One of London’s main attractions is the West End and more specifically the amazing number of top-quality musicals on offer in Theatreland. A host of internationally recognised shows that not only attract local audiences but also thousands of tourists who flock to London to enjoy the best musical productions in the world. The secret behind its success? A tradition that dates back to the 16th century, the amazing quality and innovation of the productions and the original stories they tell.
You’ll find all the latest listings of all the musicals in London in Best-Tickets and you’ll be able to buy tickets at the best prices anywhere on the Internet. We work hard every day to bring you the most up-to-date information on London’s musicals: premières, prices, offers, show times, news … all at best-tickets.co.uk!
Without a doubt, London is Europe’s unrivalled capital of musical theatre. And although the genre as we know it today was born in the United States, it is undoubtedly true that West End theatres have made an important contribution to making musicals popular throughout the world. Such internationally popular shows as Mamma Mia!, The Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot or Les Miserables are all originally from London and, although they have toured all over the world, you can still enjoy many of the original productions in Theatreland.
THE BEST MUSICALS IN LONDON
The best musicals to be found anywhere in the world reside in London’s famous West End. Whether it's the quality of their stage productions, the great innovations they unfurl on the international scene or the new proposals they present each year, London musicals have become one of the city's main attractions. So if you are a lover of musicals, you’ll find it impossible to resist these musicals.
The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre: Few shows can thrill you as much as this one. A perfect musical for the entire family that has already been enjoyed by 80 million people around the world. There’s no way you can miss it!
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre: This is one of the most fun musicals anywhere in London, and the one we most recommend if you’re taking the kids. Wicked tells the hitherto undisclosed story of how the 'wicked' witches of Oz first met.
Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre: Without doubt, one of the must-see musicals in Theatreland. Based on ABBA’s original songs and created by two of the members of the group, this musical has been the ultimate feel-good musical in London since 1999. A true classic you shouldn’t miss under any circumstances.
Les Miserables at Queens Theatre: Another must-see show in London’s West End. The fact is that Les Miserables has broken every record that can possibly be broken: since its première in London in 1985 it has been staged in over 40 countries and it’s won 8 Tony Awards and 3 Olivier Awards.
The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre: If you’re into acid humour, the Book of Mormon is right up your street. Winner of the Tony Award for best musical and written by the creators of the popular animated series South Park, this show has become one of the most popular productions in the West End.
The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre: The Phantom of the Opera has been running for more than 30 years, making it one of the longest-running musicals anywhere in the West End and one of the city’s best productions. The best thing about it? You’ll be able to enjoy this Andrew Lloyd Webber classic at the same theatre it premièred in, back in 1986.
School of Rock at the Gillian Lynne Theatre: Families, are you ready to rock and roll? Following the story of the film of the same name starring Jack Black, not only does this musical guarantee a great time for the youngest members of the family, it’ll also let the grown-ups enjoy a great story and an even better selection of all-time hits by The Who, Led Zeppelin or The Doors.
Disney's Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre: Based on the popular Disney film, this is another fantastic musical you can take the entire family to. Such well-known songs as A Whole New World, Prince Ali or a Friend Like Me will whisk you off to an exotic Arabia where anything is possible.
Thriller - Live at the Lyric Theatre: Premièred for the first time in London in 2009, this Michael Jackson tribute is a spectacular journey through the life of the King of Pop and his best songs. Taking you all the way from his early days in the Jackson 5 to his greatest hits such as Billie Jean or Smooth Criminal, this show will leave you breathless.
WEST END LONDON
Located in the heart of London, this historic London district boasts more than 40 theatres and venues that have been graced by the best English-language theatre productions of all time. From The Phantom of the Opera to Shakespeare classics, without forgetting musicals for the whole family such as The Lion King, the highly successful Hamilton or the brazen Book of Mormon. Not only is the West End theatre listing one of the biggest in the world, in terms of today’s major commercial productions it is up there at the top. So much so that in 2017 it broke attendance records by attracting some 15 million viewers in just one year.
Shaftesbury Avenue is the heart and indeed the most important part of Theatreland. This street is home to such world famous venues as the Shaftesbury Theatre, the Palace Theatre, the Queen's Theatre, the Gielgud Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, the Apollo Theatre or the Saville Theatre. A nerve centre of art and culture only rivalled by Broadway in New York. And the fact is that not only does this street welcome the best musicals to be found anywhere in the world, it also stages classical plays and some of the theatre scene’s more experimental proposals.
CHEAP WEST END TICKETS
Given the large number of people that these shows attract, to make sure you don’t end up missing out on tickets and, above all, to get the best prices, your best option is to book in advance over the Internet. The best way to get your hands on the cheapest tickets for London musicals is to log on to Best-Tickets to compare prices from the main UK sales channels, and the key is to try to book at least 3 weeks in advance.
Tips for getting cheap tickets
Best value tickets: Every theatre has seats available that are really good value for money, there’s no need to book the most expensive ones to be able to enjoy the show. In addition, if you don't mind being a little 'uncomfortable', you can always choose reduced visibility tickets. These are usually located up in the gods or behind some architectural element or other that limits your view of the stage a little, but they do come at a significant discount and you can save up to £60 per person, so it may be worthwhile. Bear in mind that these tickets are very limited so they tend to be the first to sell out.
The day and the time matter: Show prices vary a lot depending on the day and time. The cheapest shows are usually the matinées and the Monday to Thursday night performances.
Theatre Ticket Lottery: This is a widespread practice among London theatres that can save you a lot of money on tickets for musicals. The mechanics are very easy; a few hours before the curtain rises (usually in the morning), the box office puts a batch of tickets on sale at a very reduced price. These can only be booked in person at that time. These tickets are in great demand! We recommend that you turn up to start queuing well in advance.
Last Minute tickets: If you don't mind what show you see, and you are a small group (or you don't mind having to sit separately from one another), last minute tickets are the perfect way to get your hands on really cheap tickets to the best musicals in London.
To get the most out of any musical, one of the most important things is to choose a good seat. Usually ticket prices vary greatly depending on where the seats are, but is it worth paying more to get the best seats in the house? In Best-Tickets you can check out the seat plan in each theatre and compare the seats you are most interested in booking: from Premium zone tickets to reduced visibility seats. In addition, in the information we provide on every show you’ll find tips and advice on how to get the best value tickets.
TAKING THE KIDS TO THE THEATRE
Enjoying a musical in London is definitely a perfect plan for the entire family. The West End is known for its wide range of theatre for children: shows such as The Lion King, Wicked, School of Rock or Matilda guarantee a good time for adults and kids alike. And of course, the capital has such a wide cultural offer that the seeds of an eternal love of theatre will be sown in the hearts of your children.
Please note that although theatres in the West End of London put on plays that are specifically aimed at children, they do nevertheless impose fairly strict age restrictions. Most venues do not admit babies and children under 5 years-of-age. In addition, there are other restrictions on access. For example, they must be able to sit in their own seat without assistance, and they must pay attention throughout the show, so as not to distract the rest of the audience. We recommend that you check the age restrictions before you buy your tickets.
The recommended ages for London’s top musicals is as follows:
School of Rock the Musical +8
The Lion King +6
Matilda the Musical +6
Snow White +3
The Snowman Suitable for all ages