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 four distinct London areas to help you make your decision.
Top musicals in London: West End
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo Theatre) – Throughout December
A hit when it premiered in Sheffield earlier this year, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a rare beast. It’s a musical inspired by a TV documentary. That TV show told the story of teenage drag queen Jamie. And so does the musical. Jamie has a hard time fitting in, but with his mum on his side and a good group of friends, he has the chance to be the person he wants to be. Featuring music by The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie Sells. BOOK NOW
Pinocchio (National Theatre) – Throughout December
Playwright Dennis Kelly – the man behind the hit adaptation of Matilda – has turned his hand to another family tale with a dark side. Pinocchio is the story of a puppet who wants to become a real boy. He has to go on a journey to understand what being human means. While this is a new adaptation, you’ll know the songs. They come straight from the Disney film.
The Grinning Man (Trafalgar Studios) – From 6 December
Previously a hit at Bristol Old Vic, The Grinning Man is a macabre, magical musical. Based on a Victor Hugo story, this fairy-story show follows a young man with a disfigured grin. How did he come by it and why does it inspire such joy? BOOK NOW
Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre) – From 6 December
This is quite possibly the biggest theatrical opening since Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical has proved a phenomenon on Broadway. This tale of American history has rewritten the rulebook on what musical theatre can do and who it appeals to. And now it’s London’s hottest ticket.
Christmas With The Rat Pack (Theatre Royal Haymarket) – From 13 December
Once a fixture of the West End’s Christmas preparations but absent in recent years, this classic concert-style show returns for 2017. If you love listening to a Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin or Sammy Davis Jr Christmas CD while you’re decorating your tree, The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas is the show for you. BOOK NOW
Top musicals in London: North London
Beauty And The Beast (King’s Head Theatre) – From 11 December
This is NOT the fairy tale as you know it. No, in this version, the beast is female and beauty is a bookworm with big dreams. This promises to be a 90-minute romp of a show with a cast of five. Plus, it features the voice of Marti Webb as the narrator.
Top Hat (Upstairs At The Gatehouse) – From 13 December
Former Strictly Come Dancing star Joanne Clifton leads the cast of this romantic musical set in the golden age of Hollywood. She plays society girl Dale Tremont, who’s the object of Broadway star Jerry Travers’ desires. The sumptuous show features Irving Berlin songs including Cheek To Cheek and Puttin’ On The Ritz.
Top musicals in London: South London
Bananaman (Southwark Playhouse) – From 15 December
If you’re aged between 35 and 45, this might be the most exciting musical in London this winter. Yes, the hit ’80s cartoon has been adapted for the stage. The less-than-competent superhero is joined by Crow, Doctor Gloom, General Blight and more. It’s a really a-peel-ing proposition.
Take Me Back (Stockwell Playhouse) – 21 to 23 December
Angie Le Mar’s gospel musical is a tale of friendships forged in childhood, looking back on who you were and knowing who you’ve become.
Barnum (Menier Chocolate Factory) – Throughout December
PT Barnum was an American showman of the highest order. This musical, usually a spectacle of circus glitz, has been transported to the intimate Menier Chocolate Factory. The London Bridge venue has a reputation for creating outstanding musical productions, with many transferring to the West End. Comedian Marcus Brigstocke leads the cast.
How To Win Against History (Young Vic) – Until 30 December
The Christmas show, in Young Vic’s Maria theatre, tells the story of the fifth Marquis of Anglesey. He was one of the world’s richest men until he lost everything, “by being too damn fabulous”.
Hair The Musical (The Vaults) – Throughout December
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.
Top musicals in London: West London
The Little Match Girl (Tabard Theatre) – 7 to 31 December
You know Cliff Richard’s Christmas hit Mistletoe And Wine, don’t you? Did you know it comes from a musical? It does. And this is that show. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story, it follows a poor girl who sells matches to try to make money. Each time she strikes one to keep herself warm, her life becomes more magical.
Nativity! The Musical (Eventim Apollo) – 13 to 17 December
Debbie Isitt has adapted her hit festive film for the stage! Join primary school teacher Mr Maddens and uncontrollable teaching assistant Mr Poppy as they attempt to get out of a sticky situation and stage the best nativity ever.
The Christmasaursus (Eventim Apollo) – 21 to 28 December
The debut novel from McFly’s Tom Fletcher has been transformed into an all-singing, all-dancing stage show. With music by… McFly’s Tom Fletcher. Starring in the tale of a boy, a special dinosaur and a magical adventure is, you guessed it, Tom Fletcher. He’s joined by a cast including his sister and musical theatre star, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and McFly colleague Harry Judd.
Big Fish The Musical (The Other Palace) – Until 31 December
A father-and-son tale, Big Fish follows Kelsey Grammer’s Edward Bloom. He has spent years filling his son’s life with wondrous stories. But when his offspring questions the truth of his tales, it sparks a journey that will change them both forever.
The Woman In White (Charing Cross Theatre) – Throughout December
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is revived at the Charing Cross Theatre with songs that the musical theatre lord has reworked. The Victorian thriller follows Walter Hartright. His life is haunted by a chilling meeting with a woman dressed in white, who is desperate to share a terrible secret.