West End shows to see for Mother's Day
Book tickets to shows for Mother's Day in London, including Mamma Mia!, Matilda, and The Hills of California. Mother's Day 2024 is on 10 March.
It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, March 10 2024 – a time to celebrate all those amazing mums and everything they’ve done for us! And what better way to do that than with a great London show?
The UK’s version of this annual holiday grew out of the Mediaeval Mothering Sunday tradition – the day on which Christians visited their ‘mother church’, or the church where they were baptised – which is why it’s always held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. After Anna Jarvis campaigned for a national Mother’s Day in America in the early 20th century, the tradition was revived in the UK as well.
Whether or not you associate it with religion, Mother’s Day is a cherished time for many to reflect on family bonds and to celebrate their loved ones. Happily, there are many ways to mark that celebration in London – including numerous shows in the West End that would make for an unforgettable Mother’s Day outing.
Why not treat your mum to a musical featuring her favourite hits, or to an uplifting family show, or a side-splitting comedy? You can share that live experience together, which is what this day is really all about, and make it a special treat by adding a meal out or a glass of fizz at the theatre. So, here are some of the best Mother’s Day shows in the West End that you can book now.
Of course we have to begin with the ABBA-tastic Mamma Mia!. It’s a story built around the relationship between a mother and daughter: Donna and Sophie Sheridan. Donna runs a dilapidated inn on a Greek island and worries about money; she’s also perplexed by her young daughter’s hasty decision to get married.
Donna reflects on their complex bond in the beautiful “Slipping Through My Fingers”, which will have you in tears. And you and your mum can also bop along to the incredible ABBA hits like “Mamma Mia”, “Take a Chance on Me,” “Does Your Mother Know” and “Dancing Queen”. There’s nothing like a Mother’s Day boogie.
Book Mamma Mia! tickets on London Theatre.
This brilliantly anarchic family musical is perfect for kids – and mums – of all ages, particularly if you enjoyed reading Roald Dahl’s book as a child. Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin’s brilliant adaptation for the Royal Shakespeare Company captures Dahl’s mischievous spirit, and Minchin’s songs also have their tremendously poignant moments, especially “When I Grow Up”.
It’s a fun one in terms of good and bad parenting models: let’s hope you escaped grown-ups like the tyrannical Trunchbull and horrendous Wormwoods! The best parent is actually an adoptive one, the kindly Miss Honey, who learns as much from Matilda as she does from her. The whole show is a celebration of collective storytelling – a pleasure you can share with you mum on this Mother’s Day.
Book Matilda the Musical tickets on London Theatre.
Is your mother a big Agatha Christie fan? If you’ve spent hours curled up on the sofa with her watching Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple dramas on TV, or whizzing through the Queen of Crime’s novels to find out “whodunit”, then make a beeline for this thrillingly immersive Agatha Christie play.
It’s staged at London County Hall, making it feel like a real courtroom – and you’re the jury. On trial is Leonard Vole, a young man accused of murdering the wealthy Emily French. How will you decide? This Mother’s Day, you and your mum can test your wits against the greatest crime writer ever.
Book Witness for the Prosecution tickets on London Theatre.
It’s a difficult time in the world right now, so one of the best things you can give your mum on Mother’s Day 2024 is plenty of laughs. And you’re guaranteed to get them at this West End comedy staple: Mischief’s world-conquering farce.
Watch the amateur Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society attempt to mount a performance of a 1920s murder mystery. What could possibly go wrong? Well, everything! You’ll love the determination of the cast that “the show must go on”, and howl with laughter as they run headlong into the next calamity. It’s the perfect Mother’s Day escapism.
Book The Play That Goes Wrong tickets on London Theatre.
How would you and your mother like to be in the room where it happens? Lin-Manuel Miranda’s world-conquering musical, which tells a fascinating piece of history via a ground-breaking hip-hop, rap and pop score, is an unforgettable experience – one you can chat about for years to come.
Although the main narrative is political, the show also has plenty of poignant personal moments. There’s romance, broken hearts, and, significantly, really beautiful reflections on the parent-child relationship. Alexander Hamilton’s wife Eliza is a standout thanks to her difficult journey through motherhood.
Book Hamilton tickets on London Theatre.
If you’re looking for a fabulous night out this Mother’s Day, head to the legendary Moulin Rouge nightclub. This stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s movie is every bit as spectacular, from its eye-popping costumes to its big dance numbers and clever use of mashed-up pop songs.
Ah yes – you’ll find more than 70 songs in this ultimate jukebox musical, ranging from Adele and David Bowie to Beyoncé and Sia, T-Rex and Lorde to Madonna and Elton John. That means both you and your mum will find plenty of favourites to enjoy in this fantastic fusion score.
Book Moulin Rouge! The Musical tickets on London Theatre.
This new work by leading playwright Jez Butterworth (who previously brought us Jerusalem and The Ferryman) centres on an ambitious mother in 1950s Blackpool, who thinks her daughters could become stars, and, 20 years later, sees them gather to re-examine the past.
Sam Mendes’s superb production is all about the complexities of family, especially that knotty mother-daughter dynamic, and features a blistering central performance from Laura Donnelly as that striving matriarch. It would definitely make a memorable, and moving, Mother’s Day theatre trip.
Book The Hills of California tickets on London Theatre.
The smash-hit herstory musical from Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss reclaims Henry VIII’s six wives, giving them their own voices – via some fabulous pop divas. It’s a royally great dose of female empowerment, perfect for you and your mum to get down on Mother’s Day.
Of course, these women were also defined by their maternal status – one of several judgements examined by this quick-witted show – and the party slows down to consider what it means to be separated from your child. You’ll find yourself tearing up during that number, unless you have a heart of stone.
Book Six tickets on London Theatre.
Another brilliant option for your ABBA-loving mum – or a way to keep the fun going after Mamma Mia! – is the cutting-edge ABBA Voyage. In this jaw-dropping show you can see the original band members perform live, but as projected avatars.
It’s the closest you can come to watching Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad in their heyday, delivering all of their beloved hits. To make your trip extra special, book the Dance Floor tickets and unleash your inner dancing queen.
Book ABBA Voyage tickets on London Theatre.
Photo credit: Mazz Murray in Mamma Mia! (Photo courtesy of production)
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