Here's a few West End musicals that have closed in the West End, but they all share one common theme: they're musical adaptations of best-selling movies.
1. Young Frankenstein
Mel Brooks’ raucous musical comedy Young Frankenstein, based on the classic 1974 film of the same name starring Gene Wilder, burst onto the West End stage last autumn and was met with numerous 5-star reviews.
The production comes from the brain of the man who brought you ‘The Producers’, ‘Blazing Saddles’ and ‘Spaceballs’, and is a collaboration with Tony Award-winning Broadway director and choreographer Susan Stroman.
It delves into the world of Frederick Frankenstein, a respected New York brain surgeon and professor, who has inherited a castle and laboratory in Transylvania from his deranged genius grandfather, Victor Von Frankenstein.
Will Frederick stay in Transylvania and carry out his grandfather’s mad desire to awaken the dead or will he run from his family’s twisted past?
Warning: Brooks’ humour is lewd and full of innuendo, and sometimes pretty racy, so you may want to leave the kids at home!
2. Disney's Aladdin
Based on the 1992 animated film, the score for Disney’s Aladdin has been composed by legend Alan Menken, who created the soundtracks to ‘Tangled’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ starring Emma Watson. The show features tunes like “Friend Like Me”, “One Jump Ahead”, “Prince Ali” and the worldwide hit “A Whole New World”, with lyrics from the celebrated Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
Journey to the fictional town of Agrabah, meet orphan “street rat” Aladdin and watch in amazement as he outsmarts the palace guards. While the hero is foraging for food, Princess Jasmine disguises herself as a peasant and escapes from the palace to avoid marrying a man she doesn’t love. Aladdin saves Jasmine's life and they fall for each other immediately. However, Jafar, the Sultan's evil advisor, soon discovers that Aladdin is a “diamond in the rough” and the thrilling tale really gets underway.
Children will delight in the scheming villain and his tiny accomplice Iago and the bigger than life shape-shifting, all-singing, all-dancing Genie will entertain the grownups with his dazzling wit. With a magic carpet that soars across the stage, sparkling sequin encrusted costumes in an array of bright colours and astounding set pieces that carry you to the very heart of Arabia, this show offers everyone a glorious West End experience.
3. Brief Encounter
Described by the New York Times as “surely the most enchanting work of stagecraft ever inspired by a movie”, this production of Brief Encounter is passionate, magical, nostalgic, and now playing at Empire Cinema Haymarket – a cinema that has been converted into a sophisticated theatre space. Directed by Emma Rice, this heart-pounding production switches between live action and film, drawing on the iconic 1945 film written by Noël Coward and directed by David Lean.
Alec and Laura meet by chance at a railway station café when Alec helps Laura remove “a little piece of grit” from her eye. Both are happily married with children, but what starts as a friendship quickly develops into something more: love.
Soon, they feel unable to meet openly and, in an unfortunate turn of events, the pair find that their story must come to an end.
4. Strictly Ballroom
Strictly Ballroom is a new musical starring Will Young, Zizi Strallen and Jonny Labey, inspired by the classic Australian film from the award-winning Baz Luhrmann. The release of ‘Strictly Ballroom’ in 1992, ‘Romeo + Juliet’ in 1996, and finally ‘Moulin Rouge!’ in 2001 completed Luhrmann’s critically-acclaimed ‘Red Curtain Trilogy’.
Following the success of its UK Premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2016, the magnificent story that inspired the world to dance runs at the Piccadilly Theatre until October. The musical includes hits from the film like “Love Is In The Air”, “Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps” and “Time After Time” and electrifying songs from a host of internationally acclaimed artists.
Strictly Ballroom tells the story of Scott, a championship ballroom dancer in 1980s Australia who defies the rules and finds himself aggravating ballroom-purists. He goes one step further than just making up dance steps in choosing left-footed partner Fran as his partner for the Pan Pacific competition. In following his heart he finds his true calling in dance and his true love.
This medley of colour and fun is witty and heartfelt and bound to leave you wanting more.
5. Kinky Boots
Winner of 6 Tony Awards and 3 Olivier Awards, Kinky Boots is the hottest show in town. Featuring a score from Grammy Award-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, and direction and choreography from Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Legally Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) this hilarious and moving Broadway musical is a celebration of the friendships we can discover in the most unexpected of places, and the belief that you can “change the world when you change your mind”.
Based on a true story and adapted from the 2005 Miramax film of the same name, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price who, on the sudden passing of his father, reluctantly inherits the family’s Northampton shoe factory and returns home, giving up his new life in London. Desperately battling with his own doubts of where he fits in in the world, Charlie struggles to uphold his father’s legacy and save the factory from closure. But help arrives in the most unexpected of forms – local cabaret star Lola. This fabulous drag queen’s penchant for sturdy stilettos may just be the re-making of the Price & Son shoe factory.
Kinky Boots has everything you could look for in an evening’s entertainment – effortlessly catchy tunes, spectacular dance sequences and an emotional punch to boot. Exploring themes of father/son relationships and the acceptance of those who are different through celebrating individuality, this Olivier Award-winning show will raise your spirits and have you dancing in the aisles of the Adelphi Theatre.