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This is your ultimate guide to West End Musicals…
From world-renowned museums to a buzzing nightlife, there’s always something happening in London. But if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, head to one of the capital’s many theatres to experience a live London musical. With productions ranging from Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera to Moulin Rouge and Wicked in London, there really is something for everyone! In this ultimate guide, we break down each performance to help you make the right choice when it comes to London musicals.
West End Musicals For The Whole Family
There are plenty of family-friendly West End musicals that feature live performances along with audience participation. So, if you’re searching for a magical and memorable West End musical that will guarantee to entertain your little ones, here are our top choices.
The Lion King in London
Theatre: Lyceum Theatre
As one of the most visually stunning and vibrant West End musicals, The Lion King in London is a must-see for all ages. Sit back and allow the live show to transport you to the African Savanna. You will be in awe as the story begins, and you are treated to a combination of moving performances and elaborate costumes. The show lasts 2 hours 30 minutes. The Lion King in London is best for children aged 6 and up. Children under the age of 3 are not permitted into the theatre. Anyone aged 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult. The Lion King in London also features theatrical smoke and fog effects, as well as strobe lighting.
Wicked in London
Theatre: The Apollo Victoria Theatre
Based on the 1995 novel, Wicked comes from a parallel universe to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and tells a tale from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West. Since there are parts that can be a bit scary and a couple of sad moments, it is best for children who are aged 8 and above. Wicked in London runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes at The Apollo Victoria Theatre.
Theatre: London Prince Edward Theatre
Practically perfect, according to Mary Poppins, if you’re looking for an award-winning London musical for the whole family, this one is for you. Enjoy the classic story live from London Prince Edward Theatre. Featuring Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins and award-winning Charlie Stemp as Bert. All children must be over the age of 5 to attend. This West End musical lasts around 2 hours and 50 minutes. There will also be smoke, fog, strobe lighting, loud noises and pyrotechnics during the show.
Theatre: Cambridge Theatre
Matilda is a multi-award winning London musical that will delight viewers of all ages. The story of a charming young genius brought to the stage from the Royal Shakespeare Company at Cambridge Theatre. Based on Roald Dahl’s book, Matilda the Musical is the perfect way to spend an evening in the capital as a family. According to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Matilda is best suited to children 6 and above, however, younger guests are welcome. Matilda is a longer London musical at 2 hours 35 minutes, including a 20-minute interval.
Theatre: Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Enter a world of icicles and snowflakes, as Disney’s FROZEN is transformed into a London West End musical. The perfect performance to see during the winter, watch as Elsa and Anna’s story comes to life on stage, before your eyes, with jaw-dropping scenery, special effects and of course, an array of heart-melting songs. Ideal for little ones who can’t get enough of Let It Go, get ready to meet Olaf and Sven in London. Frozen the musical lasts 2 hours 15 minutes. Please note, Frozen the musical will feature smoke, haze and strobe lights.
Theatre: Novello Theatre
If you liked the movie, you’re going to fall in love with Mamma Mia the musical in London. Exhilarating, vibrant and emotional, get ready to join in the fun at the ultimate feel-good performance. Listen to the charming story of a mother and daughter, as three possible fathers come into the picture on a sun-kissed Greek island. For 2 hours 35 minutes, Novello Theatre will be filled with the very best of ABBA. We dare you not to sing along to Mamma Mia the musical! Ok, it’s almost impossible not to!
Theatre: Dominion Theatre
If you manage to get hold of Grease the musical London theatre tickets, consider yourself very lucky indeed. They are like gold dust in the West End, as this classic film takes centre stage at Dominion Theatre. Featuring the most iconic Grease songs, get ready to sing along to this charming London musical. More glamorous than ever before, embark upon a journey back in time, as Sandy and Danny reconnect in High School and their holiday romance rekindles! Please note, this musical is recommended for children aged 7 and above. Children under 5 years old are not permitted. Grease also depicts smoking on stage and occasional strong language. You can book tickets to see Grease in London from May 2022.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella
Theatre: Gillian Lynne Theatre
From February 2022, you will be able to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella at Gillian Lynne Theatre in London. This much-anticipated World Premiere is a romantic comedy inspired by the original fairytale. It’s time to explore Belleville, a picturesque town, populated by townsfolk who will stop at nothing to achieve perfection. It’s all about maintaining face in Belleville, and this is almost always a full-time job. But, one person is about to go against the grain. Enter Cinderella. Not quite a soon-to-be Princess, but a loud-mouthed miss whose only wish is to escape. Take your seats for this wonderfully different tale, which lasts 2 hours 40 minutes. Best for children aged 6 and above.
Theatre: Shaftesbury Theatre
With music from Swedish pop songwriter Max Martin, & Juliet is a story that portrays what might have happened if Juliet were to have lived, rather than sacrifice herself at the end of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This new West End musical is a celebration of independence and reveals what heartbroken Juliet went on to accomplish after grieving the loss of her beloved Romeo. With her bags packed, this diva is ready to paint Verona red, as she reclaims her future in an uplifting and electrifying choreography.
Adult Audience London Musicals & Shows
Some London musicals and live shows are better suited to an older audience due to the nature of the show, or the historical references that some younger viewers may not be able to relate to. So, if you’re searching for a London musical without little ones in tow, here are our top picks.
Theatre: Piccadilly Theatre
Electric, dramatic and sexy, Moulin Rouge is a fabulous London musical to see. The costumes alone are spectacular, but some may consider them a little risky for younger viewers. Take your seats, as the performance is about to begin! Get ready to be wowed. Moulin Rouge has 14 Tony Award Nominations, and once you see the show, you’ll know why!
Magic Mike Live
Theatre: The Hippodrome
The perfect ladies’ night out in London, experience 90 minutes of steamy masculine energy. Featuring fiery dance routines, gymnastics and the chance to get up close and personal with the performers, Magic Mike is strictly for over 18s only. 16 guys will take to the stage to entertain the mostly female audience.
Theatre: Savoy Theatre
While children aged 12 and above are allowed, parents should be aware that Pretty Woman does have a couple of sex scenes that some viewers may prefer little ones not to see. This includes actors in bed together and in the bathtub. Pretty Woman is a Hollywood classic that can only be even better on stage. Featuring choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell. Aimie Atkinson plays Vivian Ward alongside Danny Mac as Edward Lewis. Pretty Women is around 2 hours and 20 minutes long and will lift your spirits and light up your heart.
Back to the Future
Theatre: Adelphi Theatre
Are you ready to time travel! this is one of several modern west end musicals to hit the city! Get ready to witness this blockbuster musical adventure, inspired by the 80s. Nostalgic and inspiring, welcome to Hill Valley. While Back to the Future is not inappropriate for kids, they may not get most of the 80s references. But for those adults who remember this 1985 pop culture phenomenon, it’s a fantastic London musical to see. Watch as Marty McFly discovered how to transport himself back in time, with help from quirky Doc Brown. Will he manage to fix the present and escape the past! You’ll have to book tickets to find out for yourself!
The Book of Mormon
Theatre: The Prince of Wales Theatre
From the creators of South Park, The Book of Mormon has won not one, but nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. While this London Musical is significantly different to others on at the West End, it’s best for adults and teens. As a musical comedy, you’ll be in for a hilarious night out in the capital, as the play is a tongue and cheek examination of the beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With plenty of catchy songs, The Book of Mormon is ideal for those who are open-minded and enjoy sarcastic comedy.
Come from away
Theatre: Phoenix Theatre
A Canadian musical, Come From Away is set in the week following September 11 attacks and tells the tale of the true story, and what happened after. Due to the nature of this London musical, it may not be suitable for younger viewers. Although it is a feel-good show, with a universal theme of human kindness, friendship and community.
Emotionally Moving & Empowering London Musicals
Discover inspiring stories, heart-wrenching dramas and empowering London musicals. Here are a handful of West End musicals that will touch your soul.
The Prince of Egypt
Theatre: Dominion Theatre
Based on the 1998 DreamWorks Animation film, The Prince of Egypt is an unmissable London musical. Experience one of the greatest stories ever told as the performers portray a mother’s love, heart-breaking decisions, the epic battle between Moses and his brother Rameses and the journey to the Promised Land.
Theatre: Sondheim Theatre
Les Misérables is one of the longest running West End Musicals and is powerfully moving. Taking the world by storm, Les Misérables is a dramatic London musical that will take the audience from poverty and hopelessness to power and privilege. Les Misérables explores French history, law and politics.
Phantom of the Opera
Theatre: Her Majesty’s Theatre
A West End musical that is not only haunting but gracefully enchanting. Discover this classic London musical at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Lurking in the shadows, the Phantom, shamed by his physical appearance, falls in love with his beautiful protegee Christine Daae. This mesmerising love story is tragic, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off the stage!
Zorro the Musical
Theatre: Charing Cross Theatre (2022)
Immerse yourself in this live re-enactment of Stephen Clark and Helen Edmundson’s book, with music by the Gipsy Kings and John Cameron. A mixture of magic tricks, flamenco, beautiful costumes and singing. Enjoy the tale of the famous Spanish masked crusader in the heart of London in 2022.
Dear Evan Hansen
Theatre: Delfont Mackintosh Theatres
Winner of 3 Olivier Awards, Dear Evan Hansen is one of the best West End Musicals. This London musical follows the story of a young man with social anxiety who struggles to connect with his peers. Dear Evan Hansen does feature death and grief, along with mental illness, which is why it is best suited to a more mature audience. Dear Evan Hansen may not be suitable for children younger than 12 years old.
Historical London Musicals
Looking for something inspiring and historically accurate to watch? Check out one of London’s many musicals! No matter how you feel about musicals, there’s no denying that London has a long and vibrant history with the art form. With old and new productions opening all the time, it can be hard to know where to start when looking for a show to see. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite historical London musicals – so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
Theatre: Trafalgar Theatre
Jersey Boys is best suited to an older audience who are far more likely to recall the break-up of the 1960s rock n roll group The Four Seasons. As a documentary-style West End musical, Jersey Boys is very nostalgic whilst still being a toe-tapping performance. While younger viewers are more than welcome, they may prefer to see The Lion King in London instead.
Theatre: Victoria Palace Theatre
See the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton come to life at Victoria Palace Theatre. Featuring singing, rapping and characters such as King George III, Aaron Burr, John Laurens, just to name a few, it’s the perfect combination of hip-hop, jazz, R&B, Broadway and a London musical.
Theatre: Vaudeville Theatre
Considered one of the most uplifting London musicals, SIX invites you to embark upon a journey back in time, to meet Henry VIII’s six wives, as you’ve never seen them before. These girls have ditched their Tudor wear and have transformed themselves into Pop princesses, to tell their heart-breaking tales in an 80-minute performance at The Vaudeville Theatre. So if you’re searching for a heart-warming West End musical all about girl power, make sure to book your tickets to SIX!
Anything Goes the Musical
Theatre: Barbican Centre
All abroad, the S.S America heading from New York to London in 2022. Anything Goes the musical includes music by the iconic American composer and lyricist Cole Porter. Experience this upbeat journey onboard a cruise liner packed with an all-singing, all-dancing crew. The S.S America was a real ocean liner and cruise ship built in the US in 1940. It carried famous passengers from New York to London for over 54 years before eventually becoming a wreck in 1994. You can book tickets to see Anything Goes the musical in London, from the 15 of July 2022.