The theatres of London’s West End are world renowned for presenting the best that musical theatre has to offer. It is for this reason that millions of visitors to the UK’s capitol attend shows as part of their London Vacation. With the selection of musicals now playing in London, it is easy to see why this popular form of entertainment is still thriving and theatres are packing seats on a daily basis.
If you are intending to visit London for a vacation or get away this year, you will be pleasantly pleased by the great selection of musical shows available. Regardless of your taste in music, there is a show for every one to enjoy.
Fans of Queen will be pleased to know that the musical “We Will Rock You” is a big success in London at the moment. Utilizing the music of this iconic rock group, comedian and writer, Ben Elton, has written a modern classic that has the audience on their feet and “rocking out” throughout the performance. This is a family friendly musical, providing quality music and entertainment for folks young and old to enjoy.
“We Will Rock You” is currently being shown in the Dominion Theatre, which is within 30 seconds walking distance of Tottenham Court Road tube station. Tickets for a performance range from £27 – £55, depending on where you wish to be seated. Tickets may be bought in advance from the Theatre box office, or via an external ticket agency.
Celebrating it’s 21st year in the West End is Willie Russell’s classic, “Blood Brothers”. The Liverpool based story centers around twin brothers, separated at birth, who unwittingly form a strong friendship during childhood. The musical follows the brothers and other family members throughout their lives, and demonstrates the hardships of all life throws at them. This has a tragic ending, so remember to bring that box of Kleenex with you. While the musical score is fairly simplistic, in comparison to other musicals showing, you will leave the theatre with the songs and story firmly stuck in you head for weeks after.
“Blood Brothers” is showing at the Pheonix Theatre, Charring Cross Road. As with the Dominion, this theatre can easily be accessed from Tottenham Court Road tube station, and is located opposite the the popular music venue, The Astoria. The show runs weekday and Saturday evenings from 7.45 pm, with afternoon matinees on Thursday and Saturday. Ticket prices range from £22 to £52, and can be bought in advance from the theatre box office. This is one musical your whole family will really want to see over and over again.
Due to its recent popularity as a movie, the Abba inspired musical “Mamma Mia” is still pulling in strong crowds at the Prince of Wales Theatre. This fun, family friendly musical will have you all singing away and dancing in the aisles as you watch the drama unfold on the stage. This tale of a daughter’s search to find her real father out of three possible choices will have you laughing and crying. If you’ve seen the movie, go and take in this wonderful stage show. While film may be brilliant, there is nothing better than seeing your favourite characters in the flesh, singing along to some timeless classic pop songs.
“Mamma Mia” is showing in the Prince of Wales Theatre, which is within walking distance from Piccadilly Circus tube station. The show runs weekday and Saturday evenings from 7.30 pm. Matinee shows are on Friday and Saturday afternoons (although these seats fill up quickly). Tickets cost between £19.50 and £54 for the best seats in the house. All tickets can be booked in advance from the theatre box office, or from a ticket reseller such as Ticketmaster.
One of the most popular choices for theatre visitors in London is the wonderful “Chicago”. Made popular to modern audiences as a highly successful movie a few years ago, this musical focuses on a chorus girl who murders her lover and ends up spending time in prison. The songs within this music are classics and will have audience members singing along throughout the score. This musical is also well known for displaying the musical talents of familiar British actors, so you might well see a recognizable face on the stage as you enjoy this classic.
“Chicago” is playing at the Cambridge Theatre, which is accessible from Covent Garden tube station. The show runs weekday evenings and Saturdays from 8pm, with matinee performances on Fridays and Saturdays. As with the other shows mentioned, tickets can be bought in advance from the theatre box office, or from one of the numerous ticket sale services around town.
Based on the late 1980’s movie which was re-shot a couple of years ago, “Hairspray” is wowing theatre goers in London at the moment. With classic sing-a-long tunes, this musical centers around a young, over weight girl who wants to become a regular on the Corny Collins Show. The storyline is funny and enthralling, providing a great night of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. This is one show that is well worth the ticket price.
“Hairspray” is showing daily in the Shaftesbury Theatre, with a close link to Holborn tube station. Matinee performances run on Thursday and Saturday afternoons. Ticket prices range between £22 to £62, and can be booked in advance from the theatre box office.
One thing to remember when buying tickets for any play or musical in London is to always purchase from recommended ticket dealers. Never buy tickets from the street vendors who hang around outside the theatres prior to performance. These vendors often do not have legitimate tickets, so you could end up spending a lot of money and not being able to see your show of choice.
As with all things in London, a trip to the theatre is well worth the cost. Just remember to enjoy yourself and not to sing too loudly on the tube home.