London theatre: Best in the world for international audiences
Never been to London’s West End before? Visiting Theatreland as part of a special trip to the capital? If you’re travelling to the West End from an international location, here’s our guide to help you find the best shows that suit you! Right in the heart of London, we can guarantee that there’s something for everyone!
The best shows for international audiences
Along the musical theme, if you’re looking for a great show for a girl’s night out, Mamma Mia! is the one. It is fantastic fun and you’ll dance out of the theatre feeling great! Written by ABBA band members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Mamma Mia is the ultimate feel-good show, featuring the hits ‘Super Trouper,’ ‘Dancing Queen’ and, of course, ‘Mamma Mia.’ It tells the story of Sophie who invites three men who may be her father to her wedding on a remote Greek Island, which can never end too well! Although it’s been performed at theatres around the world, see the original production of Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre.
With a continuous run of over 30 years in the West End, countless theatregoers from around the world have flocked to the Queen’s Theatre to see the original production of Les Miserables. Filled with inspiring show tunes including “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Bring Him Home” and “On My Own”, be transported to the revolutionary era in France, as Jean Valjean aims to build a new life for himself after spending 17 years in a chain gang for stealing a loaf of bread. Faced with looking after Cosette and later fighting on the barricade, Les Miserables is a musical filled with love, heartache and inspiring feats of humanity that continues to draw in large crowds night after night.
The Lion King
Around the world, audiences have tuned into The Lion King for decades, with the film revival later in the year set to dazzle viewers. While you’re in the UK, why not take a trip to the West End to see The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre! Prepare to be wowed by the dazzling costumes, creative storytelling and Elton John’s magnificent original music. This emotional sing-along is undoubtedly a “must-see” show in the West End.
Love a truly jaw-dropping musical? You’ll want to see Wicked which has been bewitching London audiences at the Apollo Victoria Theatre since 2006. Wicked tells the story of how the green-skinned Elphaba went on to become The Wicked Witch of the West, making an unlikely friend along the way. Nothing compares to seeing the show’s mesmerising visual effects, magnificent costumes and spectacular set design, or hearing the powerful hits “Defying Gravity” and “The Wizard and I” performed live. It continues to be one of the world’s most popular musicals and is a must-see for any visitor to London. With the show’s continuous run at the Apollo Victoria for over a decade, learn more about the Apollo Victoria with us.
Matilda the Musical
To many, whether the original book by British author, Roald Dahl or the film adaptation, Matilda was an important part of their childhood. At long last, The Royal Shakespeare Company has brought this beloved children’s novel to life. Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda continues to delight audiences in London’s West End. It tells the story of a telekinetic five-year-old and her struggles with school, nasty parents and a strict headmistress. Children and adults alike will be delighted by the extraordinary little girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Experience a world-class theatre performance which received its world premiere in Britain in a highly visual and imaginative way that will unleash your inner child and leave you enchanted.
Tina – The Tina Turner Musical
Songs by Tina Turner have been played on radio stations, television series, with the legendary songstress herself lighting up arenas around the world. See the world premiere of her journey to superstardom in musical form at Tina the Musical, packed with her greatest hits including “Simply the Best” and “Proud Mary”. Charting her rise to the top, the production doesn’t shy away from the grittier moments in her life, but it’ll leave fans and theatregoers alike cheering for Tina. With Tina Turner selling more concert tickets than any other solo performer in music history, it’s clear there’s a worldwide adoration for the singer from small-town America. If you’re looking for a West End production to see before everyone else and impress your friends back home, you’ll want to see Tina the Musical.
Fiddler on the Roof
First performed in the West End over 50 years ago, see the latest revival of Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre. Set at the turn of the 1905 revolution in Russia, see how Tevye, Golde and their daughters cope with daily life in the small village of Anatevka as Jewish citizens. Seen as outcasts in society, the family are able to rejoice at the marriage of their eldest daughter Tzeitel to Motel, but when Russians wreak havoc in the small community, it’s quickly apparent that traditional Jewish customs need to be left by the wayside in order to survive. Audiences from around the world will instantly recognise the show’s well-known songs including “Tradition” and “If I Were a Rich Man”, with Russian folk, Jewish rhythms and the pizazz of a theatre show tune creating a musical that’s a must-see for any international audience member. Find out everything about Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre with us.
9 to 5
The songs of Dolly Parton are known around the world: “9 to 5”, “Jolene” and “Get Out and Stay Out” to name a few. Hear some of Dolly’s most-loved hits in 9 to 5 at the Savoy Theatre, based on the 1980 film which saw Dolly rise to fame as one of the world’s most successful recording artists. Follow the colleagues of Consolidated Industries as they take it upon themselves to improve their workplace by getting rid of their “sexist, egotistical” boss, Franklin Hart Jr. A star cast including Bonnie Langford, Brian Conley and Natalie McQueen are sure to get the party started at one of the West End’s newest sensations. If you like listening to the tunes of Dolly Parton, you’ll love 9 to 5 at the Savoy.
Photo credit: Matt Crockett