The best West End musicals

The best West End musicals now showing in London theatres as voted by you

Musicals and the West End – two things that go together like Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lloyd Webber and Rice, Kander and Ebb, Gershwin and Gershwin. But what is the most beloved musical in the West End? To mark our reader takeover issue – and because it sounds like a laugh – we put every song and dance show currently in a major West End theatre up for public vote, to decide scientifically and definitively which is the best/has the most devoted fans. Over 55,000 votes were cast – see the winner below.

Top ten West End musicals

5
The Lion King
1/5

The Lion King

The most successful piece of commerical art ever made is more a family show than one that attracts diehards – nonethless, Julie Taymor's iconic production has come in a very respectable eighth.

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Lyceum Theatre , Covent Garden Until Sunday September 30 2018
4
The Phantom of the Opera
2/5

The Phantom of the Opera

4 out of 5 stars

And the most successful British musical of all time comes in at seventh. Are the show's famous 'Phans' losing their edge? More likely they were too busy arguing about things on the internet to power 'Phantom' any higher. Still – not bad.

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Her Majesty's Theatre , St James' Until Saturday October 20 2018
3
Matilda the Musical
3/5

Matilda the Musical

Recommended

Tim Minchin and the RSC's sublime smash led the poll in the early stages, but now settles for a very respectable fifth place. It's our favouite London musical, though, and we're super excited about Minchin's follow-up, 'Groundhog Day', in 2016.

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Cambridge Theatre , Covent Garden Until Sunday February 10 2019
2
Les Miserables
4/5

Les Miserables

Recommended

Cameron Mackintosh's 'Les Mis' – which has just turned 30 – overtook 'Matilda' to lead the poll in its early stages but in the end couldn't get higher than fourth place – doubtless knackered out by all those three-hour-shows.

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Queen's Theatre , Soho Until Saturday October 20 2018
1
Wicked
© Matt Crockett
5/5

Wicked

Here we go – the second and first placed musicals got vastly more votes than anything else on the list, and with its notoriously devoted fans, 'Wicked' was snapping at the winner's heels for most of the contest. But it never quite caught up, and settles for a very good second place.

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Apollo Victoria , Victoria Until Saturday May 25 2019

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Comments

4 comments
pauline s

Totally agree about Memphis, a really great show, though for me Beverly Knight was the spine tingling absolutely fantastic star! Why this show is not running and running is a mystery to me, I just don't understand why the reviewers haven't got behind it!

Matthew H

I'm not one for musicals but Bend It Like Beckham blew me away, time whizzed by;  the music, the performances, the production design, the casting, the choreography, it was all just fantastic!  We floated out the Phoenix Theater thoroughly entertained and uplifted ! My five year old little girl is now obsessed with football! Enchanting!

Sally H

One of the best shows I have ever seen. Loved all the dances and songs,the whole family enjoyed it.


Left the theatre with a smile, feeling I would be happy to see it all over again . Another winner from Gurinder Chadha.

Anne C

Memphis Musical is the best show I've EVER seen. Matt Cardle is a superstar!