Below I share my top 1o best shows in London that you have to check out. A theatre experience in London is as much a must-experience as much as seeing Big Ben or checking out Buckingham Palace.
People from all over the UK come to the capital for London theatre shows or as part of a theatre break in London. This not just an experience for local citizens there are plenty of tourists that also want to experience the same shows in different cities. After all, this is the largest theatre district in the world!
My husband and I recently took a friend to watch the Lion King and he has already seen it in New York and another city I can’t recall and now wanted to sample it in London.
I have seen some of these shows at least twice, Lion King alone I have seen at least 3 or 4 times and each time is as good as the first. Plus we managed to score some discounted theatre ticket on Love Theatre.
The music, the acts, the stage designs just take you on a journey and give you a little break from reality and let you fall madly in love with the characters, laugh at and with the characters, cry with the characters that the end is bittersweet as you step outside to rejoin London’s hustle and bustle and snap back to reality.
Below are my recommended London shows, from must-see musicals in London, most popular west end shows to the very best rated west end shows and best plays to see in London.
Best Westend shows At A Glance
Get a quick insight into the hottest shows in London and the best shows to watch in London.
- Best London shows for families: Aladdin, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda School of Rock.
- Black theatre shows in London: Bodyguard, Lion King, Motown The Musical, Tina Turner and Thriller.
- Best west end musicals: Mama Mia, The Bodyguard, Jersey Boys, and Les Miserables.
- Most popular west end shows: The Phantom Of The Opera, Lion King, and Wicked.
- Funny shows in London: The Book of Mormon
- Best plays in London: The Entertainer, Breakfast At Tiffanys and Alchemist.
Top 10 Best Shows In London To Check Out
London has many beautiful theatres and many of these are as much the stars of the show as the plays you can see in them. From the likes of Shakespeare’s globe to Young Vic, Sadler’s Wells and Royal Opera House.
For more on London’s coolest theatres, check out Visit London. and Many of the theatres in London are in the heart of the Westend.
I would highly recommend staying in on of London’s Soho hotels as they are right in the heart of theatreland with great access to shopping areas of Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Bond Street and Oxford Street.
Perfect if you are looking for a great outfit for the theatre although people don’t dress up as much as they used compared to a couple of years ago for some it’s a special occasion so will get their best outfits out.
I will be sharing my experience of attending the ballet in Russia soon, in the meantime, below are the shows that are playing currently across theatres in London. To grab tickets to many of the shows below and more at a discount, check out Love Theatre and London Theatre Direct.
Lion King At Lyceum Theatre
Let start with one of the most popular theatre shows in London; Lion King. This epic show that centres on the life of Simba and his adventures in Pridelands is a stage play that includes music and certain theatrical effects.
The director of this spectacular stage play is Julie Taymor, who uses innovative strategies in communicating the play, making use of creative set and props. The show is playing at the Lyceum Theatre, London. It shows from February 1st to September 30th at 7:30 pm on weekdays; 2:30pm and 7:30pm on Saturdays; and 2:30pm on Sundays.
Wicked At Apollo Victoria Theatre
This Oz-themed musical play creates a magical atmosphere and tells the story of the witches of Oz many years before Dorothy existed. The play is an adaptation of the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West written by Gregory Maguire.
It shows at the Apollo Victoria Theatre location on Wilton Road, London. The duration of the play is 2 hrs 45 min. The show booking is available until May 2019 and runs on Mondays-Saturdays at 7:30pm.
With this being located in Victoria, for places to stay nearby, I shared a post on the best places to stay near Victoria Station and Coach station which are both a short walk to the Wicked Musical.
Book of Mormon At Prince of Wales Theatre
If you know South Park, then you should know that the makers of the TV show, Matt Stone and Trey Parker have brought this musical to the theatres. It is playing at the Prince of Wales Theatre on Country Street, London. It shows on weekdays at 7:30 pm and Saturdays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm.
Les Miserables At Queens Theatre
Les Miserables has been in the theatres and has won so many awards. It is also said to be the musical with the highest duration in the Western part of the world.
This show is an adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo, and the central theme of the show is love. The music is captivating and triggers the emotions.
Mamma Mia! Dreamgirls At Novello Theatre
Playing at the Novello Theatre, London, this show is adapted from a hit song ABBA. The musical is greatly appreciated by viewers and the audience all over the world. It shows on Mondays to Saturdays at 7:45pm and on Thursdays and Sundays at 3:00pm.
Matilda At Cambridge Theatre
Matilda is adapted from Roald Dahl’s children’s novel of the same title, and tells of the adventures of Matilda. The show is playing at the Cambridge Theatre, London. It shows on weekdays at 7:00pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. It shows until February 10th 2019.
Phantom of the Opera At Majesty’s Theatre
Phantom of the Opera is one of the best rated theatre musicals all over the world after Les Miserables. It centres on the Phantom who is embarrassed about his physical deformities and is looked down on by the public.
The show is playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London. It runs in the theatre until March 2nd 2019. The show runs on Mondays to Saturdays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm.
Chicago Phoenix Theatre
The famous jazz Broadway musical that has won many awards, including the Grammy awards is back to the theatres and features exquisite singers such as Alexandra Burke, X-Factor winner.
The conventional jazz age costumes are explicitly portrayed in form of sexiness, stylishness and most especially music. Chicago is playing at the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road, London till January 5th 2019 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays- 8:00pm; and Wednesdays and Saturdays 3:00pm and 8:00pm.
School of Rock At Gillian Lynne Theatre
For those who can relate to the Nickelodeon hit series, School of Rock, this show follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star who acts as a substitute teacher leading a team of middle school kids in a rock band. it shows at the Gillian Lynne Theatre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:30pm, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm; and Sundays at 3:00pm.
Tina Turner The Musical At Aldwych Theatre
This show, famously called ‘TINA—The Tina Turner Musical’ tells of the life story and career success of the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner. She has numerous fans all over the world, and this show captivates the audience.
It shows at the Aldwych Theatre, London on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:30pm; and on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm.
How To Bag Cheap London Theatre Breaks
I have lost count how many theatres in the west end we currently have but whatever the number there are thousands of people who visit London sometimes to experience many of the must-see shows in London mentioned above. Did you know that you can actually book cheap London theatre break too?
If you are visiting London for a quick break or just want a romantic weekend in London with your partner, booking a London theatre break means you can get the best of both worlds.
A great ticket to the theatre and hotel all in one price. You can book the hotel for 1 or 2 nights or more. You can explore London, staying in a hotel in the heart of the Westend, which also gives you access to visit many of the London tourist attractions too with ease.
To book a hotel and theatre break check out SuperBreaks, UKBreakAways, and with Lastminute.com you can book theatre tickets or a combination of theatre and hotels.
There you have it, the best Westend shows in London. Have you seen any of these? Which one was your favourite?
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Such a cool list of theatre shows in London. I have been meaning to watch many of these when I have been in London. Good to know there are discount theatre tickets available at the last minute. Will check out these sites next time I am visiting London.