Reasons to see 'Back to the Future: The Musical' in the West End

Hop in the DeLorean and enjoy a trip to Back to the Future: The Musical – catchy songs, spectacular special effects, and a ton of nostalgia guaranteed!

Julia Rank
Julia Rank

Jump in the DeLorean and grab the plutonium! Back to the Future: The Musical continues to thrill audiences of all ages at London’s Adelphi Theatre. Join the adventures of aspiring rocker Marty McFly and madcap scientist Doc Brown as they travel through time from 1985 back to 1955, in this musical which has music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard and a book by Bob Gale.

Our critic for London Theatre commented that the show’s “toe-tapping retro-pastiche fun (Grease meets Footloose) slips down as easily as chocolate milk.” They also note that “most effectively, there's a balance of wit and sincerity… But there's still a rollicking adventure in here, too.”

See our interview with writer Bob Gale and producer Colin Ingram about the process of bringing Back to the Future to the stage.

Read on for six reasons as to why you should give this fabulous show a whirl. Don your best orange puffer vest and settle in for the ride!

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

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Get hooked on the catchy score

The rock-inspired score features four songs that you’ll remember from the original movie: “The Power of Love,” “Back in Time” (both written for the film by Huey Lewis and the News) “Earth Angel” (originally performed by doo-wop group The Penguins), and “Johnny B. Goode” (originally performed by its writer Chuck Berry). These songs all appear in a run towards the end. However, it’s not a jukebox musical. All the other songs are original, written specifically for the narrative by Alan Silvestri and Glenn Ballard. “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” But we do need songs in a musical — and you’ll soon feel as if these were always part of the story.

Immerse yourself in spectacular set design and special effects

Theatre and science fiction make for a magnificent pairing. The set design by Tim Hatley is fabulously immersive and filled with moving parts. Unsurprisingly, the DeLorean comes close to stealing the show. The breathtaking illusions are by Chris Fisher, a member of the Magic Circle, who serves as international illusions and magic associate for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The impossible-to-describe climactic trick at the end is worth the ticket price alone!

Empathise with coming-of-age angst and youthful ambitions

Marty McFly is a high-schooler with big ambitions of being a rock star: “It won’t be long before they see / I’ll be on MTV,” he tells us in his opening number, but it isn’t long before the principal tries to put a damper on his dreams. All teenagers are embarrassed by their families: his father is having a tough time at work; his strict mother is trying to dissuade his boy-crazy sister Linda from dating; and his brother Dave is stuck in a dead-end job at a burger bar. And it all gets a bit complicated when he travels to 1955 and encounters his parents as young people. A real highlight of the story is the intergenerational friendship between Marty and Doc – life is much richer with friends of different ages!

Indulge in 1980s and 1950s nostalgia… whether you were there or not!

Why immerse yourself in one decade when you can have two? Marty lives in the 1985 but travels back to 1955 when his parents first met. There’s plenty of irony in the number “Cake” when the ensemble sings about how cigarettes are good for you according to doctors and asbestos is the best way to stay cosy… And no one ever would have believed that Ronald Reagan, who never quite achieved A-list status as a movie star, would ever become president! These days, quintessentially ‘80s looks like double denim with neon accessories, and once-cutting-edge technology like answering machines and camcorders are every bit as nostalgic. Looking to the future, there are visions of a utopian 21st century in which technology has made everything right. If only that were true.

See why Back to the Future: The Musical won multiple awards

Back to the Future: The Musical won the 2022 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and was nominated in six further categories, including Best Original Score and Best Set Design. It also won Best New Musical in the WhatsOnStage Awards, as well as Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design. Great Scott!

See the current West End cast in action

Rising star Ben Joyce plays Marty McFly. A graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Joyce was previously seen as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys in the West End. He’s joined by Cory English as Doc Brown. A native New Yorker, English splits his time between the US and the UK and has starred in The Addams Family, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers. Other wonderful cast members include Sarah Goggins (Lorraine), Oliver Nicholas (George - see his interview with London Theatre), Jay Perry (Goldie Wilson/Marvin Berry), and Sophie Naglik (Jennifer).

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

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

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