10 Must-See London Shows and Musicals in 2013

Here are 10 shows in London’s West End that you must see! Perhaps not the obvious choices, but certainly proves the quality of entertainment currently on stage at London’s theatres.

1. The Mousetrap


The Mousetrap is the world’s longest running show of any kind. Agatha Christie ’s classic whodunnit has now been playing in London for over 60 years.

You’ve got to see it simply to become part of history. The play revolves around a remote country house, cut off in a snow blizzard, when one of the guests becomes a murder victim.

With quirky eccentric archetypal British characters the scene is set to discover who did the ghastly deed, and it will certainly keep you guessing right up to the end.

2. Eat, Pray, Laugh!

Eat, Pray, Laugh

Last chance to see the iconic Barry Humphries , the Australian comedy genius and creator of characters such as Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson is appearing at the London Palladium in his farewell show, Eat, Pray, Laugh!

Expect plenty of near-the-knuckle laughs in this risqué show before Humphries takes his final bow at the ripe old age of 79.

3. The Bodyguard


Another star to be bowing out from the London stage is Heather Headley currently starring as Rachel Marron in the musical The Bodyguard at the Adelphi theatre.

The show which features a host of Whitney Houston ’s greatest hits sees the award-winning Heather making her final performance on the 10 th August.

4. Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

With Miss Saigon about to take centre stage at the Prince Edward theatre next May, the fabulously entertaining hit musical Jersey Boys is either likely to close or more likely transfer to another theatre.

But in case it doesn’t you better get yourself booked in to see this amazing hit musical before it disappears.

Packed with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hits, and yes even if you are too young to remember them you will recognise most of them.

The musical tells the true story of how the Four Seasons got together and their scrapes with the law and the mob before becoming one of the biggest singing sensations of all time.

5. Top Hat

Top Hat Musical West End

Also closing is the musical Top Hat , which takes its final curtain call at the Aldwych theatre on the 25 th October 2013.

This hugely popular musical was voted musical of the year. The musical is a glorious celebration of 1930s song and dance.

Be dazzled with stunning tap dancing, romantic ballroom and a little bit of Busby Berkeley thrown in for good measure and, amongst all the glitz, a cute love story that will set the pulses racing.

The show in London features many of Irving Berlin’s most famous songs, including “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “Cheek to Cheek,” and “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.”

6. Let It Be

Let It Be

If you are a Beatles fan, you just have to get along to the Savoy theatre to see Let It Be . It is a short snappy show which features a look-a-like group that play their own instruments as the Fab four through the ages.

The costumes are spot on and evolve through the early 60s through flower power, right up to the break-up in the early 70s. The stars of the show are uncanny not only in how much they resemble, John, Paul, George and Ringo, but with their mannerisms too.

As you’d expect all the classic Beatles hits are featured plus some not so well know album tracks. A fantastic evening’s entertainment not to be missed.

Two shows waiting in the wings are the comedy plays, Barking in Essex and The Full Monty .

7. Barking in Essex

Barking in Essex by Shaun Webb

From the 5 th September, Lee Evans and Sheila Hancock star in the comedy, Barking in Essex at the Wyndhams theatre.

Evans is used to playing before huge stadium audiences in his sell-out comedy show but this time he takes on the role of gangster, Algie Packer.

Lee is no stranger to film and stage though, he starred in the musical The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Algie Packer, a gangster who terrorises Essex, has just finished a seven-year prison stint and is looking forward to enjoying his hidden stash of £3.6m. However, his dysfunctional family have bad news for him.

8. The Full Monty


The Full Monty has been playing to packed audiences and rave reviews as it toured the country before coming to the Noel Coward theatre in London from 20 th February 2014.

The new comedy play based on the 1997 Oscar-winning film has been adapted for the stage by its original writer, Simon Beaufoy .

It tells the story of six out-of-work Sheffield steelworkers who decide to raise money by forming a male striptease act along the lines of the Chippendales.

Whilst providing plenty of laughs there is an under-lying poignancy to the play.

9. Relatively Speaking

Relatively Speaking

Last chance to see the hilarious comedy Relatively Speaking which finishes its limited West End run at the Wyndham’s theatre on the 30 th August 2013.

The play follows the story of Greg and Ginny and stars Max Bennett, Kara Tointen, Felicity Kendal, and Jonathan Coy .

When Greg discovers an address written on a piece of paper planning to ask Ginny’s father for her hand in marriage he follows Ginny to Buckinghamshire. There he finds two people in the garden taking breakfast.

As befits a farce, Philip and Sheila are not really Ginny’s parents at all, in fact, Philip is Ginny’s older lover.

10. Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages London

And finally making up our alternative top ten, if there is one show in London that is guaranteed to have you alternatively reaching for your ear plugs or tapping your feet uncontrollably is the coolest musical in town, Rock of Ages .

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are a fan of 80s rock music then this is the show for you.

Forget about the awful film starring Tom Cruise , this show is packed with major rock anthems and power ballads from the likes of Bon Jovi, Journey, Europe, Styx and there’s even a bit of Slade !

It doesn’t take itself too seriously and it pokes fun at both the era and the audience.

So there you have our insiders top tips for ten shows in London to suit all tastes and budgets. The best place to check out any upcoming shows is showsinlondon.co.uk

[images via westendtheatre.com , londontown.com , standard.co.uk , show-and-stay.co.uk ]

About the author  ⁄ CharlieFirespin

I am Charlie, a writer and record label manager from London. I am currently working for BM Soho (Blackmarket Records London).