Top London Shows - December 2015
We're just about to jump hook, line and sinker into the festive season, and the capital is glittering with decorations and Christmas lights. It's the time of year when countless families, couples, groups and parties come to town to see a show, and true to form our top 12 is jammed with happy, fun and highly entertaining shows. It's that time of year again... so which musicals and plays did our customers love best in November 2015?
We hope you're in good 'elf (sorry!). If so, it's high time you grabbed tickets for this year's Christmas smash hit of a comedy musical, based on the popular movie starring Will Ferrell and last month's number three. The film was a massive hit back in 2003, the stage version is just as popular. Elf is based on the motion picture and comes with an exceptional musical score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. The book is adapted by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan. And it's absolutely, totally hilarious.
Elf the Musical Tickets
Funny Girl dates way back to 1964, a hugely popular musical with a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill. Now it's in theatreland, a popular revival of the old favourite starring Sheridan Smith as Fanny Bryce. By all accounts she has brought the musical roaring back to vibrant life, and she is giving those lovely old show tunes a fresh new face. Yes, she belts them out. And no, we won't be raining on her parade!
Funny Girl Tickets
The Homecoming is a two-act play by Harold Pinter, written in 1964 and published in 1965. The original London and New York premières were directed by Sir Peter Hall and starred the playwright's first wife, Vivien Merchant, as Ruth. Now it's back, a seriously classy piece of theatre, with ex-Spandau Ballet singer Gary Kemp in a starring role. Director Jamie Lloyd has assembled a strong cast for this 50th anniversary revival, also including John Simm, Keith Allen and Gemma Chan.
The Homecoming Tickets
It's back again, no surprise when this is one of the funniest and silliest plays in theatreland right now. It has been delighting audiences for a while and, being a typical feel-good seasonal piece stuffed full with belly laughs, it was bound to score high at Christmas. Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, all members of the respected Mischief Theatre Company, it's winning hearts and minds at the Duchess theatre. Don't miss it.
The Play That Goes Wrong Tickets
Number one last month and number two the month before, this time around A Winter's Tale is at number five, the best-loved Shakespeare play of the season. The Bard is always popular at Christmas. A bit like Dickens, his work seems to attract festive revellers in their thousands. This one dates back to 1623 and, proving the great man's extraordinary appeal yet again, it'd still attracting massive audiences. If you love quirky romances, this one's for you.
The Winter's Tale Tickets
Back then it really was grim up north. An old-school industrial-patriarchal society is no place for a young lad whose biggest passion is ballet. Especially when, all around him, his mates are deeply into football and boxing. But Billy overcomes every obstacle to get what he wants and get where he wants to be. If you like nothing better than having your heartstrings tugged, then broken, then mended again thanks to a wonderfully happy ending, book seats now. It's a modern classic and new in at number 6.
Billy Elliot Tickets
Will the world ever get bored of the Lion King? No way. Every new generation of children adores it. The costumes are always totally splendid, mind-blowing stuff. The show tunes have etched themselves into the world's consciousness. The stage sets are quite simply epic. If you haven't seen it yet and your little 'uns are clamouring to see The Lion King, now's your chance. There's something about seeing this show at Christmas that makes it even more special. It's back up from last month's number ten and roaring to go!
The Lion King Tickets
Are you ready for the anti-conjurers? Broadway's biggest ever selling magic spectacular is in town, with special guest Jamie Raven from Britain's Got Talent. Join The Manuipulator, The Escapologist, The Deductionist, The Weapon Master, The Magician, The Trickster and The Inventor for a super-cool night of pure magic, a series of performances your eyes really won't believe. Top class stuff from the finest magicians on the planet, it's fresh in at number eight.
The Illusionists Tickets
Number seven last month and number six the month before, this splendid family musical just keeps on coming back, popping in and out of our chart. There's something for everyone, since this is a story that attracts grown-ups just as much as children. The stage sets are totally brilliant, perfectly magical. The costumes are equally amazing, and it's no real surprise that the show is entering its third year with no sign of slowing down. Go see it, you'll never forget it.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tickets
Last week's number nine in our top twelve London theatre shows chart, this time the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons drops one place to number ten. It's hanging on in there for the festive season, a hugely popular jukebox musical loved by soul music fans of every age and kind, a thrilling peep down memory lane to a time when the boys' tunes were never out of the charts. Great music, great talent, one of the best musicals in town.
Jersey Boys Tickets
Number four in last month's chart, Cats is back in the West End and plenty of you took advantage of our 'no booking fee' offer throughout November. Now Cats has settled in at number 11 for the festive season, and we expect it to climb our chart again for a high place in January's top 12. The costumes, the stage sets and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's fabulous, eccentric and unforgettable show tunes are set to draw massive audiences over Christmas. T. S Elliot would be so chuffed...
At number 12 in our chart for a second month running, Aladdin is a festive classic that's taking theatreland by storm. It's a rags to riches tale that delights audiences of every age, based on the famous Disney cartoon film. When street urchin Aladdin frees a genie from a lamp, his wishes come true. But can Aladdin save Princess Jasmine? And will their love survive when she finds out he's not quite who he seems? Come and find out.
That's it for the festive season, twelve hard-hitting and tremendously entertaining stage legends, each with its own personality and unique appeal. Join the happy throngs in theatreland to sample at least one of them, and buy your tickets through us for excellent prices and the full choice of seating, from bargain-basement tickets to the best seats in town. All that remains is to wish you a peaceful and pleasant winter holiday. We'll be back in January 2016 for the first top 12 London shows of the new year.