West End

West End Guide: The Best Musicals in London 2019

West End is to London what Broadway is to New York; a jubilant celebration of the performing arts in all its glory. Exuberant production design, stunning performances by famous screen actors, and catchy music are all staples of a typical West End production. London’s primary theatre district is dubbed “Theatreland” and houses over 40 performance venues, including the iconic Savoy Theatre, Palace Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, and many more! Even on a visual level, many West End theatres are architecturally impressive and feature grand neo-classical, Romanesque, or Victorian façades, and luxurious, detailed interior design and decoration.

If you’re planning a trip to London, watching a West End show should definitely part of your itinerary. The magic of live theatre is something you shouldn’t miss, especially if it’s done right, like at the West End. If you’re having trouble deciding which show to watch, we have picked the best musicals in London for you.

West End Musicals

1

Book of Mormon

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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After a successful Broadway debut, the creators of South Park bring their deliciously dark and humorous take on Mormon culture to West End. Playing at the Prince of Wales Theatre, The Book of Mormon is directed by Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw and features star-making performances by its winning cast including Dom Simpson, J. Michael Finley, Leanne Robinson, Steven Webb and more.

The Book of Mormon is story of two Mormons who make their way to Uganda to share their spiritual beliefs. However, the natives have bigger, more pressing problems, and are just not interested. This satirical comedy unlike anything you've ever seen, and is a favourite of both audiences and critics alike!

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins

Location

Prince of Wales Theater
Seating Plan ›

2

Les Misérables

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Shönberg’s multi Tony and Olivier Award winning production is something you just cannot miss if you’re visiting London. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables is the story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption of the human spirit.

If you love a classic musical filled with rousing show numbers, this production is for you. Starring Killian Donnelly, David Thaxton, Steven Meo, Paul Wilkins, and more, this West End production is one you just cannot miss!

Duration: 3 hours

3

The Lion King

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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Featuring stunning set design, epic musical numbers and an experience you’ll find hard to recreate, the show is one of the most popular musicals in West End. The Lion King is perfect for a family outing and recreates all the iconic moments from the animated movie. With music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and a musical score created by Hans Zimmer, The Lion King is an absolute delight!

Another Disney classic graces our list of the best musicals in London; The Lion King. The winner of two Olivier awards, and six Tonys, this cult classic follows Simba, a young lion prince from the Pride Lands. After the death of his father, Simba runs away from home blaming himself, and meets two social outcasts Timon and Pumba. The rest of the story is about Simba returning home to fulfil his destiny as the King of Pride Lands.

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins

4

Matilda

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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Based on Roald Dahl’s much loved tale of a young, spirited girl with monstrous parents, Matilda is a delightful story of growing up and discovering our potential. Matilda features an inspiring original score by comedian and performer, Tim Minchin. Rob Howell’s fabulous set design spills into the audience and manages to captures their imagination throughout the entire performance.

Based on Roald Dahl's novel, Matilda was an instant hit when it made its debut in West End. The musical won 7 Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical (2012). Follow Matilda, a girl with a sharp mind, who dreams of a better life, far away from her horrid parents and tyrannical headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. The role of Matilda is shared by talented child actors Savannah Read, Emma Moore, and Lily-Mae Evans.

Duration: 2 hours 40 mins

5

The Phantom of the Opera

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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If an offbeat romance with a generous helping of mystery and a dash of fantasy excites you, The Phantom of the Opera is where you should be at. Join along as the elusive Phantom and Christine, a young soprano, engage in a torrid, unconventional romance, backed with some iconic songs like the Music of the Night and Angel of Music.The show stars Ben Lewis as the Phantom and Kelly Mathieson as Christine.

One of the longest running shows at West End, the Phantom of the Opera has been around for over three decades. A classic musical, it opened in 1986, and has been a favourite of both audiences and critics since. Some of its top songs include "Think Of Me", "All I Ask of You", and "The Point of No Return".

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins

6

School of Rock

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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Everybody loves an underdog story and when it’s backed with a killer rock soundtrack, you know you have got yourself something special. School of Rock follows Dewey Finn a wannabe rock star and guitarist who is down on his luck and decided to make a bit of quick money by posing as a supply teacher.

Based on the 2003 film of the same name, The School of Rock won the 2017 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. The cast features Stephen Leask as Dewey Finn with Florence Andrews as Rosalie Mullins. The child cast is packed with talent as these young actors not only sing and dance but also play their own musical instruments.

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins

7

Wicked

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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A magical tale of sisterhood and friendship set in the dangerous land of Oz, Wicked is the perfect show for that quintessential theatre experience. With soul stirring songs like Defying Gravity and For Good, the musical offers a delightful experience. Presently, Alice Fearn stars as Elphaba and Sophie Evans takes on the role of Glinda.

This award-winning musical, which is already the 15th longest running show in West End theatre history, shows no signs of stopping! We've all heard the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. This play looks back at her origins, and how she went from being known as Elphaba to the Wicked Witch of the West.

Duration: 2 hours 45 mins

Location

Apollo Victoria Theater
Seating Plan ›

8

Thriller Live

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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The King of Pop and his unusually smooth dance moves will come back to life in this West End show. The extraordinary journey that you will be a part of as the audience includes hit numbers like ‘Billie Jean’, ‘They Don’t Care About Us’, ‘Beat It’, and of course, ‘Thriller’. As the talented crew pays homage to one of the most prominent musicians to ever exist, you get to enjoy the show that has been notching up full houses for 10 years.

Thriller Live opened in January 2009 and after its runaway success embarked on a UK-wide tour. Currently, Thriller LIVE is staged at multiple locations around the world.

Duration: 2 hours 20 mins

9

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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You may call this a musical biography of Tina Turner, one of the greatest rock 'n roll star ever. The musical puts Tina Turner, the musician, at the center stage, and explores her personal journey of overcoming the hurdles of life. The story starts from her humble beginnings in Tennessee and inspires the onlookers with her tenacity and vigor. Featuring some of Tina Turner’s biggest hits, Tina The Musical is the biggest debut of 2018.

Tina Turner herself has been intrinsically involved in the production process that began in 2016. The show is currently booking until February 2019 and has already opened another show in Hamburg.

Duration: 3 hours

10

Mamma Mia!

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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Also known as Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus' Mamma Mia, this is the sunny and funny London West End show that you must not miss. The musical transports you to the Balkan paradise with its innovating styling and lighting. Legendary numbers by ABBA play their part to elevate the experience to new heights. The engaging plot merely is an accessory to the environmental grandeur that has been cooked up by the experienced crew.

Watched by over 60 million people worldwide, Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus' Mamma Mia opened in London on April 6, 1999. Presently, the show is being performed on several stages worldwide.

Duration: 2 hours 35 mins

11

9 To 5 The Musical

Run Time

Jan 28, 2019 - Apr 4, 2020

Price

Under £50

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Never have so many theatrical royalties been associated to a musical before. 9 to 5 is as much a show as it is your chance to witness history. 9 to 5 The Musical has Louise Redknapp, Amber Davies, Natalie McQueen, and Brian Conley playing significant roles, belting out tracks crafted by the Queen of Country, Dolly Parton. The musical plays on the lines of the original plot from the 1980 film of the same name.

9 to 5 The Musical began its journey in Los Angeles and after rave reviews from various quarters of the theatrical society, will be making its way to London West End on January 28, 2019. Bookings are now open.

Duration: 2 hours 20 mins

12

Come From Away

Run Time

Jan 30, 2019 - Feb 15, 2020

Price

Under £50

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Departing from the gleeful vibe of most musicals, Come From Away picks up a rather somber backdrop for its narration. The musical tells the story of about 7000 passengers who were left stranded and were eventually brought in at Newfoundland. The touching story is ably aided by soulful numbers like Welcome to the Rock, Me and the Sky, and Something’s Missing.

Even though things look grim for the protagonists in the musical, things finally look up, bringing an overall uplifting experience for all. After thunderous ovation in the US, Come From Away will be making its way to London West End on January 30, 2019.

Duration: 1 hours 40 mins

13

Waitress

Run Time

Feb 8, 2019 - Jan 4, 2020

Price

Under £50

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A quintessentially American show, Waitress takes the life of a working-class hostess Jenna Hunterson and lays it bare before the audience. The show remains grounded while bringing in a few classical fairy tale elements into the mix. Its a tale of introspection and self-realization. Through the memorable tracks and delicious pies, the musical serves the viewers a perfect story that will inspire, incite and invigorate. This is one experience that you must add to your crown.

Upon its Broadway debut, Waitress was applauded by one and all. The musical earned 4 Tony nominations and has unfathomable combined talent in its crew. Catch the show when it arrives at London West End!

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins

14

Only Fools and Horses

Run Time

Mar 01, 2019 - Feb 8, 2020

Price

Under £50

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Only Fools and Horses brings back fond memories of the iconic British romcom of the same name and transfers to West End in March 2019. Penned by the late John Sullivan, the series has been adapted for the stage by his son Jim Sullivan who collaborates with Paul Whitehouse. You're in for a great time at this show watching the brothers Rodney and Del Boy reunite and take you on a nostalgia-filled ride. The show follows the hilarious journey of the brothers (who live with their 'Grandad') trying to become millionaries through nefarious means. The bond that the brothers share is heartwarming, regardless of their age gap and the activities that they engage in.

If you enjoyed the original sitcom and love musicals in general, you're bound to have a splendid time. Reviews for the show have been mostly positive.

Duration: TBC

Location

Theatre Royal Haymarket
Seating Plan ›

15

Six The Musical

Run Time

Open Run

Price

Under £50

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Six The Musical presents a unique take on King Henry VIII's infamous marriages. The wives of the King are apparently tired of keeping up with his antics and decide to form an all-women band by channeling their inner popstars. The band goes on tour, elucidating its perspective on feminism, pop culture, and more. Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss and directed by Moss and Jamie Armitage, the show guarantees a great time for everyone who savors their slice of pop culture and music.

In case you're planning a girls night-out, we recommend you include watching Six The Musical as part of it. A fun time is assured!

Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

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