From Drury Lane, to Shaftesbury Avenue and The Strand, London’s West End is home to bags of drama, gallons of glamour and enough catchy music to keep your toes tapping for weeks to come.
So if you’re thinking of visiting the capital, why not visit the theatres in the West End? There are a host of fabulous shows on offer all year long but if you’re spoilt for choice, take a look at our top five must-see West End musicals. And if you’re still stuck, why not spend the weekend in London and catch up with more than one show?
1) Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre
Based on the book by Gregory Maguire; Wicked tells the story of the young green-faced girl, Elphaba, and her journey towards becoming the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. With amazing set design and costumes that catapult you into the wonderful world of Oz, Wicked is one of the greatest musicals ever to hit the West End. And with a Wicked film, set for release in the next year, it’s clear that this story is completely bewitching. So if you’re the type that likes to read the book (or catch the show) before you see the film, come and find out what all the fuss is about. You’ll be green with envy if you don’t…
2) The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre
2013 sees The Lion King celebrating an incredible 14 years in the West End, which is a real testament to just how good this musical is. This re-imagining of the Disney classic is vibrant and ingenious with the costumes and puppetry adding an amazing depth to an already brilliant story. What’s more, this is one West End wonder fit for the whole family.
3) Les Misérables, Queen’s Theatre
Even after last year’s epic film production of Les Mis, audiences are still flocking to see the West End’s longest running musical. Based on Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Misérables tells the story of Jean Valjean and his quest to redeem his past life amidst the setting of revolutionary 19th-century France. Deeply moving and poignant, Les Mis is famous for its emotive score, counting songs such as I Dreamed a Dream, and One Day More in its renowned repertoire. Our advice? Don’t forget the tissues.
4) Billy Elliot: The Musical, Victoria Palace Theatre
The adaptation of Stephen Daldry’s Oscar Winning film, Billy Elliot went from screen to stage in 2005. No stranger to the West End hit parade, Elton John provides the music to the story all about Billy Elliot’s dream of attending the Royal Ballet School despite his upbringing in a traditional northern mining town. Billy Elliot is a real feel-good musical that’s sure to have audience members dying to get out of their seats and dance.
5) Stomp, Ambassadors Theatre
If you’re looking for something a little bit different from the usual fare, Stomp could be the one for you. An enthralling musical experience, Stomp incorporates music, tap-dance and percussion using everyday instruments to create a sound like no other. With the introduction with new routines and music, even if you’ve seen it before, you’ll be amazed what they can do with a couple of rusty paint cans.
Whichever West End musicals you decide go for, you’re sure to find your theatre experience second to none.