Top London Shows - August 2014
As the summer holidays start to bed in, the character of our monthly chart changes. There are still a few of last month's big hitters in August's chart, but we also have a flurry of new entries. These are exciting times in theatreland, with a collection of glittering shows in the pipeline. Take The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, fresh in at number three from nowhere, the winner of seven Olivier awards and very eagerly awaited...
Number 7 in July's chart, this time around it's number one, a smash hit at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Perhaps one of the most famous plays on the planet and described by Oscar Wilde as 'A Trivial Comedy for Serious People', it was first performed on Valentine's Day in 1895 at the St James Theatre, and has been on and off the stage worldwide ever since, as well as inspiring three movies. If you adore high farce and remarkably witty dialogue, this one's for you.
The Importance Of Being Earnest Tickets
Last month's number two, the children's musical to end all children's musicals plays on and never loses its appeal. Now in its 15th consecutive year on the West End stage, it's always especially popular in the school holidays and this summer is no exception. Expect breathtaking costumes and stage make-up, amazing lighting, fabulous stage sets and a host of superb sing-along tunes so well known and loved they've entered the national consciousness.
The Lion King Tickets
This oddball show reopened in late June at the Gielgud theatre, set to delight audiences all over again with its delightful look at the world through the eyes of a 15 year old boy with 'high functioning' autism, complete with a brilliant and highly imaginative plot. It's based on Mark Haddon’s award-winning, best selling book, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott. A winner of seven Oliviers, this lovely play is not to be missed.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Tickets
New in at number four this month, following a sold-out run at Hampstead Theatre, this critically acclaimed musical about the life and times of the hit band The Kinks transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre. It takes you deep into the '60s music scene and revisits the raw, energetic new music that rocked a nation, then the world. If you love The Kinks you'll adore this superb musical... and you'll be singing the tunes for weeks afterwards.
Sunny Afternoon Tickets
Inspired by Madame Butterfly and number 3 in our chart last time around, Miss Saigon falls a couple of places to this month's number five. It has already broken box office records, fresh from the pens of the guys who created Les Misérables. The London revival covers the unforgettable love story of a US GI and a beautiful Vietnamese barmaid, right at the end of the Vietnam War, and it' looks like it's due to become a hugely popular West End fixture.
Miss Saigon Tickets
Deep in debt and suffering writer's block, Will Shakespeare finds a muse. It's the passionate young noblewoman Viola De Lesseps, but their love is forbidden... This brilliant romantic comedy opened on 23rd July to excellent reviews. Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, who were responsible for the original movie screenplay in 1998, have given their blessing for the reconfigured stage show, this time with screenplay by Lee Hall. He's best known for the screenplay of Billy Elliot, so has excellent credentials.
Shakespeare In Love Tickets
Colourful, eccentric and totally delightful, Cats is back! Returning to the West End this year and on stage for a limited twelve week run, this gloriously creative and imaginative Andrew Lloyd Webber classic is already a record breaker. It's playing the London Palladium from December 2014 and tickets have been selling like hot cakes ever since they went on sale in early July. It looks like there's a sell-out on the cards, so get yours while you can!
We had a very popular flash sale for this remarkable show earlier in July, with tickets on sale at as much as 39% off. Every time we hold a flash sale, ticket sales soar. And this was no exception, with hundreds of fans flocking to see the show at super-low prices. If you don't know much about it, it's all about the music, with an endless stream of Jackson hits performed to perfection with totally epic Jackson-style choreography to match.
Thriller - Live Tickets
No 1 in July's chart, Skylight first took to the stage in 1995 and won the Olivier Award for best play the same year before transferring to Broadway. Now it's back, a fresh new version with Bill Nighy at the helm and, in her West End début, Carey Mulligan as his ex. The story? Two lovers meet after a long break. The flame still burns strong, and they attempt to get back together. But their passion is hampered by the dramatic changes they've experienced since they last met. Clever stuff, a delight for discerning theatre fans.
Number 11 in our top 12 chart last time, this month Wicked moves up a place to number ten. The Apollo Victoria is a massive theatre but this show seems to fill it night after night. The winner of more than 90 high profile awards around the globe, it enjoyed its 3000th performance in autumn 2013. With a great plot, amazing show tunes, cool choreography and more, it's popular with teenagers and adults alike, as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.
Good old Phantom. It has been in and out of our chart like a jack-in-the-box since we started collating the numbers, probably Andrew Lloyd Webber's most popular ever musical and still going incredibly strong. Twenty seven years after it opened, the show is still packing in massive audiences and moving thousands of people a month to tears. Fantastic. Walk this way for one of the finest love stories of all time...
Phantom of the Opera Tickets
Oh, the music! The Commitments score is a masterpiece of feel-good tunes, performed with verve and passion by a group of seriously talented people. Based on Roddy Doyle's hilarious and moving book and over two years in the making, the Booker Prize-winning author himself adapted his novel for the stage. Which means you can expect a real ring of authenticity. And it's directed by Jamie Lloyd of Macbeth and Urinetown the Musical fame, as if you needed any icing on this particular cake!
The Commitments Tickets
What's on the cards for next month's chart? The school summer holidays always has an interesting effect on ticket sales as parents from all over the country – and all over the world – treat their kids to top class theatrical entertainment during the long break. Check back next month to see what sold best in August 2014, and let our chart help you decide on your next West End experience. Whatever you decide to see it's always exciting, always thrilling, always a night to remember.