From West End favourites to brand new productions, there is a host of top musicals in London to see this month.
We’ve picked our favourites and divided them into five London areas to help you make your decision.
Top musicals in London: West End
Bat Out Of Hell The Musical (Dominion Theatre) – Throughout May
The Meat Loaf musical returns in all its motorbike-revving, leather-wearing, hard-rocking glory. The story of youthful rebellion and troubled love is set in a dystopian future where a group of teenagers have been driven from the city. It features songs such as I’d Do Anything For Love and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad. BOOK NOW
Chess (London Coliseum) – Throughout May
Musical theatre icon Michael Ball and pop star Alexandra Burke lead the cast of this musical revival. Created by Tim Rice and ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Chess tells the story of competing chess masters who are themselves being used as pawns by their respective governments. BOOK NOW
The Phantom Of The Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre) – Throughout May
One of London’s longest running shows, The Phantom Of The Opera has haunted the West End for more than 30 years. Find out why the combination of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music and Gaston Leroux’s novel about a murderous, mask-wearing music fan continues to thrill audiences. BOOK NOW
Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre) – Throughout May
See the Olivier Award-winning musical featuring music by ’80s pop icon Cyndi Lauper. When Charlie Price inherits his father’s shoe factory, he takes on a failing business and a workforce who depend on him. He needs to find a niche to exploit… which is when he bumps into fabulous drag diva Lola. BOOK NOW
Just Another Love Story (Arts Theatre) – From 21 to 26 May
Ray Rackham uses the songs of arguably the world’s most celebrated musical theatre creator, Stephen Sondheim, to explore the many types of love. Expect snippets from shows including A Little Night Music, Assassins and Company.
Top musicals in London: North London
Sweet Charity (Dugdale Centre) – From 7 to 12 May
Grab your chance to see Cy Coleman and Neil Simon’s classic musical, which gave the world the songs Big Spender and The Rhythm Of Life. The Finchley & Friern Barnet Operatic Society presents this amateur version of the tale of Charity Valentine, a woman with a sunny disposition but nothing except bad luck when it comes to love.
Return To The Forbidden Planet (Upstairs At The Gatehouse) – From 12 May
All aboard the Intergalactic Starship Albatross for this crowd-pleasing rock’n’roll musical based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It features a host of fun sci-fi characters – a mad scientist, a scary monster – and songs including Great Balls Of Fire, Good Vibrations and Wipe Out.
Into The Woods (The Cockpit) – From 23 May
Previously a hit at Ye Olde Rose And Crown, Tim McArthur’s production of Into The Woods is a 21st- century take on Stephen Sondheim’s fairy tale musical. This vibrantly modern show has as much in common with The Only Way Is Essex and The Jeremy Kyle Show as it does with Grimm folk stories.
Top musicals in London: East London
Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert The Musical (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch) – Until 26 May
A new production of the fabulous hit disco musical following a road trip across Australia. Based on the eponymous movie, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert tells the story of three drag queens as they embark on an unlikely adventure. Features songs including I Will Survive and Finally.
H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine (Wilton’s Music Hall) – From 29 to 31 May
Use your own time machine to step back to 1959. There, you’ll find a man arriving at Radio Woking, ready to stage a musical version of H. G. Wells’ famous science-fiction story. Includes live sound effects and original songs.
Top musicals in London: South London
Teddy (The Vaults) – Throughout May
A story of teenage rebellion, love and optimism, Teddy is set in the 1950s as London recovers from The Blitz. Teddy and Josie are heading out to enjoy themselves, but somebody wants them dead. It’s nothing a little rock‘n’roll can’t fix.
Twentieth Century Boy (Rose Theatre Kingston) – From 9 to 12 May
See the musical about Marc Bolan as it stops in Kingston on its UK tour. Follow the story of the king of glam rock, who lived fast and died young. This hit show features the songs of T. Rex, including Metal Guru and I Love To Boogie.
The Rink (Southwark Playhouse) – From 25 May
With Chicago returned to the West End, another Kander and Ebb musical is revived in London: The Rink at Southwark Playhouse. Gemma Sutton and Caroline O’Connor lead the cast of this show about a daughter who returns home to try to save her mother’s roller-skating rink.
Top musicals in London: West London
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (New Wimbledon Theatre) – From 22 to 26 May
Discover the story of Carole King’s rise to stardom, from schoolgirl to global music phenomenon, in this Olivier Award-winning musical. Every song in this show is a pop hit, from You’ve Got A Friend and Up On The Roof to Locomotion and You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.
The Biograph Girl (Finborough Theatre) – From 22 May
The Finborough Theatre works wonders reviving long-lost shows. This month it turns its attention to this love letter to silent movies, which hasn’t received a professional production since its 1980 premiere. Created by David Heneker and Warner Brown, it is full of the glamour and scandal of early Hollywood.
Son Of Rambow (The Other Palace) – From 24 May
Be among the first to take an early look at this new musical based on the hit indie film. The heart-warming tale of an unlikely friendship between two schoolboys in the 1980s features music by Miranda Cooper. You might not know her name, but her songs have spent more time in the UK charts than any other female songwriter in history. This is a workshop production staged to get feedback from the audience and help the show’s progression.