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The 14 Best Musicals in London in 2023 & How to get cheap West End tickets

wicked musical london

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

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

mamma mia musical
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.

Buy tickets for Mamma Mia musical in London.

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.

harry potter show 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.

Get tickets for the Harry Potter show in London here.

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

lion king musical

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.

Buy tickets for The Lion King musical in London.

4. Phantom of the Opera

phantom of the opera musical london
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.

phantom of the opera review

A classic London musical in classy surroundings — it does not get much better than that.

Buy tickets for Phantom of the Opera in London.

5. Les Miserables

les miserables musical london tickets

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.

Buy tickets for Les Miserables musical here.

6. Wicked

wicked musical london

Wicked the musical is playing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, originally a cinema. The theater seats 2,500 and is located right next to Victoria Station, so it is particularly easy to get to.

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.

Buy tickets for Wicked the musical 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.

7. Grease

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.

grease musical london

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.

Get your tickets here.

8. Hamilton

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.

Get cheap tickets to see Hamilton here.

9. The Book of Mormon

book of mormon musical
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!

Get your tickets for The Book of Mormon in London here.

10. Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is one of the most beloved musicals of all time. Originally made into a movie in 1964, Mary Poppins has been delighting audiences for decades.

The Mary Poppins musical first premiered in London in 2004, and it continues to be a huge hit with theater-goers of all ages.

The story follows the adventures of Mary Poppins, a nanny who arrives to care for the children of the Banks family.

With her unique brand of magic, Mary Poppins takes the children on a series of unforgettable adventures.

From flying kites to visiting an animated chalk drawing, Mary Poppins brings excitement and joy into their lives.

The Mary Poppins musical is a true classic, and it’s definitely worth seeing if you’re in London.

Buy cheap tickets for Mary Poppins in London here.

11. Pretty Woman: The Musical

pretty woman musical london
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.

Get your tickets for Pretty Woman The Musical here.

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.

back to the future musical
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. Only Fools And Horses Musical

Only Fools And Horses is a classic British sitcom that has been beloved by audiences for decades.

only fools and horses musical Now, fans of the show can see it come to life on the stage in London’s West End. Only Fools And Horses The Musical is a brand new production that features all of your favorite characters from the TV show.

The story follows Del Boy and his family as they try to strike it rich with a number of harebrained schemes. Along the way, there are plenty of laughs and memorable moments.

If you’re a fan of Only Fools And Horses, then you won’t want to miss this brand new musical.

Get your tickets online here.

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’.

Click here & see the ‘last minute’ tickets section

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.

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Kristoffer Fons

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