Theatre must-sees

Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone in Midnight Tango © Manuel Harlan

From intense drama to light-hearted musicals and madcap comedy, British theatre is set to command a standing ovation in 2013Here at BRITAIN magazine we’ve selected our 13 must-see stage shows for the year ahead.

Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone in Midnight Tango © Manuel Harlan

 Strictly sensation

The stars of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, are bringing their sensational Olivier-nominated show Midnight Tango to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from 13 to 18 May. Tickets cost from £12. Book online at

Dreams of dance

Based on the Oscar-nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical is now booking until 21 December 2013 at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre and is not to be missed. An inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds, it is set in the North East of England against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners’ strike. Billy pursues his passion for dance in secret to avoid disapproval of his struggling family. The musical is composed by Elton John and directed by Stephen Daldry. 0844 811 0055;

Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox in The Judas Kiss

Wilde relationship

Following an acclaimed run at the Hampstead Theatre, Neil Armfield’s production of David Hare’s The Judas Kiss will transfer to the Duke of York’s theatre from 9 January to 6 April 2013. A fascinating insight into Oscar Wilde’s relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, the cast features Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox in the lead roles.

Ben Wishaw and Judi Dench in Peter and Alice

Peter and Alice

Ben Logan’s Peter and Alice will start at the Noël Coward Theatre in March, with Dame Judi Dench playing Alice Liddell Hargreaves and English actor Ben Whishaw as Peter Llewelyn Davies. 0844 482 5141;

The Audience

The Audience (15 February – 15 June at the Gielgud Theatre) will once again see Dame Helen Mirren playing Queen Elizabeth II. The play imagines a series of pivotal meetings between incumbent  prime ministers and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each has used these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional – sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive. 0844 482 5130;

Award-winning Once

Once, the award-winning stage musical, is to transfer from Broadway to the West End from 16 March. Based on the 2006 Irish film about a struggling busker who falls for a Czech immigrant in Dublin, Once will replace Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre.

The cast of Kiss Me Kate © Jay Brooks

Gun-toting gangsters

The dazzling, multi award-winning classic Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate plays at the famous Old Vic theatre in London until 2 March 2013. This glittering new production, directed by Trevor Nunn, stars Adam Garcia and is set against the backdrop of a touring musical production of The Taming of the Shrew. 0844 8717628;