Experience London shows in a new light with tickets to West End musical revivals

Relive all the joy of classic West End musicals as they return to London in 2024, including Hello, Dolly!, Starlight Express, and Kiss Me, Kate.

Julia Rank
Julia Rank

Revivals of musicals are often every bit as revelatory as new takes on classic plays. In recent years, Daniel Fish’s Oklahoma! imbued the 1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic with a chillingly contemporary significance without changing a word, and Jamie Lloyd’s stripped back Sunset Boulevard recently swept the Olivier Awards.

This summer, Starlight Express makes a spectacular return in a specially designed auditorium. There’s star casting aplenty as Imelda Staunton leads Hello, Dolly! and Adrian Dunbar and Stephanie J Block play warring ex-spouses in Kiss Me, Kate.

Fresh and daring takes on Fiddler on the Roof and A Chorus Line are also on the cards. And if you haven’t had the chance to catch it yet, Nicholas Hytner’s uniquely immersive Guys & Dolls (in which Miss Adelaide is no dumb blonde) has announced its final extension.

It’s joyous seeing a production of a favourite that honours its essence while presenting it in a new way with new ideas to think about afterwards. Here are some fabulous revivals that you simply can’t miss.

Hello Dolly

Hello, Dolly!

Perhaps the star casting of the summer, Imelda Staunton plays the titular widow on a mission in Dominic Cooke’s revival of Jerry Herman’s Hello, Dolly! at the London Palladium. First announced in 2019, various obstacles have got in the way (including a pandemic) but a no-expenses-spared affair is promised to make up for lost time.

Andy Nyman and Jenna Russell co-star as the “well-known unmarried half a millionaire” Horace Vandergelder and milliner Irene Molloy, respectively. Make haste to put on your Sunday clothes for an evening of pure entertainment: it only runs for ten weeks. All aboard the train to New York – close the night in a whirl!

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Starlight Express 1200 LT Photo credit Pamela Raith

Starlight Express

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe’s roller-skating extravaganza – with its unforgettable anthropomorphic trains – played at the Apollo Victoria from 1984-2002, and now it’s back in style.

Staged in the specifically designed Starlight Auditorium (aka the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre) and directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, The Little Big Things), with an all-star creative team, it’s sure to be a spectacle like no other.

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Kiss Me Kate

Kiss Me, Kate

“Another opening, another show” – but what will Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar’s singing be like? We’ll find out in June when he plays Fred in Cole Porter’s beloved musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate.

Outstanding vocal chops are guaranteed from Broadway diva Stephanie J Block, performing numbers including “So in Love” “I Hate Men”, and “Wunderbar”, as the fiery Lilli Vanessi – the actress playing Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew opposite her rakish ex-husband. There’s also the luxury casting of Charlie Stemp and Georgina Onuorah as starlets Bill and Lois. Brush up your Shakespeare for the summer!

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Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof

This summer, the leafy Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is transformed into the Eastern European shtetl of Anatevka with a revival of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s Fiddler on the Roof.

In recent years, the Open Air Theatre’s revivals of classic musicals have offered more than nostalgia – they have been genuine revelations. Director Jordan Fein has worked on Oklahoma! at the Young Vic and Cabaret at the Playhouse Theatre (Kit Kat Club), so this production is sure to subvert ideas about “Tradition”. Casting is to be announced.

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Hadestown - LT - 1200


This is an unusual one in terms of whether it should be considered a revival or a new show. Hadestown, originally an indie project, has had a complex journey. The show was seen in London at the National Theatre in 2018-19 for a short developmental run prior to its Broadway premiere, where it won eight Tony Awards. After (re)opening in the West End this spring, the production was recently nominated for an Olivier for Best Musical Revival.

This sung-through jazz-folk musical takes its cue from Greek myths that are imbued with contemporary political resonance, and it has captured countless hearts. Don’t miss the chance to experience it – currently booking until Christmas.

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chorus line-1200x600-LT

A Chorus Line

It’s the third time that A Chorus Line has been seen in London since 1976, now paying a summer visit to Sadler’s Wells as part of its UK tour. No wonder: this backstage musical, in which members of the chorus share all during an audition, is still electrifying to watch – a “singular sensation” with incredible dancing.

Versatile and prolific director Nikolai Foster’s production is a fresh new take, rather than the much-replicated original version. Adam Cooper and Carly Mercedes Dyer lead the cast as director Zach and struggling dancer Cassie.

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Sister Act

Sister Act

First seen in the West End in 2009, this heavenly musical comedy pays an extended visit at the Dominion Theatre until the end of August. It’s a brilliant theatrical version of the iconic movie comedy about a lounge singer who hides out in a convent after witnessing a murder – and transforms their choir.

Beverley Knight stars as that nun on the run, to be succeeded by Alexandra Burke on 10 June. You can also catch Gavin and Stacey star/co-creator Ruth Jones playing the disapproving Mother Superior, plus Lesley Joseph, Lemar, Clive Rowe and Lizzie Bea.

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Guys and Dolls

Guys & Dolls

This production has been no fly-by-night Broadway romance. Nicholas Hytner’s magnificent revival of Frank Loesser’s classic has announced its final extension until 4 January 2025. Arlene Phillips and James Cousins’s wonderful choreography recently received a richly deserved Olivier Award (Phillips’s first competitive Olivier at the age of 80!).

The fabulous foursome of Timmika Ramsay, Owain Arthur, George Ionnides, and original cast member Celinde Schoenmaker take the lead roles. One of the greatest musicals of all time, this production is a unique experience with its moving stage. If you’re feeling brave, get a standing immersive ticket in the centre of the pretzel stalls and barber shops!

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