Top 10 West End theatre shows

Our guide to the best theatre shows the West End has to offer

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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.

  1. See our West End show countdown
  2. See the whole list in one go
  • Great Britain

    Richard Bean’s phone-hacking comedy made a big splash at the National Theatre when it opened, days after the Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks verdicts, having been put together in top secret conditions so as not to prejudice their trial. In a satire that is, of course, entirely fictional and unrelated to the great Hackmageddon in Wapping, we are flies on the newsroom wall of top tabloid The Free Press. Here, hot young news editor Paige Britain (Lucy Punch: sexy, evil, and sharp as a suicidal clergyman’s razor), will screw over or screw everyone – including the PM –to get to the top.

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  • Les Miserables

    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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  • The Phantom of the Opera

    I’m not sure any show ‘deserves’ to be the most successful entertainment event of all time, but I’ll hand it to current holder of that title, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ – it still works hard for its audience.

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  • War Horse

    Five years on, the National Theatre's 'War Horse' has become ubiquitous. The toast of the West End and Broadway, as I write this it's sold out at the New London Theatre for the next two months – by contrast, you can book to see 'Matilda' next week.

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  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    Three theatres, three casts, one major disaster and seven Olivier Awards on, the National Theatre’s adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel about Christopher Boone, the teenage ‘mathematician with some behavioural difficulties’ remains a thing of unbridled wonder.

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  • Forbidden Broadway

    This hilariously funny Broadway comedy revue arrived at the Menier Chocolate Factory earlier this year and promptly secured a West End transfer. It takes absolutely no prisoners, sending up shows from across the pond and our very own West End alike. It's been updated to include some of the newer shows, including 'Matilda the Musical' and 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.

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  • The Book of Mormon

    ‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Broadway-munching musical continues to shock in London. Although, truth be told, the strapping young Latter Day Saints missionaries are as cartoonish as any ‘South Park’ character, with the endearing alpha-male woodenness of the ‘Team America’ puppets. In other words, they are loveable, well-intentioned idiots, traversing the globe like groups of pious meerkats, convinced they can convert the heathen through sheer politeness.

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  • Matilda the Musical

    '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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  • The Scottsboro Boys

    Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb spent 40 years redefining our understanding of what a musical could be. Decadence and national socialism in ‘Cabaret’; grisly real-life murders in ‘Chicago’: almost every one of their shows has combined hard-hitting subject matter with a search for new musical and theatrical forms.Their final musical, ‘The Scottsboro Boys’, is no exception.

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  • King Charles III

    Mike Bartlett's superb, audacious new comedy imagines the royal family's next episode: Elizabeth II is dead, Charles III finally ascends the throne. All in blank verse. It's a hugely entertainining look at our modern relationship with the monarchy with Rupert Goold directing a fautless cast.

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Great Britain

Richard Bean’s phone-hacking comedy made a big splash at the National Theatre when it opened, days after the Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks verdicts, having been put together in top secret conditions so as not to prejudice their trial. In a satire that is, of course, entirely fictional and unrelated to the great Hackmageddon in Wapping, we are flies on the newsroom wall of top tabloid The Free Press. Here, hot young news editor Paige Britain (Lucy Punch: sexy, evil, and sharp as a suicidal clergyman’s razor), will screw over or screw everyone – including the PM –to get to the top.

READ MORE


Users say

7 comments
Catherine Suleiman
Catherine Suleiman

Without intending to be ridiculously dramatic, this line from the poem daffodils best describes what great impact the theatre production "Tory Boyz" had on me. “I gazed and gazed but little thought, what wealth the show to me had brought.” Naturally, the content of the play was challenging for a young person such as myself to grasp - it involved a great deal of politics highlighting the taboo subject that was “homosexuality” and its controversial nature in the House of Commons. But this is not at all to say I did not find the play extremely lively, entertaining, and sexually titillating because I did - it was. As a youth wholly passionate about acting and theatre, I am in much owe of all cast members who played in "Tory Boyz" I found their acting abilities faultless and was enriched with many skills and physical movements I later used when performing in a W11 Opera production “The Fizz”. "Tory Boyz" has completely opened my eyes to the glamorous word of theatre and has sparked my passion for acting and the arts. I cannot wait to see the next production brought by the National Youth Theatre as I am sure it will be as intellectually stimulating and spectacular as this one.

Juhász Ágnes
Juhász Ágnes

Imádom Londont!! Ha kint vagyok mindennap színházba vagyok szombaton duplán!!

Tahlia
Tahlia

I went to Melbourne to watch War House, it is an incredible show to go and see. The effects are amazing and the actors are excellent.

Paul Martin
Paul Martin

M best West End show would be - Dr N.H. Service, Ms Surveillance, and Dame Lansley May.

Daniel
Daniel

My best west end show would either be matilda the musical or wicked

Jeanne Conway
Jeanne Conway

I'm saving my money to get to London to see their fabulous plays and musicals Have seen Mamma Mia, Blood Brothers, and Sunset Boulevard---Sunset was the best I have EVER seen! I am a senior citizen, but was once an actress.

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