Top London Shows - November 2014
Here's our top 12 West End shows for November, based on last month's ticket sales. With Christmas on the way, it's no surprise to see a bunch of family entertainment favourites making an impact: Thriller – Live, Les Mis, The Lion King, The Commitments and Wicked. They're all big seasonal hitters, but there's plenty more on the cards whatever your theatrical taste...
Last month's number four in our chart has leaped, as expected, straight to the number one slot this month as the festive season gears up. The show opens on 8th November and ticket sales have been brisk in preparation for this, the ultimate in seasonal feel-good musicals, a classic by Irving Berlin that's as fresh in 2014 as it was when it was written. Walk this way for fun, laughter, love, friendship and heaps of legendary Christmas tunes.
White Christmas Tickets
Straight in at number two from nowhere, this is another musical set to rock the rafters in the West End over the next couple of months. If you love a classic jukebox musical this one's for you, a dramatic documentary-style exploration of the life, loves and troubles of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. With music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe, the musical is narrated by four band members, one by one, and includes the beautiful soul tunes Big Girls Don't Cry, Sherry, December 1963 and My Eyes Adored You.
Jersey Boys Tickets
Last month's number one, British writer Mark Haddon's charming, quirky and completely magical book won the Whitbread Book Awards for Best Novel and Book of the Year, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book plus The Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. The play is equally compelling, narrated in the first person by Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15 year old with Asperger's whose fascinating story reveals what it's like to be an outsider.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Tickets
At position number six in our chart for October, The Lion King is fulfilling our festive expectations. It's selling like hot cakes in time for Christmas... again! If you'd like to treat your little ones to a theatre experience they'll remember forever, this one's for you. The story takes place in Africa and tells the tale of a lion kingdom, influenced by bible stories about Joseph and Moses and by Shakespeare's Hamlet. Brilliant costumes, remarkable stage sets, amazing choreography... definitely not to be missed!
The Lion King Tickets
Up a few places from number eight last time, the cracking soul tunes, colourful language and compelling story just keep on entertaining, and the theatre-going public absolutely love it. Inspired by Roddy Doyle's hilarious novel, it tells a story of a group of talented but chaotic working class Dubliners who form a soul band, in homage to Otis Reading, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. Expect a host of soul classics including Mustang Sally, In the Midnight Hour and Chain of Fools.
The Commitments Tickets
The long-awaited story of The Kinks opened on 4th October 4 Oct, revealing Ray Davies’ extraordinary life story through music and lyrics by the man himself. Edward Hall directs as the musical explores The Kinks remarkable and dramatic rise to stardom, set against a fascinating backdrop of a culture in flux, somewhere between the traditional '50s and rebellious '60s. It's euphoric stuff, with correspondingly dramatic lows, a must for anyone who loves the band's brilliant music.
Sunny Afternoon Tickets
At number nine last time, booking for this superb play has been extended until September 2015... which is a sure sign of a monster hit. What's it all about? After landing a substantial and unexpected inheritance, Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, a notoriously inept organisation, decides to produce a complex 1920s murder mystery for the West End stage... but things go wrong from the very start with hilarious consequences. Funny doesn't cover it – this is real laugh-out-louder.
The Play That Goes Wrong Tickets
Back in our top 12 shows chart again after a short absence, Les Mis is based on Victor Hugo's famous novel first published in 1862. The action kicks off in 1815 and culminates in the infamous Paris Rebellion of 1832, following the lives and times of a group of characters and focusing on the ex-convict Jean Valjean and his search for redemption. Hugo would have been amazed and delighted that so many millions of people have loved his story, so many years later.
Les Miserables Tickets
Another returner, Wicked comes back with a vengeance this month at number eight. A hugely popular musical, especially with teens, it features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and there's also a book by Winnie Holzman. Based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, it's a Wizard of Oz alternative where the original story is told by the witches of Oz. In the musical two unlikely friends, Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good fight in their very different ways for what they feel is right.
Fresh in at number nine after opening to excellent reviews on 10th October, Neville's Island is proving a hard act to follow. It stars TV funny men Adrian Edmondson, Miles Jupp, Neil Morrissey and Robert Webb, following the hilarious misadventures of four men on a Lake District corporate team building exercise that goes horribly wrong. They're out of condition, out of their depth and ultimately out of control, terrified by wildlife, starving but for a single sausage and scared out of their wits...
Neville's Island Tickets
One of the funniest musicals to hit the stage for ages and a regular chart topper, it's back in our chart yet again. The Book of Mormon is a madly funny religious satire of a musical with a book, lyrics, and music by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Telling the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent to a remote village in Uganda, where a terrifying warlord is threatening the local population, the men find it hard to connect with the locals, most of whom are not the least bit interested in religion...
The Book of Mormon Tickets
At number ten in October, Thriller slips a couple of places this month. But it's a huge seasonal favourite and we expect it'll still be in our chart next month as Christmas revellers treat themselves to one of the greatest sing-alongs on earth. It's a full-on, non-stop masterpiece crammed with back-to-back Michael Jackson tunes, some of the funkiest chart toppers on earth and absolutely impossible to resist tapping your foot to. If you find yourself dancing in the aisles, you won't be the only one!
Thriller Live Tickets
Why not come back at the beginning of December and check out the biggest festive hitters for 2014? We reckon White Christmas will probably stay at number one in our chart until January, taking the biggest chunk of our Christmas ticket sales, but there are so many unforgettable shows on the cards right now that it's hard to predict. Whatever your taste, whether it's comedy or musical theatre, serious plays or something downright silly, there's something for you in theatreland this Christmas.