West End shows that are inspired by true stories

By | Posted on 19-Jul-2019

West End shows that are inspired by true stories

Don’t miss out on these West End productions, all based on real-life events or true stories that have happened in decades gone by. Whether it’s an author’s life told on stage or a historical event adapted for the stage, check out our list of historical West End shows.

True stories told on stage


Lin-Manuel Miranda’s record-breaking Hamilton is inspired by Ron Chernow’s autobiography of the Founding Father, who helped establish the United States as it is today. An orphaned immigrant from the West Indies, he became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War, propelling America through an era like no other. Changing the future of the United States, follow the life of Alexander Hamilton through his political career and cabinet battles, as well as personal feuds. Read more about the true story behind Hamilton.

Come From Away


In the immediate moments after 9/11, 38 international aircraft were diverted to Gander airport. With 7,000 passengers and crew on board, the town of Gander opened their hearts and minds to welcome a brand new community, with the ‘come from aways’ dealing with their newfound surroundings. Based on interviews conducted by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away honours the spirit and camaraderie of those in Gander, as well as their uplifting spirits. Don’t miss out on the best new musical at the 2019 Olivier Awards and read more about the true stories in Come From Away.

Touching The Void

Touching the Void

Inspired by Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, Touching The Void is an exhilarating play where characters fend for their lives at all costs. As Simpson and Simon Yates climb the Siula Grande in the Andes, Joe’s sudden perilous situation leaves Simon to save each other. High up on a sheer mountain face and with their lives in danger, see how the pair return to civilisation in a gripping play that’s testament to human endurance and hard work.

Baby Reindeer

Baby Reindeer

Richard Gadd will reprise his award-winning performance in Baby Reindeer at the Ambassadors Theatre from April 2020. One act of kindness became six years of torment for the British comedian, as he gave a cup of tea to a stranger. But, what happened after the kind gesture could never have been expected. In an hour-long play, Gadd shares a highly personal, public autobiography of some of the darkest years of his life, so don’t miss Baby Reindeer in the West End.

Dear Evan Hansen

DEAR EVAN HANSEN is inspired by a true story that affected Benj Pasek’s high school experience.

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in.

Follow Evan Hansen in a story where he grows with those around him, forming deep connections with his friends and a deeper understanding of the wider world, in this deeply personal and contemporary musical.



Tom Stoppard returns to the West End with his first play in five years. Titled Leopoldstadt, it’s inspired by his family history in World War Two, following a Jewish family who flee to the crowded Viennesse tenements for safety and security. Rediscovering their religious identity, Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of love and endurance that will sweep you away.

The Haystack

Espionage and intelligence go hand in hand in Al Blyth’s The Haystack, receiving its world premiere at the Hampstead Theatre. When two men in their twenties are recruited to join the National Defence Information Security Team, they quickly realise they’ve got the world at their fingertips. But, will they want to stay in this high-pressured role?


Paula Vogel’s Tony Award-winning play Indecent receives its European premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 13th March. It’s inspired by the events surrounding Sholem Asch’s provocative 1923 play The God of Vengeance which saw two women kissing on stage. See what happened when performers risked their entire careers and livelihoods to be on stage.