Two beloved musicals are returning to the stage in the U.K. this summer, following the news that theatres will be allowed to operate at full capacity in June (barring any complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Hairspray will open at Theatre Royal Plymouth June 24, with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert The Musical re-opening at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham June 23.
Having previously been due to begin performances in August 2020, Hairspray will continue on to visit cities like Southampton, Manchester, Sheffield, Ipswich, Edinburgh, and Dublin.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was in the midst of a tour launched in September 2019 but was stalled due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Following Cheltenham, the tour will continue to cities like Leeds, Hull, Oxford, Bath, Glasgow King’s Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, and Bristol with sights set on an eventual return to the West End.
The Mark Goucher Productions musicals are able to move forward with plans thanks to a loan from the Culture Recovery Fund, created in response to the mass theatre shutdown and subsequent layoffs of millions of arts workers.
“It is vital that we take the necessary steps to get performances going again,” said Goucher. “We will, of course, closely monitor all advice coming from the Government and if the start dates need to be delayed we have contingency plans in place to be able to move the starting venue for each show to one later in the tour schedule.”
Goucher and Matthew Gale are producers for Hairspray, with Jason Donovan and Gavin Kalin joining the pair as producers for Priscilla.