If you have even the slightest interest in musicals, then you simply have to catch a show when you go to London. London’s West End is a mecca for musical lovers and the area is known throughout the world for its wide selection.
In this article we will look at what West End musicals are running at the moment and supply links where you can conveniently purchase your tickets online.
- These shows are popular, so if you want the cheapest prices (and to be guaranteed a spot), it is a very good idea to buy a ticket in advance.
At the bottom of this post, however, I have a tip for those in London right now, as well as for those soon to travel to the English capital: there may be good money to save by buying last-minute tickets online.
- Tickets for the most popular musicals in London
- 1. Mamma Mia
- 2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- 3. The Lion King
- 4. Phantom of the Opera
- 5. Les Miserables
- 6. Wicked
- 7. Grease
- 8. Hamilton
- 9. The Book of Mormon
- 10. Moulin Rouge
- 11. Pretty Woman: The Musical
- 12. Back to The Future (Best New Musical in 2022)
- 13. Matilda The Musical
- 14. Tina – the Tina Turner Musical
- 15. Frozen The Musical
- 16. Shirley Valentine
- 17. MJ the Musical (Michael Jackson musical)
- How to get cheap last minute musical tickets in London’s West End
Tickets for the most popular musicals in London
Most musicals in London run for many years. Nevertheless, I will be checking and updating the list below regularly. If you see a musical on the list which you know is no longer showing, please write a comment so I can check up on it.
Are you ready for a true London experience? If so, get yourself a ticket for a musical in London. Here are some of the most popular choices, with these it is highly recommended you buy your tickets from home and well ahead of time.
1. Mamma Mia
People who cannot sing along to an ABBA song or two are few and far between. The legendary Swedish band remains extremely popular and with Mamma Mia ABBA got a revival of their greatest hits.
Mamma Mia is performed on stage every day in London, so no matter when you go you can get in to see the beloved musical.
The show lasts roughly 3 hours and one gets to hear 27 ABBA songs performed by some of London’s brightest musical stars — what’s not to like? It is not without reason that Mamma Mia the musical is perennially popular.
Let me emphasize that: Mamma Mia the musical in London is very popular and it is doubly important to buy tickets for the musical from home.
2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part West End stage play. It’s the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and takes place nineteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The play was written by Jack Thorne, based on a story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiered on 30 July 2016 at Palace Theatre in London.
The story follows Harry Potter, now a ministry bureaucrat, and his youngest son Albus Severus as they deal with the fallout of Harry’s choices as an adolescent and discover more about the Deathly Hallows.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won nine Olivier Awards, including ‘Best New Play’. It also won a Tony Award for ‘Best Scenic Design’ and was nominated for six Tony Awards overall.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently running at Palace Theatre in Melbourne Australia, Lyric Theatre in New York City, Prince Edward Theatre in Toronto Canada, Edinburgh Playhouse in Scotland, and Palace Theatre in London.
Despite its large casts and crews, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been critically acclaimed for its immersive staging and special effects.
The success of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has led to increased interest in live theatre among Harry Potter fans around the world.
Did you know you can visit the actual film set from Harry Potter? Read more in our extensive guide to the Harry Potter World in London.
3. The Lion King
One of the all-time most popular musicals, The Lion King musical is attended by over 800,000 visitors a year — and that’s just in London.
Its success has not come for nothing, for the Lion King is indeed a tremendous spectacle that is enjoyed equally by the whole family. If you are traveling to London with children then the Lion King is a particularly good choice.
Once again, it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to buy tickets for the Lion King musical in London at home. It is without a doubt one of the city’s most popular musicals.
The Lion King tells the story of the famous Disney film by the same name but distinguishes itself and impresses with its special effects, incredible set and sound design and a terrific cast. All come together to deliver a truly unique musical experience
The musical is not recommended for children under 5 years old.
4. Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera is one of the longest running musicals in London. It is an assurance of high quality and extraordinary performances when a musical can still draw a full house even though it debuted in 1986.
The musical is performed at the legendary Her Majesty’s Theatre, which is located in London’s West End and is, on its own, a sight worth seeing. The theater first opened its doors in 1705 and the place exudes theatrical history from its every corner.
A classic London musical in classy surroundings — it does not get much better than that.
5. Les Miserables
We have another ever-popular musical in London’s Les Miserables, which is set during the tumultuous period of 19th century France.
Les Miserables holds the record for most tickets sold for a musical and many believe that, in a way, Les Miserables has revolutionized the musical genre. Certainly, it is no bad choice when deciding which musical to see in London.
Buy tickets online and collect them at the theater box office before the performance, it couldn’t get much easier.
Wicked tells the story of the witches of the Land of Oz and is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel of the same name, which itself is based on the better-known children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The musical has won several prestigious awards and is also amongst the longest running musicals in London.
As a side note, let me just mention that a mere 5-minute walk away from the theater is a fantastic, classic British pub serving some truly excellent pies.
The pub is called The Jugged Hare – read more about it here.
Another popular musical in London right now is Grease. This classic show about teenage love and rebellion is the perfect feel-good musical for a night out. With catchy songs and an energetic cast, it’s easy to see why Grease is one of the most popular musicals in London.
Those who grew up in the 1970s will remember Grease as one of the most popular musicals of the decade. The original movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John was a huge hit, and the stage version quickly followed suit.
London’s West End has been home to several incarnations of Grease over the years, and the latest production is now playing at the Piccadilly Theatre.
The musical tells the story of Danny and Sandy, two high school students who fall in love during the summer but find their relationship tested when they return to school in the fall.
The show features classic songs like “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” as well as energetic dance numbers that will have you tapping your toes in your seat.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the original movie or you’re just looking for a fun night out, Grease is sure to entertain.
Hamilton is a musical that has taken London by storm. The story tells the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, through music and dance.
The music is a mix of hip hop, R&B, and traditional West End tunes, and the lyrics are often clever and moving.
The performers are all incredibly talented, and the choreography is thrilling to watch. Hamilton is a must-see for any fan of musical theater. It’s a show that will stay with you long after the curtain falls.
9. The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is one of the funniest musicals in London. The show follows a group of Mormon missionaries as they attempt to spread their faith in Uganda. The musical has an irreverent sense of humour and catchy songs.
The Book of Mormon is definitely one of the funniest musicals in London. The Book of Mormon is a musical that will make you laugh. The show is set in Uganda and follows a group of Mormon missionaries as they attempt to spread their faith.
The Book of Mormon has an irreverent sense of humour and catchy songs.
The Book of Mormon is definitely one of the funniest musicals in London. If you’re looking for a musical that will make you laugh, then be sure to check out The Book of Mormon.
You won’t be disappointed!
10. Moulin Rouge
Say “Bonjour” to Moulin Rouge the Musical, an electrifying Broadway import ready to set the West End ablaze with its spirited can-can dances and jukebox tunes.
This show transports you to 1899 Paris, where a star-crossed love story unfolds at the infamous Moulin Rouge cabaret.
Its vivid set, lights, and costumes create a kaleidoscopic feast for your eyes, while the well-loved hits and original songs will have you humming along in your seat.
Yes, it’s got all the romance, melodrama, and razzle-dazzle you’d expect – plus a sprinkle of fin de siècle magic.
So come one, come all, and be captivated by this bohemian rhapsody.
11. Pretty Woman: The Musical
Pretty Woman: The Musical is currently playing in London’s West End, and it’s a must-see for any fans of the iconic film. Pretty Woman tells the story of a down-on-her-luck prostitute who falls in love with a wealthy businessman.
The musical features all of the classic Pretty Woman moments, including the famous “Opera moment“:
But it also includes several new songs and dances that will have you tapping your toes all night long.
Whether you’re a diehard Pretty Woman fan or simply looking for a fun night out, Pretty Woman: The Musical is sure to deliver.
12. Back to The Future (Best New Musical in 2022)
Back to The Future is one of the most iconic movies of the 1980s. And now, thanks to a brand new musical, you can relive the magic of the film on stage in London.
The musical Back to The Future tells the story of Marty McFly, a teenage boy who is accidentally sent back in time to the 1950s.
With the help of his friend Dr. Emmett Brown, Marty must find a way to return to the future before it’s too late.
Back to The Future is a heart-pounding, action-packed adventure that will take you on a journey through time that you’ll never forget.
So if you’re looking for a truly unique theater experience, be sure to check out Back to The Future in London.
13. Matilda The Musical
Matilda The Musical is a stage musical based on the Matilda book by Roald Dahl. It was adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.
The musical’s narrative centres around Matilda, a brilliant but neglected five-year-old girl, who uses her powers of telekinesis to defeat her cruel parents and headmistress, Miss Trunchbull.
Matilda The Musical opened at the Cambridge Theatre in London’s West End in October 2010, and has since received critical acclaim, winning seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards.
If you’re looking for a fun and entertaining musical to see on your next trip to London, Matilda The Musical is definitely worth checking out!
14. Tina – the Tina Turner Musical
Just as the lady herself sang, the Tina Turner Musical is “Simply The Best”!
This electrifying show is more than just a tribute; it celebrates Tina Turner’s extraordinary life and legacy, especially poignant following her recent passing.
Her journey from humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to becoming the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll is brought to life on the Aldwych Theatre’s stage.
Expect to hear unforgettable hits like “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “Proud Mary” guaranteed to get you on your feet.
The creative team behind TINA is just as impressive, featuring award-winning playwright Katori Hall and Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd.
This powerhouse production is a testament to Turner’s enduring spirit, making it a must-see for fans, old and new.
15. Frozen The Musical
If you loved the Disney movie, you’ll enjoy Frozen: The Musical! This spectacular show now plays in London’s West End and promises to be a hit with audiences of all ages.
Featuring an incredible score by Oscar-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and stunning sets, costumes and special effects, Frozen: The Musical tells the story of two sisters, Elsa and Anna.
When Elsa’s magical powers become too much for her to control, she accidentally plunges their kingdom into an eternal winter. It’s up to Anna to save the day and restore summer to their land.
With excellent performances from the cast, including Samantha Barks as Elsa and Stephanie McKeon as Anna, this musical is a must-see for fans of the movie. Sing along to classic songs like “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” while being transported to the magical world of Arendelle.
16. Shirley Valentine
If you’re looking for a hilarious and heartwarming play, look no further than Shirley Valentine.
This one-woman show stars the talented actress Jodie Prenger, now playing in London’s West End.
Shirley Valentine tells the story of a middle-aged housewife from Liverpool who feels trapped in her mundane life.
That is until she decides to take a trip to Greece alone, where she discovers a new sense of freedom and adventure. Jodie Prenger gives an incredible performance as Shirley, bringing humour and emotional depth to the character.
This play will inspire you with witty dialogue and relatable themes of self-discovery and empowerment.
17. MJ the Musical (Michael Jackson musical)
Get ready to moonwalk into London’s Prince Edward Theatre for “MJ,” the Tony Award-winning Broadway sensation all about the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.
Going far beyond the music, this show delves into the making of Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous World Tour, promising a thrilling journey into his ground-breaking creative process.
Penned by twice-Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon OBE, MJ promises to explore Jackson’s genius.
With a high-calibre creative team behind the scenes, including key contributors from Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen expect a world-class production that mirrors MJ’s commitment to excellence.
How to get cheap last minute musical tickets in London’s West End
If you haven’t set your eyes on a particular musical in London, you can choose not to book your ticket in advance and instead buy a last minute musical ticket for a West End show.
The most popular musicals are, however, very often sold out – so if you want to see one of the most famous London musicals, then my recommendation is to buy your tickets from home as soon as possible.
Because if you wait until last minute you may be unlucky and the most popular musicals will be sold out – especially if you’re in London at the most popular times of the year ie. in the holiday season.
However, my experience tells me that it’s very uncommon that all musicals in London are sold out. There are simply so many different theatres around the West End with shows on every night.
So there’s a pretty good chance you might be lucky and get last minute tickets to the popular musicals in London’s West End.
Here’s how to buy them.
My favorite provider of West End musical tickets has a special ‘last minute’ section, where you can choose tickets for ‘today’, ‘tomorrow’ and ‘this week’.
There you will automatically be presented to the musicals for which last minute tickets can be purchased for today, tomorrow and the rest of the week.
It’s a very smart way to go and see a West End Show if you’re in London and not actually had planned to see a musical. Or if you sit at home and are planning the last details (or the first :-D) on your trip to London.
On the website you can either choose to print out your tickets or you can pick them up at the theatre before the show. So you can easily buy last minute tickets if you’re already in London and you don’t have access to a printer – just pick up your tickets at the theatre on the day of the show.
You can often save up to £20 per ticket when you buy these cheap last-minute tickets. However, let it be said one final time – my recommendation is still to buy a regular ticket from home if you are itching to see a particular musical.
London is, as mentioned earlier, one of the most popular cities in the world to go to the theater in. Naturally, it is not every day that these last-minute bargain tickets to musicals are available.
On the other hand, here is a unique opportunity to make a spontaneous last-minute decision to see a musical when you are in London and add yet another great experience to your city break.
Enjoy the West End in London.
The most popular musical in London can vary depending on the season and current productions, but some consistently popular shows include “The Lion King,” “Les Misérables,” “Wicked,” and “Hamilton.” These shows often have long-running productions and are beloved by audiences for their memorable music, compelling storylines, and impressive performances. Of course, there are many other fantastic musicals to see in London as well, so it’s always worth exploring different options to find one that suits your interests and tastes.
Yes, there are often discounts available for purchasing tickets to multiple shows in London’s West End. Some theatres offer package deals where you can purchase tickets to several shows at once, while others offer discounts for buying tickets to multiple shows from the same production company or theatre group. Additionally, some ticket vendors may offer bundle deals or promotions for purchasing tickets to multiple shows. It’s always a good idea to check with the theatre or ticket vendor directly to see what discounts may be available.
Musicals in London can run for varying lengths of time depending on their popularity and success. Some shows may only run for a few weeks or months, while others may run for several years. The average run time for a musical in London’s West End is typically around 1-2 years, but this can vary greatly. It’s always a good idea to check the official website or ticket vendor for the specific show you’re interested in to see how long it’s currently scheduled to run.
The dress code for attending a musical in London’s West End is typically smart casual. This means that while there’s no strict dress code, it’s generally recommended to dress nicely and avoid overly casual clothing such as shorts or flip flops. Some theatres may have more specific dress codes, so it’s always a good idea to check their website or call ahead if you’re unsure. Ultimately, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and enjoy the show.
While understanding English fluently can certainly enhance your enjoyment of a musical in London, it’s not always necessary. Many musicals rely heavily on music, dance, and visual storytelling to convey their message, so even if you don’t understand every word that’s being sung or spoken, you can still appreciate the performance. Additionally, many theatres offer captioning or surtitles for non-English speakers or those with hearing impairments. Of course, if the show is heavily reliant on dialogue or lyrics to advance the plot, it may be more difficult to follow along without a strong understanding of English. However, with some preparation and an open mind, anyone can enjoy a musical in London regardless of their language skills.
There are no specific age restrictions for attending a musical in London, as it ultimately depends on the content of the show. Some musicals may be more family-friendly and suitable for children, while others may contain mature themes or language that may not be appropriate for younger audiences. It’s always a good idea to check the age recommendations or warnings listed on the theatre’s website or ticketing information before purchasing tickets. Additionally, some theatres may offer discounted tickets for children or have special performances geared towards families.