What you’ve been loving in 2019: The top 10 West End shows as reviewed by you
2019 has been an incredible year for West End shows, with new productions and exciting revivals taking over London’s Theatreland by storm. But, it’s not always up to theatre critics to determine what’s going to be a smash-hit.
Once you’ve seen a show with Encore Tickets, you can review both the production and the booking process with Feefo, a customer feedback website where you can let others know what you thought of every aspect of the show. With thousands of reviews submitted through the year, we’ve sifted through your reviews to compile the top 10 West End shows that opened in 2019. Get ready to take a theatrical walk down memory lane and see if your favourite production tops the list.
Your top 10 favourite West End shows
10: Only Fools and Horses: The Musical
Parking the fictional television family into the heart of the West End, Only Fools and Horses: The Musical has been entertaining audiences at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2019. In Only Fools, audiences are reunited with Cockney charmers Del Boy, Rodney in their latest get-rich-quick schemes, with plenty of fan-favourite moments jampacked into the show’s action. Although the musical received its world premiere in London this year, it was always going to be a smash-hit, but with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, it’s clear that Only Fools and Horses: The Musical has been one of your top West End shows this year.
What you’ve been saying about Only Fools and Horses: The Musical
“Great acting. Loved the many references to the tv show. Enjoyed the singing and dancing. Cushty!” – Christine, ★★★★★
“Characters are spot on to the original tv series, very funny musical, well worth a visit. ” – Declan, ★★★★★
9: Bitter Wheat
John Malkovich astounded audiences as fictional Hollywood producer Barney Fein in the world premiere of David Mamet’s Btiter Wheat at the Garrick Theatre. Inspired by recent events in Hollywood, Mamet’s play tackled how authoritative figures in the film industry can fall from grace when personal behaviour is called into question. Although Bitter Wheat was only at the Garrick Theatre for three months, it made an impression on West End theatregoers with an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.
What you said about Bitter Wheat
“Malkovich was excellent; scathing takedown of Hollywood” – Sahil, ★★★★★
“Brilliant Malkovich and his two costars; the test of the characters very sketchy.” – Daniela, ★★★★
8: Present Laughter
Rounding off artistic director Matthew Warchus’ fourth season at the Old Vic, Andrew Scott starred in a revival of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, a zany comedy following a middle-aged actor as he decides who to love and laugh with. With a star cast including Sophie Thompson, Indira Varma and the aforementioned Sherlock star, it’s no surprise that audiences showed their appreciation for Present Laughter, receiving a number of five-star reviews from critics. There were plenty of five-star reviews from you too, as Present Laughter had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
What you said about Present Laughter
“Andrew Scott is superb, Present Laughter is funny, tragic, hilarious and exasperating!” – Gill, ★★★★★
“Wonderfully entertaining, in a stunning theatre. Whilst I couldn’t fault anyone on stage, Andrew Scott was, for me, AMAZING, sublime performance.” – Maureen, ★★★★★
7: White Christmas
Although White Christmas is one of the final West End shows to open in 2019, it’s definitely not melting away in London, as it’s already received an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The feel-good, festive musical is based on the 1950s seasonal movie, following two military servicemen who raise money for their general by putting on a show-stopping production. Make sure you don’t miss out on seeing Danny Mac, Dan Burton, Danielle Hope and Claire Halse in White Christmas at the Dominion this year.
What you’ve been saying about White Christmas
“An absolutely fabulous evening of entertainment and the best place to get in the Christmas spirit! Can’t recommend it enough.” – Kim, ★★★★★
“Fabulous show, topclass voices, dancing and choreography and a set that puts you straight back to the 1950s.” – Katja, ★★★★★
Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox starred in the West End revival of Betrayal; the final production as part of Jamie Lloyd‘s Pinter at the Pinter season. Inspired by Harold Pinter’s own love life, the play centres around a trio whose romantic and friendly relationships become strained as they share secrets to one another, with the story unfolding in reverse chronology. After a limited engagement at the Harold Pinter Theatre, the three actors made their Broadway debuts as the show transferred to the Great White Way, but it clearly made an impression on West End audiences with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
What you said about Betrayal
“The set-up was beautifully orchestrated in its minimalism. Amazing performances by the actors as well! This was a memorable experience!” – Rani, ★★★★★
“Stark, darkly witty and painfully awkward at times…… brilliantly scripted and acted play with some very uncomfortable and hard hitting truths. I was completely absorbed!” – Tayla, ★★★★★
5: Come From Away
Winning best new musical at the 2019 Olivier Awards, Come From Away continues to inspire audiences at the Phoenix Theatre, as the musical shares real-life events in a small Canadian community after 9/11. Following 7,000 air passengers and crew who were diverted to Newfoundland, it’s a respectful, kind-hearted show that’s a testament to all who were involved, where all walks of life come together to help one another in the immediate moments and years after their unexpected meeting. Since it opened in the West End, audiences have been in awe of Come From Away, and you have too, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
What you’ve been saying about Come From Away
“Amazing story of people going through life-changing experiences. Very minimalist stage design and costuming, but the actors do an incredible job to portray a wide range of characters and accents.” – Tracy, ★★★★★
“An emotional roller coaster. Profoundly sad, often funny, showcasing basic human kindness, but not ignoring the dark side of the multitude of reactions to 9/11. Nearly 20 years later, I thought I had gotten over hard agony of that day, but Come From Away brought it all back.” – Karen, ★★★★★
4: Rip It Up
Taking audiences through the sights and sounds of the swinging sixties at the Garrick Theatre, a quartet of Strictly Come Dancing male contestants starred in Rip It Up – The Sixties. Filled with dancing, singing and gymnastics, the production was packed with songs by the decade’s biggest superstars including Dusty Springfield, The Rolling Stones and The Who. Playing in the West End at the end of the show’s national tour, it got audiences up on their feet and dancing with a smile, with an average audience rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
What you said about Rip it Up
“Fantastic, fun and fabulous. Packed with energy, colour and sound. The professional dancers, the boys and musicians gave us a memorable evenings entertainment. We really enjoyed the whole show!” – Jane, ★★★★★
“Literally nothing bad about the show…4 wonderful leads, imaginative segments, immensely talented support..dashing of humour mixed in..I’d go again!” – Tariq, ★★★★★
West End shows often transfer from Broadway, but it’s even sweeter when they’re as aromatic as Waitress! With the freshly-baked scent of apple pie wafting around the Adelphi Theatre, audiences have been able to see the pie-making show in London since March 2019, following the story of Jenna Hunterson as she enters a baking competition to start a new life. With plenty of cast changes throughout the year including Ashley Roberts as Dawn and Joe Sugg as Ogie, Waitress has become one of the most popular musicals this year, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
What you’ve been saying about Waitress
“It’s a bright, optimistic show with a happy ending. The songs are very melodic and the cast are uniformally excellent. ” – James, ★★★★★
“The musical had everything from crude but hilarious comedy, serious matters and plenty of pie.” – Stephanie, ★★★★★
2: Fiddler on the Roof
After wowing audiences at the Menier Chocolate Factory, the inevitable West End transfer of Fiddler on the Roof was swiftly announced, running at the Playhouse Theatre for eight months. Andy Nyman starred as Tevye in a critically-acclaimed revival directed by Trevor Nunn, exploring the life of a Jewish community at the height of the Russian Revolution. As well as the stories of religion and love coming together, so too did theatregoers from around the world, with Fiddler on the Roof scoring an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
What you said about Fiddler on the Roof
“This offered so much more than an evening out as the emotional impact stays with us. The cast and production were flawless.” – Sharon, ★★★★★
“All time winner in the tradition of British musicals.” – Robert, ★★★★★
1: 9 to 5 The Musical
Topping our list of West End shows that you’ve been loving in 2019, audiences have been heading to the Savoy Theatre all year long to see 9 to 5. Based on the 1980s film starring Dolly Parton, the musical follows three female colleagues as they strive for independence in the workplace, doing whatever it takes to get rid of their boss Franklin Hart. Jr once and for all. With plenty of shocking, unsuspecting moments throughout, as well as an on-screen appearance from Dolly Parton herself, 9 to 5 can pour itself a giant cup of ambition as the most reviewed show in 2019, with an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from 298 reviews!
What you’ve been saying about 9 to 5 The Musical
“Superb musical, true to the original film. Hilarious and very entertaining. The cast were amazing, the songs were off the chart. And bonnie Langford, just wow! I can thoroughly recommend this musical and would definitely see again. ” – Pauline, ★★★★★
“This show was brilliant and gave the audience the real feel-good factor. The cast were amazing, and as the theatre was full, it must be a hit!” – Dorothy, ★★★★★
Other shows you’ve been loving this year
Did your favourite show fail to make the list? We’ve rounded up some of the biggest shows of the year here!