Top 10 London Musicals
London's West End is well known for its musicals. From long-running hit shows such as The Lion King and Mamma Mia!, which have been entertaining audiences for decades, to welcoming some of Broadway's most recent hits, London certainly is a place to enjoy an exciting musical production. With so much on offer from jukebox shows full of the hit songs from your favourite artists to musicals based on films and books, the West End provides audiences with some of the best form of entertainment possible. We've also rounded up our top 10 West End plays too.
Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theatre
Frozen at Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Mamma Mia at Novello Theatre
Back to the Future at the Adelphi Theatre
Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre
Tina - The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre
Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre
The Book of Mormon at Prince of Wales Theatre
Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre
Dear Evan Hansen at the Noel Coward Theatre
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre
Having played at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in the West End since September 2006, Wicked continues to be one of the world's most popular musicals and is a must-see for any visitor to London. Based on the book by Gregory Maguire, the musical takes a look over the rainbow to the magical world of Oz and examines everything that happened before Dorothy dropped in.
Winner of over 100 international awards Wicked is the ninth longest-running West End musical of all time and celebrated its 14th anniversary in the West End on 27 September 2020, and has been seen by over 10 million people in London. Featuring a fantastic score full of memorable hits including "Defying Gravity" and "For Good," Wicked tells a heart-warming story of friendship, love and acceptance and continues to resonate with audiences from all over the world.
Perfect for: Teenagers, Groups, Family, Special Occasions, Trips to London.
The Frozen song "Let It Go" took over the world in 2013. Now it's set to do the same in the West End, as the icy kingdom of Arendelle finds a West End home at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Join sisters Elsa and Anna on a wintry journey as Elsa runs away in fear of her powers. Along the way, Anna meets Kristoff and his reindeer Sven, as well as Olaf, a lovable snowman.
Frozen stars Samantha Barks as Elsa and Stephanie McKeon as Anna, and new songs and scenery has been added for the London production. It's also the first musical to play at a renovated Drury Lane, so why not spend the whole day at the theatre?
Perfect for: Groups, Family, Special Occasions, Trips to London.
Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre
The West End's biggest party, Mamma Mia! is a show that you already know you're going to love. Featuring a string of ABBA songs this is one of the world's most successful musicals and continues to attract audiences time and again to relive the musical comedy story, fun songs and hilarious characters.
Journey to a secluded Greek island and meet single mother Donna who is doing everything she can to throw a wedding for her daughter Sophie. When three possible dads surprise her it's anyone's guess who will end up walking down the aisle. Pull out your flares and get involved with the West End's most loved party musical.
Perfect for: Groups, Trips to London, Special Occasions, First Time Theatregoers.
Grab your skateboard. Stock up on plutonium. Reach speeds of 88mph in the DeLorean, as Back to the Future zooms into the West End. Based on the cult 1980s film of the same name, join Marty McFly and Doc Brown as they go back in time to 1955. To get back to the present day, Marty'll have to make sure his parents fall in love again. The Back to the Future musical stays faithful to its original film, but also zings on stage thanks to hilarious performances by Olly Dobson and Roger Bart. You need to see Back to the Future to believe in the stage magic.
Perfect for: Groups, Trips to London, First Time Theatregoers.
Find your freedom, beauty, truth and love in the West End at Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Baz Luhrmann's glitzy 2001 film has been re-energised for the stage adaptation, now boasting over 70 pop hits. You'll fall for Satine and Christian's love story once more, as they come together under the spotlights. The Piccadilly Theatre's exterior will be transformed for Moulin Rouge! The Musical too, with audiences imaging they're at the Parisian paradise.
Perfect for: Groups, Trips to London, Tourists, Families, Date Night.
Rocking its way into the West End, Tina - The Tina Turner Musical brings to the life story of one of the world’s biggest rock stars to the stage. Charting her life from humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, her complex relationship with husband Ike Turner, and her eventual triumphant rise to fame, Tina includes the singer’s biggest hits such as “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Simply the Best,” and “Proud Mary”. This musical has well and truly established itself among West End favourites across the city.
Perfect for: Adults, Groups, Music Fans, Special Occasions, Trips to London.
Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre
An ordinary town with an extraordinary story, Come From Away is set in the Canadian town of Gander where, on 11th September 2001, thousands of passengers found themselves when their planes were diverted in the wake of the biggest attack on America in living memory.
It may sound like a worrisome time, but without a second thought, the town's residents opened their hearts and their homes as these "Come From Aways" became honorary Ganderites. Transferring to the West End from Broadway, Come From Away tells the many incredible tales of the townspeople, passengers and airline crews in a powerful and surprisingly uplifting original musical.
Perfect for: Young Adults, Trips to London, Groups, Date nights.
One of London's newer musicals, The Book of Mormon exploded onto the West End stage, transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre following a record-breaking Tony Award-winning opening in New York. From the creators of South Park, this musical comedy is frivolous, naughty and downright shocking and frequently leaves audiences rolling in the aisles with laughter.
The Book of Mormon has gone on to become one of the West End's most popular shows despite only opening in 2013, but its tongue-in-cheek attitude and hilarious songs and music continue to keep it playing to sold out houses.
Perfect for: Young Adults, Adults, Dad, First Time Theatregoers, South Park and Comedy fans.
Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre
The West End isn't complete without Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and London audiences are in for a treat, as the world premiere of Cinderella plays at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Carrie Hope Fletcher plays a newly-written "bad" Cinderella. She's a princess with her own thoughts and feelings, and she's ready to share her story. With an original storyline by Promising Young Woman's Emerald Fennell, and a new score by Lloyd Webber himself, we can expect Cinderella will be around for years to come.
Perfect for: Trips to London, Groups, Families, Musical Theatre fans.
After the Broadway premiere of Dear Evan Hansen, the hit musical transferred to London's Noel Coward Theatre in 2019. A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Both deeply personal and profoundly contemporary, Dear Evan Hansen is a new musical about life and the way we live it.
Perfect for: Trips to London, Teenagers, Musical Theatre fans.
Keep up to date with all of the Top London Musicals by visiting our What's On in London Theatre page.
Photo credit: Come From Away, The Book of Mormon and Tina the Musical (Photos courtesy of Come From Away, The Book of Mormon and Tina the Musical)