Being the musical fanatic I am, I’ve seen many a West-End production. But today I decided to share my experiences, and tell you what the top five musicals I’ve seen are.
If you’re stuck for a Christmas gift, or just want a day out in London, this is the list for you.
Although I saw this musical in 2014, when I wasn’t too into the genre, it was still such a good experience. The premise of the musical is magical, giving the audience a backstory to the Wizard of Oz.
The music itself in the musical was nothing like the others, it felt more operatic and usually resided in the upper registers of what are already high pitched voices.
But, at the end of the day, it’s the musical for non-musical lovers. It’s the gateway into this world, and one for the whole family.
4. Kinky Boots
Seeing this musical was such a dream for me, and I was lucky enough to be taken by my boyfriend for my 18th birthday. I’m not kidding when I tell it’s amazing.
It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before, full of glitter, glam and obviously, very kinky boots. The music is so catchy and upbeat, it’ll make you want to dance in your seat.
The best part is the storyline. It’s complex enough to keep you engaged for the entirety of the play. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, but I’d say it isn’t one for everyone. It’s very over the top at times and the concept of the show is one people may not completely accept and enjoy.
But if you’re an open minded person, looking for a laugh and good music. This one is for you.
3. In The Heights
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this musical twice whilst it was in London, once with my best friend and once with my boyfriend. Both times were equally as great.
Written by the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda (who you may know as the writer of Hamilton), the musical explores the life of a young girl, Nina, and her life in Washington Heights.
Out of all of the musicals on this list, this is definitely the least known, but don’t let that fool you. It captures you in the experience with the unique layout of the audience, as the stage is in the middle of two stands.
I guarantee you you’ll feel ever emotion possible in the course of the two short hours this musical is on. From excitement at the fast pace dancing, to utter sadness in the unexpected twist during the second act.
You won’t believe the price! As it was shown at the theatre at London’s King’s Cross, the tickets were only £15 each. A bargain price for a brilliant night.
2. Les Miserables
Again, I had the pleasure of seeing this musical twice. Believe me when I tell you it gets better every time you see it. The first time I was concentrating on the complexity of the music and the choreography, but the second time I fully emerged myself in the musical.
Despite taunts from my boyfriend, I bawled my eyes out for the majority of the musical, overwhelmed that I was actually seeing it being performed live.
I don’t think I even need to explain the plot of the musical, it’s so well known. But in case you’ve been living in a box all of your life… the musical is set in Paris during the revolution and follows the lives of several people, showing the audience different experiences of those living then. All of the characters plot lines end up intertwining in the most genius and elegant way. There’s no way I can fault this musical.
It’s definitely something everyone has to see in their lifetime, even though it’s over three hours long. The time flies as it’s honestly a work of art. It’s quite an expensive musical, with the tickets for the second trip being over £100 each, but there’s always the cheaper option (like the £40 tickets we bought the first time- although we ended up with a restricted view).
Before we get to number one, here’s an honourable mention.
Half a Six Pence
A unique musical, set in the 1920s, featuring upbeat and catchy music, and a gripping narrative.
I’ve never seen a musical where the banjo has such a big part of the ensemble, but somehow they made it work. It was a fresh new take on the usual orchestra, and I really enjoyed that.
The musical itself wasn’t too long, which was a very good thing, seeing as it was so upbeat and fast paced, I think if it was much longer the audience would be worn out.
But, it’s certainly something to watch. It’s a good laugh and a great one for the family.
1. The Book of Mormon
Like some of my other top picks, I saw this twice with my musical partners. Both times, I couldn’t control my laughter.
As the musical is written by the man who wrote South Park, I had an idea on the style of humour. It’s a very mature musical (the ticket even has a 16+ age warning) which uses expletives left right and centre, and some very adult themes.
The music is absolutely hilarious, however, and had me in stitches. The best song being Hasa Diga Eebowai, which is incredibly rude at times, but stupidly funny.
It’s a stroke of genius, a touch of magic. If I were you, I’d book your ticket right now. You need to see it. It should be declared law that everyone has to see the Book of Mormon.