Catch a Show in London’s Glittering West End

One very popular thing to do while visiting London is to go to the theatre in London’s famous West End.  While you can easily see anything from comedy to Shakespeare, serious drama to contemporary dance in London, the West End, like New York’s Broadway, is most famous for its musicals, many of which have been running in the same theatres for many years and all of which enjoy big budgets and highly talented actors.  Here are some of the top shows currently on in the West End:

Photo by Marc Lagneau
Photo by Marc Lagneau

Mamma Mia

Now also a hit movie starring Kate Hudson and Pierce Brosnan, this story about a girl trying to find out who her real father is before her wedding is made up using the hits of 70’s pop group Abba.  It has been one of the most successful musicals ever to hit the West End and many fans return time and again for the upbeat story and familiar but beautifully performed songs.

Jersey Boys

This musical also uses the back catalogue of a past musical legend, in this case Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  However, unlike with Mamma Mia, here the songs are not used to tell an altogether new story, but to bring to life the true story of the band’s meteoric rise to fame.  Full of familiar hits, plenty of comedy, and also some quite touching moments, Jersey Boys has been critically acclaimed all over the world and has done very well in London box offices.

The Lion King

A family favourite, with spectacular costumes and choreography, this stage reimagining of the classic Disney movie about a lion cub on his quest to become king of his pride is sure to enchant young and old alike.  With hit songs by Elton John and a really innovative take on transforming the performers into wild animals, this musical has been a runaway success.

The Phantom of the Opera

One of London’s longest running musicals, this Andrew Lloyd Webber classic has been enthralling audiences all over the world for generations, though its true home is here in the West End.  Telling the story of a hideously disfigured man who falls in love with an opera singer, this lavish musical features amazing sets, dramatic songs and plenty of excitement.

Wicked

With its novel take on the story of the witches from the Wizard of Oz, Wicked has fast become a very popular West End fixture.  With catchy new songs and plenty of laughs, this is a great choice if you want something where you don’t already know the story and all of the songs.

Billy Elliot

A stage version of the hit movie about a young boy from a working class mining town who falls in love with dancing, this musical features great choreography and dancing especially from the young stars who play the title role.  This show does contain some strong language and simulated violence, so is not recommended for those under 12 years of age.

These are just some of the popular shows you can go and see when visiting London’s West End.  Why not make an evening of it with a smart pre-theatre dinner at one of the many stylish restaurants in the area, followed by cosy post theatre drinks in a proper London pub?

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