When it comes to musicals, Broadway in New York and West End in London are the two most famous and popular theaters in the world – and for good reasons.
The West End musicals are not just any kind of show, they’re the best of the best – attracting not only musical fans but all types of people. I guess you could put it like this: if you’re going to see only one musical in your life, West End is the place to do it.
Here are 5 of the best musicals in the West End this summer …
We Will Rock You
You don’t have to be a Queen fan to enjoy We Will Rock You, currently in its eleventh year at the Dominion Theatre. No, honestly, you don’t – although it may be an advantage to know the songs as the screams and whoops from the audience will guarantee you won’t hear the first few bars!
With a proper story to link the songs, anyone who likes rock, science fiction, fantasy and amazing sets when they go to see a musical, We Will Rock You is a total must. So – tie your mother down, get your daddy out of doors and get down to the Dominion Theatre!
Matilda the Musical
Everyone loves Roald Dahl and Matilda is a bit of an iconoclastic book, even for him.
Miss Trunchbull is the teacher everyone loves to hate – and let’s face it, every school has a Miss Trunchbull in it, to some degree or another!
If you spend a night with Matilda and her family and school chums you will come away smiling, and that’s a guarantee. Although the book was to an extent quite dark, this is feel-good theatre at its best. Matilda the Musical is now booking until May 2014 at the Cambridge Theatre.
The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon divided critics when it was first performed on Broadway and if you were wondering why, then perhaps when you discover that it was written by the minds that brought you South Park you will understand.
Currently wowing audiences at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Coventry Street, The Book of Mormon is perhaps not a musical to take your sensitive and elderly aunt to, but if you like to laugh out loud all night long and come away with your head full of songs you will never forget, then this is one for you.
You won’t be able to keep still in your seat once the music starts – get down there are get into the Book of Mormon right now!
It isn’t too many musicals that end up with their own nickname, but of course Les Misérables is an exception, being known the world over as ‘Les Mis’. Set in post-Revolutionary France, it is the story of Jean Valjean, falsely imprisoned and hunted by the policeman Javert when he breaks his parole.
Of course it isn’t just about these two men – there is love interest, death and … oh, yes, another Revolution, but the songs are stunning.
It has one of the biggest casts of any musical and is now officially the longest running musical ever, having been seen by more than 65 million people worldwide in its twenty eight year run.
Rising above star casts and personalities, catch Les Mis now at the Queen’s Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.
The Lion King
There is only one thing to say about The Lion King, still wowing audiences at the Lyceum Theatre in London – go and see it. Go and see it now! You don’t need to find a kid to take, just leave your adult status at the door and revel in the animals brought to life before your very eyes.
Who can’t be enchanted by the birds swooping from the boxes, swung by beautiful girls waving fishing rods? And what about that elephant! And her baby swinging along behind.
Since it is a musical, the songs ought to get a mention and they are of course splendid but it isn’t all about Disney – the African chants and percussion used in the show will stay in your head for life.
If you are planning a trip into London to see one of the amazing shows, Hotel Direct makes it easy to book the theatre and hotel with a range of theatre deals on their website – to find the cheapest flights to London try Skyscanner, they make it really easy to find the flights best suited to your price range.