Ipswich Regent brings the West End to town

Sunset Boulevard. Picture: MANUEL HARLAN

Sunset Boulevard. Picture: MANUEL HARLAN - Credit: Archant

There are some great West End musicals waiting in the wings to entertain us over the coming months. We look at the line-up.

Flashdance - The Musical. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Flashdance - The Musical. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

I was speaking to Claire Sweeney about her role in Crazy For You - Nice Work If You Can Get It - a couple of days ago but more on that soon.

The Brookside star joins Top Hat’s Tom Chambers in the Gershwin brothers’ musical of mistaken identities, heartbreak, happiness and feel-good songs including I Got Rhythm and They Can’t Take That Away From Me.

It’s at the Ipswich Regent February 20-24.

A fan of Strictly Come Dancing’s Danny Mac? He joins stage sensation Ria Jones in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning Sunset Boulevard.

When poor screen writer Joe Gillis stumbles into faded silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond’s reclusive world, he’s seduced by her and her luxurious lifestyle. His love for another woman leads him to try to escape,with dramatic consequences.

Featuring numbers like As If We Never Said Goodbye and The Perfect Year, it’s at the Regent March 5-10.

Directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood, Son of a Preacher Man uses Dusty Springfield’s greatest hits as the backdrop for a tale set at a once swinging 1960s Soho joint where the loneliest of hearts found love.

This new musical, by internationally-renowned writer Warner Brown, includes songs including The Look Of Love and I Only Want To Be With You.

Starring EastEnders’ actress Michelle Gayle, it’s at the Regent April 3-7.

Olivier and Tony Award-winning West End and Broadway show Beautiful – The Carole King Musical tours the UK for the first time, stopping by the Regent April 17-21.

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It’s the inspiring true story of her rise to stardom, from being part of a hit song-writing team with her husband Gerry Goffin and her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.

King wrote the soundtrack to a generation, including classics like (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and Take Good Care of My Baby.

Joanne Clifton made a lot of people happy when she confirmed she’d be reprising her lead role in Flashdance - The Musical.

She said: “I am having the best time ever on this tour and so am delighted to be staying on for 2018. We have so much fun on stage and off and I really am dancing like I’ve never danced before.”

The story of welder by day, dancer by night Alex, whose dream of attending a prestigious dance academy is complicated by romance; it features songs like Maniac and I Love Rock and Roll. It’s at the theatre April 23-28.

I challenge anybody not to blub during Blood Brothers, the tale of twins separated at birth who grow up on opposite sides of the tracks only to meet again with fateful consequences.

Bill Kenwright’s production is one of only three musicals to surpasse 10,000 performances in London’s West End. The score includes Bright New Day and Tell Me It’s Not True. It’s at the Regent April 30-May 5.

I loved the 1970s sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Throw in national treasure Joe Pasquale as the accident-prone Frank Spencer and I’m sold. How they’ll pull off roller-skating escapades and runaway chickens at the Regent from June 12-16 is anybody’s guess.

Ipswich-based IODS Theatre Company stage Lerner and Loewe’s multi award-winning musical My Fair Lady.

Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, it’s the story of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady, set to standards such as Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?, I Could Have Danced All Night and Get Me to the Church on Time,

It’s at the Regent July 4-7.

An Officer and a Gentleman is another new musical, based on the Oscar-winning film starring Richard Gere.

Cocky US Navy pilot trainee Zack’s life is made hell by strict drill sergeant Foley. Things get more complicated when he falls for local factory worker Paul and tragedy strikes.

The feel-good soundtrack includes Up Where We Belong and other 1980s classic anthems like Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Alone.

It’s at the Regent August 27-September 1.

Finally, from the team behind Gangsta Granny comes the world premiere of Awful Auntie, David Williams’ tale of Stella who sets off to visit London with her parents only to wake up three months later. Only her Aunt Alberta can tell Stella what has happened, but what’s true?

It’s at the Ipswich Regent September 19-23.

Share your entertainment and event news. Email event@archant.co.uk, tweet @WhatsonWayne and join www.facebook.com/groups/eagoingout/

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