Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Musicals from The Bodyguard to Oklahoma and Judy Garland
Some of the biggest theatre blockbusters of the moment are heading to Birmingham from May until the end of summer 2015.
Whether it's musicals, love stories or scintillating drama, there is something to suit every theatre lover in the coming months. So, here's a round-up of whats-on in Birmingham's theatreland for families, children and culture lovers.
1. Dirty Dancing - Birmingham Hippodrome April 30 - May 23
With unforgettable lines like 'Nobody puts Baby in the corner!' and iconic dance routines including in the water, this love story has proved as successful on stage as is did on the silver screen.
The cult classic Dirty Dancing heads to Birmingham Hippodrome.
This big budget dance show sees teenager Baby and dancer Johnny find love at a holiday camp one summer. There's also the memorable soundtrack including Hungry Eyes and I've Had The Time Of My Life.
Packed with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensationally sexy dancing and costumes, it's one of the hit West End musicals coming to Birmingham this summer.
Tickets cost from £20 to £59.50 and are available from the Birmingham Hippodrome website. The age guidance on this show is aged 12 and over.
2. Rebecca - Malvern Festival Theatre May 4 - 9
Daphne Du Maurier's thrilling tale is brought to life with this exciting new acclaimed production by Kneehigh Theatre Company.
Mystery and romance are enticing in Rebecca
This psychological thriller combines mystery, whirlwind romance and one of the creepiest villains you will ever meet in the form of sinister housekeeper Mrs Danvers.
Award winning director Emma Rise is behind this production, which follows Maxim de Winter who returns home to Manderley with his new young bride soon after the mysterious death of his first wife.
Surrounded by memories of the glamorous first wife Rebecca, the new Mrs De Winter is consumed by jealousy and sets out to uncover the secrets of the house, which leads to a dramatic finale.
3. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels The Musical - New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
May 5 - 16
Heading to Birmingham after success in London's West End, this is a glitzy, beautifully choreographed show with a well known cast.
Big budget shows like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are on their way to Birmingham theatreland.
The show is based on the legendary 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin.
Leading the cast in this production as Lawrence is Michael Praed, famous for playing Robin Hood in the 1990s TV series Robin of Sherwood. He is joined by ex-Hear'Say singer Noel Sullivan as Freddy, Carley Stenson as Christine and Mark Benton as Andre.
Following two conmen in the decadent world of the French Riviera, we see Lawrence Jameson and Freddy Benson go head to head to win the affections of millionairess Christine Colgate in the con of their lives, with plenty of laughs and songs along the way.
5. Judy - The Songbook Of Judy Garland - New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
May 21 - 23
Judy Garland's dazzling songbook will be brought to life at this UK premiere.
Judy Garland's famous songs feature in a new theatre show
The show, which is under the creative directorship of Strictly Come Dancing's former judge Arlene Phillips, even stars Judy Garland's daughter Lorna Luft along with special guests Ray Quinn, Louise Dearman, and Judy's dancers, The Boyfriends.
Highlighting the legendary life and career of Garland, this show is created in arrangement with the Judy Garland Estate, and is the only officially recognised Judy Garland show in the world today.
It takes the audience on a magical musical journey through the songs that made Judy a legend in showbusiness history. There will also be never before seen film highlights and interviews with the iconic singer.
6.The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time - Birmingham Hippodrome
May 26 - June 6
The National Theatre's multi award-winning production based on Mark Haddon's best-selling book makes its Birmingham debut this summer.
Joshua Jenkins in The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night-Time
Revolving around 15-year-old Christopher Boone, the story follows the teenager as he tries to solve the mystery of who murdered Mrs Shears' dead dog, Wellington.
It's a charming tale into Christopher's mind as although he has an extraordinary brain, he is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life and has never even ventured alone beyond the end of his road.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time received seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play, Best Director, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design and is simultaneously running at the Gielgud Theatre in London and on Broadway as well as on this tour.
7. Oklahoma - Birmingham Hippodrome
June 30 - July 4
Yeehaw! Rodgers & Hammerstein's original feel good musical Oklahoma is a show to get your toes tapping.
Get your dancing shoes on for Oklahoma
With barn dances and cowboys galore, the story follows Curly and Laurey as they find love on the pioneer trail and features classic songs from Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' to I'm Just a Girl Who Cain't Say No and Surrey With a Fringe on Top.
This latest production by Music & Lyrics Limited and Royal & Derngate Northampton stars Belinda Lang as Aunt Eller and Gary Wilmot as Ali Hakim.
A Captioned Performance takes place on July 2 at 7.30pm; a Signed Performance on July 3 at 7.30pm; and Audio Described Performances on July 4 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
8. Barnum - Birmingham Hippodrome
July 7 - August 1
Colourful characters and scenery makes Barnum a spectacular feast for the eyes in the latest musical from Cameron Mackintosh that stars personality Brian Conley.
Theatre tricks and tales in the spectacular show Barnum
Conley plays circus owner Phineas T Barnum, America's Greatest Showman. The musical follows his life and marriage to Chairy while also giving an insight into his dreams and imagination.
The story leads up to when Barnum teams up with J A Bailey to create Barnum and Bailey's Circus - the Greatest Show on Earth and has a score including Come Follow The Band, The Colours Of My Life and There Is A Sucker Born Ev'ry Minute.