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.

10
1/10

Billy Elliot the Musical

Critics' choice

A decade after it first stamped, swore, and pirouetted into audiences' hearts, 'Billy Elliot the Musical' continues to mark itself out as one of the best nights in town.

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Victoria Palace Theatre Until Saturday December 19 2015
9
2/10

American Buffalo

It would be mean, cheap and generally a bit dickish to say that Damian Lewis’s big post-‘Homeland’, post-‘Wolf Hall’ return to the London stage is overshadowed by some comedy facial hair. Nonetheless: if you think the above photo of his moustache is a bit on the distracting side then seriously, you should see the thing live.

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Wyndham's Theatre Until Saturday June 27 2015
8
3/10

War Horse

Critics' choice

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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New London Theatre Until Saturday February 13 2016
7
4/10

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.

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Piccadilly Theatre Until Sunday October 25 2015
6
5/10

The Book of Mormon

Critics' choice

‘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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Prince of Wales Theatre Until Saturday August 22 2015
5
6/10

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Critics' choice

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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Gielgud Theatre Until Saturday October 24 2015
4
7/10

Sweeney Todd

Critics' choice

If the West End won’t come to Tooting, Tooting must come to the West End. Tooting Arts Club’s plucky site-specific production of Stephen Sondheim’s gory Victoriana masterpiece caused a big splash in SW17 when it debuted at the venerable Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop last year. But how to transfer it when the staging is everything?

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Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop (West End) Until Saturday May 30 2015
3
8/10

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
2
9/10

Gypsy

Critics' choice

There are moments when ‘Gypsy’ feels like a lovely indulgence. And then there are the moments when Imelda Staunton is on stage.

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Savoy Theatre Until Saturday November 28 2015
1
10/10

Oppenheimer

Critics' choice

Transferring from Stratford on a mushroom cloud of acclaim, the RSC’s ‘Oppenheimer’ lives up to the hype.A freewheeling bio-drama about J Robert Oppenheimer, the mastermind of the atomic bomb, Tom Morton-Smith’s epic new play isn’t formally groundbreaking, but it’s ambitious in the very best way. Bolstered by the RSC’s formidable resources, the three-hour ‘Oppenheimer’ is unashamedly vast, its huge cast relating not only the story of the atomic bomb, but also the lives and loves of the left-leaning intellectuals who made it, while addressing the rise and fall of communism in twentieth-century America.

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Vaudeville Theatre Until Saturday May 23 2015

Comments

6 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.