There is something special about London and its West End. On top of being an exciting and stimulating city, London’s musical scene has an aura of mystique. When you step inside these theatres, the whole world around you stops. Phones are turned off. You are transported elsewhere. So we’ve got the best modern musicals students should watch when they can.
Unless you are a fan of the theatre, you might not know about some fun new shows that have made their way to the West End. For the purpose of this article, musicals we consider as modern are those that have not been on the stage for long.
We consider shows like Hamilton and Wicked modern, but they are popular and have really made a name for themselves. So what are the other musicals students should watch when they are in the capital?
- Theatre News: Mean Girls Movie Musical Cast Announced
‘September 1st 1989… Dear Diary’
Yes the iconic Heathers is still making waves in the West End. Heathers recently got a brand new cast that is just killing it. If you have been delaying watching Heathers, this is your sign to go and have some big fun watching a great show.
If you can’t make it down to London, Heathers is touring the UK at the moment. Check out dates here.
Don’t forget to turn your phones off. After all, since its 1989 in the show, iPhones haven’t been invented yet.
& Juliet is well and truly a modern musical as it came to the stage only in 2019. Some of the greatest pop hits are featured in this awesome musical. Set in Verona, & Juliet follows the title character if she hadn’t died at the end of the original Shakespearean play. Juliet looks to start a new life and makes her way to Paris.
With tunes from Bon Jovi, Britney Spears et al, this is the West End’s answer to a modern musical.
Get ready to party like it’s 1599. But book fast if you want to party because & Juliet closes March 2023.
Six The Musical
‘Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived’ is a rhyme we all know. Whether it’s from learning about Henry VIII at school or from Horrible Histories, everyone will know who this rhyme refers to. And if you are interested in finding out more than Six The Musical is the show for you. This is one of those musicals that students should watch as it’s both fun and educational.
Six follows the eponymous wives of Henry VIII as they tell their stories. Together they compete to become the lead singer of the band.
The energy of Six is unmatched. It’s electric and will make you want to jump up and dance.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Who misses the beautiful love story between Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman? If that’s you, then you need to see Moulin Rouge! The musical is based on the 2001 film by Baz Luhrmann. Luhrmann had wanted Moulin Rouge! to hit the stage ever since the film came out nearly 22 years ago. And now his dream is a reality.
If you loved the movie, you will love the musical. There are new song mashups whilst honouring the original ones we know and love. Get ready to go back to Montmartre in this incredible musical.
The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is one of the musicals that is a bona fide must-see. While the title can seem rather strange, the show itself is spectacular. The satirical show follows two Mormon missionaries as they try to convert the locals. However, the locals are more worried about what is going on in the world than with religion.
This is a phenomenal musical. Entertainment Weekly called it the ‘funniest musical of all times’. If that isn’t something that makes you want to go watch it, I don’t know what will.
There are a couple of musicals that need a mention but didn’t quite fit in the category above. The first two are Dear Evan Hansen and Waitress. These are relatively new musicals but that closed in the West End. However, we hope that they will come back soon.
The next two are Hamilton and Wicked. While these two are not (yet) regarded in the same breath as The Phantom of the Opera or Cats, they have made a huge name for themselves. They are among the classics but do not beat the multitude of years musicals like Cats or Phantom have been running.
Our final honourable mention goes to the Great British Bakeoff: The Musical. This is a brand new musical at the Noel Coward Theatre that will run until May 2023.
There are so many musicals in the West End. Some famous, some less so. But they are all simply incredible.