Discover new musicals that began in the UK

Find out which West End and off-West End shows began their life in the UK. Check out our guide to the best new musicals currently playing in London.

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

The UK has an incredible track record of producing new musicals. As much as we adore all our long-running shows, there’s something particularly exciting about taking a risk and going to see a brand-new work — especially when it turns out to be amazing!

We’ve seen some fantastic original hits in recent times, such as the world-conquering SIX, the latest British Invasion musical to take Broadway by storm, or the Sheffield-born Standing at the Sky’s Edge, which wowed National Theatre audiences and is now heading to the West End.

Plus there are more new musicals on the way. This week sees the official opening of The Little Big Things at Soho Place — one of the major openings of the autumn theatre calendar. Will it become the next big thing? We’ll soon find out…

Here’s our guide to The Little Big Things and all the other great new UK musicals in London that you can book for now.

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The Little Big Things

Some of the most enduring musicals have been inspired by real-life stories: think Hamilton, Evita, Jersey Boys, Assassins, Come From Away, or Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. The Little Big Things continues in that fine tradition.

The show is based on the bestselling memoir of the same name by Henry Fraser, who relates his incredible journey. Once a keen sportsman, when he was 17 he had a terrible diving accident and was left paralysed from the neck down – a massive life change for both him and his family. Gradually, Fraser built a whole new life, and is now an artist, author and inspirational speaker.

The new pop-scored musical version of The Little Big Things is written by the up-and-coming team of Nick Butcher, Tom Ling and Joe White, and is directed by Luke Sheppard – whose past work includes & Juliet, In the Heights and In Dreams.

The show has a brilliantly inclusive company. Ed Larkin, who has cerebral palsy, stars as Henry Fraser: he’s one of four cast members who have a physical disability. The super-talented deaf choreographer Mark Smith is also a key member of the team.

This exciting, original British work is premiering at hot new London venue Soho Place, and promises to be a stirring celebration of family, love and resilience. Make sure you’re one of the first to see it!

Book The Little Big Things tickets on London Theatre.

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The Time Traveller’s Wife

Audrey Niffenegger’s smash-hit novel has been adapted for film and TV, and is now a stage musical – with an original score by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart, and a book by Lauren Gunderson. The show had its premiere in Chester and is now coming to the Apollo Theatre in the West End.

David Hunter and Joanna Woodward star as Henry and Clare, whose sweeping romance is tested by Henry’s uncontrollable time travelling. To find out more about this highly anticipated new musical, and just how you time travel life live on stage, read our interview with Hunter and Woodward.

Book The Time Traveller’s Wife tickets on London Theatre.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

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Close-Up: The Twiggy Musical

The extraordinary life of fashion icon Twiggy is encapsulated in this new musical at the Menier Chocolate Factory with a book by Ben Elton (We Will Rock You) and a soundtrack packed with Swinging Sixties gems. Follow her rise from Neasden to the catwalks, Broadway and Hollywood.

It’s a fascinating time to revisit Twiggy’s story, now with a greater understanding of the class barriers and sexism that she overcame to become the face of an era. Plus, on the lighter side, expect fabulous fashion, music and the fun-loving spirit of the age.

Book* Close-Up: The Twiggy Musical* tickets on London Theatre.

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Back to the Future: The Musical

Prepare for 1.21 gigawatts of full-throttle fun in this joyful stage adaptation of the beloved movie comedy, starring Michael J Fox. Back to the Future: The Musical powered into Manchester Opera House in 2020, and has been a West End favourite since it began at the Adelphi Theatre in 2021.

With its thrilling plot, unforgettable characters and jaw-dropping special effects (especially that DeLorean travelling at 88mph), plus a score that combines new songs with film standouts like “The Power of Love”, it’s no wonder the show won the 2022 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Book Back to the Future: The Musical tickets on London Theatre.

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Flowers for Mrs Harris

Richard Taylor’s musical adaptation of Paul Gallico’s lovely novel began at Sheffield Crucible in 2016 and then played Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018. Now it’s finally in London, with a season at Riverside Studios – and then the West End surely beckons…

The story follows cleaner Ada Harris, who saves up to fulfil her dream of visiting House of Dior in Paris and buying a couture gown. This postwar charmer (which was recently made into a movie) stars Jenna Russell in its London premiere – an extra incentive to catch this gem of a show.

Book Flowers for Mrs Harris tickets on London Theatre.

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This explosive new musical first caught light in an online concert in 2021, and has gradually worked its way through to production via sold-out West End concerts, a soundtrack recording, and is now coming, fully staged, to Alexandra Palace. Expect fireworks!

Ricky Allan’s original musical, which has a folk and pop score, revisits Guy Fawkes and his gunpowder plot of 1605. Nicole Raquel Dennis takes over from Carrie Hope Fletcher as Martha, and the cast also features Joe McFadden, Oscar Conlon-Morrey, and Gabriel Akamo.

Book Treason tickets on London Theatre.

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Of course, we can’t forget SIX! The wives of Henry VIII took control of history (or “herstory”) thanks to Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow’s imaginative romp of a musical, which casts the queens as pop divas competing to see who had the worst time of it.

The show has brought in a whole new generation of theatre fans, and continues to reign supreme in the West End – as well as on Broadway and more. You’d need a heart of stone not to fall in love with this homegrown treasure. There’s no way you can miss it!

Book SIX tickets on London Theatre.

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Standing at the Sky’s Edge

Another cheering British success story, which has gathered serious momentum over the past few years, is Standing at the Sky’s Edge. This gorgeous, heart-warming new musical follows three generations of residents at the iconic Sheffield housing estate, soundtracked by the immense back catalogue of Richard Hawley.

Add in a brilliant book by Chris Bush, and it’s easy to see why the show has become such a hit so quickly, going from Sheffield to the National and now into the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London’s West End – and winning a Best New Musical Olivier along the way. See what all the fuss is about…

Check back soon for more information about Standing at the Sky’s Edge tickets on London Theatre.

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