The West End’s best shows to see in 2019
Philip Mak - June 27, 2019

The West End’s best shows to see in 2019

Shining the spotlight on must-see London theatre
West End Theatre Guide

London’s West End is one of the largest, leading hubs of theatre in the Western world — comparable in size and influence to New York City’s Broadway.

One of the most exciting parts of living in or visiting the Capital, its stages brought in over £765 million in 2018. If you are a theatre fan, the West End is the best place to see the biggest shows.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While it’s generally the best musicals that take centerstage in London’s West End, there are plenty of options for a variety of tastes — from family classics like The Lion King to more mature plays like Equus. The city’s main district for catching a show is playfully called Theatreland and is focused around the Soho and Piccadilly Circus areas. With a different theatre practically on every corner, it can be hard to decide where to start in the West End.

Don’t break a leg trying to pick. With our handy playbook of the best London West End shows of 2019, you’ll never have to ask yourself the question ‘to be there or not to be there?’ again.

The best London West End shows of 2019

Death of a Salesman

Theatre: Young Vic

Last show: 13 July

This heartbreaking tale gets a groundbreaking update directed by Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell. Arthur Miller’s classic is given a contemporary new context with a largely African-American cast including Wendell Pierce, Sharon D. Clarke and Arinzé Kene, following a travelling salesman who is getting older and running out of work and time.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Theatre: Apollo Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

Based on a true story and BBC Three documentary, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a campy musical about Jamie New — a lad navigating high school and life in Northern England with a supportive mum and absent dad who realizes being a drag queen is his true passion. With a recently updated cast, it’s a must-see West End show for fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Equus

Theatre: Trafalgar Studios (as of 6 July)

Last show: 7 September

Peter Shader’s 1973 play Equus rides its way into another revival, sans Daniel Radcliffe this time. It follows 17-year-old Alan (played by Ethan Kai) as he forms spiritual, sadistic, borderline sexual relationships with horses. Zubin Varla also stars as Dr Martin Dysart — the psychiatrist tasked with unravelling the troubled teen’s equine eroticisms.

Fiddler on the Roof

Theatre: Playhouse Theatre

Last show: 28 September

Trevor Nunn has transformed the Playhouse Theatre into a gritty, immersive Russian Jewish shtetl, complete with the scent of woodsmoke and rickety shacks. Based on stories by Sholem Aleichem, it follows Yiddish-speaking, hyper-traditional dairyman Tevye as his daughters plot more progressive paths for themselves. Fans of the classic musical will appreciate this contemporary, edgy version.

Hamilton

Theatre: Victoria Palace Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

After a legendary opening run on Broadway and subsequent US tour, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s wildly popular musical Hamilton has arrived in London’s West End — following America’s founding fathers and using rap, hip-hop and R&B to musically tell the story of the birth of a nation. Much more than just hype and history, the lyrics combined politics, wit and charm for an experience every theatre fan should be there for.

Six

Theatre: Arts Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

From the minds and music of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Six puts the six wives of Henry VIII in a pop band — all taking their turn in the spotlight to belt their story and vie for the lead singer position. Playing at the Arts Theatre, one of the West End’s most intimate venues with just 350 seats, its original 16-week run has been extended through January 2020.

Tina — The Tina Turner Musical

Theatre: Aldwych Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

A musical that was born in the US and made in the UK, Tina combines the talents of British director Phyllida Lloyd and American playwright Katori Hall and lead actress Adrienne Warren for a rousing, roof-raising, rock-and-roll telling of the legendary musician’s life and career. Tina Turner fans will have the picks of their playlists — there are 23 numbers in total.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ – The Musical

Theatre: Ambassadors Theatre

Last show: 12 October

After a successful run at the Curve Leicester and Menier Chocolate Factory, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾ — The Musical will be making its London West End debut this June. Based on Sue Townsend’s novels about the intellectual eponymous teen, this edition is directed by Luke Sheppard and is sure to be a smash hit so get tickets in advance!

Waitress

Theatre: Adelphi Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

Another musical that made the trip from Broadway to Blighty, Waitress is based on Jessie Nelson’s book of the same name and follows Jenna — a small town pie-maker who bakes up the courage to leave her loveless marriage. Featuring the tunes of Grammy-nominee Sara Bareilles, the West End edition’s lead actress Katherine McPhee will be replaced by Lucie Jones as of 17 June.

Catch a classic: long-running West End shows

Aladdin the Musical

Theatre: Prince Edward Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Theatre: Palace Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

Waitress

Theatre: Adelphi Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

Les Misérables

Theatre: Queen's Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

Matilda The Musical

Theatre: Cambridge Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Book of Mormon

Theatre: Prince of Wales Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

The Lion King

Theatre: Lyceum Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Woman in Black

Theatre: Fortune Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

Wicked

Theatre: Apollo Victoria Theatre

Last show: Through 2020

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