Things to do in London

West End Guide: The Best London Musicals

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West End is to London what Broadway is to New York; a jubilant celebration of the performing arts in all its glory. Exuberant production design, stunning performances by famous screen actors, and catchy music are all staples of a typical West End production. London’s primary theatre district is dubbed Savoy Theatre, Palace Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, and many more! Even on a visual level, many West End theatres are architecturally impressive and feature grand neo-classical, Romanesque, or Victorian façades, and luxurious, detailed interior design and decoration.

If you’re planning a trip to London, watching a West End show should definitely part of your itinerary. The magic of live theatre is something you shouldn’t miss, especially if it’s done right, like at the West End. If you’re having trouble deciding which show to watch, we have picked the best musicals in London for you.

What is a Musical?

A musical theatre show is a type of theatrical performance in which music and lyrics are used to tell the story. Musical theatre plays are often seen on West End and Broadway, and typically feature a large cast of actors and dancers. In addition to the story, musical theatre shows also typically feature elaborate sets and costumes.

Musicals can be incredibly entertaining and enjoyable to watch. They often transport audiences into another world, and provide a unique and different experience than traditional plays or musicals. If you're looking for an evening of entertainment that you won't forget, then be sure to check out a musical!

Top 3 Reasons to Watch Musicals in London

  1. The most obvious reason is that musicals are often very entertaining and enjoyable to watch. They are full of melodious songs and lively dances, which can keep you entertained for the entire duration of the show.
  2. Musicals often tell interesting and engaging stories. The musicals can take you on a journey through different time periods and worlds, allowing you to experience all kinds of different emotions along the way.
  3. Watching a musical can be a great way to learn about different cultures. Musicals often feature niche music and dance genres, giving you a chance to see and appreciate styles of music that you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to see on new mediums like TV or Instagram.

Top 10 London Musicals to Catch This Season

Musicals combine the best aspects of music, dance, and theatre into one powerful form that can move people emotionally and intellectually. Which is why we've got our best musical picks you've got to catch this season:

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Where to Get Tickets to London Musicals?

Popular musicals are the first to sell out quickly. If you want to see a show, it's best to book your tickets early, you will also get the best seats then. The closer to the stage you are, the better the view will be, and those seats are sought after.

With Headout, booking your tickets are no longer a hassle. And by booking early with us you can often get a discount on your tickets!

Musicals Vs. Opera

An opera is a type of performance in which the performers use libretto and vocal scores or sing most of the words. Operas have classical singers and a live orchestra accompanying them to amplify the experience. A musical, on the other hand, is a type of show in which the performers use dialogues, dances, and songs to express the characters' thoughts and feelings. It is merely a type of theatrical production developed to have an emphasis on its musical tone - via dialogues.

Another major difference is that musicals are mostly performed in theatres, while operas are performed in opera houses or performance centers equipped with the right soundproofing for the perfect opera experience.

Nonetheless, both opera, and musicals are driven by drama and words, making up most of their part, and it is often what captivates the people to come back for more!

What to Wear to a Musical?

Some people like to dress up in formal wear for musicals, while others prefer to dress more casually. It really depends on the event and your personal preference. If you're not sure what to wear, it's always best to err on the side of caution and dress a little nicer than you might normally.

However, you should wear clothing that is comfortable and doesn't distract from the performance. This means avoiding anything too loud or flashy. This way, you'll be sure to look your best and enjoy the performance without worrying about your outfit!

Top 5 Tips for a First-time Musical Goer

If you are new to theatres or watching a musical for the first time, here are a few tips to make your experience more enjoyable:

  • Arrive early to get a good seat: Most theaters start seating thirty minutes before the show begins.
  • Turn off your cell phone: Not only is it disruptive to others in the theater, but it can also be dangerous if it goes off during a performance.
  • Keep quiet during the show: It's important to respect the performers and other audience members by avoiding talking and making noise.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Don't leave your seat during the performance or go into the aisle without reason. It can be disruptive to those around you.
  • Enjoy the show: You don't watch a musical show performance everyday, so make sure to make the best of it!

Frequently Asked Questions About Musicals in London

Do musicals always take place in a theatre?

Musicals can be performed in theatres, but they can also be staged in other performance spaces such as arenas or concert halls.


What are some of the most popular musicals?

Some of the most popular musicals include The Lion King, Wicked, and Matilda.

What should I wear to musicals in London?

Many people choose to dress up for musicals in London, but it is not required. Most theatres have formal and informal seating options, so check with the theatre before purchasing your tickets.

Can I bring children to a musicals in London?

It depends on the musical. Some shows are specifically geared towards children, while others may be inappropriate for younger audiences. It is always best to check with the theatre before purchasing tickets.

When should I book my London musical tickets?

We recommend booking the tickets as soon as it is available for sale, as most plays only run for a few months, and hence the seats get filled up fast.