This year has seen plenty of fantastic performances gracing the West End’s stages, from brilliant musicals with soundtracks that you’ll be humming long after to fresh takes on Shakespeare. Despite the different genres and themes, West End production have (at least) one thing in common: they offer spectators a chance to see some of the finest contemporary talent in the flesh.
With that being said, catching a West End show is the perfect reason to enjoy a long weekend in the city, and with some excellent London hotels special offers available right now, it’s the ideal time to book ahead for a special treat.
If you’ve got your accommodation sorted (you can check out our offers and packages here) go ahead and read on to check out some of the top-rated shows in the capital this year.
Waitress – Adelphi Theatre
While the plotline might not seem like the cheeriest concept for a West End musical, Waitress has been one of the biggest feel-good hits of the year. Following the life of a talented dessert-making waitress caught between an unhappy marriage and an affair, the musical balances a more realistic narrative with some surprisingly joyful and uplifting songs.
While there’s plenty of laughter, you can expect some more touching and truthful moments too, as the musical explores marriage, infidelity, motherhood and more.
With its key message of female solidarity and support between each of the main female characters, as well as having a background of being the first Broadway musical created by an all-female creative team, this is the ideal show to enjoy if you’re planning a girls’ weekend in the city.
Top tip: book yourselves a stylish place to stay at the Montcalm Royal London House and relax at ease!
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Apollo Theatre
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie might be one of the most uplifting and positive shows on the West End this year, and this is made all the sweeter since the musical is based on a true story.
The show centres on the tale of Jamie New, a sharp, bright and vulnerable gay teenager who wants to wear a dress to his high school prom.
The resulting show is an exuberant mix of classroom antics, family drama, and heart-warming messages about acceptance and embracing all the different strands of life. Its catchy soundtrack and funky choreography keep it fun and lively, making it a fun show to enjoy, whatever your age or background.
Bitter Wheat – Garrick Theatre
If you’d rather enjoy the West End with a little more complexity and thought-provoking drama, this intense new play about the Harvey Weinstein scandal might just fit the bill.
Featuring the immensely talented John Malkovich in the lead role, the play digs deep below the surface of Hollywood’s glamour and glitter, to reveal the bullying, controlling and aggressive character of the disgraced producer, and the movement that emerged around the scandal.
While it might be a dark and intense show, it’s still an enjoyable night with sharp, witty and powerfully crafted dialogue, and brilliant talent to bring it to life.
Come From Away – Phoenix Theatre
2019 has seen a wealth of musicals that combine a compelling story with excellent music, and Come From Away is another surprising hit, that will leave you savouring the value of friendship and community.
Based on the true story of the many flights grounded in a small Canadian airport during the tragic events of 9/11, the award-winning musical follows the many passengers who found themselves stranded in a small Newfoundland community, and in the process, discovered trust, connection and hope.
With a truly celebratory and positive feel, the hit show has just seen its run extended until February 2020 in London, so it’s well worth checking out. It’s an ideal show to share with older family members and enjoy some quality bonding time. If you’re planning to come up for the West End performance, plan ahead by booking a night in at the Montcalm Royal London House.
This will make getting around the city much easier, with no need to rush.
Sir Ian McKellen On Stage – Harold Pinter Theatre
With a strictly limited run until January 2020, the chance to see this illustrious heavyweight talent is one not to be passed up easily. The show is part of the world-famous actor’s celebration of his 80th birthday – with a solo show that will feature performances from Tolkien, Shakespeare and others, honouring his 50-year long acting career.
As well as a chance to see some of the greatest playwrights’ works brought to life, it’s simply a golden opportunity to see one of the best stars of screen and stage perform live. You shouldn’t need any more convincing than that.
Book ahead as this will undoubtedly sell out fast. A conveniently booked hotel Finsbury Square means you don’t need to fight through traffic after the performance either, letting you enjoy the post-show atmosphere with a drink in one of the great pubs nearby.
The Lion King – Lyceum Theatre
No round-up of London’s West End is complete without a nod to one of its most successful musicals of all time, and while it has been running for twenty years, it still has the power to capture audiences to packed shows night after night.
It’s hard not to feel enthralled as soon as those familiar songs start-up – as well as the breath-taking sight of the beautiful production. With global inspiration shaping the complex costumes and set design, including Malaysian shadow puppet theatre and African masks, the West End classic brings together everything you might hope to find on the stage, with powerful storytelling, an impressive cast and fantastic songs, all delivered with immense energy.
There’s no sign of it disappearing off the West End bill any time soon, and it’s a great choice when you want a pick that will keep the whole family entertained.
Enjoy a great value family holiday with some London hotels special offers for an affordable stay, and book ahead for tickets to the show for a guaranteed fun night out.