The ultimate West End musical theatre bucket list
Life’s better when there’s a soundtrack to go with it. There really is something for everyone with these musical offerings you need to see, so don’t miss out on the ultimate guide to West End musical theatre you just have to see. Want to find out more about the longest-running musicals in the West End are? Our countdown is filled with the longest musicals in the West End.
A must-see West End musical theatre bucket list
After 50 years away from the West End, get ready for the Golden Age musical theatre parade to pass in London once more, as Hello, Dolly! opens at the Adelphi Theatre in 2020. Imelda Staunton will star as Dolly Levi, a matchmaker who helps ‘half-a-millionaire’ Horace find a partner, but where will the cupid strike? With a dazzling score by Jerry Herman including ‘Elegance’ and ‘Put On Your Sunday Clothes’, this is one piece of West End musical theatre that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
At the heart of the story is the skin colour of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the discrimination she faces because of it. Nothing compares to seeing the show’s mesmerising visual effects, magnificent costumes and spectacular set design or hearing the powerful hits “Defying Gravity”, “The Wizard and I” and “No Good Deed” performed live. You need to be in that room and it comes as no surprise that Wicked continues to fill the Apollo Victoria Theatre to the brim.
The Phantom of the Opera
Ever since the lush sounds of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s The Phantom of the Opera were first heard at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1986, the show has retained its status as a must-see piece of West End musical theatre. Telling the story of a Phantom whose obsession for the newest soprano grows, watch the Phantom’s developing rage result in Christine being locked away from everyone around her, including a previous lover. With songs including ‘All I Ask of You’, get ready to listen to ‘The Music of the Night’ at The Phantom of the Opera.
The Book of Mormon
Entertaining audiences at the Prince of Wales Theatre since 2013, The Book of Mormon is a satirical, humourous show following two Elders who spread their faith in Uganda. Forced to confront their own beliefs, will they be able to win the day? It’s one of the hottest tickets in town so don’t miss out on seeing The Book of Mormon.
The Lion King
The beating heart of Africa’s Serengeti comes alive in The Lion King, a Disney musical that’s been entrancing audiences at the Lyceum Theatre for two decades. Join a young lion cub named Simba as he sets off on an epic adventure to become King of the Pride Lands, meeting fun-loving creatures including Timon and Pumbaa along the way. Featuring over 200 puppets that help bring the animal kingdom to life, book your The Lion King tickets now and it will mean no worries for the rest of your days!
Telling the story of the magical nanny who flies onto Cherry Tree Lane to look after the Banks children, Mary Poppins is a piece of West End musical theatre that everyone needs to see. Taking the children on an adventure that can only be possible by using their wildest imagination, jump into this Disney musical for yourself, starring Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp as the lovable Mary Poppins and Bert.
Les Misérables is a piece of musical theatre history that tells the epic tale of one man’s struggle to break free from his past and create a new life for himself and his surrogate daughter in post-Revolutionary France. With spine-tingling songs including “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Can You Hear The People Sing”, “On My Own”, “Bring Him Home” and “One Day More”, London’s longest-running musical never fails to amaze. With a mesmerising set, outstanding visual effects and a stellar cast, don’t wait ‘one day more’ to book your tickets.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical has taken London by storm as the tale of an extraordinary little girl who dares to take a stand has become a West End classic. Reading books at the library by age five, Matilda Wormwood has an accelerated thirst for knowledge. Bullied by her headmistress Miss Trunchbull, Matilda seeks comfort in her teacher Miss Honey, where she stages a revolution and becomes “a little bit naughty”.
Mamma Mia! is a feel-good West End musical theatre hit will have you up on your feet, reliving the sound of the 1970s. This ultimate feel-good show has enthralled London crowds since 1999, with an upbeat tracklist including, “Money, Money, Money” and “Take A Chance On Me”. Set on a Greek island, Mamma Mia! interweaves ABBA’s timeless songs with a story about love, friendship and identity, resulting in the sunniest show around! Sophie Sheridan has a dream of the perfect wedding, but, there’s a problem – Sophie has no idea who her father is! Finding her mother’s old diaries, Sophie discovers that there are three men who could be her father and, after inviting them to the wedding, chaos ensues!
The Prince of Egypt
Embark on a West End adventure like no other at The Prince of Egypt, coming to the Dominion Theatre in 2020. Dramatising the Book of Exodus, join Moses as he discovers his family’s roots and later saves his people to free the Israelites from persecution. Featuring the song ‘When You Believe’, see how miracles can happen at the British premiere of The Prince of Egypt.