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16 West End Shows That Are Worth The Money

All the world's a stage.

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1. War Horse, New London Theatre

Poignant and visually stunning, War Horse is a London original with heart.

Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse is the story of a young boy on a mission to find his beloved horse after it is sold to Calvary in WWI.

Book tickets if... you've got kids over 10, you're a history buff, you liked the novel, or you're interested in design and puppetry.

See the trailer.

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2. Urinetown, Apollo Theatre

Hilarious and relevant, Urinetown creates a political dystopia you can rock out to.

This social and political satire imagines a world where private toilets have been outlawed. By stripping away such a defining element of Western civilisation, the play forces its characters and audiences to face issues of greed, corruption, and the triumph of good.

Book tickets if... you're politically savvy, you're a fan of 1984, or if you can't imagine what it's like to only use public bathrooms.

See the trailer.

3. Shakespeare in Love, Noël Coward Theatre

A full cast of actors and musicians in beautiful Elizabethan costumes are captivating in this impossibly fun imagining of Shakespeare's personal life.

Based on the star-studded film, Shakespeare in Love is the fictional but romantic and fun account of the famous playwright's affair with Lady Viola de Lessops, who disguises herself as a man in order to act on stage.

Book tickets if... you liked the film, you're a romantic, or you're a Shakespeare fan.

See the trailer.

4. The Commitments, Palace Theatre

A stellar soundtrack and high energy performances define this Soul-inspired hit, which had its world premier in London.

The Commitments is based on Roddy Doyle's 1986 novel, and follows the ups and downs of Dublin's finest soul band.

Book tickets if... you love soul music, you've got teenagers, or you liked Jersey Boys.

See the trailer.

5. East is East, Trafalgar Studios

Funny and heartfelt, this family dramedy features knock-out performances and offers a unique yet universal social commentary.

In a family born from mixed cultures, an English homemaker and her strict Muslim husband must find a compromise on how to raise their children.

Book tickets if... you're a parent, or you're looking for a top West End show that's not a musical.

6. Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre

This crowd-pleaser is packed full of girl power and exceptionally designed to boot!

Based on Gregory Maguire's prequel to the beloved The Wizard of Oz, Wicked follows the story of the young Wicked Witch of the West's friendship with Glinda the Good Witch.

Book tickets if... you've got kids, you're a theatre newbie, you love The Wizard of Oz fans, or you like a show with great special effects.

See the trailer.

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7. Once, Phoenix Theatre

Touching and musically sophisticated, this story of creativity and love will pull your heartstrings.

Based on the 2006 film and driven by the music of indie duo, The Swell Season, Once is an understated love story featuring excellent instrumental music performed live on stage by the ensemble.

Book tickets if... you're into folk and indie music, you're a fan of the film, you're looking for a nice date night.

See trailer.

8. Stomp, Ambassador's Theatre

Rhythm and improvisation are the real stars of this unconventional West End hit.

Stomp fuses dance and comedy into a stunning and surprising performance. Among the items used to create rhythm and sound are such unexpected choices as lighters, bins, and bags.

Book tickets if... you're a hip-hop fan, you typically aren't into theatre, or you're looking for a fresh and new experience.

See the trailer.

9. The Nether, Duke of York's Theatre

This acclaimed dark and futuristic thriller is original and haunting.

A twisted Alice in Wonderland for the future,The Nether crafts an exhilarating dive into a virtual world where anything is possible. Exploring temptation, anonymous crime, and the darkness of human nature, this show will leave you rattled.

Book tickets if... you're a sci-fi fan, you can handle disturbing content, or you love plays that push the envelope.

Check out the interactive trailer.

10. The Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty's Theatre

A true classic, London's Phantom of the Opera is a delightful spectacle that won't let you down.

Based on the much less popular novel of the same name, Phantom is a staple of the theatre-verse and has been pleasing crowds for decades. The show follows the relationship between young ingenue, Christine, and the reclusive and mysterious 'Phantom' who lives below the opera house.

Book tickets if... you liked the film, you appreciate elaborate stage design, or you're a theatre newbie.


See the trailer.

11. The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre

Irreverent humour and fantastic design meet, delivering laughs and a surprisingly good message.

Created by the minds behind South Park, The Book of Mormon offers comic gold through the story of two young Mormon missionaries who must succeed in converting and baptising an African village.

Book tickets if... you're aSouth Park fan, you love films like Superbad, or if you're not a big theatre-goer but you like a good laugh.

See the trailer.

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12. Billy Elliot, Victoria Palace Theatre

An incredible young cast carries this inspirational story about being your true self.

Based on the film from 2000 and featuring music from the legendary Elton John, Billy Elliot follows the journey of how dance changes the lives of a young boy and his community.

Book tickets if... you liked the film, you're a ballet enthusiast, or you love Elton John music.

See the trailer.

13. Henry IV, Donmar Wearhouse

Shakespeare's history has never been so fresh, and an all-female cast stuns in this unique version.

Shakespeare's coverage of medieval politics is turned on its head by the Donmar Warehouse's production, set in a women's prison.

Book tickets if... you're an Orange is the New Black fan, or you're new to Shakespeare but want to give it a try.

14. The Woman in Black, Fortune Theatre

Simple but effective, this minimal set and two man cast will leave you shivering.

Haunting West End audiences for 25 years, The Woman in Black is a spine-tingling psychological horror story that unravels the mysterious happenings at a secluded haunted house.

Book tickets if... you liked the film, you're a horror buff, or you're looking for a mutually satisfying date night activity.

See the trailer.

15. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Gielgud Theatre

This high-tech production is a testament to imagination and curiosity, using fantastic stage design and a heartfelt narrative to create a message about what can be done with patience and persistence.

Based on Mark Haddon's novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been been praised not only for its design, but also for its handling of autism spectrum conditions.

Book tickets if... you're a fan of the book, you like John Green novels, you've got teenagers, or you like experimental theatre.

See the trailer.

16. Matilda, Cambridge Theatre

A cast of insanely talented young performers will blow you away in this musical for all ages.

Adapted from Roald Dahl's story of a brilliant little girl asserting her independence, Matilda is enchanting, hilarious, and inspiring.

Book tickets if... you've got kids, you grew up with the book, or simply if you're looking for a splendid night at the theatre - this is a show for everyone!

See the trailer.

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