Get tickets to the must-see West End musicals this autumn

Autumn means the days begin to shorten and the temperature cools, but it also means new hit musicals will come to London stages in the West End and more.

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

It’s been an incredible summer for big musicals in the West End and beyond, with the likes of Crazy For You, Mrs. Doubtfire,A Strange Loop and The Wizard of Oz delighting audiences of all ages.

Happily, that run continues into the autumn, with lots of exciting productions opening in London. From the stage adaptation of a bestselling novel through to a major Andrew Lloyd Webber revival and a starry tribute to Sondheim, these musicals are definitely unmissable.

So, get planning now and book your tickets – you don’t want to wait too long! To help you out, here’s our guide to the must-see London musicals for autumn 2023.

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The Time Traveller's Wife - 1200 - LT

The Time Traveller’s Wife, Apollo Theatre

Audrey Niffenegger’s world-conquering novel has already been turned into a movie and a TV series – but, this autumn, it becomes a West End musical. This inventive production began at the Chester Playhouse and now arrives in London.

David Hunter and Joanna Woodward star as Henry and Clare, the beloved couple who are constantly torn apart by Henry’s uncontrollable time travelling. See how this heartfelt tale is brought alive on stage (aided by some astonishing theatrical illusions) and through music from Joss Stone and Dave Stewart.

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Sunset Boulevard 1200

Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre

Nicole Scherzinger is ready for her close-up! The former member of The Pussycat Dolls plays the iconic role of faded silent film star Norma Desmond in this West End revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Christopher Hampton’s Hollywood fable.

Scherzinger follows in the hallowed footsteps of Patti LuPone and Glenn Close, taking on the deluded diva whose relationship with a young screenwriter leads to murder. She’s directed by Jamie Lloyd (who just worked with Jessica Chastain on A Doll’s House on Broadway), and she’s reunited with Lloyd Webber after working with him on Cats.

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Sondheim's Old Friends - 1200 - LT - 040522

Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends, Gielgud Theatre

Last year, Cameron Mackintosh assembled a glittering galaxy of stars to pay tribute to the late composer in this wonderful Sondheim revue. The one-night-only event was such a sensation that it’s back this autumn for a full run, with Broadway legend Bernadette Peters making her official West End debut.

Peters is joined by a simply incredible cast (or should that be Company!), including Lea Salonga, Haydn Gwynne, Jason Pennycooke, Christine Allado, Damian Humbley, Bradley Jaden, Gavin Lee, Bonnie Langford, Janie Dee, Jac Yarrow, and Joanna Riding.

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The Little Big Things Cast 1200 LT

The Little Big Things, Soho Place

Henry Fraser was a keen athlete until a terrible diving accident changed everything – and he had to learn to live his life in a whole new way, as did his family. His inspiring story, told in his best-selling book, is now becoming a new British musical with music by Nick Butcher.

Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, My Son’s A Queer) directs the show, and the cast features Jonny Amies and Ed Larkin as Henry Fraser, plus Alasdair Harvey, Linzi Hateley, Amy Trigg, and Cleve September. This is definitely the most intriguing musical premiere of the autumn – and you can say you saw it first if you book quickly!

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Miss Harris 1200 LT

Flowers for Mrs. Harris, Riverside Studios

It’s the long-awaited London premiere for Rachel Wagstaff and Richard Taylor’s musical adaptation of Paul Gallico’s novel, following acclaimed runs at Sheffield Crucible in 2016 and Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018. The show has already built up a real following.

Jenna Russell stars as Ada Harris, a cleaner who falls in love with her employer’s haute couture clothes and saves up for a dream trip to the House of Dior in Paris. This postwar charmer was recently turned into a movie starring Leslie Manville, but it’s the musical incarnation that really turns heads. Catch it here before it almost certainly heads to the West End.

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Twiggy and Elena Skye LT 1200

Close-Up: The Twiggy Musical, Menier Chocolate Factory

Another musical aiming for a model London opening this autumn is this new show dedicated to the trendsetting '60s and '70s fashion model Twiggy. A working-class girl from Neasden, she became the face of an era and made it all the way to Hollywood – but she had to overcome snobbery and sexism to get there.

Ben Elton, who previously wrote the books for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Beautiful Game and Love Never Dies, Queen musical We Will Rock You (which he also performed in this year), and Rod Stewart show Tonight’s The Night, will tell Twiggy’s unforgettable story in this new Swinging Sixties musical.

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Rebecca - 1200 - LT

Rebecca, Charing Cross Theatre

“Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” So begins Daphne du Maurier’s spine-tingling Gothic novel about a young woman who marries a widower and moves to his estate in Cornwall – only to be haunted by his late wife, the titular Rebecca, and terrorised by her loyal housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers.

Alfred Hitchcock adapted the indelible tale into an Oscar-winning Hollywood movie starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. Now Michael Kunze, Sylvester Levay, and Christopher Hampton bring Rebecca to the stage with this new musical at Charing Cross.

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Treason - 1200 - LT

Treason, Alexandra Palace

Get ready for an explosive musical drama! First seen as an online concert in 2021, and then further developed in two sold-out concerts in the West End last year, Treason now comes to Alexandra Palace as a fully staged production – bringing the tale of Guy Fawkes and his failed gunpowder plot of 1605 to life.

Written by Ricky Allan, this original British musical has a folk and pop score and some serious talent backing it. West End leading lady Carrie Hope Fletcher stars as Martha Percy, wife of plotter Thomas Percy, and we may well see more big names too: The concert version featured Bradley Jaden, Simon-Anthony Rhoden, Debris Stevenson, and Les Dennis.

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I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical, Wilton’s Music Hall

Well, don’t we all?! Alexander S. Bermange’s love letter to musical theatre, in the form of this wonderfully witty revue, features every aspect of the industry – from drama students to divas, onstage disasters to backstage backstabbing, adoring fans to tough critics, and of course, the magical triumphs that override everything else.

I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical is already a festival favourite, playing for three years at the Edinburgh Fringe, and this autumn, you can join in the theatrical fun at Wilton’s Music Hall. Matthew Parker directs, and the cast features Jennifer Caldwell, Sev Keoshgerian, Rhidian Marc, and Julie Yammanee.

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Two Stranger 1200 600 LT

Two Strangers (carry a cake across New York), Kiln Theatre

Certainly the musical with the most curious title to arrive in London this autumn, Two Strangers is another homegrown project. Stiles & Drewe Prize-winning writing team Kit Buchan and Jim Barne created this production, whose musical Catastrophe Bay appeared at Bristol Old Vic in 2022.

The story revolves around a big wedding – and an opposites-attract romance. Upbeat Brit has flown to New York for his dad’s nuptials, even though they’re estranged. He meets harried New Yorker Robin, sister of the bride. Will sparks fly? Don your wedding finest and head down the aisle to find out…

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Love Never Dies

Love Never Dies – The Musical in Concert, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

This is a big year for musicals in concert. Following the summer’s Evita at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, starring Moana and The Little Mermaid Live’s Auli’i Cravalho, we’ve got another intriguing West End arrival: The Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies, also playing at Drury Lane.

This lavish concert version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical stars Norm Lewis as The Phantom (he was the first African-American actor to play the role on Broadway) and Celinde Schoenmaker (Sarah Brown in the Bridge Theatre's Guys & Dolls; previously Christine in the West End for the 30th anniversary), accompanied by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra.

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The Barricade Boys 1200 LT

The Barricade Boys – West End Party, Adelphi Theatre

Can’t decide which musical to see? How about a bit of everything! That’s the offer from The Barricade Boys, the British supergroup formed by Les Misérables cast members Scott Garnham and Simon Schofield. Fellow musical theatre stars Craig Mather and Kieran Brown join them in this exciting show.

The boys perform a range of numbers from different musicals, along with pop, rock, and Motown favourites. They also share stories from their time in shows like Wicked, Billy Elliot, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Sound of Music, The Phantom of the Opera, and more. It’s the ultimate celebration and a great excuse for you to get a group of fellow musical theatre fans together for a memorable night out.

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Top image credit: Treason. (Photo courtesy of production)

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