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Culture

49 Phenomenal Theatre Performances To See In Glasgow In 2020

Marco Antonio Ruiz Marco Antonio Ruiz

49 Phenomenal Theatre Performances To See In Glasgow In 2020

Glasgow’s best theatre performances all in the one place.

Glaswegians are no slouches when it comes to the theatre. From independent productions to the big hits from West End and Broadway, the city mixes with the best and puts on a cracking show. (Featured image: Mark McQuade)

For the most part, Glasgow’s theatres have announced their 2020 programme, so we’re proud to present you with our handy guide. Check it out!

MARCH

1. On Your Feet The Musical

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, March 2–March 7

Featuring many of the original actors from the West End production, follow the true love story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, as portrayed by Philippa Stefani (Rent) and George Ioannides (Mamma Mia!). Follow their journey from their early Cuban beginnings to the streets of Miami, and onto the fame of international superstardom. Featuring smash hits like Rhythm Is Gonna Get You, audience members are sure going to want to Conga. Get tickets and info here.

2. Dial M For Murder

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, March 3–March 7

Possibly the world’s greatest thriller ever written, Dial M For Murder was made famous by the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. This stage adaptation sees TV and stage favourite Tom Chambers take to the role of manipulative ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice as he discovers the infidelity of his wife and plots his revenge. Get wrapped up in the web of lies and chilling twists and turns. Get tickets and more info here.

3. MAIM

Image: Laurence Winram

Tron Theatre, March 6–March 14

Born out of a special collaboration between the band WHYTE and Theatre Gu Leòr, and abuzz with live music, dance, spoken word poetry and video projection, MAIM is a generation’s cry out loud to save their land and their language, or whatever is left of it. Tickets and more info here.

4. The Metamorphosis

Image: Mihaela Bodlovic

Tron Theatre, March 10–March 21

Franz Kafka’s classic short story comes to life on the stage thanks to a co-production between Tron Theatre, A Vanishing Point and the Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazion. Watch on in horror as Gregor wakes up as a giant insect and must confront his new reality, dealing with the skepticism of his parents who lose hope that their son lives inside the bug in their house. Tickets and more info here.

5. Shrek The Musical

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, March 10–March 14

Everybody’s favourite ogre is back! This time he’s singing and dancing all the way to Fiona and Far Far Away. Follow the adventure and meet up with Donkey, a fairytale gang of misfits, a gingerbread man with attitude, and the vertically challenged villain along the way. Will Shrek save the day as well as his swamp? Get your tickets today.

6. Curtains, A Musical Whodunnit

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, March 10–March 14

From the creators of Cabaret and Chicago comes this Tony award-winning backstage murder mystery, which will have audiences gasping and guessing as to who killed the supremely untalented Jessica Crenshaw on opening night. Stay hot on the trail with detective Frank Cioffi, played by Jason Manford, as he sings and dances his way across the stage, questioning cast and crew in the murder. Will he catch the killer? More info and tickets.

7. Sasha Velour: Smoke & Mirrors – The Live Show!

Image: The Pavilion Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre, March 13

Sasha Velour’s first one-queen theatre tour—which toured Australia and New Zealand and sold-out shows in NYC, Los Angeles, and London—rocks The Pavilion for one night only.

Featuring the music of Annie Lennox, Whitney Houston, Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland, Celine Dion, Sia, Nina Simone, Le Tigre and more, watch Sasha Velour lip-sync, strut, dance, explode into rose petals, vanish into a puff of smoke and transform herself into a tree right in front of your eyes. However, this performance is more than just mere entertainment. Dig deeper and discover the hidden truths behind these illusions. Get your tickets today.

8. Short Attention Span Theatre

Image: CCA

CCA, March 13–March 14

Can’t concentrate for too long on the one thing? Perfect! After a sell-out 2019, Short Attention Span Theatre returns to the CCA with a specially curated collection of short theatre from Chris McQueer, Catriona Duggan, Angie Strachan, Lorenzo Novani and Karen Barclay. Tickets and more info here.

The Skinny on Catriona Duggan’s When The Penny Drops: ‘Genuinely one of the funniest, most nostalgic, emotional pieces of theatre I’ve seen.’ 

9. Within Sight

Image: Bibi June Schwithal

Tron Theatre, March 19–March 21

Sick and tired of hearing about how brave or inspiring you are? If you do, then you’ve got something in common with the protagonist of Within Sight — the one-woman multimedia production exploring the expectations that society places upon disabled people. An exercise in dealing with expectations and realities, delve into the mind of the protagonist as she clears her head the only way she knows how — on a run. Get your tickets here.

10. Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti

Image: Citizens Theatre
Tramway, March 25–April 11

Adapted by Scottish writer Denise Mina, Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti satirises the injustices of capitalism through its protagonist, the kind-when-she’s-drunk-but-mean-when-she’s-sober Mrs Puntilla, and her astute chauffeur, Matt, who irons out the creases of her day to day mishaps. If you’re up for a show that throws all the punches it can, especially in this political climate, then Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti is the show for you. Tickets and more info here.

Please note that although this is a Citizens Theatre co-production with Dot Theatre, Istanbul (in collaboration with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh), this performance will take place at Tramway due to ongoing renovations. 

11. An Inspector Calls

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, March 24–March 28

From the director that brought you Billy Elliot, one of Britain’s best-loved films, comes An Inspector Calls, an award-winning production that has thrilled audiences around the world. Revel in the wild staging, incredible musical score and raw emotion of it all, but be prepared to examine your conscience when Inspector Goole comes knocking. Tickets and more info here.

12. Common Sense – A Vague Recollection Of A Show

Image: Nuno Leão

Tron Theatre, March 26–March 28

Making its UK premiere, Common Sense – A Vague Recollection Of A Show is unlike the majority of performances audiences will experience this year as they, along with the writer, will create a new work in the very space they occupy. This production is sure to intrigue those interested in forming part of the creative process and those questioning the theatrical experience. Tickets and more info here.

13. Thriller Live

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, March 30–April 4

Documenting 45 years of musical history from pop to rock, soul to disco, audiences will experience over two hours of hits celebrating the career of the world’s greatest entertainer. Having been seen by over 5,000,000 people in 30 countries and now in its record-breaking tenth year in London, Thriller Live promises fans an electrifying journey they will not forget and one that they shouldn’t miss. Get your tickets here before it’s too late. 

APRIL

14. Amsterdam

Image: We The Happy People

Tron Theatre, April 2–April 4

A woman in the last days of her pregnancy receives a gas bill for her swank canal-side apartment. However, it’s dated back to 1944. Watch on as feelings of collective identity, otherness and alienation rise in our protagonist and how a reconstructed past gives meaning to the present. Making its UK premiere, make sure to catch this audacious play. Tickets and more info here.

15. Singin’ I’m No A Billy He’s A Tim 2

Image: SEC

SEC Armadillo, April 4

In the medical room at Hampden Park, a Celtic and Rangers fan make a bet during halftime. And then a Glaswegian ghost on a mission from God shows up, and a Polish nurse who doesn’t take any nonsense. Watch on in laughs as Billy and Tim try to stick to their truce and then as their true colours begin to show. Will they end up back in prison? Tickets and more info.

16. Mamma Mia!

Image: ATG and Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

King’s Theatre, April 7–April 25

The sunniest musical around returns to Glasgow, belting out ABBA classics as bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan attempts to uncover the identity of her father. A story of love, friendship and identity told on a Greek island, Mamma Mia! is the smash-hit musical for people of all ages. Whether it’s your first or your millionth time seeing this story come to life on stage, one more time won’t hurt. Buy your tickets here. 

17. Ghost Stories

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, April 7–April 11

Are you afraid of the dark? …of the sounds you hear in middle of the night? …of ghosts and phantoms from your past? Do you scare? An immersive and edge-of-your-seat ride, Ghost Stories will take your most disturbing thoughts and imagine them live on stage. Will you be able to sit tight? Find out and get your tickets here. 

18. Thank You For Doing Nothing

Image: Tron Theatre

Tron Theatre, April 16–April 18

Set in the near future when global warming has affected Britain’s drinking water, this musical comedy presents to audiences Molly Pazgan, the lobbyist for the Big Water Corporation, to tell you everything is fine, there’s nothing to worry about, the experts are lying and, did she mention that everything is fine? Thank You For Doing Nothing is a hilarious exploration of the climate emergency as well as those people who profit from it. Tickets and more info.

19. A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, April 21–April 25

Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre, is joined by Tom Piper, designer of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London, to bring to life Britten’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With a superb cast of talent-to-watch actors and an amazing atmospherical score, this production promises to enchant audiences long into the night. Book your tickets here. 

20. The Spinners

Image: Julien

Tron Theatre, April 24–April 25

Brought to you by acclaimed Scottish director Al Seed and award-winning Australian choreographer and dancer Lina Limosani, The Spinners is the tale of the Three Fates from Greek mythology, the old women who were tasked with spinning, measuring and cutting the thread that connects all life. Be prepared for an emotionally driven dance-theatre performance — grab your tickets here.

21. Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, April 27–May 2

Hop aboard the battered old bus and take a trip into the Australian Outback — but don’t forget to pack the costumes, the feathers and the glitter, because this ride is a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics. Starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, join three friends on a tour of self-discovery, sass and acceptance, all based on the 1994 cult-movie classic of the same name. Tickets and more info here.

22. Swan Lake

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, April 29–May 2

In the classic tale of purity vs seduction, David Dawson’s visceral choreography is paired perfectly with Tchaikovsky musical score, played live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, and is certain to impress audiences once again after a sell-out 2016 debut. Don’t miss this classic and get your tickets here. 

23. The Cheviot, The Stag & The Black, Black Oil

Image: The Pavilion Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre, April 30–May 9

Back by popular demand after a sold-out run of shows in 2019, The Cheviot, The Stag & The Black, Black Oil mixes together laughter, farce, drama, live song and dance to revive ‘what’s arguably the single most important show in the whole history of Scottish theatre’  (Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman). More info and tickets here.

MAY

24. The Red Shoes

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, May 12–May 16

Returning to the UK after winning two Olivier Awards and charming audiences across the USA, The Red Shoes is the tale of love, passion and obsession where the tale is told as much through the choreography and staging of the production as it is through the dialogue – if not more. Will a young girl’s dream of becoming the world’s greatest dancer be fulfilled or end in tears? More info and tickets here.

25. The Gondoliers

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, May 14–May 23

Watch as two happy-go-lucky gondoliers find out that one of them is the heir to a far-off kingdom and join in on the laughs as their adventure sees them attempt to rule in an idealistic fashion. Can it even be done? Find out more and book your tickets here.

26. Legally Blonde

Image: The Lyric Club

King’s Theatre, May 19–May 23

From The Lyric Club, the company that most recently brought you Grease, make sure you catch all the laughs and action-packed drama this time around as Elle Woods battles the stereotypes and transforms herself into a Harvard Law School student despite all the odds. Tickets and more info here.

27. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, May 26–May 30

Before she was a musical mega-star, Carole King was just an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Beautiful is the story of her rise from nothing to pop stardom. Covering countless pop hits like You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman, this musical will ‘send shivers down your spine’ (Daily Telegraph), reliving all the classics. Tickets and more info here.

28. West Side Story

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, May 26–May 30

After having received outstanding reviews for their previous works, The Pantheon Club now brings to the stage one of the greatest musicals of our time and one of the greatest love stories ever told. Matching stunning choreography with an incredible songbook that delves into the mean streets of New York but reveals the tender and deeply romantic forces at play, this is a production that musical lovers must attend. Get your tickets here.

JUNE

29. Les Miserables

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, June 3–June 27

Hailed as Les Mis for the 21st century, Cameron Mackintosh’s production arrives in Glasgow after having toured the world and been seen by more than 65 million people in 22 languages. Be drawn into 19th century France by the staging inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo and be witness to the ups-and-downs and survival of the human spirit, as told by this classic of musical theatre. Get your tickets here.

30. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, June 8–June 13

Once again taking up their roles from the West End production are Layton Williams and EastEnders’ Shane Richie in this funny, fabulous and feel-good coming of age musical. Having turned sixteen, Jamie has the world at his feet if only he wasn’t terrified of the future. Watch Jamie overcome fears, bullies and periods of darkness to step into the spotlight with help from mum and his friends. Don’t skip this smash-hit musical – get your tickets here.

31. The Cat And The Canary

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, June 29–July 4

Before it was three classic movies, The Cat And The Canary was a play first produced in 1922. And despite all of the years, this murder mystery is as riveting as ever. Starring Britt Ekland, watch on as the descendants of Mr West—a man of a significantly large fortune—argue of the inheritance before the chain of macabre events is set in motion. Will the descendants stick around and face whatever is hiding in the dark? Find out more and get your tickets here.

JULY

32. Underwood Lane

Illustration: John Byrne

Tron Theatre, July 2–July 18

Style. Love. Broken hearts. Dodgy dealers. Religion. Sex. Death. What more could you want from a John Byrne’s musical play? Ten actor-musicians playing a raft of songs from the 60s who are also superbly funny? You got it. Get your tickets and enjoy Scottish theatre at its best.

33. Once The Musical

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, July 13–July 18

Pick up a guitar, busk on the street, fall in love.

This is the story told in Once where over the course of five days a young man, the son of a Hoover-repair man, and a Czech immigrant meet and change each other’s lives in small and big ways. However, this story—written by the original stars of the 2006 Irish indie film—has a bittersweet difference which will continue enchanting audiences for years and years to come. Told with a backdrop of Irish-inflected songs played live on stage by the actors, Once is a musical you will wish to see many more times. Get your tickets here.

34. Rally Roon The Rangers

Image: The Pavilion Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre, July 16—August 1

If you bleed blue, then this is the show for you. Watch a bunch of Rangers fans on stage drink booze, sing songs, rib each other and have a good time. That is, until disaster strikes. Will they be able to save their wee supporters club? A night of strong language and belly laughs awaits. Tickets and more info here.

AUGUST

35. Footloose

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, August 3–August 8

Updated with modern choreography, the 80s film classic Footloose continues its fabulous run on stage with Gareth Gates as Willard and Darren Day as Reverend Moore telling the story of city-boy Ren who cannot live without dancing and rock and roll. Don’t miss out on this production and hear all the 80s bangers, from Holding Out For A Hero to its titular track, Footloose. Tickets and more info here.

36. The Addams Family, The Musical Comedy

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, August 25–August 29

Written by the award-winning writers from Jersey Boys and featuring a live orchestra and original score, The Addams Family is a teenage girl’s tale of love and a father’s attempt at keepìng a secret. But, with a twist. What will happen when all is revealed? Find out more and get your tickets here.

SEPTEMBER

37. Bring It On The Musical

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, September 1–September 5

The turn of the century teenage tale of friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness returns to the UK for another explosive performance of somersaults, flips, tricks and kicks. Written by Tony-Award Winners Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), Tom Kitt (Grease: Live) and lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity), Bring It On will give audiences plenty to cheer for as the cheer squads face life’s hard knocks on and off the court. Get the best seats in the house here.

38. 9 to 5 The Musical

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, September 8–September 12

Although the Queen of Country will not be making an appearance herself, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 is a rip-roaring ride in the life of three workmates who concoct a plan to kidnap their sexist and egotistical boss. Will their plan work out or will they be stuck working the 9 to 5 for the rest of their lives? Find out and have a laugh while taking care of business. Get your tickets here.

39. The Real Hoosewives – Fae Glesga!

Image: The Pavilion Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre, September 17–September 26

What happens when an American TV producer comes to Glasgow to film the Scottish version of The Real Housewives of…? To find out, come to the show and follow Barbara from Bearsden—fit and fabulous—convince the producer to follow her and her four old school friends for a week. Who will come out on top? Back by popular demand, make sure you get your tickets before they’re sold out.

OCTOBER

40. Hairspray The Musical

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, October 19—October 24

Hairspray, the smash-hit musical comedy, returns to Glasgow for another run promising more feel-good times, hit songs, and big hair, as Tracy Turnblad seeks to turn her dancing dreams into a reality. Follow the highs and lows as she uses her new-found fame to fight against injustices and for equality featuring the songs you love: Welcome To The 60s, You Can’t Stop The Beat, and The Nicest Kids in Town. Tickets found here. 

41. Blood Brothers

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, October 27—October 31

One of only three productions to surpass the 10,000 performance mark in London’s West End, Blood Brothers has been christened the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’ as its story of two twins separated at birth before finally meeting with fateful consequences continuously raises the roof. If there was just one musical to see ever, this one would definitely be on the list. Tickets and more info here.

NOVEMBER

42. Slava’s Snowshow

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, November 4–November 8

Slava’s Snow Show is back by popular demand. Adults, be catapulted back into childhood by the wonder and magic of Slava and the tragicomedy poetic spectacle of his show that has been dazzling audiences since 1993, across hundreds of cities. There is simply no other show on Earth quite like this one — a genre-inventing performance of the highest caliber that wows people of all nationalities, beliefs, genders and ages. Tickets and more info.

43. Bat Out Of Hell The Musical

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, November 10–November 21

Pairing the passion of a musical with the power of rock and roll comes Bat Out Of Hell The Musical featuring the legendary rock anthems of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf. In a nothing spared, all guns blazing theatrical performance, watch on as Strat falls in love with Raven, the daughter of the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian, as you rock out to classics like I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)Paradise By The Dashboard LightTwo Out Of Three Ain’t BadDead Ringer For Love and Bat Out of Hell. Don’t miss out on this award-winning rock musical. 

44. Groan Ups

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, November 23–November 28

Mischief Theatre is back with a brand new comedy about the highs and lows of growing up. Follow an unruly class of six year-olds through antagonistic and anarchic adolescence and then onto early adulthood as they discover what it’s really like to get old(er). Score your tickets here and don’t miss out on all the laughs.

45. The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

Image: MudflapDC

Tron Theatre, November 25–January 3

Are you ready for Tron Theatre’s special take on one of most celebrated stories ever told? They’re not sure how they’ll pull off the tornado scene just yet, but join in on the journey (because it’s the trip that matters) and standby as your favourite scarecrow, tin wummin’ and lion help Dorothy make it all the way back to Kansas. Tickets and more info here.

46. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Pantomime

Image: The Pavilion Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre, November 26–January 10

Slapstick laughs and Christmas songs make for a cracking show as Santa Claus comes to town. But that’s only if Hev and Kev, two brothers spending the holidays without mum and dad, can get back in time. Find out and enjoy all the laughs along the way. Tickets and more info here.

47. Cinderella, Pantomine

Image: ATG

King’s Theatre, November 28–January 3

It’s that time of the year again when the pantomimes come out to play and this year we have Cinderella, The Fairy Godmother Of All Pantos putting on a laugh-out-loud performance as she outsmarts her horrible sisters and meets her Prince Charming. It might still be early in the year but why not get your tickets now?

DECEMBER

48. The Commitments

Image: ATG

Theatre Royal, December 6–December 26

Based on the BAFTA award-winning film classic, The Commitments returns to Glasgow after a ridiculously successful run at London’s West End that lasted five years. Expect to be up on your feet as over twenty soul classics are belted out on stage from Night Train to Papa Was A Rolling Stone. This is a production not to be missed. Tickets and more info here.

49. Aladdin

Image: SEC

SEC Armadillo, December 12–December 30

Celebrate the end of year with the Disney classic Aladdin, but with a panto makeover. A show for the whole family, full of highs and lows, laughs and good times. Make sure to grab your tickets for a ride on the magic carpet.

Need more culture in your life? Check out our list of must-visit museums and galleries in Glasgow.