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
The Lorax (The Old Vic) – From 15 October
Dr. Seuss’s furry environmental activist returns to The Old Vic. When this musical adaptation of Seuss’s story premiered, it was met with acclaim and approval. It’s back for just three weeks with its tale of a critter who speaks up for the trees when the industrial Once-ler threatens the tranquillity of his home. BOOK NOW
Romantics Anonymous (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) – From 20 October
Based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes, Romantics Anonymous is a sweet love story. And when we say sweet, we mean it involves a chocolate factory owner and a chocolatier. Both have issues, and both are committed to solving them. Emma Rice, Shakespeare’s Globe’s Artistic Director, has adapted the piece herself.
Young Frankenstein (Garrick Theatre)
This show promises to be a monster West End hit. Created by Mel Brooks – the man behind The Producers and Blazing Saddles – Young Frankenstein doesn’t worry about the crassness or silliness of a joke so long as it’s funny. The story of Victor Von Frankenstein’s grandson Frederick finds the New Yorker choosing between his life as a brain surgeon and following the family tradition. BOOK NOW
The Toxic Avenger (Arts Theatre)
The cult musical heads to the West End after hit runs at Southwark Playhouse and the Edinburgh Festival. With music by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan, it follows Melvin, whose life changes when he’s thrown into a tub of toxic waste. But, as the old saying goes, what doesn’t kill him makes him stronger… or turns him into an environmental superhero. BOOK NOW
The Phantom Of The Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre)
Is there a better time of year to see The Phantom Of The Opera, as the evenings darken and everything feels a little spookier? This stalwart of the London stage is part love story, part murderous Gothic thriller, and it’s filled with iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber songs. The title character haunts the Paris Opera House. But when a young performer catches his eye, theatre’s most famous mask-wearer becomes obsessed. Read our interview with new Phantom, Ben Lewis. BOOK NOW
Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre)
For a lighter, but no less magical, autumn treat, there’s Wicked. Also a West End long-runner – it’s just celebrated its 11th birthday – the enchanting show tells a different story about the land of Oz from the one you might know. This one follows the Wicked Witch Of The West and Glinda The Good as their college days transform them into the characters we know. BOOK NOW.
Top musicals in London: North London
Singin’ In The Rain (Dugdale Centre) – 2 to 7 October
If just seeing this show’s title has you humming, you need to head to Enfield this month. That’s where the Finchley & Friern Barnet Operatic Society is staging the classic feel-good musical about a changing Hollywood. When the ‘talkies’ take over, silent movie stars Don Lockwood and Cosmo Brown have to make a change. But that’s easier said than done.
Top musicals in London: East London
The Lost Disc (Shoreditch Town Hall) – 11 to 14 October
Grab your first chance to see a work-in-progress version of this new comic musical by Will Adamsdale and Ed Gaughan. It’s difficult to tell you much about it, except that it’s being described as a ‘docu, mock-u, rock-you-mentary’. And that it features Hebburn and I Can’t Sing star Victoria Elliott.
Reasons To Be Cheerful (Theatre Royal Stratford East) – From 24 October
Featuring the songs of Ian Dury And The Blockheads, Reasons To Be Cheerful is the story of a fan who’s desperate to see his heroes. But the concert is already sold out. Co-produced by Graeae Theatre Company, every show features audio description, captioning and BSL interpretation.
Top Hat (Bridewell Theatre) – From 31 October
Amateur theatre company Geoids present their staging of this Olivier Award-winning hit. Based on a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film, it is packed with classic Irving Berlin songs and tells the story of an unlikely love affair.
Top musicals in London: South London
Hair The Musical (The Vaults) – From 4 October
Let the sun shine in on the 50th-anniversary staging of this groundbreaking show. Set in 1967 New York, Hair is a tale of the young finding themselves, finding their voices and trying to change the world. This immersive production was first seen at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre, where it received much acclaim.
Promise And Promiscuity (Greenwich Theatre) – 12 to 14 October
Inspired by Jane Austen, this is a story of manners, balls, wit and literary snobbery. And it’s all told by Penny Ashton and her ukulele.
Our House (Churchill Theatre) – 24 to 28 October
The Olivier Award-winning musical featuring the songs of Madness stops in Bromley as part of a UK tour. On his 16th birthday, Joe Casey has a big decision to make. At that moment, his world splits in two and the audience gets to see both outcomes. Starring Britain’s Got Talent’s George Sampson and Emmerdale’s Deena Payne.
Top musicals in London: West London
Flashdance (New Wimbledon Theatre) – 2 to 7 October
Strictly Come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton and former A1 singer Ben Adams star in this musical adaptation of the hit ’80s film. The story of a welder who dreams of becoming a dancer features the songs Maniac, I Love Rock And Roll and What A Feeling.
Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Richmond Theatre) – 10 to 14 October
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biblical musical stops in Richmond for a week while touring the UK. X Factor star Joe McElderry plays the dream interpreter whose jealous brothers set him off on a remarkable adventure.
Five Guys Named Moe (Marble Arch Theatre)
Hit musical Five Guys Named Moe returns to London 25 years after its debut. Created by The Wire’s Clarke Peters, it uses Louis Jordan’s jazz hits to tell the story of downhearted Nomax. When his girlfriend dumps him, he is visited by a quintet of guys with the same name and the same intent who try to lift his spirits. BOOK NOW