London musicals

Discover the best London musicals in the West End and beyond and book tickets

Photo: Manuel Harlan

It had fantastic reviews when it opened – but is it still kicking after five cast changes? Time Out brings you news, up-to-date reviews and discounted tickets in its comprehensive guide to all musicals in London's West End and beyond: the best shows, the worst shows and the weirdest and most wonderful alternative choices. 

Latest musical reviews

Review: Gypsy

Critics' choice

There are moments when ‘Gypsy’ feels like a lovely indulgence. Not seen in this country for 40 years, Jonathan Kent’s revival of this 1959 musical is like a collector’s loving restoration job on a beautifully-made vintage car. With a full, jazzy orchestra doing total justice to Jule Styne’s brassy score, some beautifully Gene Kelly-ish choreography, a discretely sumptuous set, clockwork stage management, and a huge cast, it purrs like a dream.

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Savoy Theatre Until Saturday November 28 2015

Review: Bend It Like Beckham

Critics' choice

Like the England mens’ team at their very best, ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ – the West End’s latest musical adaptation of a hit Britflick – is about fifty percent wondering where this is all going to fifty percent pure euphoria. And that’ll probably do me.The biggest problem is the songs: composer Howard Goodall is revered for his great skill and subtlety, but his finishing is lousy: the man just doesn’t do catchy.

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Phoenix Theatre Until Saturday October 24 2015

The top ten London musicals

From glamorous West End blockbusters to fringe theatre tearjerkers – they all have a place on our list

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By: Time Out editors

Top 10 West End theatre shows

Our guide to the best theatre shows the West End has to offer Make sure you're booking for the best of the season with our critics' guide to the ten most recommended West End theatre shows on right now. The list will be updated weekly as new West End plays and musicals open and old ones close. Other major shows West End theatre shows Want to see a West End musical or play, but not sure which one? We've got it all right here. Musicals on in London Up-to-date reviews and discounted tickets in our comprehensive guide to all London’s musicals. Matilda the Musical ''Matilda' must be making its creators, playwright Dennis Kelly and comedian-songsmith Tim Minchin, a pair of very proud parents. The smash hit of the last few years, started at the RSC then transferred to the West End to delight London audiences in 2011. It's a delicious, treacly-dark family show telling Roald Dahl's classic story with heaps of imagination and fun. War Horse The National Theatre's beautiful, puppet production of Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse' has become the toast of the West End and Broadway. Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris's production uses human actors and elegant, amazing horse puppets to tell the tale of young Devon boy Albert and his beloved horse Joey during WWI Billy Elliot the Musical 'Billy Elliot the Musical' continues to mark itself out as one of the best nights in town. Both as tough as a miner's fist after a Friday night booze-up and as soaringly sensitiv

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A-Z list of West End musicals

Bend It Like Beckham

Critics' choice

Like the England mens’ team at their very best, ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ – the West End’s latest musical adaptation of a hit Britflick – is about fifty percent wondering where this is all going to fifty percent pure euphoria. And that’ll probably do me.The biggest problem is the songs: composer Howard Goodall is revered for his great skill and subtlety, but his finishing is lousy: the man just doesn’t do catchy.

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Phoenix Theatre Until Saturday October 24 2015

The Book of Mormon

Critics' choice

'South Park' creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone's comedy musical about a pair of hapless Mormon missionaries won nine awards at the 2011 Tony awards. It's so extravagantly sold-out on Broadway – and with such expensive tickets – that this wildly-anticipated West End production may conceivably find itself filled up with impatient New Yorkers flying over for a bargain.

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Prince of Wales Theatre Until Saturday August 22 2015

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Critics' choice

‘Skyfall’ director Sam Mendes’s huge new Warner Brothers musical confirms it: the hottest property in the West End right now is a grouchy, dead half-Norwegian, who loathed braggarts and greed, and spent most of his working life hiding out in a shed at the bottom of his garden. Roald Dahl probably wouldn’t have liked the whiz-popping rave that Mendes has created from his addictive children’s book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.

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Theatre Royal Drury Lane Until Saturday June 4 2016

Gypsy

Critics' choice

There are moments when ‘Gypsy’ feels like a lovely indulgence. Not seen in this country for 40 years, Jonathan Kent’s revival of this 1959 musical is like a collector’s loving restoration job on a beautifully-made vintage car. With a full, jazzy orchestra doing total justice to Jule Styne’s brassy score, some beautifully Gene Kelly-ish choreography, a discretely sumptuous set, clockwork stage management, and a huge cast, it purrs like a dream.

Read more
Savoy Theatre Until Saturday November 28 2015

Jersey Boys

Critics' choice

Here's the 'Jersey Boys' concept. Take one gleaming back-catalogue – that of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, whose Bob Gaudio-penned songs have become so woven into the fabric of Western pop culture that it's easy to forget who actually wrote them. Next, instead of torturously extrapolating a zany plot out of the lyrics, simply make the story of 'Jersey Boys' the story of the Four Seasons. Get a top-notch book, written by Rick Elice and Woody Allen collaborator Marshall Brickman.

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Piccadilly Theatre Until Sunday February 14 2016

The Lion King

The posters have been plastered around the London Underground for 12 years – long enough for this show to rack up 5,000 performances – but nothing prepares you for the sheer impact of 'The Lion King's opening sequence. With the surge of 'Circle Of Life' reverberating through your chest, Julie Taymor's animal creations march on, species by species. Gazelles spring, birds swoop and an elephant and her child lumber through the stalls. 

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Lyceum Theatre Until Sunday January 3 2016

Les Miserables

Critics' choice

If the second longest running show in the West End was looking a little tired, a rejuvenating orchestral facelift was just what the doctor ordered. Cameron Mackintosh's 'little girl' has shaken off that 1980s synth vibe and finally woken up to the organic noughties. This is a new, richer sound with strong operatic undertones and even the faint echoes of chamber music.

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Queen’s Theatre Until Saturday March 26 2016

Matilda the Musical

Critics' choice

'My mummy says I'm a miracle,' lisps a pampered mini-me at a purgatorial kiddies' birthday party at the outset of this delicious, treacly-dark family show. The obnoxious ma and pa of its titular, gifted, pint-sized heroine are not, of course, quite so doting. But 'Matilda' must be making its creators, playwright Dennis Kelly and comedian-songsmith Tim Minchin, a very pair of proud parents.

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Cambridge Theatre Until Sunday December 20 2015

The Phantom of the Opera

These days, it seems like you can't take a step in so-called 'Theatreland' without encountering a new musical. Bold as you like, they shimmy and shuffle in with their 'Dirty Dancing' and their star-studded, star-spangled casts, bewitching audiences with their 'Wicked' ways. But as popular as they are now, where will they be in five years time? Probably not at Her Majesty's Theatre: proud home of the indefatigable 'The Phantom of the Opera' since 1986. 

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Her Majesty's Theatre Until Saturday May 28 2016

Thriller Live

Current cast includes Trenyce Cobbins, Haydon Eshun, MiG Ayesa, Wayne Anthony Cole, Joanna Jones, Britt Quentin, Oggie Iwo, Maria Akpan, Laurie Kay Hue, Asleigh Wadforth Frost, Cassie MacMillan and Libby Hall Step inside the Lyric foyer and you'll be greeted by a gleaming Michael Jackson memorial. Enter the auditorium and you'll find another in 'Thriller', a shining homage to The King of Pop.

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Lyric Theatre Until Sunday April 17 2016

Comments

1 comments
Shaun
Shaun

Once is undoubtedly one of the most cleverly staged, superbly choreographed yet touchingly intimate musicals I have yet seen. The ceilidh style opening which demands the audience to be sitting down well before the start is a superb idea and totally fools the audience the cast are excellent musicians/singers/actors. True triple threat stuff. Once is ALMOST as good as The Last Five Years at the Factory of Chocolate. Almost. What worries me is that it won't get the support it deserves from priggish and greyed theatre critics or stupid "see poster - see show" tourists. If I had some money to help it along I would donate. Seriously. Put the Mormon book back on the justifiably dusty shelf and take a chance - just ONCE.