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Photo credit: Pretty Woman The Musical (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

West End shows to see for Valentine's Day

Marianka Swain

Marianka Swain

March 8, 2022 12:01

If you're looking for something special to do this Valentine's Day, why not plan a trip to the theatre? It gives you a shared experience and something to look back on together - plus London is teeming with amazing shows to suit every taste. You could make your date a dreamy one, take a thrilling adventure together, laugh until it hurts, revisit a shared favourite reborn on stage, or dance the night away.

The West End is back at full strength, meaning you can book for a fantastic long-running show or for the hottest new production. There are mammoth musicals, thought-provoking plays, side-splitting comedies and even circus and cabaret if you're looking for something different. So, start planning your Valentine's Day 2022 trip now, take a look at our round-up of the best romantic shows to book for - and make your special outing a truly memorable one.

Back to the Future The Musical

Great Scott! If you and your special someone are fans of 80s sci-fi movies, then make a beeline for this fantastic stage incarnation. It's a rip-roaring time-travel adventure with 1.21 gigawatts of excitement, combining all your favourite elements from the film with new songs, characters, and jaw-dropping live spectacle.

Olly Dobson succeeds Michael J Fox as cool teen Marty McFly, who is accidentally transported to the 1950s by eccentric scientist Doc Brown (Roger Bart) in his DeLorean-turned-time machine. Now, Marty must play cupid for his parents in order to save their marriage, all the while yearning for his girlfriend Jennifer back in his own era.

As one of the hit songs has it, the show is all about the power of love, making it the perfect Valentine's Day treat - along with thrilling action, great comedy and rocking tunes, including the climactic "Johnny B Goode".

Book Back to the Future The Musical tickets on

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Embrace the bohemian ideals of truth, beauty, freedom, and, of course, love. Baz Luhrmann's explosive 2001 film is now a decadent stage musical, inviting you into the sinful Moulin Rouge via a stylishly revamped Piccadilly Theatre. Ever wanted to see the famous windmill and blue elephant in the flesh? Now you can-can-can!

But it's not just about the seductive dancers and ravishing design. The musical also takes you into the heart of the life-changing love affair between courtesan Satine and penniless composer Christian. Can romance triumph over money - and can this young couple withstand the pressures of their friends and enemies?

The show is powered by its astonishing megamix of around 75 pop songs, including some of the greatest love songs ever written, from Elton John and David Bowie to Adele, Beyoncé, Tina Turner, and Lady Gaga. There are clever new additions, plus enduring favourites like "Lady Marmalade" and, of course, "El Tango de Roxanne." By the end, everyone is up on their feet and dancing along - making this a Valentine's to remember.

Book Moulin Rouge! The Musical tickets on

Pretty Woman The Musical

Yes, missing this one off our list would be a big mistake. Big. Huge! The beloved Julia Roberts and Richard Gere-led romcom has become a hit stage musical, with Six star Aimie Atkinson taking on the role of Hollywood hooker Vivian Ward and Danny Mac, who has become a popular West End leading man since his Strictly Come Dancing success, donning the sleek suits of high-powered businessman Edward Lewis.

The story is one of transformation: how two very different people can change one another's lives for the better. As Vivian puts it, it's like the prince in a fairy tale rescuing the damsel in distress, only she turns around and rescues him right back.

Add in a rock score from Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, plus dazzling numbers from the Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, and it's an irresistible treat. This Valentine's Day, enjoy a new spin on the ultimate Hollywood romance, now in its glamorous new home: the Savoy Theatre.

Book Pretty Woman The Musical tickets on

The Play That Goes Wrong

Of course, not all dates have to be hearts and flowers. One of the best ways to create a joyful shared experience with your loved one is to head to a top West End comedy - and, together, laugh helplessly as a skilled cast makes everything go wrong in exactly the right way.

Homegrown company Mischief Theatre have become world leaders in farce with their hysterical productions, and their original show, The Play That Goes Wrong, is still one of the funniest nights out you can possibly have. An amateur dramatics company are trying to stage a 1920s murder mystery but are constantly plagued by disaster - from doors sticking and props falling over to the cast forgetting their lines and getting injured, building up to a complete and riotous collapse.

It's just the kind of light relief we could all do with at the moment, and it's the kind of show that you'll enjoy that much more if you share the laughs with someone special. So, if you want to come out of your Valentine's Day show with a great big smile on your face, this is the one to book for.

Book The Play That Goes Wrong tickets on


We all learned of fairytale stories growing up, where people would miraculously fall in love with their perfect person and say "happy ever after" to a life of wedded bliss. Cinderella is regarded by some as the ultimate fairytale story; a young woman is dressed to the nines by a fairy godmother and finds her "Prince Charming" at a ball. The Cinderella story has been rewritten countless times, but now it's been given the Andrew Lloyd Webber treatment in a brand new musical, currently playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. 

Carrie Hope Fletcher plays a punky, no-nonsense Cinderella, who is the outcast of her charming town, Belleville. One day, Cinderella meets Prince Sebastian, and they immediately hit it off. Cinderella decides to transform herself to go to the ball, but in the end learns it's okay to be herself, and that individuality wins in the end. After all, love is love in Cinderella. 

Book Cinderella tickets on

Dirty Dancing

The 1980s gave us many things: dance music, neon clothes, and an influx of musical films. 1980s films such as Fame, Footloose, 9 to 5, and Saturday Night Fever have all been adapted for the stage. But there's no musical film which has wormed its way into our hearts quite like Dirty Dancing. Now, this Valentine's Day, relive your younger years at Dirty Dancing, playing at the Dominion Theatre for 10 weeks.

Dirty Dancing on stage follows the same story as the 1980s film, starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. Dirty Dancing sees a camp dance instructor, Johnny Castle, fall for holidaymaker Frances "Baby" Houseman during an unforgettable summer. The Dirty Dancing musical features songs from the film too, like "She's Like The Wind," and "Be My Baby", as well as the timeless track, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." 

Don't look at your lover with "Hungry Eyes." Look at them with a smile as you see Dirty Dancing together. 

Book Dirty Dancing tickets on

Photo credit: Pretty Woman The Musical (Photo by Helen Maybanks)

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