The best West End musicals you should go and see right now

We aren’t talking about High School Musical

One of the things that I was most looking for to when I first moved to London for university was the famous West End. It hardly sounds like the typical student night out, but I’ve made it several times since September.

You’ve seen the signs and glanced over the reviews, but here are the top musicals you have to go and see.

Wicked

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A bit of a cliche I know, but until you go and watch it at the amazing Victoria Apollo Theatre  you haven’t really been to the West End.

Don’t knock it until you try it. The whole staging is magnificent and as soon as you walk in you’re hit with the atmosphere and the whole theatre fits with the story. The storyline makes you rethink the whole Wizard of Oz tale and brings out so many emotions in a short space of time.

I laughed, reminisced and *mostly* cried along to a touching story and sang along to some amazing songs that hold good memories for me. The cast are perfect in every aspect from singing and dancing to acting. Emma Hatton (Glinda) and Savannah Stevenson (Elphaba) portray a magnificent friendship that is reminiscent of so many  modern day friendships. Also, Oliver Savile (Fiyero) is pretty charming so be prepared to be swooned by his character and entranced by the main cast and ensemble.

Lion King

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In 2014 it was the most successful stage show of all time and beat some of it’s fierce competitors.

However, can you really be surprised? A musical based on one of the most famous Disney films of all time had to be an award winner didn’t it?

The first thing that hits you is the amazing scenery. They didn’t make it tacky or OTT but blended it beautifully into the theatre and didn’t let it upstage the actors who look absolutely stunning in their animal inspired costumes. The good thing about the costumes is that they aren’t cheesy, they blend the animal and human perfectly so that the songs and storyline are the main focus.

Mamma Mia

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Who doesn’t like a bit of ABBA? Well me initially, but Mamma Mia integrates those well loved songs perfectly into a cheesy rom-com that has you laughing pretty much all the way throughout. The film was hugely successful but I don’t think you can beat watching the real thing live and feeling as if you’re part of the who drama.

The scenery is a lot more simplistic than that of Wicked but it really gives you the feeling of being on a secluded island with the actors making the ambience feel real. With songs like Dancing Queen and Voulez-Vous (I dare you to to continue singing AHA), there is a song that everyone knows and can get involved with.

Matilda

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Matilda is one of the most loved children’s book and film for someone of any age. The translation onto the stage was as magnificent and really reignited the buzz for this loving story to a whole new audience.

Audience members have described it as funny, captivating and endearing throughout and this is helped by the amazingly catchy tunes and sass portrayed by the cast young and old. The set of the musical is one of the most impressive ones I’ve seen.

Some people may think that it’s hurting the eye or distracting but it fits so perfectly and gives the feeling of a school in the grandest way possible: books!

Don’t dismiss the idea of seeing this because you don’t think it’ll match the book or film, it isn’t meant to. It brings it a new flare and style to reinvent the classic Roald Dahl tale in the best way.

Phantom of the Opera

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I couldn’t write this and not include the third longest running show at the West End.

Phantom of the Opera is one of the biggest shows you associate with the musical world in the famous Broadway as well as our own West End. I don’t think its lost its appeal from the first time it was shown and the audience seems to be growing bigger and bigger each year. Her Majesty’s theatre is a spectacle itself and, like many of the other musicals I have spoken about, really fits in with the image of the show with it’s gothic and French inspired interior and exterior.

Full of drama and passion, I don’t think you can really witness the West End and call yourself a musical veteran until you go and watch it.

There aren’t the only musicals on in the West End, but these do happen to be my favourites. So enjoy your summer and see some shows if you’re still in London, because there are ways to get good priced tickets whilst enjoying the show as much as someone paying double.

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Queen Mary University of London