The Best Recent Musicals

The current London musical scene is dominated by a host of classic and brand new productions jostling schedules. Some of them are award winning shows and enjoying repeat runs. Others are smash hits on release. Follow the big noise at the West End and book your tickets in advance to enjoy these top entertaining, moving and musical shows in the coming year to take your best asian brides.

Miss Saigon 

Coming from the makers of the Les Miserables musical, Miss Saigon returns this year to bring the moving love story of Puccini’s Butterfly to the London’s Prince Edward Theatre. It is the story of an American GI and a young Vietnamese woman Kim, set in Saigon during the last few days of the American occupation of the region in 1975. Seventeen year old Kim is orphaned because of the war and forced to work in a sleazy nightclub where she meets American GI John and his friend Chris, who buys the services of Kim for the night. It is a night that changes their lives, as Kim falls in love with Chris, but the war tears their lives apart.

Miss Saigon was composed by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, put up on the London stage first in 1989 by Cameron Mackintosh. Since then, the musical has gone on to become one of the most successful in its field. The musical has won more than 40 awards – including three Tony Awards and two Olivier Awards. It has had record-breaking runs in London and at Broadway. It has also played to over 35 million people across 28 countries and has been translated in to 15 languages. 

Around The World In 80 Days

Director Sean Foley is so far known in the West End for Jeeves and Wooster In Perfect Nonsense and I Can’t Sing! Come June and the audience at O2 will be treated to a hot air balloon flying overhead and a 20-foot tall elephant powered by steam, reminiscent of the world in which Jules Verne’s popular sci-fi tale is set. Foley’s musical will bring the Verne story to life, also with the help of a 360 degree dome and other live theatrics. 

The audience will join Phileas Fogg the eccentric Englishman and Passpertout his trusty manservant as they embark on a race around the world via boat and train, balloon and elephant in order to win a wager on which Fogg’s fortunes depend. Will they be able to make the trip in eighty days? Along the way Fogg may find love and Passpertout must boil an egg in 204 seconds. The musical runs in London for 11 weeks from June to August before leaving for a three-year US tour. 

Shakespeare In Love 

The story of writers’-block ridden young playwright Shakespeare and the inspiration he finds in the passionate young noble woman Viola De Lesseps was played out charmingly in the Hollywood film of the same name. The Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman screenplay that won an Oscar is now coming to the Noel Coward Theatre in the form of an adaptation by Lee Hall who is known for his production Billy Elliot.

Shakespeare in Love is a romantic comedy that is, in typically Shakespearean fashion, teeming with life and colour. The musical brings in a cast of Tom Bateman as Will Shakespeare and Lucy Briggs-Owen as Viola. Follow the fantastic imagined fantasy of the creation of Romeo & Juliet and the imagined torments of the world’s most famous playwright through music and song. 

Les Miserables 

The musical inspired by Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Miserables tells the story of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean who breaks his parole, works himself up to the position of a mayor in a French province, adopts the daughter of a dying prostitute and joins the revolution. The musical in turn was the inspiration for the 2012 film with Hugh Jackman in the role of Jean Valjean. 

Directors Trevor Nunn and John Caird work with producer Cameron Mackintosh to bring you this 2014 Olivier Award winning show that has been playing on the stage since 1985. The audience will recognize famous songs like “A Little Fall Of Rain”, “Who Am I”, “I Dreamed A Dream” and other classics brought to life by the brilliant cast of singers and actors that make the nearly three hour show pass swiftly run its course. Les Miserables is the longest running show in London and has also broken the record with its Broadway run. 

Note that the production may not be appropriate for children younger than 14.

The Scottsboro Boys

Early in October the dramatic trial of the nine young Scottsboro men that made history sees its critically acclaimed musical avatar return to the stage at the Garrick Theater. The Scottsboro Boys tells the story of the nine boys that are sentenced to be executed on false accusations of rape by two runaway girls looking for an escape. The verdict is overturned, but years pass and the boys await justice. The musical tells their story through the final collaboration of the legendary composer duo John Kander and Fred Ebb, who London’s musical scene regulars will recognize as having worked on Cabaret and Chicago.

The sensational minstrel show-style musical played to a sold-out crowd during its run at the Young Vic in 2013 and won a series of prestigious awards and nominations including six Olivier Award nominations for that year. It was also the winner of the Critic’s Circle Best Musical Award 2013.

The Scottsboro Boys is directed by Susan Stroman of The Producers fame, who is a five-time Tony award winner. The musical is the result of a meeting between Stroman, author David Thompson and the two composers Ebb and Kanderin 2002, when they decided that the story of the trial had to be told.

Made In Dagenham 

Later in the month of October, Adelphi Theater hosts the true and inspiring story of the Ford Dagenham plant and the women workers that were discriminated against in 1968. But protagonist Rita O’Grady refuses to accept the pay cut and unskilled’ label that was decided would be meted out to female workers in the factory. She and her friends rise against the automobile giant and their uprising gains momentum even as their lives are overturned in the fight for equal pay for women and justice.

The story at the heart of the Richard Goold directed musical is touching and humorous, and an inspiring affirmation of what people can achieve when faced with adversity. The musical stars Hollywood actress Gemma Arterton, who takes on the role that Sally Hawkins played in the original film inspiration for the musical. Previews begin 9 October and the musical premiers on 5 November, 2014. 

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