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Musicals and theatre in London

Your one stop guide to plays and musicals in the West End and the best of London shows. Theatre reviews, tickets and offers

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Max Martin: ‘I wrote “...Baby One More Time” in my head in the middle of the night’
Theatre

Max Martin: ‘I wrote “...Baby One More Time” in my head in the middle of the night’

Elusive pop genius Martin gives us a few insights into the six biggest bangers in his extremely fun-looking new musical & Juliet

London theatre for 2020 – shows not to miss
Theatre

London theatre for 2020 – shows not to miss

You can run, you can hide, but 2020’s gonna find you – here’s our pick of the 20 biggest and best shows coming to London

Christmas pantomimes in London
Theatre

Christmas pantomimes in London

Let's stop pretending: Christmas is now hurtling towards us like an out-of-control sleigh. Here’s the best places to catch a London pantomime for Christmas 2019

Latest theatre reviews
Theatre

Latest theatre reviews

Find out what our theatre team made of London's new openings

Cheap and last minute theatre tickets in London
Theatre

Cheap and last minute theatre tickets in London

London's best theatre discounts and how to get in to sold out shows

Latest theatre reviews

‘Unknown Rivers’ review
Theatre

‘Unknown Rivers’ review

Chinoyerem Odimba’s new play is a strange mix of smart understatement, poetic mysticism, and clunking scene-setting that absolutely has something to it, but feels a draft or two from being the finished deal…

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
‘Mary Poppins’ review

‘Mary Poppins’ review

Much like ‘Paddington’, ‘Mary Poppins’ is a gorgeously warm kids’ story that’s burrowed deep into the hearts of Londoners of all ages…

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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‘Gaping Hole’ review
Theatre

‘Gaping Hole’ review

So in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, how did Andy stick the poster back over the hole after he’d escaped through it? 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
‘Spiderfly’ review
Theatre

‘Spiderfly’ review

Across a table in a bare room, Esther faces a man…

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
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The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Theatre

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

For its first ever family Christmas show, the Bridge Theatre bags the London transfer of director Sally Cookson’s devised adaptation of CS Lewis’s beloved kids’ fantasy novel, which ran to great acclaim at Leeds Playhouse…

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen

It feels like 2019 is the year every single hit Broadway musical of the last three years descends upon London…

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& Juliet

& Juliet

Superstar Swedish songwriter Max Martin has probably done more to shape the contemporary pop landscape than any human being alive…

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Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac

James McAvoy will team up with super-director Jamie Lloyd for the fourth time on stage to star as the eponymous big-nosed polymath hero of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play, in a new translation by Martin Crimp…

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Theatre tickets and offers

Up to 36% off tickets to ‘Circus 1903’ at Royal Festival Hall

Up to 36% off tickets to ‘Circus 1903’ at Royal Festival Hall

Discover the golden age of circus at one of these thrilling shows

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£10 tickets to Lates at the Boulevard Theatre

£10 tickets to Lates at the Boulevard Theatre

An ace range of after-hours shows at the Boulevard Theatre

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Exclusive tickets to ‘& Juliet’ at The Shaftesbury Theatre

Exclusive tickets to ‘& Juliet’ at The Shaftesbury Theatre

Juliet gets her very own jukebox musical

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Exclusive tickets to ‘War Horse’ at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Exclusive tickets to ‘War Horse’ at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Exclusive tickets to an unforgettable theatrical experience

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32% off ‘A Pissedmas Carol’ at Leicester Square Theatre

32% off ‘A Pissedmas Carol’ at Leicester Square Theatre

The professional pissheads of ‘Sh!t-faced Showtime’ return with a festive musical

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More great theatre tickets

Sister Act

Sister Act

Oh happy day! Whoopi Goldberg is jetting into London next summer to reprise her second-to-nun performance in ‘Sister Act’. She'll get back into the habit in ‘Sister Act - The Musical’, which'll be her first ever live performance as Deloris. This newly revised stage version of the 1992 hit movie will bring a horde of singing, dancing women of god to Eventim Apollo Hammersmith. Jennifer Saunders is lined up to play Mother Superior, who casts a beady eye on Deloris's efforts to get a convent full of nuns singing disco hits.  ‘Sister Act - The Musical‘ features songs by superstar composer Alan Menken (‘Aladdin’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’), lyrics by Glenn Slater, and a book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner. This production is directed by Bill Buckhurst, whose breakout hit was an award-winning revival of ‘Sweeney Todd’ set in a real pie shop. The only thing to put a damper on the rejoicing? The top ticket price is an ouch-inducing £249.50 – get in there early to save your pennies.

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Wicked review

Wicked review

The film world continues its love affair with werewolves, vampires and all things 'Twilight'. But theatre types have always known witches are where it's at. After its 2006 opening at Apollo Victoria, Oz prequel 'Wicked' continues to fill this massive theatre with an international crowd of voracious consumers (glass of champagne and a choccy for £16 anyone?). But this stylish and bombastic musical still delivers, sailing over its patchy score thanks to a gravity-defying performance from its current leading lady Rachel Tucker, as the intense green-skinned undergrad who goes on to become the Wicked Witch of the West. 'Wicked' is a spectacle that rises or falls around its central performance. In the midst of a gigantic production full of bangs, bells and whistles Tucker, with her small frame and searing vocal ability, simply flies off with the show. She's closely followed by Gina Beck, who plays good girl, Glinda. Glinda and Elphaba's relationship forms the heart of this story and, as the Good Witch, Beck is a consummate clown, playing up the silliness of her character at every turn. But she can raise a tear, too, and her final duet with Tucker, 'For Good', is genuinely heart-rending. The Tim Burton-inspired ensemble oscillate between the hypnotic and grotesque and a sweet but thin voiced Matt Willis charms as the rather superfluous Prince. As in classical ballet, this is all about the women and, even by previous lead Idina Menzel's standards, they are in soaring form here. T

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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The Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt

Stephen Schwartz has a pretty permanent hold over West End crowds with 'Wicked', his long-running blockbuster fantasy musical. Now, he's dusting the Egyptian sands from his 1998 Dreamworks movie, an old testament epic centring on Moses, and boasting some memorable songs and epic, chariot-racing special effects. It's a film that's got a special place in the hearts of animated movie aficionados, even if its ambitious, slightly sombre approach didn't get quite as much of a rapturous reception in the UK as it did in the US's Bible Belt.  'The Prince of Egypt' is moving into the suitably gigantic setting of Tottenham Court Road's Dominion Theatre. Schwartz has dreamt up 10 new numbers for this musical version, which will sit alongside the movie's songs including charttopper 'When You Believe', originally sung by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. It'll have a book by Philip LaZebnik, who penned Disney flicks 'Mulan' and 'Pocahontas', and is choreographed by 'So You Think You Can Dance' judge Sean Cheesman.  Tickets go on sale at 10am on Monday 3rd June 2019.

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‘Groan Ups’ review

‘Groan Ups’ review

The members of Mischief Theatre could presumably have all retired at 30 on the proceeds of their sleeper smash ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’, the sparky backstage farce that’s been ensconced in the West End for five years.In fact, the core company – who’ve been together for 11 years, since they met at drama school – have noticeably failed to rest on their laurels. When they’ve not been busy breaking America with their first hit, they’ve found the time to produce seasonal variant ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ and stand-alone smash ‘The Comedy About a Bank Robbery’, while Penn & Teller collab ‘Magic Goes Wrong’ will be with us in the new year.They’re a genuinely heartening success story with an impressive work ethic and it’s a real shame that their new play ‘Groan Ups’ is fairly dreadful.The group have absolutely nailed the whole posh-people-getting-flustered-at-stuff-breaking thing, but ‘Groan Ups’ – which follows a group of five friends from primary school to adulthood – feels like their attempt to do a ‘proper’ play, and fairly brutally exposes their weaknesses.In the first half of Kirsty Patrick Ward’s production, the adult performers play children, first aged around six, then around 13 (weirdly they seem to be at the same school for all of this). Now I can confirm that children can be pretty funny, but the dialogue here suggest Mischief are aware what children are but have never met any. An opening sequence in which the class make an inadvertently smutty presentation about their wee

Time Out says
2 out of 5 stars
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Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

Brolly-clutching supernanny Mary Poppins is floating back into the West End in late 2019, with the return of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's musical after an international tour, and capitalising on the recent success of the film sequel. 'Mary Poppins' will replace another Disney show, 'Aladdin', in the West End's Prince Edward Theatre. The refreshed cast is led by Zizi Strallen ('Strictly Ballroom') and Charlie Stemp ('Half a Sixpence'), plus the legendary Petula Clark (Bird Lady) and actor Joseph Millson (George Banks).

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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The best theatre in London

London musicals
Theatre

London musicals

All the latest musicals, from the fringe to the West End.

West End theatre shows
Theatre

West End theatre shows

London's West End is teeming with plays and musicals, so how do you decide what to see? By using our handy guide

Children's theatre in London
Theatre

Children's theatre in London

Recommendations for the very little ones, the nearly big ones, and the grown ups

London theatre critics' choice
Theatre

London theatre critics' choice

These are the shows that got our critics talking

Discover more theatre in London

Shakespeare plays in London
Theatre

Shakespeare plays in London

Here's where to watch the best of the Bard in London

London musicals
Theatre

London musicals

Our comprehensive guide to all musicals in London's West End and beyond…

Immersive theatre in London
Theatre

Immersive theatre in London

London is bursting with plays and performances that defy stuffy conventions 

London theatre breaks
Theatre

London theatre breaks

Hotel and theatre combos that make life a whole lot easier

What's on at

Old Vic
Theatre

Old Vic

The combination of double-Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and top producer David Liddiment at this 200-year-old Waterloo theatre continues to be a commercial success – though Spacey's controversial artistic leadership has frequently come under critical fire. Still, the Old Vic's a great place to catch high-profile actors – Ian McKellen, Robert Lindsay and Neve Campbell have all trod its boards. David Mamet's 'Speed-the-Plow' thrilled audiences in 2008 and was followed by a winning revival of Alan Ayckbourn's 'The Norman Conquests' – a show that saw the venue spectacularly remodeled into a theatre-in-the-round. Summer 2009 heralded the first of Sam Mendes's The Bridge Projects, an Anglo-American collaboration between Mendes, the Old Vic and Joseph V Melillo's Brooklyn Academy of Music, that enticed Ethan Hawke to the British stage for its Shakespeare/Chekhov double bill.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
National Theatre

National Theatre

The concrete-clad, 1960s modernist grandmother of them all: no theatrical tour of London is complete without a visit to the National, whose three auditoriums – Olivier, Lyttelton and Cottesloe – offer a rolling repertory programme, often with a choice of several productions in a week. The National Theatre may have once had a fiercely inaccessible reputation, but the arrival of maverick artistic director Nicholas Hytner in 2003 rocked theatreland as he set about changing the venue's staid ethos with daring productions such as 'Jerry Springer the Opera' and an ambitious adaptation of Phillip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'. The change of tack proved a success, attracting audiences of mixed race, age and class – and Hytner's budget £10 Travelex-sponsored tickets still help pull in the crowds in the summer season. The home stable for Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse', which opened here in 2007 and went on to break West End records, the National is now developing a reputation for family-friendly blockbusters, cue its current production of Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time'. Meanwhile the National Theatre Live initiative has extended the theatre's reach by broadcasting high-publicity productions such as Danny Boyle's role-swapping smash-hit 'Frankenstein' and the comedy 'One Man, Two Guvnors', which introduced James Corden to the stage, live to Picturehouse Cinemas. A recent run of the post-modern musical 'London Road' proved it hasn't lost its edge. You

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Young Vic

Young Vic

The Young Vic finally returned to its refurbished home in The Cut in 2007 with acclaimed community show ‘Tobias & the Angel’. As you would expect, it’s got more verve and youthful nerve than the grown-up Old Vic down the road and attracts a slightly younger more multicultural – yet still discerning – crowd. Director David Lan’s eclectic programming of rediscovered European classics has proved popular with the critics, while a stage adaptation of DBC Pierre’s ‘Vernon God Little’ was standing ovation material. Three venue spaces – the main house and studio spaces Maria and Clare – allow for flexible scheduling and more intimate works such as Tarell Alvin McCraney’s moving ‘The Brothers Size’. The Young Vic also provides its Waterloo home with a popular split-level bar and restaurant complete with an open-air balcony terrace.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Royal Court Theatre

Royal Court Theatre

A hard-hitting theatre in well-heeled Sloane Square, the Royal Court has always placed emphasis on new British talent – from John Osborne’s ‘Look Back in Anger’ in 1956, to the discovery of numerous playwrights over the past decade: Sarah Kane, Joe Penhall and Conor McPherson among them. Artistic director Dominic Cooke has always injected plenty of politics into the programmes and successfully decreased the age of his audiences too. This is where you’ll find rude, lyrical new work set on the London streets by first-time playwrights like Bola Agbaje and the more established but no less cool Mark Ravenhill. Split between two floors – with the mid-capacity Jerwood Theatre Downstairs and the studio-style Jerwood Theatre Upstairs – the Royal Court also houses an excellent bookshop geared towards theatregoers and a café bar with a weighty menu serving up more than your average bag of peanuts.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare's Globe

The original Globe Theatre, where many of William Shakespeare's plays were first staged and which he co-owned, burned to the ground in 1613 during a performance of 'Henry VIII'. Nearly 400 years later, it was rebuilt not far from its original site, using construction methods and materials as close to the originals as possible. Shakespeare’s Globe has been an unbridled success, underpinned in part by its educational programme (you can drop in for talks and readings) and its commitment to faithfully recreating an original ‘Shakespeare in performance’ experience from April to October. The open-air, free-standing Yard is the best bet for those after complete authenticity – the absence of seating may test your stamina but tickets are excellent value – while the Middle and Upper Galleries afford a (marginally more comfortable) atmosphere of their own. The only thing that tends to mar a performance is the theatre’s somewhat noisy, flight-path location. In the UnderGlobe beneath the theatre is a fine exhibition on the history of the reconstruction, Bankside and its original theatres, and Shakespeare's London. Guided tours of the Shakespeare's Globe theatre run throughout the year. If the Bard is not your bag, look out for various seasonal festivals that take place on the riverside area outside the Globe Theatre. For more information about visiting the Globe Theatre, head to www.timeout.com/outdoor-theatre-faqs

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Lyric Hammersmith
Theatre

Lyric Hammersmith

A beacon of culture in Hammersmith, the Lyric's distinctive look is largely down to a fusion of the building's 1970s structure, the theatre's Victorian heritage and a modern interior.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars