Since moving to London just over a year ago, I’ve seen 16 musicals. It’s fair to say that I’m a little bit obsessed!
Now that people are starting to realise just how often I head to the theatre, I’ve had a fair few people asking me to recommend a show for them. It’s always tough, especially because different shows will suit very different people. I’ve decided to try to answer this questions through a handy blog post of my top 10 favourite shows ever. Not all of them are still showing in London but a lot of them are.
I’ve also ranked them in order. The top four are practically all my favourites, but I’ve managed to put them into a hierarchy. What do you think will claim the top spot?
I saw this one on Broadway, and it’s never made the move across the Atlantic. I sat in the third row, which was very unusual for me at the time, so the dancing looked particularly incredible.
See it if you want… something with a good helping of cheese that the whole family will love. If you’re after a bit of Disney, then you can’t go wrong with Newsies.
9. In The Heights
The musical brainchild of Lin Manuel-Miranda (who’s Hamilton musical might just claim my top spot when it comes to the West End in October 2017), this musical is full of energy, heart and fireworks. The only criticism is that there isn’t a lot of plot, but the music and dance make up for it.
See it if you want… an intimidate venue where you can practically feel the energy coming off the cast. Under 25s also get £15 tickets, so it’s always worth a visit.
I was not a fan of child actors in musicals, but Matilda completely changed my mind. The children in this show are insanely talented and put on an incredible show with intense choreography. You’ll be left wondering how they do it. The lyrics are truly stunning as well.
See it if you want… to have your jaw hit the floor, both from the children’s performances and some of the lyrics. Prepare to be amazed by ‘School Song’ in particular.
7. Kinky Boots
Sass, sass, and more sass. This musical is sheer joy. Drag Queens with insane outfits, cool choreography on conveyor belts, and endless high heels. Kinky Boots celebrates the diversity of Britain and it’s just fabulous.
See it if you want… have the best girl’s night out ever, especially when you can laugh and identify with ‘History of Wrong Guys’. It will lift anyone’s spirits.
6. Miss Saigon
I saw this in the middle of the front row so it was absolutely insane. It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster with incredible vocals and a heartbreaking narrative.
See it if you want… to have your heart ripped out right at the end. You’ll leave the theatre slightly speechless. It’s a great piece of theatre.
5. Lion King
Another Disney one! This one is a classic, having played in London since 1999. If you loved the film, then this is definitely for you. The songs are iconic, inspirational and even moving with the song not in the movie ‘He Lives in You’.
See it if you want… a classic Disney film to be brought to life on stage, complete with amazing vocals and stunning staging.
4. Billy Elliot
I fell in love with this musical that is all about growing up and being who you are. It’s wonderfully British – and the real sort of British rather than what people think the North is like. The kids, and Billy in particular, will melt your heart.
See it if you want… for a proper British musical where good triumphs and dreams come true. If you’re feeling emosh about growing up then prepare to shed a few tears of pride when Billy dances. It’s truly beautiful.
3. Les Miserables
I know every word to this musical. There are so many reasons why it’s one of London’s longest running shows. It’s a classic musical with an epic story and instantly recognisable songs.
See it if you want… to see London’s most iconic musical. It’s another one where you’ll have your heart ripped out, but you’ll get through it.
It’s amazing vocal after amazing vocal in this musical. Elphaba, the wicked witch of the west, has one of my favourite singing parts of any musical, and it’s complimented perfectly by co-lead Glinda. There are also great costumes and sets.
See it if you want… a reminder of how amazing friendships are. You’ll also get to hear some of the best female voices in the West End, with the spine-tingling ‘Defying Gravity’ which always gives the auditorium the best atmosphere.
1. Book of Mormon
This is by far the most funny musical on this list. I barely stopped grinning the whole time and it was literally a laugh a minute. The whole cast are comedic gold, and the story and songs hit the same level as the jokes to make an amazing all-round musical.
See it if you want… an evening of outrageous laughs, especially from the hapless ensemble Mormons. This definitely isn’t one to take the kids too!
But it’s worth remembering that I haven’t seen every show out there (yet)! Here’s a comprehensive-ish list of everything I’ve seen over the years. Click the link to read my review.
- Lion King
- Billy Elliot
- Jersey Boys
- Miss Saigon
- Wicked x3
- Book of Mormon x2
- Sister Act (Broadway)
- Les Miserables x3
- In The Heights x2
- Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark (Broadway)
- Showstoppers: The Improvised Musical x2
- Kinky Boots
- Newsies (Broadway)
- Phantom of the Opera
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- Legally Blonde
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (not a musical, but still amazing)
What is your favourite musical ever? Or maybe your top three if you can’t possibly pick! I hope this has given you a few ideas for your next theatre trip.