London West End Shows this Christmas

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The Book of Mormon

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The Book of Mormon
Cats: The Musical
Sunny Afternoon
The gates of the Wonka factory. Photo by Brinkhoff-Moegenburg
Matilda The Musical
A Christmas Carol
Elf the Musical
Guys and Dolls
Kinky Boots
Wicked
 

© Johan Persson

Jim Broadbent stars as Scrooge, Beverley Knight takes on the role of Grizabella, and Ben Forster and Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh star in an upbeat musical version of the Will Ferrell film Elf. With star billings at these three new Christmas shows, London's West End has a wealth of choice for festive outings.

 
 

A Christmas Carol

With Jim Broadbent's name attached to this production, it has all the ingredients to be a sell-out success.

Noel Coward Theatre, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4AU

Tube: Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Charing Cross Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: 30th November - 30th January 2016

 

He played Prince Albert in Blackadder's Christmas Carol but now Academy Award-winning actor Jim Broadbent plays Scrooge in a new (less silly) version of A Christmas Carol at the Noel Coward Theatre this winter. Adapted by Patrick Barlow from Charles Dickens' original story, the well-known tale of stingy Scrooge and poverty stricken Tiny Tim comes to life thanks to critically-acclaimed designer Tom Pye (The Testament of Mary, The Death of Klinghoffer, The Low Road) with Toby Sedgwick (War Horse, The 39 Steps) as director of movement. Jim Broadbent reunites with Patrick Barlow (who also wrote the long-running hit The 39 Steps) - the two performed for many years in Barlow's cult comedy troupe The National Theatre of Brent. The lead actor has also previously worked with director Phelim McDermott, the Olivier Award-winning artistic director of Improbable theatre company, who directed Theatre of Blood at the National in 2005 in which Broadbent last appeared on stage a decade ago.

 
 
 

Elf the Musical

Ben Forster and Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh star in an upbeat musical version of the 2003 film.

Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7AQ

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station

 

Dates: 24th October - 02nd January 2016

 

Starring the winner of ITV's 'Superstar', Ben Forster, as Buddy the Elf and Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh is Jovie, Elf the Musical is an upbeat musical version of the 2003 festive film starring Will Ferrell. The story begins when an orphan boy, Buddy, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to find his birth father, discover his true identity and help New York City remember the true meaning of Christmas. Morgan Young directs the hilarious tale, with music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin.

 
 
 

Matilda The Musical

The multiple award-winning musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's celebrated children's book.

Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, Seven Dials, Soho, London, WC2H 9HU

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station

 

Dates: 18th October - 28th May 2017

 

The Royal Shakespeare Company's multiple award-winning musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's celebrated children's book Matilda is a big hit at the Cambridge Theatre in London's West End. Directed by Matthew Warchus and adapted by seasoned playwright Dennis Kelly and the award-winning Australian musical comedian Tim Minchin, Matilda puts its child stars at the heart of the show. Described by WhatsOnStage as "a piece which is by turns riotously funny and gut-wrenchingly poignant", the much praised production - which tells the story of a special little girl with an extraordinary imagination - lives up to expectations and thrills and delights both adults and children alike. Book tickets now to see Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre London. Back when it first opened in London in 2011 Telegraph theatre critic Charles Spencer gave Matilda five stars, claiming it was "the best British musical since Billy Elliot that will surely be the toast of the West End. I predict that this show will be unstoppable."

 
 
 

Guys and Dolls

Chichester Festival Theatre's hit production comes with choreography by Carlos Acosta.

Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court, Strand, London, WC2R 0ET

Tube: Embankment Underground Station, Charing Cross Station, Covent Garden Station, Temple Station

 

Dates: 10th December - 12th March 2016

 

Chichester Festival Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls transfers to the West End this December, taking place at the Savoy Theatre. A big hit at the Chichester Festival 2014 - "I left the theatre walking on air and with a grin of pure happiness on my face" (Charles Spencer, Telegraph) - the acclaimed revival sees Sophie Thompson and Jamie Parker reprise their roles as Miss Adelaide and Sky Masterson, with Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright choreographing, and Peter McKintosh doing the set design. The show follows Nathan Detroit when he needs money for an illegal dice game, and he needs it fast. But can he win a bet with notorious gambler Sky Masterson when straight-laced Sarah Brown is involved?

 
 
 

Cats: The Musical

Beverley Knight takes on the role of Grizabella, singing 'Memory', the song which Elaine Paige made famous.

London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TF

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 23rd October - 02nd January 2016

 

Following a successful return at the beginning of December 2014, Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running musical based on TS Eliot's 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' returns for ten week run from 23rd October 2015 for Christmas at the London Palladium. One of the longest-running shows in the West End - it played for 21 record-breaking years - Cats is a wonderful show about the Jellicle cats who meet on one special night of the year at the Jellicle Ball. Long term Associate Director of Cats Chrissie Cartwright recreates Trevor Nunn's original direction featuring Gillian Lynne's choreography and some wonderful and well loved songs including Memory which became a Top 10 hit in the UK in 1981 for Elaine Paige.

 
 
 

The Book of Mormon

Follow two fresh faced young Mormon Missionaries who find themselves posted to Uganda.

Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, Soho, London, W1D 6AS

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 25th February 2013 to 15th October 2016

 

Creators of Southpark (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) have turned their satirical eyes to the cheery world of musicals. With a helping hand from the composer (Robert Lopez) of Avenue Q, this ballsy comedy has collected an obscene amount of Tony Awards and landed in London at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2013. The plot follows two fresh faced young Mormon Missionaries who find themselves posted to Uganda, humour ensues as they follow their faith through some fairly trying situations. With quick witted references to the musical genre, and its own set of well crafted tunes, The Book of Mormon has brought a breathe of fresh air into the West End theatre scene. Tickets for The Book of Mormon are on sale now and selling out fast. The unique brand of ballsy humour was a big hit across the pond but some themes verge on the downright rude and this show is certainly not for the easily offended.

 
 
 

Sunny Afternoon

The Kinks musical won a staggering four Olivier Awards in 2015 including Best New Musical.

Harold Pinter Theatre, 6 Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 04th October - 25th June 2016

 

Winner of four Olivier Awards in 2015 including Best New Musical, Sunny Afternoon uses music and lyrics by The Kinks' lead singer and songwriter Ray Davies, and a script by award-winning playwright Joe Penhall, to tell the extraordinary story of the musician, the band and its rise to stardom. Set against the backdrop of social change in Britain - from the conservative 50s to the riotous 60s - this production explores the euphoric highs and agonising lows of one of Britain's most iconic bands whose influence is still felt today. The show came to the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End following a critically acclaimed run at Hampstead Theatre - "a triumph for Ray Davies and Joe Penhall", wrote Susannah Clapp in The Guardian, "an irresistibly enjoyable and touching night out", said Charles Spencer in The Telegraph.

 
 
 

Kinky Boots

This musical adaptation "visibly improves on the 2005 film" - The Guardian.

Adelphi Theatre, 18-20 Maiden Lane, The Strand, London, WC2R 0NS

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Charing Cross Station, Embankment Underground Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 21st August 2015 to 14th January 2017

 

Inspired by a true story and based on the 2005 British film of the same name, Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein's feel good Tony Award-winning musical follows a prodigal son's journey from a gentlemen's shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan in the company of a stilettoed performer called Lola. Directed by serial hit-maker Jerry Mitchell who received the Tony Award for Best Musical for his choreography in Kinky Boots and who has been involved with more than 50 Broadway, Off-Broadway, West End and touring productions. His West End credits include the Olivier Award winning musical Legally Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray and La Cage aux Folles.

 
 
 

Goodnight Mister Tom

A hit at the Chichester Festival, David Wood's Olivier Award winning adaptation drops into the West End for Christmas.

Duke of York's Theatre, St Martins Lane, Soho, London, WC2N 4BG

Tube: Leicester Square Station, Charing Cross Station, Covent Garden Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 11th December - 20th February 2016

 

After success at the Chichester Festival Theatre and winning an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family in 2013, David Wood's adaptation of Goodnight Mister Tom is back for Christmas 2015. This time staged at the Duke of York's Theatre, Michelle Magorian's tale follows a young boy named Willie who suffers at the hands of his abusive mother. Events take a turn when the Blitz hits London and young Willie is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside, where he builds an unlikely friendship with a reclusive elderly gentleman, Mister Tom. Full of emotion and sensitivity, the story is a modern classic that has the ability to entertain audiences young and old alike, making it the perfect festive family show.

 
 
 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The heart-warming tale of Charlie Bucket and his fortunate discovery of a life-changing golden ticket.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5JF

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Holborn Station, Temple Station

 

Dates: 22nd May 2013 to 7th January 2017

 

Nominated for a staggering seven gongs in the 2014 Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tells the heart-warming tale of Charlie Bucket and his fortunate discovery of a life-changing golden ticket. First we meet his poverty stricken but happy family, his four grandparents huddled together for warmth in one double bed and his parents struggling to feed the family. The tale takes a dramatic turn when Charlie pulls back the wrapper of his favourite chocolate bar to reveal the coveted ticket. This much loved Roald Dahl story was revived in a Tim Burton movie starring Johnny Depp, and now makes the bold move from screen to stage in a critically acclaimed production directed by Sam Mendes, with original music from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. A huge West End hit since May 2013 Theatre Royal Drury Lane is filled with "dazzling light displays and projections" (The Telegraph), a surreal mix of giant lollipops and human blueberries. But "by far the greatest fun is to be had from the Oompa Loompas," says The Telegraph. "They alone are worth the price of admission." Tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are on sale now. After the successful transition of Dahl's Matilda The Musical to the West End, this equally joyous and bizarre Dahl tale has become another success story for the British author behind classic children's books including The BFG and James and the Giant Peach.

 
 
 

Wicked

A box office busting, rewarding big-budget show that left will leave you utterly spellbound.

Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, Victoria, London, SW1V 1LG

Tube: Victoria Station

 

Dates: 01st August - 29th April 2017

 

Prepare to see Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West in a whole new light after going to see Wicked, currently showing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. 'The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz' has gripped the hearts of over 44 million people across the world, breaking box office records and winning more than 100 international awards. Introducing us to some very familiar characters years before they met Dorothy, the classic musical shows how Elphaba (The Wicked Witch) starts off as a clever, lively lady with green skin, while Glinda is superficial, beautiful and popular. Set in a Hogwarts-esque school for witches, it sees Elphaba gradually become disillusioned as the world of Oz slowly falls under the Wizard's fascist regime - expect goose bumps as she concludes the first half with the musical's most memorable number, Defying Gravity. The second half is set during the events from The Wizard of Oz, weaving the plots together very neatly, including the backstories of The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, The Lion and those terrifying flying monkeys. Younger children will love the set and special effects, while older kids and teens will be thoroughly absorbed by the mythology and romance. For adults, the greatest pleasures come from some good jokes and the intricacies of the plotting. This is a rewarding big-budget show that left us utterly spellbound. Offers are now available on tickets for Wicked, London.

 
 
 
 
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