Hattie Lloyd 11/04/24

Your Complete Guide To London’s Best Musicals

Your Guide To The Best London Musicals 2024 | The Shows Worth Every Penny

Ever since jazz hands were (presumably) invented by a theatre director taking the request for ‘a show of hands’ too literally, musicals have delighted the masses with their bright lights, catchy numbers, and passers-by in street scenes who conveniently come together in dazzling displays of impromptu choreography.

London’s West End shows are the bread and butter of the city’s cultural scene, and if you’re looking for a dazzlingly entertaining night out with a bit more pizzazz than a play, then these musicals are here to oblige. And while London doesn’t exactly have a reputation for a cheap night out, you can catch some of these shows for just £15 (you can also see our guide to getting cheap theatre tickets here).

With so much on offer, it’s inevitable that some shows hit a bum note, so we’ve gone through the critics’ reviews with a fine tooth comb and put together a list of only the must-see musicals in London for 2024.

Sit back, and enjoy the shows…


  • This year marks the long-awaited (well, by some) return of the world’s only musical performed entirely on roller skates, Starlight Express (June 2024). It’s playing in a purpose-built space at the Troubadour in Wembley, and may or may not involve moving seats.
  • Aaand coming up at the end of the year is a new musical adaptation of the cult 00’s film The Devil Wears Prada (October 2024).


Standing at the Sky’s Edge | Gillian Lynne Theatre

sky's edge new musical london

Credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

After bagging the Best New Musical award at the Oliviers last year, Standing At The Sky’s Edge is back. It’s an irrepressible, irresistible love letter to Sheffield – and it’s the real deal. It’s a co-production with Sheffield Theatres, with the book by playwright Chris Bush and music & lyrics by the brilliant Richard Hawley (both, incidentally, authentic Sheffielders). It’s a generation-spanning exploration of lives of people on Sheffield’s Park Hill estate, set across three timelines – a grand, sweeping narrative that tackles hopes, dreams, and gentrification.

Dinner before: Stand at the bar’s edge at Barrafina Drury Lane
Drinks after: Have a gentrified martini at Baudry Greene
London Theatre Critics say: Guardian 4*, Telegraph 4*
Details: Standing at the Sky’s Edge is playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre (closest tube station Holborn) until 3rd August 2024. Tickets cost £20-150, and you can get them right here.

Hadestown | Lyric Theatre

hadestown amazing new musical

They say the devil has all the best tunes – well now he’s also got a Tony and Grammy-winning megahit Broadway musical, making its long-awaited transfer to the West End.

Multi-talented singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell has written the lyrics, book and the brassy, brilliant soundtrack to this epic underworld tale steeped in Greek mythology, which tracks the intertwining love stories of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Persephone and her husband King Hades. Rolling into town on the back of rapturous critical notices, and with an enormous buzz ahead of its opening night, commit whatever unforgivable sins are necessary to secure a ticket – it really is a hell of a show.

Dinner before: First rate dumplings at Leong’s Legend, one of the best restaurants in Chinatown
Drinks after: Head to the underground candlelit bar, Below Stone’s Nest
London Theatre Critics say: The Times 5*; The Guardian 4*; The Financial Times 4*
Details: Hadestown is playing at the Lyric Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus) until 22nd December 2024. Tickets cost from £20-125, and can be purchased HERE.

Cruel Intentions (the 90’s musical) | The Other Palace

cruel intentions the musical

That’s right – it’s the live adaptation of the movie that launched a thousand nascent teenage sexual awakenings, coupled with a soundtrack of absolute 90s bangers. Look, if you want highbrow entertainment, read Les Liaisons Dangereuses – the book that inspired it all. But, if you want to listen to No Scrubs, Genie in a Bottle and Bittersweet Symphony whilst watching manipulative American high school students seduce one another – well, you’ve come to the right place…

Dinner before: All-day antipodean dining at Timmy Green
Drinks after: Head to the part-gallery, part-bar, amie wine studio
London Theatre Critics say: The Times 4*, Evening Standard 4*
Details: ‘Cruel Intentions’ is playing at The Other Palace (nearest tube station Victoria) until 19th May 2024. Tickets start at £25.50 and are available HERE.

Guys & Dolls | Bridge Theatre

guys and dolls - the best london musicals playing right now

Manuel Harlan

Down at the Bridge Theatre, Nicholas Hytner’s going all-in on giving you a quality night at the theatre. It’s Guys & Dolls, baby, and it’s here to banish your late-winter blues. The always-compelling Danny Mays leads the cast, playing good old reliable Nathan (Nathan, Nathan, Nathan) Detroit. And the songs? Why, it’s hit after toe-atapping hit, courtesy of composer and lyricist Frank Loesser – we’re talking Luck Be a Lady, we’re talking Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat, and we’re certainly talking the titular Guys & Dolls. It’s a fast-talkin’, crap-shootin’ helluva night out.

Dinner before: Italian with a view at Tavolino
Drinks after:
Great value cocktails at Swift Borough
London Theatre Critics say: 
Evening Standard 5*, The Independent 4*, The Guardian 4*
Guys & Dolls is booking at the Bridge Theatre (closest tube stations London Bridge and Tower Hill) until 4th January 2025. Tickets cost from £39.50 – £150 and you can book here.

Operation Mincemeat! Fortune Theatre

operation mincemeat musical london

After multiple sell-out runs at the Southwark Playhouse, and a mounting sense of buzzing anticipation, it’s happened: Operation Mincemeat, the debut musical by creative quartet SpitLip, has transferred to the West End (a move which has just put a shiny Best New Musical Olivier on the team’s mantelpiece). What is it? It’s the story of the (genuine) Second World War plan to confound the Nazis by planting false intel on a corpse, and allowing the Germans to discover it. How is it told? In a riotous, rapid-fire barrage of multi-roling physicality.

Dinner before: Authentic Laotian cuisine at Lao Cafe
Drinks after: 
Victorian-style drinking den, Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration
London Theatre Critics say: A mere 65 5* reviews so far…
Operation Mincemeat! is booking at the Fortune Theatre (closest tube stations Covent Garden and Temple) until 16th November 2024. Tickets cost from £39.50 – £89.50 and you can book here, or enter the £25 ticket lottery here.

Cabaret | The Kit Kat Club (Playhouse Theatre)

cabaret musical london

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome to this phenomenal production of Cabaret, directed by the sensationally talented Rebecca Frecknall. For this revival of the classic musical & film, the Playhouse Theatre has been transformed into a giant, glittering version of the Kit Kat Club, where (the lucky few, at least) can sip cocktails and dine at intimate cabaret tables while the show unfolds. A parade of talented performers have taken on the main roles of Sally and Emcee so far, with the mantle now passed to Luke Treadaway and Cara Delevingne. Plus, you’ll see some of the most beautiful costume design that’s hit London’s stages in the past few years…

Dinner before: Go big and fancy at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill
Drinks after:
Wine in a candlelit cave at Gordon’s Wine Bar
London Theatre Critics say:
Evening Standard 5*; The Independent 5*; The Telegraph 5*
Booking is open for Cabaret at the Playhouse Theatre (closest tube station Embankment) until 1st February 2025. Tickets cost £30–£375, and you can book here.

Hamilton | Victoria Palace Theatre

We don’t need to tell you about Hamilton.

But if we did, we’d probably call it one of the best-reviewed, most impactful musicals in recent memory, which recounts the extraordinary life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton entirely in energetic, operatic, rap-filled song.

Dinner before: Al fresco brasserie fare at Rail House Café
Drinks after: Cocktails upstairs at The Ivy Victoria
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 5*; The Telegraph 5*; The Independent 5*; The Stage 5*; The Evening Standard 5*
DetailsTickets are currently on sale for Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre (closest tube station Victoria) until 29th March 2025. They cost from £20-200, and can be purchased here, or download the app for £10 lottery tickets.

Choir of Man | Arts Theatre

The Best London Theatre Right Now: choir of man

Grab a (free!) pint and strap in for an evening of resolutely non-toxic masculinity down at the Arts Theatre – the beardy, burly blokes of the Choir of Man are here to sing their hearts out in their onstage pub, whilst touching on themes of friendship, gentrification and mental health. Plot? What plot! You’re here for the vocal performances (uniformly superb) and the musical arrangements of classic pop bangers (likewise, courtesy of Musical Supervisor Jack Blume).

Dinner before: Nifty pre-theatre dining at Hawksmoor Seven Dials
Drinks after: World’s 100 Best Bars entry, Side Hustle at NoMad
Details: Tickets are on sale for Choir of Man at the Arts Theatre (closest tube station Leicester Square) until 29th September 2024. They cost from £18-73, and can be purchased here.

Back To The Future: The Musical | Adelphi Theatre

back to the future the musical

Future you visited us, and said it was imperative we tell you about this Olivier award-winning musical. And to be fair, if you like cult movies, ’80s hits and smoking Deloreans, you’re probably going to enjoy it.

Dinner before: Steak at 1985 prices at Flat Iron Covent Garden
Drinks after: Hand-picked wines at Lady of the Grapes
London Theatre Critics say: The Metro 5*, The Telegraph 5*, Michael J. Fox: “A truly great show.”
Details: Back To The Future: The Musical is booking at the Adelphi Theatre (closest tube station Charing Cross) until 22nd December 2024. Tickets cost £19.55 (of course) – £168.50, and can be booked here.

Mamma Mia | Novello Theatre

20 years on, Mamma Mia still hasn’t met its Waterloo. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a pretty contrived plot (soon-to-be-married daughter invites three potential fathers to her mother’s hotel on a Greek island, etc) but the ABBA songs are, of course, excellent, and extremely catchy.

Dinner before: Hear the singing waiters at Sarastro do their thing
Drinks after: Pop over to Side Hustle at the NoMad Hotel
London Theatre Critics say: Evening Standard 5*
Details: Booking until 29th March 2025 at the Novello Theatre (closest tube stations Temple/Covent Garden), with tickets running between £15-£197.75. You can book them right here.

Wicked | Apollo Victoria

wicked musical london

Mark Senior

The musical that spawned a dozen karaoke songs, Wicked is written as the prequel to The Wizard of Oz. It tells the story of the misunderstood Wicked Witch of the West, a.k.a. Elphaba, who’s an outcast from a young age because of her bright green skin. Penchant for flying monkey minions aside, it turns out that she’s simply misunderstood – and the musical turns everything on its head with soaring numbers from the Pocahontas composer, Stephen Schwartz, and glittering costumes.

Dinner before: Antipodean delights at Timmy Green
Drinks after: Get magical cocktails (and hey, maybe some gravity-defying darts) at Flight Club
London Theatre Critics say: The Sunday Telegraph 5*; WhatsOnStage 5*
Details: Booking until 1st June 2025 at the Apollo Victoria Theatre (closest tube station Victoria), with tickets running between £25 and £152.75. You can book them right here.

Matilda The Musical | Cambridge Theatre

A show in which a genius-level child with telekinetic powers somehow starts off as an underdog, this long-running musical take on the classic Roald Dahl tale – produced by theatre nobility, the RSC – has had critics positively raving. And with good reason too – with lyrics by the inimitable Tim Minchin, ridiculously catchy tunes and a genuinely exceptional cast of kids, there’s not a single hole in this colourful patchwork of song and dance.

Dinner before: Oysters and fizz at cosy seafood spot Parsons
Drinks after: Pop a cork at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
London Theatre Critics say: The Telegraph 5*; The Guardian 5*; The Evening Standard 5*; The Independent 5*
Details: Booking at the Cambridge Theatre (closest tube station Covent Garden) until 25th May 2025, with tickets running between £20 and £150. You can book them right here.

Les Misérables | Sondheim Theatre

Do you hear the people sing? Well, you will if you head to Les Mis, an iconic musical based on Victor Hugo’s gloomy revolutionary novel that’s now in its 4th decade. It closed for the first time in 34 years while the theatre got some upgrades, with a grand reopening in January 2020 – and you can imagine how that turned out. But now it’s back, flying the flag once more with a critically acclaimed new production.

Dinner before: Some supper at The French House should set the mood
Drinks after: A cocktail or two at Bar Américain
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 5*; The Telegraph 5*; Evening Standard 4*
Details: Les Mis is booking at the Sondheim Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus) until 29th March 2025. Tickets cost from £47.50-£175, and you can book here.

The Book of Mormon | Prince of Wales Theatre

Book Mormon London Musicals

Written by the pair behind South Park, The Book of Mormon is an (unsurprisingly) irreverent parody of Mormonism, following two missionaries sent to Uganda to spread the word, where they find the locals are more concerned with pressing issues like AIDS and oppression by village warlords. Painfully funny, it’s received unanimous praise across the board – even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have advertised in the theatre programmes.

Dinner before: Sit at the bar overlooking the open kitchen in The Palomar
Drinks after: Keep the singing going at The Piano Works
London Theatre Critics say: Evening Standard 5*; 9 Tony Awards
DetailsThe Book of Mormon is booking at the Prince of Wales Theatre (closest tube stations Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square) until 10th August 2024, with tickets running between £20 and £150. You can book them right here.

SIX | Vaudeville Theatre

Six The Musical

Divorced, beheaded, live in concert: it’s the story of Henry VIIIth’s six wives, performed by the queens themselves as a punk girl-band. It has to be one of the Edinburgh Fringe’s biggest success stories, returning to London for what’s now been a four year run with two national tours and shows in six other countries. Expect neon ruffs; Greensleeves-techno mash ups and unexpectedly poignant moments interspersed with its high-energy score.

Dinner before: Pitch-perfect pasta at Bancone Covent Garden
Drinks after: Pay tribute to another misunderstood woman from history at Eve
London Theatre Critics say: Evening Standard 5*; The Telegraph 5*
Details: Six runs at the Vaudeville Theatre (closest tube station Charing Cross) until 4th May 2025. Tickets cost from £34.50-74.50, and can be purchased here.

The Lion King | Lyceum Theatre

It’s Hamlet. With lions. What’s not to love? The Lion King is an epic retelling of the Disney film, with impressive sets, stunning choreography and amazing costumes – the giraffes, for example, are played by actors stalking the stage on both leg and arm stilts. All this has seen this musical play to packed houses for over two decades in London, and makes it the highest-grossing stage show of all time.

Dinner before: Simple but brilliant pasta at NOTTO
Drinks after: Share a bottle at Lady of the Grapes
London Theatre Critics say: It’s not been officially reviewed recently, but the 20+ year run speaks for itself.
Details: The Lion King runs at the Lyceum Theatre (closest tube station Covent Garden) until 19th October 2024. Tickets cost between £35-188.50, and can be booked here.

Moulin Rouge! | Piccadilly Theatre

Moulin Rouge The Musical

Why should you go see this stage production of Moulin Rouge? Because you can can can! This dazzling musical has finally transferred from Broadway to London, with an impressive 14 Tony nominations under its belt, a crack team of award-winning producers and creatives (including Baz himself), and an incredible soundtrack of 71 songs

Dinner before: Food from an ex-Fat Duck chef at The Devonshire
Drinks after:
Subterranean cocktails at SOMA
London Theatre Critics say:
The Independent 4*; The Telegraph 4*
Moulin Rouge! runs at the Piccadilly Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus) until 5th October 2024. Tickets cost £29 – £229, and can be booked here.

The Phantom of the Opera | His Majesty’s Theatre

Phantom of the opera - best musicals in london

Staying at His Majesty’s Pleasure for over 30 years isn’t generally something to boast about. Staying at His Majesty’s Theatre, however, is quite a feat – and this classic Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical has been going strong here since 1986. Winner of over 70 theatre awards, it’s based on a Gaston Leroux book about a disfigured musical genius who lives beneath the Paris opera house and becomes obsessed with a gifted soprano. So if that sounds like something you’d be on board with, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Dinner before: J Sheekey ought to have just the right level of grandeur to start the evening
Drinks after: You cannot get more Phantom of the Opera-ey than Gordon’s Wine Bar
London Theatre Critics say: It’s been going so long it hasn’t technically been reviewed in ages, but that’s got to be a good sign.
DetailsThe Phantom of The Opera is booking at His Majesty’s Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus) until 29th March 2025. Tickets cost between £27.50 and £200, and can be booked here.

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical | Aldwych Theatre

Tina Turner The Musical

When it comes to biographical pop medley musicals, this one’s simply the best. Obviously the songs make for a firecracker of a soundtrack, but they’re combined in a way that makes a surprisingly coherent storyline (unlike many other jukebox musicals). The late Tina herself called it an important way to share her story – not just the success, but the journey it took to get there.

Dinner before: The Big Easy serves classic American dishes, so we hope Tina would approve
Drinks after: Like-wise for The American Bar at The Savoy. Plus, it’s really good.
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 4*; The Stage 4*
Details: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is booking at the Aldwych Theatre (closest tube station Covent Garden) until 31st May 2025. Tickets cost between £10 and £225, and can be booked here.


Want to see what else is on in the West End? Check out our guide to the critics’ top London theatre shows playing now