The best musicals to see in London, from Frozen to Les Mis


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It’s scientifically proven that going to a musical makes life better (probably).

London’s West End is one of the best places in the world to catch top-notch live performances. From our oldest show Les Mis to newcomers Cinderella and Frozen, there’s something for all ages and tastes.

If you’re looking for an all-sung and dance night in the capital, read on for our comprehensive guide to the musicals you can book tickets for in London.

You’ll have a wacky time with this poptastic musical, which asks: what if Juliet had abandoned Romeo, hadn’t stabbed herself and just laughed with her pals? Oh, and the soundtrack features the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. He won three Olivier Awards, including one for his star, Miriam-Teak Lee – she reprized the role when the series reopened in September. We want it that way.

I like you! I love ! Amélie the Musical, a pleasantly successful adaptation of the cult 2001 quirky film, is in the West End for a limited edition. Don’t miss out – in our four star review we said it was a lovely treat for when the world was feeling shit… and that was BEFORE we got stuck in a global pandemic.

All aboard – musicals are back in full force. This cover of the Cole Porter’s musical classic has a 50-person cast and a live orchestra, as well as a star-studded cast including Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal, Gary Wilmot and Tony Award-winning Sutton Foster.

Back to the Future: The Musical

Back to the future

We waited patiently for a ride in the DeLorean, and finally, here it is. Delayed by the pandemic, this musical adaptation of the cult 1985 film Back to the Future is a staple for nostalgia lovers around the world.

This musical about a socially awkward teenager whose brain is taken over by a supercomputer was already a hit online; The original distribution recording has long passed 350 million streams. Now he’s touring the West End after a hit at The Other Palace.

The summer musical at Regent’s Park Open Air Theater is always a special occasion – who doesn’t love to sing and dance by starlight and among trees? This year, it’s the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein Carousel, directed by Timothy Sheader.

Cinderella

/ © Tristram Kenton

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella must have been more worried about being nuts than turning into a pumpkin, but it looks like the show will finally open at full capacity in August. Co-written with Oscar-winning Promising Young Woman writer Emerald Fennell, it stars Carrie Hope Fletcher as a reimagined and rebellious Cinderella.

Come from afar

In the aftermath of September 11, a small town in Canada welcomed foreigners who found themselves stranded while planes were immobilized. This award-winning and heartwarming musical is based on their unusual story.

This big Broadway export didn’t have long to make its presence felt in the West End before the pandemic arrived. With music by Greatest Showman songwriters Pasek and Paul, it tells the story of an anxious teenager who feels overwhelmed by the noisy online world. His return to the stage coincides with the release of a major film adaptation starring original Evan, Ben Platt.

Everybody’s talking about Jamie

Everybody’s talking about Jamie

This feel-good musical just turned into a star-studded movie, but the magic began on stage. Based on the real-life story of a young Sheffield teenager who wanted to wear a dress for her high school prom, it will make you laugh, cry and feel fabulous.

After nearly a year of delay, the spectacular stage version of Disney’s smash hit will finally make its West End debut at the all-new Theater Royal Drury Lane, with Samantha Barks singing Let It Go as Elsa. and Stephanie McKeon as her sister. Anne. The settings, especially Elsa’s frozen palace, are truly magical.

Michael Ball, aka Britain’s first statesman in musical theater, is reprising his award-winning role of Olivier as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray this summer. This exuberant show about Inclusion and Chasing Your Dreams also features a standout performance from up-and-coming star Marisha Wallace.

Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rap story about the “$ 10 founding father”, which traces the history of Alexander Hamilton from his beginnings as “young, disjointed and hungry” to his fatal duel with his Political rival Aaron Burr, will undoubtedly have won over even more fans during lockdown, thanks to the release of the version filmed on Disney + last summer. It’s time to get back to the room where this is happening – the breathtaking energy of the stage show is hard to capture on screen.

heather

This teenage musical drew a huge following after its UK premiere at The Other Palace in 2018, which was followed by a successful run to the West End. Based on Winona Ryder’s’ 80s cult movie about a high school kid lured by a misfit who wants to take down the cool kids, he’s now back in the West End for a limited run.

Jersey Boys

Oh what a night… that’s what you might be telling yourself after watching Jersey Boys, which returns on stage this summer. Tracing the rise to fame of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and sprinkled with their songs, this is a must-have for jukebox music lovers.

Joseph and the incredible Technicolor dream coat

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Old Testament extravagance returns to the Palladium for a limited edition, with Jac Yarrow handing over the coat of multiple colors after making his professional debut as Joseph in 2019. He is joined by Jason Donovan as Pharoah akin to Elvis and Alexandra Burke as narrator. Go on! Go on! Go on!

Les Misérables: the staged concert

The set

to the barricade! The staged concert version of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s musical epic about Victor Hugo’s doorstop novel is a must-have for Mis acolytes and beginners. Its race ends on September 5; weeks later, on September 25, the revamped edition of the original (which opened briefly in early 2020, before the lights went out in the West End) will return to the Sondheim.

The Lion King

The circle of life is restored: the theatrical adaptation of the greatest Disney musical of all time (fight me) is finally back in the West End, with hallmark puppet work (still as striking now as it is). debut over 20 years ago) and that mind-blowing Elton John soundtrack. You will find us curled up in a mourning corner of Mufasa.

Mom Mia!

My God, how much we missed this very entertaining, extremely successful, objectively bonkers musical that spawned two box office films. Set in a ruined hotel on a Greek island and accompanied by a selection of Abba’s greatest hits, all the fun of song and dance revolves around one big question: which of the old boyfriends of mom Donna is Sophie’s biological father?

Mary poppins

Everyone’s favorite supercalifragilisticexpialidocious nanny flies over the rooftops of London again, an umbrella in one hand, an inexplicably spacious carpet bag in the other. Zizi Strallen directs this charming scenic take on the Disney classic, joined by Charlie Stemp as the all-sing-and-dance chimney sweep Bert and Petula Clark as the birdwoman.

Mathilde

Everyone’s favorite bookworm is back: the delicious musical version of the Roald Dahl classic returns to the West End in September. With music by Tim Minchin and a playful book by Dennis Kelly, it’s glorious fun for the whole family.

The Phantom of the Opera

Adopting masks early on and avoiding social interactions, the Ghost is back on stage (or off the stage, as he does for much of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic). There have been a lot of feverish rumors about the changes to the series after Covid, although Lloyd Webber recently promised that the revamped production, which will take inspiration from the toured version of Phantom, will be “better than ever.”

A pretty woman

/ Helene maybanks

Do you like musicals and also … the bible? The Prince of Egypt is the show for you, telling audiences the story of Moses through songs by Stephen Schwartz, the man behind the music of Wicked.

Sing in the rain

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Is this the perfect musical? It might be good. Based on the classic Gene Kelly film, Jonathan Church’s hit show has already caused a stir in Chichester and the West End. Catch him at Sadler’s Wells for a limited run, it stars Adam Cooper as Don Lockwood, alongside Faye Tozer, Kevin Clifton and Charlotte Gooch.

Six

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Tina

This onslaught jukebox musical, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, tells the story of pioneering musical legend Tina Turner. All the hymns are here, but Katori Hall’s script isn’t afraid to cover up the darker parts of Turner’s story, including the domestic violence she suffered during her marriage to Ike Turner.

It’s not easy being green, as Kermit the Frog and Wicked’s Elphaba testify. With sheet music by Stephen Schwartz, this hugely popular revisionist version of The Wizard of Oz gives the Wicked Witch of the West – and her nemesis Glinda the Good Witch – a real story. No matter how many times you’ve seen Elphaba perform Defying Gravity while, uh, defying gravity, suspended in mid-air on stage, it’s still truly breathtaking.

Arinzé Kene will play Bob Marley in this major new musical about the singer’s life. Directed by Clint Dyer and starring a book by writer Billy Elliot Lee Hall, this is one of the most anticipated musical openings of the year.

This is the story of the soul group The Drifters, and the manager who contributed to their success. Beverley Knight plays Faye Treadwell, a music industry pioneer who is committed to making sure the music she loved is heard. Hits you’ll hear include Stand By Me and Under the Boardwalk.

With its mixed soundtrack, lavish settings, and heart-wrenching ending, it’s bewildering that Baz Luhrmann’s spectacular spectacular has only recently made the transition from screen to stage. After a success on Broadway, Moulin Rouge! will make its sparkling West End debut this fall. Consider this fair warning, though: Elephant Love Medley has been significantly overhauled, with a few songs dropped and a few tracks added (rights issues, apparently).

Talk about the star cast: Rebecca Frecknall’s cover of Cabaret will star Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley. Excitingly, it will see the Playhouse Theater transformed into an immersive version of the Weimar Republic’s lair, Kit Kat Club. Make ours a duplicate.


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