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Cultural day trip: The best musicals & theatre shows in London

If you’re looking to go on a cultural day trip beyond Oxfordshire in 2024, here are 18 (or so) musicals and theatre shows in London’s West End that would make for a brilliant day out in the capital city.

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Sunday Theatre Shows in London’s West End

Best musicals and theatre shows in London for 2024

Fancy a cultural day trip to the capital city? Then consider a cultural day trip to the heart of the capital to see a captivating musical or theatre shows. 

London’s West End is one of the world’s most renowned theatrical districts and a quintessential destination for a cultural day trip out, offering a a stellar lineup of classical performances and cutting-edge theatrical productions in iconic theaters.

From long-running favourites like The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera, which have been entertaining audiences for decades, to more recent sensations like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Disney’s FROZEN, London’s musicals and theatre shows make for a delightful visit to the capital city.

What’s more, musicals and theatre shows in London are more accessible than ever, with many offering additional weekend matinees and evening performances. Opting for shows in London’s theatreland at the weekend allows for a more leisurely and family-friendly experience in the city; the transport network is quieter, and the crowds are more tolerable.

If you’re looking to go beyond Oxfordshire on a cultural day trip, explore our curated list of musicals and theatre shows in London below. We’ve considered everything from budget, genres and casts to ensure there’s something on the list for everyone. So, why not seize the opportunity? It might just be the perfect way to spend a splendid afternoon or evening over the weekend.


The best musicals & theatre shows in London for 2024

  1. Disney’s The Lion King at Lyceum Theatre
  2. Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theatre
  3. Jersey Boys at Trafalgar Theatre
  4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
  5. TINA: The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre
  6. Moulin Rouge! The Musical at Piccadilly Theatre
  7. SIX the Musical at London’s Vaudeville Theatre
  8. Mamma Mia! at Novello Theatre
  9. The Book of Mormon at Prince of Wales Theatre
  10. Les Misérables at Sondheim Theatre
  11. Disney’s FROZEN: The Musical at Theatre Royal London
  12. Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre
  13. Matilda The Musical at Cambridge Theatre
  14. Back to the Future: The Musical at Adelphi Theatre
  15. Only Fools and Horses The Musical at Theatre Royal Haymarket
  16. Mrs Doubtfire The Musical at Shaftesbury Theatre
  17. Guys & Dolls
  18. Cabaret the Musical

1. Disney’s The Lion King at Lyceum Theatre

Now in its 22nd year at London’s Lyceum Theatre, Disney’s The Lion King is a unique theatrical event seen by over 110 million people worldwide. As the sun rises and the city reawakens, watch in awe as giraffes strut, gazelles leap and birds swoop, bringing the Serengeti – and the story of Simba – to life all around you. Ingenious puppetry, stunning effects and enchanting music by Elton John, Tim Rice and Lebo M will transport you to the heart of the African Pridelands.

When: Currently booking to 02 June 2024

Where: Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7RQ

Age guidance: 6+

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes including interval


2. Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theatre

Wicked, the West End musical phenomenon is probably “London’s No 1 show”. With music and lyrics by multi-Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award winner Stephen Schwartz and a book by Tony Award-nominee Winnie Holzman, this “devilishly clever spin on The Wizard of Oz” (The Daily Telegraph) is currently the ninth longest-running West End musical of all time, having been seen at the Apollo Victoria Theatre London by over ten million people.

When: Currently booking to 15 December 2024

Where: Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LG

Age guidance: 7+

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes including interval


3. Jersey Boys at Trafalgar Theatre

Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Olivier Award-winning, true-life phenomenon, Jersey Boys. They were just four guys from New Jersey until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of it. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jersey Boys brings you on a fabulous journey of fame, friendship and music.

When: Currently booking until 04 January 2024

Where: Trafalgar Theatre, 14 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2DY

Age guidance: 12+, parental guidance advised as show contains language that may not be suitable for younger audiences

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes including an interval


4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The critically acclaimed production is the most awarded West End play in the history of the Olivier Awards, winning a record-breaking nine awards, including Best New Play and Best Director in 2017.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one play presented in two parts that are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings.

When: Currently booking to 24 September 2024

Where: Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 5AY

Age guidance: 10+

Duration: Part One – 2 hours and 40 minutes including interval. Part Two – 2 hours and 35 minutes including interval.


5. TINA: The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre

TINA: The Tina Turner Musical at the Aldwych Theatre, London

From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner didn’t just break the rules – she rewrote them. TINA: The Tina Turner Musical at the Aldwych Theatre reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race. Her live shows have been seen by millions and she can boast to have sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer…. ever!

When: Currently booking to 14 September 2024

Where: Aldwych Theatre, 49 Aldwych, Holborn, London WC2B 4DF

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes including interval


6. Moulin Rouge! The Musical at Piccadilly Theatre

Enter a world of splendour, eye-popping excess, glitz, grandeur and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment, Moulin Rouge! The Musical blends revelry and romance onstage like never before. Pop the champagne and prepare for the spectacular…! After winning critical acclaim on Broadway, a ticket to Moulin Rouge! The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre in London promises to be a gateway to the theatrical event of the year.

When: Booking until 20 April 2024

Where: Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman Street London W1D 7DY

Age guidance 12+

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes, including an interval

Content warning: There will be strobe lighting.


7. SIX the Musical at London’s Vaudeville Theatre

Critically acclaimed with a spectacularly successful studio album adored on playlists across the globe, this sell-out intoxicating Tudor show sees the six wives of the infamous Henry VIII take to the stage to tell their stories in a pop concert that takes inspiration from some of the biggest modern-day artists. Boundary-pushing, genre-redefining’ (The Australian), SIX, ‘the most uplifting piece of new British musical theatre,’ (Evening Standard) is holding court at London’s Vaudeville Theatre.

When: Currently booking to 03 November 2024

Where: Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, Charing Cross, London WC2R 0NH

Age guidance: 10+

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Duration: 80 minutes with no interval.

Discover more: Don’t miss SIX the Musical at New Theatre Oxford in 2024


8. Mamma Mia! at Novello Theatre

Mamma Mia! at Novello Theatre

Since premiering in London’s West End over 23 years ago, Mamma Mia! the world’s sunniest, most exhilarating smash-hit musical has thrilled over 65 million people around the world. Fall in love with the irresistibly funny tale of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads on a Greek island idyll, all unfolding to the magic of ABBA’s timeless songs. The worldwide phenomenon has now been turned into two record-breaking movies – Mamma Mia! The Movie and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

When: Booking to 28 September 2024

Where: Novello Theatre, Aldwych, London WC2B 4LD

Age guidance: 5+. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult

Duration: 2 hours 35 minutes, including an interval


9. The Book of Mormon at Prince of Wales Theatre

The New York Times calls it ‘The best musical of this century.’ The Washington Post says, ‘It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.’ And Entertainment Weekly raves, ‘Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.’ After stunning audiences on Broadway and the West End, winning 9 Tony Awards, including Best Musical – and even winning a Grammy award for the soundtrack, The Book of Mormon is rapidly becoming a theatrical phenomenon. Expect laugh out loud funny with insanely catchy music you will be humming for days on end!

When: Booking to 20 April 2024

Where: Prince of Wales Theatre, 31 Coventry Street London W1D 6AS

Age guidance: 14+. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes, including interval

Content warning: This production contains strobe lighting, flashing lights and gunshots


10. Les Misérables at Sondheim Theatre

Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 52 countries and in 22 languages, the world-famous Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s favourite musicals. Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed fully-staged new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables is now playing at London’s Sondheim Theatre. This brilliant new staging has taken the world by storm and has been hailed “Les Mis for the 21st Century” (Huffington Post), “a reborn dream of a production” (Daily Telegraph) and “perfect theatre in a perfect theatre” (Sunday Telegraph).

When: Booking to 28 September 2024

Where: Sondheim Theatre, 51 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 6BA

Age guidance: 7+. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult

Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes, including an interval


11. Disney’s FROZEN: The Musical at Theatre Royal London

Disney’s FROZEN – the beloved animated film that always gives us chills – is now playing in London’s West End. For the first time in forever, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane has reopened its doors, bringing Elsa and Anna’s story to the stage in this heart-melting theatrical production. With incredible special effects, jaw-dropping scenery, and all the songs you know and love, it’s an unmissable experience that will stay with you long after the curtain falls.

When: Booking to 02 June 2024

Where: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF

Age guidance: 6+

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes including interval


12. Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre

Far beneath the majesty and splendour of the Paris Opera House hides the Phantom in a shadowy existence. Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the love he holds for his beautiful protégée Christine Daaé is so strong that even her heart cannot resist. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mesmerising score, along with jaw-dropping scenery and breathtaking special effects, magically combine to bring this tragic love story to life.

When: Booking to 28 September 2024

Where: Her Majesty’s Theatre, 57 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4QL

Age guidance: 8+

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes including interval


13. Matilda The Musical at Cambridge Theatre

Winner of seven Olivier Awards and over 90 international awards, Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. With a book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, this is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

When: Booking to 15 December 2023

Where: Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9HU

Age guidance: 6+

Duration: 2 hours 35 minutes including an interval


14. Back to the Future: The Musical at the Adelphi Theatre

Welcome to Hill Valley! Take an electrifying ride back in time with the 1985 blockbuster film and pop culture phenomenon. The production features original music by multi-Grammy winners alongside hit songs from the movie, including The Power of Love, Johnny B. Goode, Earth Angel and Back in Time. When Back to the Future: The Musical hits 88mph, you’re gonna see some serious… entertainment. Book your tickets yesterday!

When: Booking to 21 July 2024

Where: Adelphi Theatre, 409-412 Strand, London WC2R 0NS

Age guidance: 6+

Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes including interval

Content warning: The show includes flashing lights, strobe effects, smoke and pyrotechnics throughout


15. Only Fools and Horses The Musical at Theatre Royal Haymarket

Your favourite cockney characters are back as the top-rated British television series Only Fools and Horses comes to the stage for the first time at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. It’s the landmark programme you know and love… just with a bit more song and dance. This five-star smash hit musical also revisits nostalgic and cherished moments from the series and features the Trotters of Peckham in a riotous adventure with belly laughs and dodgy dealings a plenty.

When: Booking to 05 January 2025

Where: Theatre Royal Haymarket, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes, including an interval


16. Mrs Doubtfire The Musical at Shaftesbury Theatre

Direct from a sensational run in Manchester — where it played to sold-out crowds and standing ovations — the new comedy musical Mrs Doubtfire – The Musical is ready to dazzle and delight at the Shaftesbury Theatre from May 2023. This hilarious and heartfelt story about holding onto your loved ones against all odds is based upon the beloved 1993 Twentieth Century Fox Motion Picture.

When: Booking to 29 September 2024

Where: Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP

Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes, including an interval


17. Guys & Dolls

Nominated for twelve WhatsOnStage Awards 2024, be transported to the streets of Manhattan in Guys & Dolls, an immersive revival directed by Nicholas Hytner. Stand right in the centre of the action and move around the stage area with immersive tickets. Or sit around the auditorium with seated tickets, where you will never be more than four rows away from the action of the stage area.

When: Booking to 31 August 2024

Where: Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London SE1 2SG

Age guidance: TBC

Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes, including an interval


18. Cabaret the Musical

Cabaret by the Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

The Kit Kat Club has taken over the Playhouse Theatre while it has been standing empty, making way for an electrifying musical. Set in 1930s Berlin, Cabaret the Musical tells the story of a racy, underground nightclub, the Kit Kat Club. It’s told through the lives of enigmatic Cabaret performers, The Emcee and Sally Bowles. The marginalised have staked a claim; the artists have taken over, filled their container and found their community.

When: Booking to 28 September 2024

Where: Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5DE

Age guidance: 13+

Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes, including an interval



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