Get us in your inbox


Six reasons why you need to see ‘Half a Sixpence’

Time Out in association with Right Horse Productions

Not caught Cameron Mackintosh’s latest hit musical, the award-winning 'Half a Sixpence' yet? Here’s why you need to get yourself down to the Noel Coward Theatre, flash, bang, wallop. Plus we're also giving you the chance to win two premium tickets to the show and a night's stay in a top London hotel.

Charlie Stemp

Don’t know the name? You will soon enough. The 24-year-old from Peckham thought he was auditioning for an understudy role in ‘Half a Sixpence’, but unbeknownst to him, super producer Mackintosh was trying him out for the actual lead (which he duly got). It’s a lovely story, one that mirrors that of the musical itself, and needless to say he only got the part because he’s bloody brilliant, a bundle of energy and charm. He rarely leaves the stage, and often plays live banjo whilst singing and dancing. The lad clearly has a massive future, and this is his breakout role – original stars don’t stay in the lead roles of musicals forever, so catch him while you can.

Manuel Harlan

It's a classic

A musical comedy adaptation of ‘Arthur Kipps’, HG Wells’s rags-to-riches story about an orphaned young man who inherits a fortune, the original version of ‘Half a Sixpence’ was a massive hit at the height of the Swinging Sixties, blowing away a young Cameron Mackintosh. But it’s not been brought back again… until now.

It’s got old-fashioned charm

So many musicals these days are cynical or arch or postmodern or needlessly complicated: ‘Half a Sixpence’ is just a good time, a simple story, told beautifully. And critics and audiences have loved it too: it's received a heap of five-star reviews, and won three gongs at the recent public-voted WhatsOnStage Awards: Best Actor in a Musical (Charlie Stemp), Best Choreography (Andrew Wright) and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Emma Williams).

Manuel Harlan

…but it’s a brand new show

It may retain the infectious charm and energy of the original ’60s production, but this is something else entirely – a completely overhauled new version, led by ‘Downton Abbey’ genius Julian Fellowes. There’s a bunch of great new songs, a tightened-up plot, and a slightly more contemporary edge to the humour.

Flash, Bang, Wallop

The songs are a joy from start to finish, but the climactic number ‘Flash, Bang, Wallop’ is worth the admission alone. A turbocharged knees-up of a tune, it’s one of the great musical theatre numbers of all time, ever, end of.

Manuel Harlan

It’s just bloody delightful

From Stemp’s relentless energy to the feel-good vibes of the story and the memorable songs, it’s just the perfect show to give you a lift. Raining outside? Bored at work? Book for ‘Half a Sixpence’ and step into a world of pure fun.

Now booking until September 2017 

For your chance of winning two premium tickets to see the show, plus a night in a top London hotel enter the competition here.

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news