From West End favourites to brand new productions, there are a host of top musicals in London to see this month.
We’ve picked our favourites and divided them into five distinct London areas to help you make your decision.
Top musicals in London: West End
Bat Out Of Hell The Musical (London Coliseum) – From 5 June
Motorbikes. Leather jackets. Rock anthems. All are rare sights at the home of the English National Opera. But this summer a new rock-tastic musical boasting big hair, drama and power ballads arrives at the venue. Bat Out Of Hell The Musical takes Jim Steinman’s songs, which were made famous by Meat Loaf, and brings them to the stage. Rock. BOOK NOW
Cover My Tracks (The Old Vic) – From 5 to 17 June
Arguably more a play with songs than a musical, this production unites The Lorax playwright David Greig and director Max Webster with former Noah And The Whale songsmith Charlie Fink. Jade Anouka stars alongside Fink in this story about a songwriter who disappears. Only his songbook provides any clues to his whereabouts.
The Wind In The Willows (London Palladium) – From 16 June
Journey to the riverbank and follow the adventures of Mole, Ratty, Badger and the effervescent Mr Toad in this family musical. Comedian Rufus Hound plays Toad, whose passion for speed and gadgetry gets him into all manner of woodland scrapes. This new adaptation of the classic novel is written by Julian “Downton Abbey” Fellowes and features songs by Stiles and Drewe. BOOK NOW
Committee… (Donmar Warehouse) – From 23 June
As unlikely starting points for a musical go, the inquiry into the failure of Kids Company is pretty impressive. Yet Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Josie Rourke, West End star Hadley Fraser and composer Tom Deering did indeed begin there. In fact, they took the transcripts of the hearings and edited them into one of the most intriguing pieces of musical theatre in London this summer.
Annie (Piccadilly Theatre)
Everyone’s favourite musical theatre orphan (except for, maybe, Oliver Twist) returns to the London stage. In this production, while Annie tries to find her family with the help of the rich Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan will attempt to thwart her. Comedian Miranda Hart is playing the untrustworthy orphanage owner, with Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks. BOOK NOW
Roller Diner (Soho Theatre) – Until 24 June
This new musical comedy won the Verity Bargate Award for new writing, so it promises much. It’s set in a rundown American-style diner… in Birmingham. When a new waitress with a distinctly foreign look begins work, lives are flipped like charred burgers as love and jealousy mix like ketchup and mustard on the hot dog of life.
Top musicals in London: North London
On The Town (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)
Star choreographer/director Drew McOnie stages this musical classic in the beautiful surroundings of Regent’s Park. The 1944 musical features Danny Mac, Samuel Edwards and Jacob Maynard as three US sailors on 24 hours’ leave in New York City. They’re looking for a good time and a chance to let their hair down. BOOK NOW
Holy Crap (King’s Head Theatre) – From 7 June
A brand-new musical that sounds more Rocky Horror than The Sound Of Music. When a US evangelist launches a pay-to-view religious television channel in Britain, he does so while up to his dog collar in debt. With his problems growing and the Mafia breathing down his holy neck he does the only sensible thing. He starts broadcasting porn.
DenMarked (The Courtyard Theatre) – From 12 to 17 June
Beatbox, guitar, hip-hop and theatre come together in Conrad Murray’s DenMarked. Blending a host of disciplines, it tells the story of friendships and rites of passage: your first arrest, the Christmas Dad went to prison…
My Name Is Not Zorba, But… I Can Dance! (Dugdale Centre) – From 20 to 24 June
The Actors Theatre presents a production that is packed with comedy, music, song and dance. A restaurant singer has to choose between two men: one a famous singer, the other a waiter. Performed in Greek.
Little Women (Bridewell Theatre) – From 27 June
The Bridewell Theatre’s resident company, Sedos, presents this much-loved family musical based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel. Join Jo and her sisters as they find their way through life while their father is away during the American Civil War.
Top musicals in London: East London
The Who’s Tommy (Theatre Royal Stratford East) – From 7 to 17 June
A cast of 22 performers and musicians bring the musical based on the classic The Who album to the stage. Follow the exploits of a pinball-playing boy in this hit rock musical.
Charlie Parker’s Yardbird (Hackney Empire) – From 9 to 17 June
Described as a “jazz-infused bebopera”, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird is a unique piece of theatre inspired by the legendary saxophonist. When Parker dies in the hotel room of a married Baroness, Parker’s ghost grabs the chance to create one last musical composition before news of his passing hits the headlines.
Bring On The Bollywood (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch) – From 13 to 17 June
The colour, excitement and passion of Bollywood come to the stage in this romantic comedy. A doctor in need of a suitor – in her parents’ eyes, anyway – a handsome Bollywood actor and a shy Brit get mixed up in this theatrical extravaganza.
Made In Dagenham (Stratford Circus) – From 23 to 25 June
If you missed the musical adaptation of hit film Made In Dagenham in the West End, or when it was revived at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, you have another chance to catch it this month. The final-year students at Trinity Laban Conservatoire Of Music And Dance star in this tale inspired by the 1968 Ford sewing machinists’ strike.
Return To The Forbidden Planet (Erith Playhouse) – From 26 June
It’s Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In space. Featuring classic rock’n’roll songs from the 1950s and 1960s including Good Vibrations, Monster Mash and Johnny B Goode. This is an amateur production of the show that won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1989/90.
Top musicals in London: South London
When Harry Met Barry (Above The Stag) – From 3 May
A romantic musical comedy with a difference, When Harry Met Barry finds the two title characters bumping into each other in a cab. Both are in their own relationships, but there’s nothing like a taxi ride for rekindling an old friendship.
Working (Southwark Playhouse) – From 2 June
Created by Stephen Schwartz – the man behind the music in Wicked – this show paints a picture of the American workforce, from a waitress to a teacher to a fireman. Inspired by a book of interviews, it features songs by Schwartz alongside those from a host of other composers. Among the other contributors are Grammy winner James Taylor and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. BOOK NOW
Thoroughly Modern Millie (Churchill Theatre) – From 6 to 10 June
Strictly Come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton stars in this musical based on the Oscar-winning 1967 film. Filled with glorious dance routines, it’s the story of Millie Dillmount, a modern woman entering the workforce and looking for love.
Blondel (Union Theatre) – From 21 June
Tim Rice’s medieval musical is revived at the Union Theatre. Set during the Crusades, it follows King Richard’s court musician, who stays at home when his monarch goes to war. But when Richard is captured, it falls to Blondel to launch a daring rescue mission.
Superhero (Southwark Playhouse) – From 28 June
This new one-man musical is the story of a father desperately trying to hold onto his daughter. He split up with his wife five years ago, but now she wants to move to LA and take their child with her. Created by Richy Hughes, Michael Conley and Joseph Finlay, Superhero includes the song Don’t Look Down, which won the prestigious Stiles And Drewe Prize.
Top musicals in London: West London
La Strada (The Other Palace)
Based on Fellini’s film, this is a journey musical. Gelsomina is sold to a strongman by her penniless mother. Together they travel through Italy, performing to survive, until they find a travelling circus and meet tightrope walker Il Matto. BOOK NOW
Jack & I (Barons Court Theatre) – From 8 June
First seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014, Punchline Theatre’s musical comedy is a tale of Jack The Ripper. More specifically it’s about Detective Inspector Abberline, who’s trying to please his boss, his wife, the media, the public and himself… which isn’t easy when there’s a serial killer on the loose.
Remnants (Print Room At The Coronet) – From 12 June
Using four singers and a dancer, this new piece of musical theatre follows a woman’s encounter with the aftermath of war crimes in Srebrenica and her family’s connection to the Holocaust 50 years earlier. Balkan folk songs mix with new music and an electronic soundscape in this innovative production.
The Quentin Dentin Show (Tristan Bates Theatre) – From 20 June
This cult rock musical follows the titular Mr Dentin on his mission to make the world happy. How does he achieve this? With special musical therapy that he tests on Nat and Keith. Of course, Quentin’s motives might not ultimately be altruistic…
Buddy (Richmond Theatre) – From 27 June
This jukebox musical has been seen by more than 22 million people worldwide. Roughly speaking that’s like everyone in Bolivia seeing the show. Twice. If you’ve not caught this biographical tale of Buddy Holly, packed with the rocker’s hits, you have a chance this month.