Fantastic Theatre Experiences: What You Simply Have to See

This is a guest post by Francis Lawson, a freelance journalist who specializes in the travel industry with deals on coach tours and theatre breaks in London.
I love the whole experience of getting dressed up and going to the theatre to see some amazing performances and stories told up on the stage. The cast are always so talented!

Here’s my list of the top musicals that the West End has to offer (I’ll try to avoid any spoilers!):

The first and by all means best West End production I have seen is Wicked. A parallel to The Wizard of Oz, it tells the story of how the Good Witch of the North and the Wicked Witch of the West came to meet and the development of their rivalry. With songs such as ‘Defying Gravity’ which most people will recognise, I was left singing along (badly) for days after watching. I cannot recommend it enough.

My second musical has to be Blood Brothers. A tale of two guys from Liverpool, they are twins who were separated at birth. They lead very different lives that intertwine despite ending up at different ends of the social spectrum. Again, amazing songs featured alongside a great story.

The Phantom of the Opera – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical is based on the French novel Le Fantome de l’Opera and opened in the West End in 1986. It has won numerous awards and after seeing it I can understand why. I’d definitely recommend going to see it.

Then there’s a few left on my list that I’d really like to go and see:

Billy Elliot – I’ve seen the film as I’m sure most people have, and this is one of the musicals that I cannot wait to see. The musical is based on the film released in 2000. Set in the 1980s, the story centres around Billy Elliot and his choice to swap boxing gloves for ballet shoes.

Jersey Boys – this is a musical based on the 1960s rock’n’roll group, The Four Seasons. Being a massive fan of this era of music, I’m sure I’ll love this musical. The show follows the forming, rise and break-up of the band and each of the four parts is narrated by a member who gives their own perspective on the band, their role and its direction.

Chicago – many people will have seen the 2002 film version, however if reviews and popularity are anything to go by (and they certainly are) then this musical is worth seeing on the stage. Set in the prohibition era, the story is a satire on the corruption of criminal justice.

The Lion King – I’ve wanted to see this show since I can remember and I finally booked tickets to go and watch it this summer. Based on the 1994 Disney film, the musical sees actors in animal costumes and giant puppets.

We Will Rock You – with my parents being huge Queen fans, I pretty much know all of their songs and I’ve heard great reviews about this show. Written by Ben Elton with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, the show is based on the songs of Queen.

Have you seen any of these musicals? Have you got any other recommendations?


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