West End Musical audience

Top 10 Most Successful West End Musicals

London’s ‘West End’ around WC1 is the home of musical theatre in the capital. There are around 40 theatres in the area between Oxford Street and the Strand. All the big musical shows and musicals have taken residency in Theatreland, but which are the most successful? 

Here’s our all singing, all dancing lowdown on the top 10 most successful West End musicals for you.

  1. Les Miserables
    ‘Les Mis’ is based on the 1862 novel of the same name by French author Victor Hugo. It’s a passionate story of love, heartbreak and human spirit that has been wowing West End audiences for years
  1. Phantom of the Opera
    One of the first Lloyd Webber musicals to hit the ‘bigtime’ in popular culture. Songs from the show topped the UK music charts for weeks. Who can forget Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in the lead roles?
  1. Mousetrap
    This classic ‘whodunnit’ written by Agatha Christie first opened in 1952. And yes, we know it’s a play, not a musical. But, given the fact that it’s the world’s longest-running show (and it has been in the West End forever), we thought Mousetrap merited being in the list!
  1. The Lion King
    An amazing visual feast, the sets and special effects used in The Lion King are incredible. This impressive stage show also features music by Tim Rice and Elton John, which was also used in the Disney film.

The Lion King one of London’s most successful and vibrant musicals in the West End
  1. Mamma Mia!
    Who’d have thought a hit album by Swedish supergroup ABBA could be made into such a fun and entertaining story of love and family? A feel-good show that’s sure to get you singing along.
  1. Wicked
    This hugely successful West End musical has an ingenious plot. It’s based on the back story of the wicked witches who appear in the Wizard of Oz, telling the story from their point of view. 
  1. Pretty Woman
    Based on a book that was turned into a huge Hollywood hit film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gear. This is the story of Vivian and businessman Edward that has been turned into an entertaining West End musical.
Book, Hollywood blockbuster and West End success. It’s Pretty Woman the musical!
  1. Cats
    A Jellicle ball and singing cats? This musical, based on T S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, has never made sense to anyone. But we loved it all the same!
  1. Starlight Express
    ‘The musical on roller skates’, as it was affectionately known! Starlight Express told the story of Rusty the train and his locomotive friends. They danced and they sang, all whilst racing around the aisles!
  1. Oliver
    Based on Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist. This much-loved musical brings Victorian Britain to life, through the eyes of the young orphan Oliver. ‘Please sir, can I have some more?’ and all that!

Fancy a night (or a matinee) at the theatre?

See your choice of show from our spectacular top 10 most successful West End shows list. We’ve got West End theatre ticket deals and we’ve got London theatre packages with meals and hotels included, for all the big-name shows currently on in London’s Theatreland.

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