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The Best London Musicals: What’s On in the West End

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The Best London Musicals: What’s On in the West End

Singing AND dancing AND acting - musicals offer the trifecta of entertainment. Check out the ones to book now.

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Topics: Musical / shows / Theatre /
       

From modern adaptations to relatable heartwarming storylines with comedic characters and outlandish jazz hands, London’s musical theatre scene constantly thrives. Just head to London’s glittering West End to see for yourself. If you need a hand navigating the wonderful world of musical theatre, let our selection of the best London musicals help steer you in the right direction.

Musicals are a bit like marmite; you either love them or hate them. If you’re of the former camp, scroll on for our recommendations of the must see musicals on in London’s West End, and if you need some convincing, the award-winning shows below will surely make you a convert.

Looking for where to eat before the show? Read our round up of the best new restaurants in London here…

The Best Musicals in London

WICKED by Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz

Apollo Victoria Theatre

Wicked

Helen Woolf (Glinda) and Nikki Bentley (Elphaba). Photo By Matt Crockett

Now in its 14th year and having been seen by nearly 60 million theatre-goers worldwide, its no surprised that WICKED is one of the longest running West End musicals of all time. Dorothy’s triumph over the Wicked Witch is only one side of the story. Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, re-imagines the Land of Oz, proposing a parallel universe to that of L. Frank Baum’s ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’. WICKED tells the story of an unlikely, deep friendship between two young women: one blonde and one green. wickedthemusical.co.uk

Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda

Victoria Palace Theatre

Hamiton logo

The phenomenon has spread overseas. Lin Manuel Miranda’s jewel of a hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton is not only about a revolution but is a musical revolution in and of itself. Follow the story of the American Founding Father through song and rap in one of the most soulful, theatrical experiences to date. Now extended to February 2020, hamiltonmusical.com.

Only Fools and Horses: The Musical

Theatre Royal Haymarket

Only Fools and Horses

Trevor Leighton

Del Boy and Rodney made their West End debut at Theatre Royal Haymarket this February. Co-written by Paul Whitehouse and Jim Sullivan, this tribute to the much-loved British sitcom Only Fools and Horses is set in Peckham in 1989, with Tom Bennett as Del Boy, Ryan Hutton as Rodney and Paul Whitehouse himself as Grandad. Booking until February 2020, OnlyFoolsMusical.com

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

The Apollo Theatre

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Sixteen-year-old Jamie lives on a council estate in Sheffield, doesn’t fit in, is terrified of what’s ahead and, by the way, is going to be a sensation. The show celebrates the support of families, friends, squelching bullies and stepping into the spotlight. Featuring John McCrea, Josie Walker, Tamsin Carroll, Mina Anwar, Lucie Shorthouse and Phil Nichol. everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk

Les Misérables by Boublil and Schönberg

Queen’s Theatre

Les Mis logo

This timeless piece has been seen by 70 million people and performed in 22 different languages. Who wouldn’t want to hear ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ live? After breaking parole, ex-convict Jean Valjean is hunted for decades by the policeman Javert. Valjean’s decision to care for factory worker Fantine’s young daughter, Cosette, puts a whole new dimension to the story in motion. lesmis.com

What’s On This Week in London

The Lion King by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi

Lyceum Theatre

The Lion King by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi

The Lion King uses breathtaking theatrical magic to tell the story of Simba’s journey to fulfil his destiny as King of the Pridelands. This spectacle for children and adults alike is made all the more memorable through music by Elton John and Hans Zimmer with lyrics by Tim Rice. Ahead of the live-action remake of The Lion King, there’s no better time to see the production live. thelionking.co.uk

Matilda by Dennis Kelly

Cambridge Theatre

Matilda by Dennis KellyCambridge Theatre

The Road Dahl classic Matilda is about a girl with a vivid imagination and sharp mind who, yet, is belittled by cruel parents and a brutal headmistress. Matilda and her classmate’s vitality showcases the show’s youthful tour de force. matildathemusical.com

Immersive Experiences Worth Leaving The House For

Waitress

Adelphi Theatre

A follow-your-dreams, break-the-mold story of charming proportions, Waitress is a feel good production for the whole family. Trapped in a loveless marriage, small town pie-maker Jenna – played by Lucie Jones in an extended run – gets the opportunity to start again when a baking contest arrives in town. Featuring a hit score by 7-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, Waitress is also the first Broadway musical to have four women in leading creative roles. Now extended to March 2020waitressthemusical.co.uk

Evita

Barbican Theatre

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, dramatising the life and death of Argentine First Lady Eva Perón, follows Evita as she moves from abject poverty to political power in the upper echelons of Buenos Aires society. After a sell-out run at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Jamie Lloyd’s production of the iconic musical is transferring to the Barbican Theatre for just 8 weeks in the summer of 2020, so snap up those tickets.  barbican.org.uk

Fame

Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Fame

Fame follows the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life. The 30th anniversary production, with the previous UK touring cast, plays for a limited time this winter at the newly-opened Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. 21 December 2019 – 26 January 2020, fameuktour.co.uk

Footloose The Musical

The New Wimbledon Theatre

Eighties extravaganza Footloose, based on the hit film and starring Pop Idol‘s Gareth Gates, tells the story of Ren, a city boy who’s forced to take matters into his own hands after finding out that the rural town he’s just moved to has banned dancing and rock’n’roll. Touring the UK in 2020, it’s packed with classic ’80s hits like Holding Our For a Hero. 24 April – Saturday 2 May 2020. Tickets available via selladoor.com

BIG

Dominion Theatre

The long-awaited musical production of the classic 1988 film, BIG stars Jay McGuiness as Josh, a twelve-year-old whose wish to be ‘big’ is unexpectedly granted. This has hilarious and touching consequences – he instantly gets a job at a toy company – especially after Josh falls for driven career-woman Susan, played by former Girls Aloud singer Kimberly Walsh. A playful set and quirky chemistry between the leading characters makes it a hit for children and parents alike. bigthemusical.co.uk

Want more culture? Check out the best plays in London