The ultimate West End musical theatre bucket list
Life’s better when there’s a soundtrack to go with it. Why not take a magical trip to Oz with Wicked or relive the sound of the 1970s with Mamma Mia!? The list goes on, there really is something for everyone with these musical offerings you need to see.
Want to find out what the longest running musicals in the West End are? Our countdown is filled with the longest musicals to be performed in the West End.
A must see musicals bucket list
Fiddler on the Roof
Set during the Russian Revolution of 1905, Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of a Jewish community in the Russian town of Anatevka. When the eldest daughter of Tevye and Golde wishes to marry someone that the matchmaker doesn’t initially advise, there is conflict. However, true love wins the day, with Tzeitel and Motel succesfully begging Tevye to let Tzeitel marry who she wishes.
Russian brutality, the Jewish faith, love, laughter and heartbreak are all brought together in this heartfelt musical that looks at what it means to be in the isolated group in society, yet continuing to live a hopeful, positive life.
Telling the story of the magical nanny who flies onto Cherry Tree Lane to look after the Banks children, Mary Poppins is a West End musical that everyone needs to see. Taking the children on an adventure which can only be possible by using their wildest imagination, you’ll want to jump into this Disney lifestyle for yourself. Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp will star in the 2019 revival, coming to the Prince Edward Theatre.
Now in its 33rd year on the West End stage, 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. Soon, discontent amongst French students boils over to create a powerful story of liberté, égalité and fraternité. Featuring the most powerful, spine-tingling songs to ever have graced the West End stage like “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.
Since premiering in 1985, Les Misérables has been produced around the world in 44 countries, translated into 22 languages and been seen by over 70 million people. With a mesmerising set, outstanding visual effects and a stellar cast, don’t wait ‘one day more’ to book your tickets.
Wicked is one of the most engaging theatrical experiences of all time. 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. A powerful story about defying other people’s expectations – Elphaba ascending just before the interval is an image you will stay with you for years after. Winner of over 90 international awards, Wicked has been seen by nearly 9 million people in London alone and is guaranteed to leave you spellbound!
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.
Winner of an outstanding 7 Olivier Awards, Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical has taken London by storm and is nearly in its 7th year in the West End. This lively, highly visual story about an extraordinary little girl who dares to take a stand is truly a musical theatre gem.
Reading books at the library by age five, Matilda Wormwood has an accelerated thirst for knowledge. Unloved by her vulgar parents, Matilda is also subjected to the wrath of her school’s horrendous headmistress, the larger than life Miss Trunchbull. Trunchbull is a character that you won’t forget easily who physically and mentally abuses her charges, and Matilda quickly learns to overcome her dire circumstances with the help of her astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. Sometimes all you’ve got to do is be “a little bit naughty”.
Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, this family-friendly show features a show-stopping score by comedian and famed songwriter Tim Minchin and some of the most inventive staging and visual effects in town, one stunt in particular that involves something (or someone…) falling from the ceiling will leave you in complete disbelief as to how the team pulled it off! Matilda The Musical really is a feast for the eyes, as well as the ears and the heart.
Mamma Mia! is a feel-good hit will have you up on your feet, reliving the sound of the 1970s. Featuring the hit songs of Swedish pop sensation ABBA, this ultimate feel-good show has been seen by over 60 million people around the world, and played in over 40 countries, enthralling London crowds since opening in 1999. Showstoppers include, “Money, Money, Money”, “Dancing Queen”, “Super Trouper”, “Our Last Summer”, “The Winner Takes it All”, “Take A Chance On Me” and the title song.
Set on a Greek island, Mamma Mia! cleverly and humorously 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, complete with a father by her side to walk her down the aisle. And, on the eve of her special day, this dream has even more resonance. 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!
42nd Street was a toe-tapping extravaganza performed by the West End’s biggest cast at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Entertainment didn’t get bigger than this. Featuring the classic songs “We’re In The Money”, “Lullaby of Broadway”, “Shuffle Off To Buffalo”, “I Only Have Eyes For You” and the title number, it shook the blues away from every audience member.
When Peggy Sawyer steps off the bus in New York City, fresh from small-town America, she books a role in Julian Marsh’s new production. Can Peggy ever step out of the chorus line and into the spotlight? The show took its final bow at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 5th January 2019.
With the greatest musical theatre soundtrack of the 21st Century, Hamilton is the smash-hit American musical that has the whole world talking. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is an Emmy Award, Grammy Award, MacArthur Fellowship, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner, has turned the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton into a hip-hop phenomenon.
Hamilton is an immigrant from the West Indies who quickly rises in the ranks of George Washington’s army to become his right-hand man and, eventually, America’s first Treasury Secretary. This revolutionary production won seven Olivier Awards at the 2018 ceremony, after being nominated for a record-breaking thirteen gongs.