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A Strange Loop: The Pulitzer and Latest Tony Award-Winning Best Musical Coming to the Barbican

A Strange Loop

A limited one-time-only summer season.

Your only chance to see the musical loved by stars and critics alike.

Winner of every ‘Best musical’ award in New York.

Presented by Howard Panter for Trafalgar Theatre Productions, the National Theatre, Barbara Whitman, Wessex Grove, Frank Marshall, Creative Partners Productions, New Frame Productions, Tilted, Alan Cumming, Ilana Glazer, Jennifer Hudson, Mindy Kaling & Billy Porter, in association with the Barbican.


“A dazzling ride. No measure of praise could be too much”

New York Times


“Explosively imaginative. Dazzlingly one-of-a-kind. Broadway’s best new musical”

Washington Post


“It made me want to go home and write. I don’t have a better compliment than that”

Lin-Manuel Miranda


“Brilliant. Moving. Joyous. Original. The best original musical on Broadway”

Ryan Reynolds


“It’s very funny, thought-provoking, and really moving”

Whoopi Goldberg


“Above and beyond brilliant! An emotional, cultural revolution”



“A soul-baring, biting, brilliant, hilarious musical. One of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen in the theatre”

Alan Cumming



Barbican Theatre

17 June – 9 September 2023 (Tickets on sale from Monday 20 March)

The smash hit Broadway musical sensation A Strange Loop will transfer from New York to London this summer opening at the Barbican Theatre on 17 June for a strictly limited one-time-only 12-week season. Tickets go on sale on 10am on Monday 20 March from

Nominated for 11 Tony Awards and winner of every Best Musical award in New York, Michael R. Jackson’s critically acclaimed Pulitzer Prize–winning, blisteringly funny masterwork exposes the heart and soul of Usher - a young, gay, Black writer who hates his day job, so writes a musical about a young, gay, Black writer who’s writing a musical about a young, gay, Black writer…a strange loop. Usher grapples with desires, identity and instincts he both loves and loathes, all brought to life on stage by a hilarious, straight-talking ensemble.

Making his West End debut, Kyle Ramar Freeman - reprising the lead role he played on Broadway - will star as Usher. He will be joined on stage by an all-British cast of six Thoughts, who are the physical manifestation of Usher’s internal monologue. Thought 1 is Sharlene Hector best known for being a lead vocalist for British band Basement Jaxx, Nathan Armarkwei-Laryea (Women Beware The Devil, Spring Awakening, Hamlet) plays Thought 2, Yeukayi Ushe (The Lion King, Kinky Boots, The Book of Mormon) is Thought 3, Tendai Humphrey Sitima (The Play That Goes Wrong) plays Thought 4, with Danny Bailey (Jesus Christ Superstar, Girl From the North Country) as Thought 5 and Eddie Elliott (Blues for an Alabama Sky, The Lion King and Motown The Musical) playing Thought 6.  

A Strange Loop is only the 10th musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama with the previous winner being Hamilton, with the committee citing the show as a “metafictional musical that tracks the creative process of an artist transforming issues of identity, race, and sexuality that once pushed him to the margins of the cultural mainstream into a meditation on universal human fears and insecurities.”

The New York critics heaped plaudits on this sensational production: The New York Times said the show was a “dazzling ride” and “no measure of praise could be too much”. The Wall Street Journal described the show as “hilarious, intimate and personal” adding that “A Strange Loop is extraordinary in just about every way. It represents theater at its most daring and unexpected”. And Variety summed it up, hailing A Strange Loop as “the most furiously entertaining show on Broadway”.

Michael R. Jackson is a playwright, composer, and lyricist who is a rising star in the world of contemporary writing and quickly gaining recognition as one of the most innovative voices in American theatre. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Jackson moved to New York to attend NYU (New York University), where he began his career as a writer and performer. His writing is already drawing comparisons to other literary greats, and he is quickly becoming recognised as an inspiring and transformative writer in his own right. His next musical, White Girl in Danger, a co-production between the Vineyard and Second Stage, is set to begin previews at the Tony Kiser Theater, New York on 15 March 2023.

Michael R. Jackson said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing A Strange Loop to London. This show has been a true labor of love since my early twenties, and to have it continue its extraordinary journey from Musical Theatre Factory, to Off-Broadway, to Woolly Mammoth, to Broadway and now to London is a dream I never knew I had come true. I can't wait to share the story of Usher and his thoughts with new audiences.”

Kate Varah, executive director for the National Theatre, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the transfer of this Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award-winning new musical into London this summer. A Strange Loop is a vital piece of new work by American playwright, Michael R. Jackson and we are so excited to be working with our producing partners to share this special story with UK audiences.”

Howard Panter said: “A Strange Loop is nothing short of a spellbinding masterpiece. When I saw it on Broadway I was transfixed and knew immediately that London audiences, like New York, would love this unique, moving and funny musical. Michael R. Jackson is a complete genius and we look forward to welcoming him to these shores for a very successful season at the Barbican this summer.”

Barbara Whitman, originating producer of the Broadway production, said “I’m overjoyed to be bringing A Strange Loop to the Barbican, and I can’t wait to introduce London to the work of the singularly brilliant Michael R. Jackson. It feels so right to have this be the next step for this uniquely original musical.”