See West End shows with religious themes

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

A brilliant West End show can itself feel like a religious experience, thanks to the transporting bliss of extraordinary performers at the top of their game. But if you’re interested in seeing plays and musicals that actually grapple with faith, then you’re in luck: London currently has a fantastic selection.

From shows that revolve around a particular church through to holy choirs, songs of praise and conversion to a new religion, there are numerous productions on offer – from the sincere to the satirical, and the pious to the playful.

So, follow our commandments when it comes to booking for heavenly London shows that tackle religion, and plan your sublime trip now.

The Book of Mormon - 750 - LT - 030322

The Book of Mormon

As the title suggests, this provocative long-running musical puts the spotlight on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – aka the Mormon Church. The story centres on two mismatched missionaries, the ambitious Elder Price and more easy-going, compulsive liar Elder Cunningham. The pair are sent to Uganda, where they get a tough reception from the local warlord.

Created by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and composer Robert Lopez (of Frozen fame), the tongue-in-cheek show won a whopping nine Tony Awards and four Oliviers. It remains a hugely popular London fixture thanks to its witty grappling with a divisive religion, and its whole-hearted celebration of community and friendship.

Book The Book of Mormon tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Les Miserables - 750 - LT - 030322

Les Misérables

You need only listen to Colm Wilkinson singing “Bring Him Home”, that spine-tingling prayer, to know that this French Revolutionary musical is – at its core – about faith. Wilkinson originated the lead role of Jean Valjean, the convict who is saved by a kindly Bishop and who then attempts to live a life in service to God.

His opposite number, the dogged policeman Javert, is also a man of deep religious conviction, but his is a hard-line interpretation. In contrast, Valjean embodies Victor Hugo’s empathetic form of Christianity: he gifts us the gorgeous line “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Amen.

Book Les Misérables tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Tina The Musical - 750 - LT - 030322

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

In this bio-musical, as in life, Tina Turner’s journey begins in the Baptist community church of her native Nutbush, Tennessee, where even as a child her powerful voice rings out. But although there’s a gospel tinge to some of her later work – she actually releases a gospel album with husband Ike – it’s a different kind of faith that proves to be Tina’s salvation.

During a particularly tough time in her life, when she’s attempting to reinvent herself as a solo rock ‘n’ roll artist following her split from Ike, Turner finds Buddhism. That becomes enormously important in dealing with continued challenges, like the racism she encounters in the music industry, and her Buddhist faith features in this empowering and inspiring West End show.

Book Tina - The Tina Turner Musical tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Six - 750 - LT - 200522


London’s reigning queens offer everything in their powerhouse gem of a show, from catchy pop-diva anthems and witty feminist reclamations of “herstory” to the hottest looks in town – and even some astute religious commentary. Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s now Tony Award-winning musical puts a fresh spin on the wives of Henry VIII, looking beyond that infamous rhyme.

In her number “No Way”, committed Catholic Catherine of Aragon scornfully dismisses the king’s argument that their marriage can be annulled because of a Biblical passage about a lack of children. But Henry pushes ahead, setting up the Church of England so he can marry Anne Boleyn. As the latter pithily puts it: “Everybody chill, it’s totes God’s will.”

LT - CTA - 250

Photo credit: The Southbury Child (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

Originally published on

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