What should I see at the theatre?

We get asked a lot about what shows are worth seeing in the West End – and it’s a tough question to answer.

A lot depends on personal taste. The obvious starting point is, do you want to see a musical or a play? From there it’s about things like: Who will be in my theatre party? (kids mean it needs to be a family-friendly show); What’s the occasion? (is it an important anniversary or just a regular trip into town?); Is the show actually on when I want to see it? (some shows, especially plays, have short runs in the West End. Also venues such as the National Theatre run shows in repertory so the schedule changes); And things like what did they critics say about the show and did the show win any awards all help to narrow it down.

There is also nothing better than word-of-mouth or personal recommendations to help decide what to see. 

Other elements to consider are things like: is there anyone famous or a big-name star in the show? (this is a draw for some and a negative for others!). Use our Star Watch feature to check out which stars are playing in the West End; do I want to see a classic or period show or something more modern? Would I like to see something gritty and real that tackles serious issues, or something lighter and more fun?

Timing is also important – does the show play on the day I want to see it? Use our Matinee Days helper and Sunday Shows helper to plan.

Ultimately there is something for everyone in the West End – which is is the reason it has endured and continues to prove so popular. Sometimes, after a bit of research, there is something to be said for just taking a punt… some of the best nights at the theatre are in shows you had few expectations about.

Also, sign-up to our newsletter to get regular updates on what is coming up in the West End, what has started booking, and what ticket offers are available.

📷 Main photo: How do I choose what to see, and where do I get the best recommendations?

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