As fast as the spotlight beamed down on it stage left, 2015’s already exiting stage right and (after the spectacle of Christmas) the curtain’s officially closing on the year. We’ve had a fantastic 12 months of live performance in the UK and, with more shows than humanly possibly to see, we couldn’t possibly begin to start choosing our favourites (though that hasn’t stopped us trying). So, instead, we’re looking forward to some of the most talked about productions of 2016. Got any to add? Let us know!

Harry Potter

We couldn’t have this list without a mention of one of the most hotly anticipated shows for muggles everywhere. Regardless of whether you’re a fan or not, the production has been receiving a huge amount of press – announcing just yesterday that the main cast (Harry, Hermione and Ron) would be played by Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley respectively.

The news has excited theatre and Potter fans the world over and there’s a particularly positive buzz around Hermione’s part now hailing from South African heritage. Critically-acclaimed Dumezweni was born in Swaziland and has seen huge success throughout her career. With Potter fans snatching up tickets, you might just need a magic wand to get a chance to see this one…

End of the Globe to Globe tour

All’s well that ends well, and The Globe theatre’s ambitious two-year tour of Hamlet comes to an end in April of 2016. The project, which has already seen the cast and crew travel 249,237 KM across 154 countries, has the aim of taking the show to every single country in the world. It’s seen huge success on its epic journey so far, with over 3000 people watching the show on one night in Sudan!

When the tour finally returns to the UK, just in time for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the production will play on the Globe stage for four final performances. Parting really is such sweet sorrow…

Billy Elliot moves out of the West End and tours the UK

It’s sometimes argued that UK theatre is incredibly London-centric. We like to think, however, that whatever the rest of us are missing in big budgets and big shows, we make up for in creativity and new works. We have to admit, however, that we’re just a bit excited about Billy Elliot hanging up his ballet shoes in London and putting on his walking boots for the rest of the UK.

Having played at the Victoria Palace Theatre for 11 years (seeing 4,600 performances!) the curtain finally comes down in London in April, allowing the UK-wide tour to start in February in Plymouth. The tour is visiting 10 venues throughout 2016 meaning you should (hopefully) be able to tap into somewhere nearby.

What shows are you most looking forward to in 2016? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook.

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