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. If you love them, scroll on for our recommendations of the must-see musicals on in London’s West End. If you need some convincing, book yourself a seat at one the award-winning shows below, allow yourself to be immersed in all the wonders of musical theatre, and try something new!
The Best Musicals in London
Only Fools and Horses: The Musical
Theatre Royal Haymarket
Del Boy and Rodney are making 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 August. OnlyFoolsMusical.com
Jesus Christ Superstar
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s multi award-winning production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR transfers to the Barbican Theatre for just 60 performances in 2019. The production won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical and played two sell-out runs at the Open Air Theatre before playing the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2018. Direction by Timothy Sheader. 4 July – 24 August. www.jcsuperstar.co.uk
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
The Apollo Theatre
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. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Les Misérables by Boublil and Schönberg
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. Visit Les Mis.
Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda
Victoria Palace Theatre
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 27 July. Hamilton.
Wicked by Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz
Apollo Victoria Theatre
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. Visit Wicked the Musical at The Apollo Victoria 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. Visit The Lion King.
Matilda by Dennis Kelly
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. Visit Matilda the Musical.
The razzle-dazzle has returned to London and Cuba Gooding Jr. can be held, in part, responsible. The six Tony Award-winning musical will run on the West End for just 14 weeks, step ball change on the gas to get to the theatre and see Gooding star in this classic. Bob Fosse’s choreography and the jazz band on stage are all the more reason. Visit Chicago.
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