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Here's why you need to see 'Musicals by Candlelight' in London

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

West End musicals deliver the goods. There are powerful ballads which inspire us to start the day strong, musical theatre love songs to serenade that special someone with, and joyful theatrical songs to belt out on repeat. Musical theatre songs transport us to another world. But what if there was another way you could enjoy musical songs?

It’s time to shine a spotlight on Musicals by Candlelight. The candlelight concerts showcase the power of musical theatre through string quartet instrumental versions of your favourite musical songs. Think the Bridgerton score, but musical-ified.

Musicals by Candlelight concerts take place in St Paul’s Church, more commonly known as the Actors’ Church. Be in tune with the power of musical theatre and discover why you need to see Musicals by Candlelight concerts in London.

Book Musicals by Candlelight tickets on London Theatre.

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The Musicals by Candlelight concerts take place in a calming location

Escaping the busy streets of London may seem like a hard task. But in the heart of Covent Garden lies St Paul’s Church, a peaceful haven of unadulterated beauty and a space to clear your head. Before stepping into the church, walk around the courtyard and take a few moments for yourself. Then, once you enter St Paul’s Church, you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of calmness. By the time the concert’s over, you’ll forget you’re in central London.

You’ll recognise all the musical theatre songs

Listen to over a dozen songs in their entirety during the hourlong Musicals by Candlelight event. Sit back, relax, and hear well-known songs from West End musicals on right now, including Wicked, My Fair Lady, Mamma Mia!, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Frozen the Musical. Before the concert, you can scan a QR code to download the programme and follow along with the show.

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A world-class quartet performs live in London

The Musicals by Candlelight playlist was carefully curated by Icon Strings Quartet, a prize-winning musical group made up of chamber musicians from London and international conservatories. They’ve performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the King’s Place, and all across Europe, so you’re definitely in good hands. Listen out for the Icon Strings Quartet’s insightful anecdotes about West End musicals too.

There are no singers at Musicals by Candlelight. The musical entertainment is solely provided by musicians. Whether you know all the words to the songs or you simply listen and reflect to the moving string quartet’s renditions, you’ll enjoy every minute of musical heaven.

You’re in company with musical theatre royalty

The Actors’ Church honours musical theatre legends. As you walk around the venue, you’ll see plaques dedicated to musical theatre composers such as Frederick Lerner and Ivor Novello, playwrights Noël Coward and Terrence Rattigan, and performers such as Vivien Leigh, Diana Rigg, and Charlie Chaplin. The musical greats of past decades would enjoy these concerts too.

Be prepared to see a lot of candles at once

As perhaps expected in a Musicals by Candlelight concert, there’s hundreds of flickering candles adorned throughout the church. Before stepping into the venue, the warm, inviting candles welcome audiences of all ages into the space. Then, as you walk through the church, the venue glows with the haunting lighting. Forget the bright lights of the West End; see these stunning London candlelights.

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There’s an intimate and cosy atmosphere

Unlike at most West End shows, you won’t need to stand in long lines to enter the auditorium. With a limited seating capacity, every Musicals by Candlelight concert offers an intimate experience and a chance to tune fully into the captivating musical rhythms. Seating is first come, first served, so if you want to sit closer to the action, you may want to arrive early to be at the front of your section. Saying this, the space is open and comfortable, and you’ll experience Musicals by Candlelight in a cosy atmosphere wherever you sit.

Dress up for a musical occasion

There are few opportunities to dress to the nines at West End shows. But at Musicals by Candlelight, take the chance to wear a glitzy dress, a smart suit, or a formal outfit you usually leave in the back of the wardrobe. There’s no dress code for Musicals by Candlelight concerts; however, many people who attend wear a smarter outfit, so you may want to leave the tracksuits at home.

See The Actors’ Church cats

While you’re watching Musicals by Candlelight, try to spot the two feline friends which live at the church. Black cats bring good luck, too, so you might be lucky at getting even more theatre tickets after seeing Musicals by Candlelight.

You’ll leave with a new appreciation for musical theatre

Look, I’m a big musical theatre fan. I think about theatre 24/7. But after attending Musicals by Candlelight, I’m listening to songs I’d previously heard hundreds of times in a new headspace. For example, a Wicked anthem left me in goosebumps and was seriously spine-tingling. I won’t reveal the song here; you’ll have to listen to the Musicals by Candlelight concerts live in person.

When are Musicals by Candlelight concerts in London?

Musicals by Candlelight concerts in London take place on select dates from 7 September to 23 Dec. 2022. All Musicals by Candlelight concerts will take place at The Actors' Church. Secure your tickets now to avoid missing out on a beautiful theatre experience.

Book Musicals by Candlelight tickets on London Theatre.

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