6 West End shows you need to tick off your bucket list
With so many West End shows that have entertained audiences over the year, it can be hard to decide which production to see. However, there are a few shows which have captured the hearts and minds of theatregoers around the world and are sure to dazzle audiences of any age.
Bucket list West End shows
This acclaimed National Theatre production spent 8 record-breaking years in London’s West End and, having played in 11 countries around the world to over 7 million people, War Horse is now touring the UK. Based on Michael Morpurgo’s stunning novel, this unforgettable theatrical event focuses on the story of Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, at the outbreak of World War One. Joey has been sold to the Cavalry and shipped to France. Soon, he’s caught in enemy fire and fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, serving both armies and eventually ending up alone in No Man’s Land.
Set in the magnificent Serengeti plains, heavy with the haunting sounds of Africa, Disney’s multi award-winning musical redefines the meaning of live experience. Well-loved tunes including“The Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata” resonate around the enchanting Lyceum Theatre, 200 puppets bring the Serengeti to life. Each puppet is crafted so intricately and manoeuvred so realistically that the characters before you appear to be living. Accompanying the music and puppetry are The Lion King’s glorious staging choices and stunning special-effects that transport you even further into the heart of Africa.
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.
Celebrating its 12th year in the West End, 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!
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical has taken London by storm and is a lively, highly visual story about an extraordinary little girl who dares to take a stand is truly a musical theatre gem. 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.
Boasting over 65 years on the London stage, the world’s longest-running play is still going strong at St. Martin’s Theatre, and for good reason! This national treasure from the Queen of Crime is a suspenseful whodunnit that keeps you guessing until the very end. Although over 10 million people have seen The Mousetrap, it’s a tradition that no one reveals the murderer’s identity, the only way you’ll find out is by seeing this legendary piece of theatre history for yourself.