Curtain up! Light the lights! We got nothing to hit but the heights! Theatre shows are the best part of summer!
After two years of the show lights being down, then up for a bit and dimmed once more, the theatre is back and raring to go. Theatre is an integral part of British culture, from musicals to plays, to comedy shows and, of course, the annual Pantomime (which probably has Craig Revel Horwood involved in some capacity).
But what are the best theatre shows to see in the UK this Spring? Whilst a lot of theatre articles will tell you the latest shows just in London, here at Yours, we know there’s a world outside of the West End, so we’ve compiled a list of the best touring shows to see in 2022 around the UK, across England all the way up to Scotland.
The best touring theatre shows to see around the UK 2022
So, let’s get started, shall we? Theatre nerds assemble, as we bring you the best shows to see everywhere in the UK; North, South, East and Wicked-Witch-of-the-West.
Divorced, beheaded, died...Divorced, beheaded- survived!
You've heard the stories of Henry VII and his long list of wives- but I can guarantee you, Six will be a whole new way to experience the history books. First performed by Cambridge University students at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, little did Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow know their musical would go to the West End, Broadway and then international! A beautifully feminist message for the new age: it shows the women of the Tudor era taking back their autonomy and telling their own stories before and after Henry. Anne of Cleaves is more than just a horse face, you know!
From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power. These queens may have green sleeves but their lipstick is rebellious red.
You can catch Six in nine venues across the UK, including its stint on the West End, booking through until April 2023. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Ruby's thoughts: "SO excited to see this as soon as I get the chance. With a focus purely on spiky lyrics and fabulous voices, it's just you and the queens telling their story, that for so long haven't been heard."
Marie! The baguettes! Hurry up!
Ask any Disney fan, and Beauty and the Beast, the classic animated feature from 1991, is sure to be in their top ten film list. Marvel as you get to see the fairytale in front of your very eyes with the UK tour, 27 years after the musical was first performed on Broadway. With music and lyrics by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, this show is guaranteed to bring much-needed magic into our lives.
Spectacularly reimagined using the latest theatrical innovations, this beloved ‘tale as old as time’ will be brought to life on stage like never before…
Ruby's thoughts: "Extremely jealous of any Bristolians or Mancunians right now. Disney is known for going all out in their theatre shows, and the phrase 'latest theatrical innovations' is super intriguing..."
West End starlet, Juliet Stevenson, stars in The Doctor. After a sell-out run at the Almeida Theatre, Robert Icke's production is transferring to Richmond, Brighton and then London.
Ruth Wolff is The Doctor, a practitioner at the top of her game heading a private clinic that specialises in finding a cure for dementia. One day, a patient is struggling to hold on to life.
On an ordinary day, at a private hospital, a young woman fights for her life. A priest arrives to save her soul. Her doctor refuses him entry.
This ‘devastating’ new play calls into question everything you think you know, as well as your beliefs.
You can catch The Doctor in three venues across the UK, booking through till December 2022. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Piper's thoughts: "This sounds amazing. I'm very intrigued..."
Many of us try to storm the metaphorical barricades in order to see Les Misérables, one of the best musicals ever made - but with it usually residing in the West End, it's hard for most Britons to see the 19th French Revolution story. Oh, mon Dieu!
Turns out Les Misérables is now on tour in the UK, so raise the flag and come and see this phenomenal piece of theatre, arguably a world favourite. The evidence? Well, according to ATG Tickets, Les Misérables has been seen by a whopping 120 million people worldwide in 52 countries and performed in 22 languages.
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.
You can catch Les Misérables in three venues across the UK, plus its long-running stint in the West End, booking through till November 2022. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Ruby's thoughts: "As soon as I hear those opening notes to One Day More, I immediately start tearing up. I believe it's such a privilege we get to see this masterpiece for so long in the UK, with immaculate music and lyrics that make me cry if you can't already tell. This is the musical to see. Bring tissues."
Chicago is a once-in-a-lifetime musical everyone should try and experience at least once because, boy, does it live up to its cult-like status.
Running since the 70s with input from the legendary Bob Fosse, this famous musical set in a women's prison tells an engaging, rumpus story that allows a ton of female performers to show their talents. For example, the legendary Gemma Collins will be joining the tour at Sunderland onwards from Tuesday 31 May 2022, as Mama Morton.
Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.
You can catch Chicago in Oxford, booking through till July 2022. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Ruby's thoughts: "One of my favourites since I watched the phenomenal film adaptation in 2002, it's was on my wishlist to see this iconic show for some time. Just the idea of seeing Cell Block Tango on stage gives me goosebumps. The story-telling within the songs is incredible and will stick with you for years afterwards. I think it's also super exciting that Gemma Collins will be able to show off her musical-theatre chops, which is not known to a lot of the British public."
A show from the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals, you can't get better than a show like South Pacific. Filled with songs everyone knows, such as Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair and Bali Ha’i - step inside the theatre and allow yourself to be absorbed by that old-age Hollywood atmosphere. I mean - it's Rodgers and Hammerstein, how can you go wrong?
This powerful love story, set on a South Pacific island during World War ll, is brought thrillingly to life in an epic new five-star production...adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener.
You can catch South Pacific in three venues across the UK, booking through till October 2022. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Ruby's thoughts: "I grew up listening to these iconic tunes and I'd love to see them sung in character and within the storyline instead of wondering - why is a man living in her hair? Plus, it's going to feature a 30-piece orchestra, which is just so exciting."
If you want a guaranteed fun night out, a little trip to The Rocky Horror Show will never let you down. Raunchy, cheeky, and so very funny, this show is perfect for UK audiences. Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical follows two innocent college kids and their meeting with the fabulous Dr Frank-N-Furter and his funky friends in a spooky mansion. What's even better - Ore Oduba, winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2016, is playing Brad Majors. As he puts it, The Rocky Horror show is the tonic the country needs after two years of hiding indoors. It's time to have fun!
The Rocky Horror Show is the story of two squeaky clean college kids – Brad and his fiancée Janet. When, by a twist of fate, their car breaks down outside a creepy mansion whilst on their way to visit their former college professor, they meet the charismatic Dr Frank-N-Furter.
You can catch The Rocky Horror Show in eight venues across the UK, booking through till April 2023. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Ruby's thoughts: "The Rocky Horror Show is just pure, unadulterated fun, in which the audience is essentially a character in the performance. You can sing, you can dance, you can boo and cheer. I get so much glee from joining in with the cast, singing and having a blast. This brilliant show invites you to let your hair down and forget the woes of the outside world for an evening. That's what theatre is all about."
You can't beat a classic, and there's nothing more classic than Mamma Mia! First performed back in 1999, this jukebox musical by Catherine Johnson based on the hits of ABBA has been a staple on the West End for many a year. There's a chance to see it whilst it's on tour, hitting venues up and down the UK. If you're a fan of ABBA (who isn't?), then bring your friends along to this fabulous night out (Colin Firth unfortunately not included).
Set on a Greek island paradise, a story of love, friendship and identity is cleverly told through the timeless songs of ABBA. Sophie’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they’ll never forget.
You can catch Mamma Mia! in five venues across the UK, plus its long-running stint in the West End, booking through till March 2023. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Ruby's thoughts: "Of course, the songs are incredible, ABBA music was meant for the stage, but its story is just as strong too. An iconic tale of three potential fathers, and one girl learning to appreciate her mother, it's a tale for the ages - and for all ages. It's perfect for the whole family- except in the Lay All Your Love On Me scene, you may want to cover the little one's eyes."
As soon as you read that title, you started singing the song in your head, didn't you? Based on the cultural 80s film, with baby Kevin Bacon, this musical adaptation has the same classic story of dancing being banned - and what the young kids do to break the rules. Plus, you get to jam along to songs from the greatest era, such as Holding Out for a Hero, Let's Hear It For The Boy and a song called...Footloose? Hmm... never heard of it.
City boy Ren thinks life is bad enough when he's forced to move to a rural backwater in America. But his world comes to a standstill when he arrives at Bomont to find dancing and rock music are banned. Taking matters into his own hands, soon Ren has all hell breaking loose and the whole town on its feet.
You can catch Footloose in five venues across the UK, booking through till August 2022. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Ruby's thoughts: "A night of exceptional choreography and 80s music? Yep- count me 100 per cent in."
The Agatha Christie spectacular The Mousetrap has now been running for almost 70 years now. To put it simply, it is a masterful piece of theatre, written by the greatest crime writer of all time.
We don't want to spoil it for you. So, we're not saying much... Don't just see it, solve it.
As news spreads of a murder in London, a group of seven strangers find themselves snowed in at a remote countryside guesthouse. When a police sergeant arrives, the guests discover – to their horror – that a killer is in their midst! One by one, the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts. Which one is the murderer? Who will be their next victim? Can you solve this world-famous mystery for yourself?
You can catch The Mousetrap in 14 venues across the UK, including its long-running stint in the West End, booking through till February 2024. Tickets are available from £13 upwards.
Piper's thoughts: "I've seen this one, and I really enjoyed it. Agatha Christie fools me every single time I watch Marple or read a Poirot... and this play is no exception."