Top West End highlights of 2022

Revisit the highlights and celebrated moments across London’s theatres this year.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

It’s time to give a round of applause to the West End. All year long, new musicals, plays, and entertainment opened up in West End theatres, entertaining audiences of all ages and introducing people to the wonders of live theatre.

From all the postponed shows finally opening this year, to the award-winning stars making their theatre debuts, there were plenty of unmissable moments to watch out for this year. Reminisce over 2022 West End theatre with a look back on this year’s shows.

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West End shows in 2022

Discover more about the shows that opened this year, including all the Broadway musicals, British shows, and celebrities on stage. How many of these shows did you see in 2022?

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Hundreds of new shows opened in London

Now that’s a lot of theatre! Out of all of the new shows in London, over 25 new shows opened in West End theatres. The first West End show to open was David Suchet: Poirot and More, A Retrospective at the Harold Pinter Theatre where the Poirot actor revealed his career secrets to West End audiences. The final West End show opening this year was One Woman Show at the Ambassadors Theatre, officially opening on 19 December.

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West End shows from 2020 finally opened

It was a long time coming for these shows, but they were definitely worth the wait. A variety of shows all announced for 2020 runs all got their chance on stage in 2022.

After a short spell of 2020 performances, Emilia Clarke finally wowed audiences in The Seagull. Then, Beverley Knight, Keala Settle and Jennifer Saunders wowed in Sister Act at the Eventim Apollo.

A flurry of autumn plays ended the 2020 hiatus: The Upstart Crow starring David Mitchell, The Doctor with Juliet Stevenson, and Good led by David Tennant.

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Broadway shows took over the West End

Throughout the year, West End audiences saw Broadway productions on British soil for the first time. Over at the Young Vic, Broadway stars Patrick Vaill and James Patrick Davis reprised the roles of Jud and Will Parker in Oklahoma!

He wasn’t the only Broadway alum to return to an old role — Jeremy Jordan played Clyde in Bonnie and Clyde concerts at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Broadway’s influence in the West End shows no sign of stopping: Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and the UK premiere of Newsies are currently playing in London.

Oklahoma! and Bonnie and Clyde will return to the West End in 2023, alongside the West End premieres of Mrs. Doubtfire, Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations, and the return of the Tony-winning play, The Lehman Trilogy.

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New British musicals took over London in 2022

As well as the Broadway shows, there was no shortage of new homegrown musicals. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre presented the world premiere of 101 Dalmatians this summer, meanwhile Tammy Faye opened at the Almeida Theatre. There’s also new and exciting British theatre coming to London in 2023 — The Great British Bake Off Musical opens at the Noel Coward Theatre in spring 2023.

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There were plenty of West End stars on stage

If you wanted to see your favourite actors this year, then the West End was the place to be in 2022. Here’s the star-led London productions of 2022.

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The big winners at the 2022 Olivier Awards

As the 2022 Olivier Awards compressed nearly three years of theatre in one, all categories were bursting with talent. However, some shows came away with multiple awards, even breaking Oliviers records!

Cabaret won seven Olivier Awards including Best Musical Revival. In a first for the Oliviers, Cabaret took home all four musical acting awards categories, with awards to Eddie Redmayne, Jessie Buckley, Elliot Levey and Liza Sadovy.

Life of Pi won five Olivier awards including Best New Play. In another first for the Oliviers, the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category jointly went to the seven actors who play the Richard Parker tiger.

Noteworthy West End moments in 2022

Now here at London Theatre, we’re always keeping you up to date with the latest stories across the West End and beyond. Here's some of the biggest moments from London's theatre calendar in 2022.

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Celebrities gathered for the Stephen Sondheim gala

Following the passing of American composer Stephen Sondheim, an all-star line up of West End and Broadway performers honoured his work. Sondheim’s Old Friends gala saw Bernadette Peters, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Ball, and many more share the stage. You can even watch the Sonhdeim gala on New Year's Eve at 5:35pm on BBC Two. Find out more about the one-night-only Sondheim gala in the West End.

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Soho Place opened in the West End

The new central London theatre was the first new West End theatre to open in 50 years. The theatre opened with Marvellous, and is now currently home to As You Like It.

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The Mousetrap turned 70

The Agatha Christie play reached a new milestone in 2022, as it celebrated 70 years in the West End. The Mousetrap began performances on 25 Nov. 1952. Here's what The Mousetrap audiences would have expected in 1952.

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