The 5 Shows To See In The West End Before The End of 2023
There is a huge amount to see on the West End at the moment and with some shows closing soon and others extending here is my guide as to the hot tickets in town and which ones make my MUST SEE list.
Guys and Dolls
Whilst Guys & Dolls has extended into next year if you haven’t see this yet you need to go!! Whilst this is a musical that you may have seen before, this version breathes fresh life into this classic in so many ways. The staging is incredibly innovative with the stage moving around the audience, forgoing the need for scene changes as when one scene or number on part of the stage finishes the next scene is beginning elsewhere in the auditorium. I personally recommend the immersive tickets which really brings something different to this theatrical experience. You can read my full 5 star review here.
Unfortunate hits Southwark Playhouse on the 8th December before it continues a national tour. Unfortunate does to the Little Mermaid what Wicked did to The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunate takes the story you think you know and turns it on its head. Unfortunate reveals that at one point Ursula and King Triton were lovers torn apart by Triton’s father. If this wasn’t enough Ursula’s treatment of Ariel is at the bequest of her father in order to ensure that she is ready to take the throne. With a witty script and razor sharp songs I was lucky enough to see it at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and you can read my full review here.
Sunset Boulevard is currently playing to an incredible number of 5 star reviews for a limited run until the 6th January at the Savoy. Nicole Scherzinger plays Norma Desmond in this reworked Andrew Llloyd Webber musical which blends theatricality with video work, in keeping with the show itself. The show tells of Norma Desmond, a star of the silent movies who wants to relive her glory days, her chance meeting with Joe sets the wheels into motion for her plan. The casting of Scherzinger was met with a lot of scepticism but the reviews seem to prove the doubters wrong, but why not judge for yourself?
Old Friends is a must see, not only for Sondheim fans but musical theatre fans generally. Old Friends seeks to take some of Sondheim’s music and put them together in one concert. This is not the first time that this has been done with Sondheim’s works but it is the first time where the entire life works of Sondheim are the topic of a review show. There is no plot, no narrator, the show simply relies on Sondheim’s writing to do all of the talking. Whilst the show itself of course pays homage to the late, great Stephen Sondheim the cast that does so are full of both musical theatre legends as well as the rising stars of today. The show is running until 6th January at the Gielgud. You can read my full review here.
The Little Big Things
This new musical is playing at Soho Place until 2nd March 2024 after extending due to popular demand and is based on Hadley Fraser’s book of the same name. It tells the true story of how Hadley Fraser, a promising young rugby player was injured in an accident and how he adjusted to his new life as a tetraplegic. Can Mum and Dad rally his three brothers; as the family start a journey to overcome the unimaginable? The show is a life-affirming reminder about the transformative power of family, and how sometimes it really is the little things which matter the most. This show also allows disabled performers to take centre stage which is certainly a thing to be celebrated, especially as Ed Larkin becomes the first wheelchair user to play the leading man in a musical in 350 years.
Do let me know what other shows you want to see in the West End before the end of 2023.
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