Anyone who knows anything about musicals knows all about the classics. The spectacular emotion of Les Miserables, the captivating aura of Phantom of the Opera, the feel-good sing-a-long of Mamma Mia etc.
But do you know what new musicals you could be missing out on?
It can be daunting when choosing what show to see, especially with ticket prices so high, so here’s a rundown of the biggest, newest must-see musicals that have hit the West-End.
Ok, so it opened in London in December 2017, so it’s not exactly new, but the majority of people I know who love musicals have still not seen it.
I get it. If you read the description you may think it’s nothing more than a boring history lesson, and one that isn’t exactly complimentary to England either.
Or, you may have seen a clip of it and thought rap music? In a musical? No that’s not for me. But let me totally honest here, I was one of you and I was wrong!
Hamilton is the most extraordinary piece of narrative storytelling in a musical I have ever seen.
The writing is exquisite, the characters compelling, the music ranging from (yes) rap battles to the most emotive ballads I’ve ever heard (Burn and Quiet Uptown).
The humour and cleverness of the lyrics and the overall intensity you feel as a viewer is overwhelming. I have seen it twice and I don’t mind saying that both times have required tissues. I have taken both my 12 year old daughter and my 72 year old dad, and both have loved it.
Don’t let the bio put you off. Yes, it’s about a historical event, but so are Les Miserables and Evita. You will not be disappointed. It’s an absolute must-see!
Waitress the Musical
Open in London since February this year, Waitress the Musical is the story of one-woman’s struggle to get out of her small-town life and make a better future for herself.
There are some adult themes through the show – an abusive relationship and some comedy sexy stuff – but this is done very light-heartedly and with humour, so it’s still suitable family viewing.
The soundtrack is mostly very simplistic with some lovely melodies and songs you can’t help but hum along to.
The biggest song, She Used To Be Mine, is very powerful and underpins the full emotion of the main character Jenna.
Although this role has been played by US Star Katharine McPhee so far, a new cast has just been announced with former X Factor and Eurovision star Lucie Jones taking on the main role.
The whole show centres around a Diner, with Jenna using her baking talents to get her through her difficulties with the added help of her close friends (and dishy doctor!), who rally around her to create a big feel-good ending.
Definitely worth going to see.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Tagged as “The Hit Musical for Today”, this musical centre’s around a small-town boy who has hopes of breaking free from the normality and traditions of his surroundings and following his dreams. Think Billy Elliott, but with more lipstick and stilettos.
Inspired by a true story, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps into the spotlight as the drag queen he’s always wanted to be despite obstacles along the way.
The show is uplifting. Jamie himself is sassy and funny, his mum is overwhelmingly endearing and relatable, and the songs are catchy, particularly the opening song, Don’t Even Know It.
There is an age restriction on the show as some of the dialogue can be a bit risqué, but nothing more than the average teenager doesn’t hear at school these days anyway.
All in all, if you like a little bit of fabulous, then this show is for you.
Six The Musical
One of the most unusual new musical styles, Six is more of a rocking musical-meets-pop concert which lasts only 75 minutes.
Retelling the story of Henry VIII’s wives from their point-of-view, this is full of style and sass-itude that will give you a new appreciation for their stories.
It’s certainly taking the musical world by storm with a soundtrack that you absolutely cannot get out of your head once you have heard it, no matter how hard you try.
Surprisingly popular with teens and young adults for a historical piece, this is undoubtedly down to the clever lyrics and modern dialogue used in the songs.
And hey, if it helps them remember some historical facts, then I’m all for it.
Incidentally a UK tour is planned for later this year so it may be coming to a town near you.
Dear Evan Hansen
Opening in London in November 2019, Dear Evan Hansen is the most highly anticipated Broadway export for a long time.
Winner of Tony and Grammy Awards and written by the writers of The Greatest Showman this musical is about a boy who struggles to connect to society and the repercussions and reactions of that on his family, friends and eventually the world.
Many of the songs from the show have already reached the UK via social media, and the signature song from the show You Will Be Found has overwhelming popularity, recently being sang in the final of Britain’s Got Talent and on Hugh Jackman’s Live Tour.
The show seems to have certainly struck a chord with audiences, with many calling it a “milestone” musical with spectacular reviews by critics too.
Although I haven’t seen this yet, I’ve bought my tickets and I can’t wait!