins as they escape from the Central Park Zoo to the unpredictable world of Madagascar. This show is going to be worth the watch for the costumes alone, but with adventure galore and an upbeat score, this is no doubt going to be a hilarious and heartwarming watch.
Madagascar the Musical runs from Thursday, May 16-Sunday, May 19 May at The Regent Theatre, Hanley. Tickets are available from £13 here.
- Pretty Woman – Regent Theatre, Hanley
This is going to be big, HUGE. The iconic love story of Pretty Woman is taking centre stage at The Regent Theatre this summer, promising romance, humour, and one of the most quotable scripts of the 90s. This Broadway adaptation of the beloved film is sure to be a hit with fans and newcomers alike. It’s also a return for Ore Oduba to The Regent after starring in The Rocky Horror Show in 2021. A sensational show that took London’s West End by storm, it’s guaranteed to lift your spirits and light up your heart.
Pretty Woman runs from Monday, July 15-Saturday, July at The Regent Theatre, Hanley. Tickets are available from £13 here.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Regent Theatre, Hanley
In a brand-new production of this much-loved family favourite, audiences can expect a magical adventure with the beloved flying car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This family-friendly musical, based on Ian Fleming’s classic novel that became an iconic 1968 film, promises a blend of whimsy and nostalgia that will transport audiences to a world where anything is possible.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang runs from Tuesday, October 22-Sunday, October 27 at The Regent Theatre, Hanley. Tickets are available from £13 here.
- Only Fools and Horses The Musical – Regent Theatre, Hanley
You might have to fight my partner Jake off for the best seats in the house for this one as the beloved British sitcom comes to life on stage. We very nearly bought tickets to see this in the West End but the prices were into the hundreds, and in coming up North it’s made it more affordable and accessible for theatre goers and devoted Del Boy fans alike. Filled with humour, camaraderie, and misadventures that made the original show a timeless classic, this is going to be a real treat for Trotter fans.
Only Fools and Horses The Musical is running from Monday, December 2-Saturday, December 7 at The Regent Theatre, Hanley. Tickets are available from £13 here.
- Hairspray – Palace Theatre, Manchester
After breaking box office records and delighting audiences in the West End, Broadway and on the big screen since 1988, this smash hit musical-comedy is heading back out on tour around the UK and Ireland, so I bought mum and I tickets for Christmas. This fun-filled, feel good show is bursting with show-stopping numbers, dazzling costumes, and dizzying dance-routines that you can’t help but shimmy too, with a poignant story of fighting intolerance, bigotry and racism in 1960s America.
Hairspray is running at Manchester’s Palace Theatre from Tuesday, July 16-Saturday, July 27. Tickets are available from £13 here.
- Burlesque – Opera House, Manchester
There was simply no way I was going to miss the UK premiere of Burlesque at Mancheser’s Opera House. Based on the hit film featuring Cher and Christina Aguilera, audiences will be immersed into the world of glamour, sequins, and dazzling performances. This theatrical extravaganza promises a night of sensuality and sophistication as it pays homage to the art of burlesque, starring songs from the 2010 film like Express and Show Me How You Burlesque.
Burlesque is running from Thursday, June 13-Sat, June 29 at Opera House Manchester. Tickets are available from £35 here.
- Do I Love You? John Godber – New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme
I never pass up the chance to catch the works of John Godber, and Do I Love You? promises to be a hilarious comedy that sees Sally, Nat and Kyle develop a love for, and the people involved with, Northern Soul. The description reads: “This is Northern Soul for a new generation, but with rising costs, unemployment, and small town blues, has anything really changed? Is this England 1973 or 2023? The pubs are closing, hospitality has gone, and strikes are everywhere; but when you’re out on the floor.”
Do I Love You? Is running at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme from Tuesday, January 30–Saturday, February 3. Tickets are available from £10 here.
- Ladies Down Under – New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme
Following on from the huge success of Ladies’ Day in 2023, Ladies Down Under invites you to find out what happens next. The story follows the adventures of four women from Hull as they navigate life, love and friendship. Hilarious, heart-warming and full of sunshine and laughter, this is the perfect play to brighten up your winter as they head down to the Australian outback to camp under the stars but things aren’t as serene as they imagined…
Ladies Down Under is running from Friday, March 8–Saturday, March 30 at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Tickets are available from £10 here.
- Charles Dickens’ The Haunting – New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme
For those who crave a touch of the supernatural, Charles Dickens’ The Haunting offers a spine-tingling journey into the eerie and mysterious. This adaptation promises to capture the essence of Dickens’ ghostly tales in a hauntingly beautiful production. The Haunting combines all the essential hallmarks of a great Victorian ghost story with a terrifying mystery and will be sure to have you gripping onto the edge of your seats until the thrilling end.
Charles Dickens’ The Haunting is running from Friday, May 24–Saturday, June 15 at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Tickets are available from £10 here.
- The Princess and The Pea – New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme
Adapted by the talented Theresa Hawkins, fairy tales come to life in The Princess and The Pea, offering a magical experience for audiences of all ages. With enchanting characters breath-taking acrobatics, clowning and fairy-tale adventures, this production – in collaboration with Upswing – promises to be a visual and auditory feast.
The Princess and The Pea is running from Wednesday, June 19–Saturday, June 29 at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Tickets are available from £10 here.
I love that these shows offer a diverse range of experiences that cater to every taste, encouraging those who may not necessarily go to the theatre regularly to attend, while making huge productions more accessible for audiences outside of London. Whether you’re a fan of classic tales, musical extravaganzas, or thought-provoking dramas, 2024 promises to be a year filled with magic, laughter, and unforgettable performances. As the stage is set for an unforgettable year of theatre, be sure to mark your calendars, secure your tickets, and get ready for a year of epic curtain calls.