Rejoice, theatre fanatics! This year, Manchester is showing some of the most dazzling musicals in 2023.
Musicals are a fantastic way to spend the day (or night), the sounds, excitement and emotions felt in these shows are undoubtedly electric.
Think about the first time you saw Hamilton live or on Disney, or when you first saw Mamma Mia the Musical. The upbeat storytelling paired with the energetic ensemble made these shows one of the most popular musicals. There's nothing more we can say to express our love for musical theatre, so we'll leave it up to you - but, you should know.
We've never seen anyone come out of a musical show without being entertained, one way or another!
If you're looking for the ideal theatre break in Manchester, take a look at the upcoming musicals playing this year.
What Musicals Are On In Manchester?
This year, Manchester is holding some of the most memorable shows in the city, including Hamilton, Dirty Dancing, and so on.
The past couple of years have made wonderful shows like these impossible to see, and in 2023, the beloved industry is making a real comeback with a list of exciting musicals happening throughout the year.
Kid-Friendly Musicals in 2023
The Spongebob Musical (20/05)
Families can expect fun musicals like these throughout the year. The Spongebob Musical follows the well-known and beloved sea sponge as he saves the day from a violent eruption.
The musical plays like an extended episode of Spongebob Squarepants, telling a story about friendship, trust, and togetherness. The songs played are also catchy for any age, and is perfect for families with children to watch!
Winnie The Pooh (26/07)
Spanning the four seasons of the year, Winnie The Pooh musical follows the lovable Pooh on his quest to find honey by his lonesome.
This show is gently enjoyed by many and is one of the kid-friendly musicals on this list. However, that's not to say that the choreography, set and musical hits are forgettable. The Disney musical shows a lot of promise with each show!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (30/07)
The musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory closely follows the plot of the original movie: Charlie wins a ticket, visits the factory, meets the oompa-loompas, and so on.
There is, however, something magical about watching the story unfold in musical form. The show is an ideal festive family piece that bursts with vibrancy.
Shrek The Musical (12/08)
Shrek has become an iconic character throughout internet culture, making his way through spin-offs and even memes created by users.
This speaks volumes about the movie's spectacular rise to fame. Shrek the Musical has made waves in the theatre industry, creating an entirely enjoyable show filled with a well-crafted style justified by its bright characters (Shrek fans know this!) and song ensembles.
Annie The Musical (18/09)
Annie The Musical follows the story of little orphan Annie, based on a popular comic strip by Harold Gray. The character has become a worldwide sensation in both movie forms and musicals.
This winner of a musical has created Broadway smashed hits such as "Tomorrow" and "It's The Hard Knock Life", making its cultural imprint on the world of musicals - the type that makes you instantly know what the lyrics will be!
Are theatre breaks not what you're looking for? Check out our guide on the top toddler-friendly activities to do in Manchester this year!
Popular Musicals Coming To Manchester
The Bodyguard (Until 15/04)
The Bodyguard is based on the 1992 film "The Bodyguard", featuring hit songs by Whitney Houston (including "One Moment In Time" and "I Will Always Love You". The story follows Frank Farmer, a former secret service agent turned bodyguard that's hired to protect celebrity Rachel Marron from a dangerous stalker.
The fun story paired with the classics of "The Voice", Whitney Houston, creates a wild atmosphere on and off-stage, with the cast even breaking characters to show off their own personalities - according to reviews.
Dirty Dancing Tour (03/06)
Taking part in this raunchy performance adapted from the film's original story, Dirty Dancing musical looks at Frances "Baby" Houseman and her interest in dance - as well as her romantic tale with bad-boy dancer Johnny Castle.
There's no doubt that this musical is considered an iconic addition to the industry, with the show following the story closely to movie.
SIX The Musical (23/07)
SIX the musical was originally a show done during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2018, but following its success, the show went from a small show to a UK tour and five award nominations (such as Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role).
The SIX is all about the six wives of Henry VIII, bringing the personalities of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine of Aragon to life in a musical score.
42nd St. (30/09)
42nd St. Musical follows Peggy Sawyer, a talented young performer from Pennsylvania making her way to New York with a dream of performing on stage. Peggy's rise to fame is a reflection of many show-business dreams and 42nd St. follows this development with tap-dancing routines, excellent ensembles and an enjoyable set.
The energy shown in this musical is second to none and will have you bopping your head over the unreal number of songs played.
Hamilton (Rest of 2023)
Have you heard of Aaron Burr, Sir?
This fantastic musical looks into the life of the founding father of the United State, Alexander Hamilton, and his relationships with other political deities such as George Washington, Elizabeth Schuyler, Aaron Burr and more!
The tale is interspersed with rapid-playing music inspired by rap, hip-hop, and other non-traditional genres not usually found in musicals. The production is combined with excellent storytelling on various musical numbers, paired with incredible choreography.
More Fun Musicals In The City!
The Buddy Holly Story (Until 22/04)
The Buddy Holly Story highlights the true story of Buddy's legendary rise to stardom, in musical form! The show is in two acts and is written by Alan Janes (featuring music by Buddy Holly himself!).
The show is named a "Jukebox Musical" interweaved with the compelling story of Buddy Holly. With additional theatrical features such as lighting, sets, and costumes reflecting the 1950s style, the musical makes you feel like you're in a vintage diner in America.
Menopause The Musical 2 (30/04)
The narrative follows four women that are navigating their way through a natural change, helping and supporting each other - with the help of well-known songs with a twist.
The vocals along with cast performances are highly-rated, and the adaptation of the different classic hits creates a humorous layer that results in a fantastic show from the four main ladies. A must-see for a fun musical!
The King & I (13/05)
The King and I is a compelling tale about racism, feminism, and the dominating patriarchy set in the early 1860s, so if you're in the market for a musical that tells a story about history, then the King and I is an excellent choice!
The music, set and performance are the highlights of this musical. The score is memorable, to say the least, and is beautifully played throughout the show, effectively capturing emotion with ease. The set is usually created with intricate details - using vibrant colours to complement the story and soundtrack.
Greatest Days (27/05)
A "Jukebox Musical" that follows music from the band "Take That", Greatest Days narrates the story of four close best friends as teenagers who are big fans of the band - following their years as they lose touch and reunite to see the band perform, fulfilling their dream as a group.
Fans of Take That back in the day can immerse themselves in this fantastic show dedicated to the nostalgic band, with over 15 of Take That's classic songs combined with a story of comedy, loss, and love.
The Commitments (10/06)
The Commitments follow the story of Jimmy Rabbitte as he guides numerous musicians and friends into an unforgettable live act in Dublin.
Fitting for a musical that focuses on doing a fantastic live music act, to cast those that can belt out great vocals throughout the show. It's a feel-good theatre that can guarantee to get your foot tapping away through the night.
The Drifters Girl (10/10)
If you're looking for a show filled with passion, then The Drifters Girl is something you should put on your radar. The musical follows The Drifters, a group of Doo-wop, R&B and soul musicians that rose to fame while fighting racism and being a working-class citizen in 1950 America.
The piece brilliantly delivers the concept of what they're trying to achieve, fitted with an amazingly talented cast, a fine selection of songs, and a visually stunning production.
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