Now and again our top 12 West End shows list reveals a strong pattern. This is one of those times, and this time around it's a list of theatreland classics, some of the best loved favourites in town, legends in their own lifetime. Here they are, every one designed to put a spring in your step and perfect for this time of year. If you're planning to visit London's theatre district in the next few weeks, these exceptional shows are all on the cards and we sell quality tickets at great prices. What more can you want?
It's here again, zooming out of nowhere to claim the number one slot in our top 12. Why? We have no idea, but it's great to see this hugely popular jukebox musical back at the top of the heap. It's a well-deserved accolade for a show stuffed solid with classic Carole King songs, written by King herself and performed by a seriously talented singer who does her talent full justice. If you melt at the sound of King's unique voice, you'll love it to bits.
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical Tickets
Part fascinating history lesson, part remarkable jukebox musical, this is the tale of former boxing champ Berry Gordy and the groups and singers he made world famous thanks to his well-loved and respected record label. Last time it hit our number three slot, this time it's up one place, a glorious and hugely enjoyable show about the life and times of the man who gave sweet soul music its voice and spread the good word across the western world.
New in at number three, out of nowhere, comes Dreamgirls, hot on the heels of Motown and revealing the show business aspirations and ambitions of a host of household name soul singers including The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown and the legendary Jackie Wilson. The music comes from Henry Krieger and the lyrics and book from Tom Eyen, and the plot follows the story of a young singing trio from Chicago, The Dreams, and their journey to superstardom. Six Tony awards says it all...
Another classic West End show that has hurtled back into our chart yet again from nowhere, Les Mis never fails to please huge crowds arriving in London from all over the world. Who'd have thought that a French historical novel by Victor Hugo would prove so very popular, such a crowd pleaser, so very brilliant in its stage musical form. It premièred in Paris in 1980, has been a massive hit on the London stage since 1989 and shows no signs of slowing.
Les Miserables Tickets
Disney's 1992 animated adaptation of Aladdin stole the show at cinemas, and it is doing exactly the same on the London stage. At number eight last time, this time it has moved up our chart to grab the fifth position, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin. The story? You'll adore the tale of the poor young man whose discovery of a magical genie in a lamp changes his life, and that of the beautiful princess he loves, for ever. 5 Tony Award nominations can't be wrong.
New in! Combine the delightful songs of one of the world's best loved pop groups, Abba, with a wholly contemporary love story brought to life on film by Meryl Streep and a star-studded cast, and you get a stage musical that always delights. The show was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson and over 60 million theatre fans have seen the show so far. No wonder it has grossed more than $2 billion since its smash 1999 début.
Mamma Mia! Tickets
Excellent! Here's a great show for you in the shape of another awesome French classic, this time by Molière. The show opens on March 1st and has already achieved seventh place in our top 12 chart. Griff Rhys Jones stars as the miser himself and the action takes place at the magnificent Garrick theatre. The play has been freshly adapted by Sean Foley and Phil Porter, and the star Rhys Jones is joined by funny man Lee Mack, BAFTA and British Comedy Award winner, on his West End début.
The Miser Tickets
As a Michael Jackson fan you know all about the man himself. You're here for the music, like countless thousands of others, and this show delivers Jacko's tunes in all their glory, performed to perfection. He would surely be proud to see the huge audiences his music attracts day after day, night after night, and this show deserves a place in our top 12. Last time it was number five, and it's still here. A classic in the making, and a great memorial for a man whose talents we still miss.
Thriller - Live Tickets
Number nine last time, this time Kinky Boots is still at number nine, testament to a show so deliciously naughty and delightfully quirky that it has been on stage since 2012. A Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, it's inspired by the hit 2005 movie and tells the tale of Charlie Price's ailing British show factory and how Lola, cabaret star and drag queen, helps him save the family business.
Kinky Boots Tickets
This is one of those shows that pops in and out of our chart like a jack-in-the-box, a family favourite that never fails to thrill. Is it the costumes? The lyrics? The tunes or the action? Maybe it's the personalities? Whatever the reason for its huge ongoing popularity, we continue to sell oodles of tickets for this very special coming-of-age story with a difference. Come see Simba and his friends, discover what all the fuss is about, and find out why it has been a continual smash hit since 1999.
The Lion King Tickets
If there was ever a true musical theatre classic, it's Le Fantôme. This show has been seen by literally tens of millions of theatregoers. It opened in the West End during 1986 and has never been off the stage since. The story is inspired by the French novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, whose central premise revolves around a beautiful girl soprano, Christine, with whom a mysterious, disfigured musical genius who lives in the underground labyrinth beneath the Palais Garnier becomes obsessed. Wonderfully creepy and dark.
Phantom of the Opera Tickets
This is an incredibly LOUD stage show, fresh in at this month's number 12. Expect a masterpiece of dance, comedy and music created and co-directed by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNichola, a show that brings ordinary everyday objects like lighters, plastic bags, bin lids and kitchen sinks to vibrant musical life. The resulting rhythmic universe explodes with energy, a phenomenon that has seen thousands of people dancing to its extraordinary rhythm. Wow. It's pulse-racing stuff.
That's what we call a top 12 to reckon with! Any one of these exceptional productions will light up your life, give you a boost and cheer you up, inspire you and thrill you. It's just a matter of deciding which show – or shows – you want to see first. As usual you can rely on us to provide great value tickets with excellent availability, across the entire range, from cheap 'n' cheerful to top of the heap. See you soon.