Monday, 30 December 2019

Shortest Running musicals of the last Decade

As we move into the new decade, we thought we'd look back at the past 10 years of theatre. Some of the most memorable theatrical moments of the decade were some of the less successful shows. We looked back and picked out some of the shortest musical runs of the past 10 years, excluding shows that played and fulfilled limited runs, we looked at shows that closed early. So take a look! Do any of these shows deserve revivals? Tweet us and tell us your favourite one! 

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

This musical started life in the UK with a try-out at the Leicester Curve in early 2011 before opening at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End on the 5th March 2011 with a cast that included Joanna Riding, Carly Bawden, Andrew Durand, Dominic Marsh, Meow Meow and Cynthia Erivo. The show closed on the 21 May 2011, making the run just over two months long.

Lend Me a Tenor

The musical, based on the play of the same name, played an out of town try out in Plymouth in 2010 before opening at the Gielgud Theatre in Londons West End on the 2 June 2011 with a cast that included Cassidy Janson, Matthew Kelly, Joanna Riding, Michael Matus, Damian Humbley, and Sophie-Louise Dann. The show closed on the 6 August, making the run just over 2 months.

Stephen Ward

Beginning previews on the 3 December 2013 at Londons Aldwych Theatre, this new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical starred Alexander Hanson in the title with Joanna Riding, Charlotte Spencer, Charlotte Blackledge, Anthony Calf, Daniel Flynn and Christopher Howell. It closed on the 29 March 2014, meaning the run lasted just over 3 months.

The Wind in the Willows

This musical made its premiere in Plymouth in late 2016 before embarking on a small UK tour and making its West End debut at the London Palladium on the 17 June 2017 with a cast that included Rufus Hound, Craig Mather, Neil McDermott, Denise Welch, Simon Lipkin and Gary Wilmot. The show closed earlier than its initial run on the 2 September 2017, lasting under 3 months.


Urinetown made its London debut at the St. James Theatre (now the Other Palace) before transferring to the Apollo Theatre with an opening of 29 September 2014. The West End cast included Matthew Seadon-Young, Jenna Russell, Karis Jack, Marc Elliot, Nathan Amzi, Cory English and Jonathon Slinger. The show closed early on the 3 January 2015.


The classic show, Showboat, transferred to the West end after a hugely successful run at the Sheffield Crucible in 2015, opening at the New London Theatre (Now the Gillian Lynne) on 9 April 2016. The shows cast included Gina Beck, Chris Peluso, Lucy Briers, Rebecca Trehearn, Sandra Marvin and Emmanuel Kojo. It closed on the 27 August, making the run just over 4 months.

Mrs Henderson Presents

This new musical, based on the film of the same name, opened at the Theatre Royal, Bath in 2015 before opening at the Noel Coward Theatre on 9 February 2016. The cast included Tracie Bennett, Ian Bartholomew, Emma Williams, Samuel Holmes, Lizzy Connolly and Jamie Foreman. The show closed on the 18 June 2016, making the run just over 4 months.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

This show opened on Broadway in 2010 for a limited run but closed early after 2 months due to a lack of ticket sales. The show opened in the West End on 12 January 2015 with a cast that included Tamsin Greig, Jérôme Pradon, Haydn Gwynne, Willemijn Verkaik, Ricardo Afonso and Haydn Oakley. The show closed on 23 May 2015, making the run just over 4 months. 

Caroline, or Change

This revival transferred from the Chichester Festival Theatre to the Hampstead Theatre before returning to the West End and playing the Playhouse Theatre from 20 November 2018. The production starred Sharon D Clarke and won her an Olivier Award for the title role. The show closed on the 2 March 2019, making the shows run just under 4 months 


After a ten month tour, the show was revamped for a new West End production in 2010. The show opened on the 25 September 2010 at the Shaftesbury Theatre with a cast that included Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Matt Willis, Twinnie-Lee Moore, Sarah Ingram, Sam Mackay and Ricky Rojas. The show closed on the 15 January 2011, making the shows run just under 4 months.
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