Whether you love them or hate them, the musical is firmly back in fashion! The recent success of La La Land has shown that there is still a place for musicals in these recent times, and theatre attendance in London has steadily increased since the 2012 London Olympics, with almost 15 million people attending a West End production in 2016.
The West End has a lot to offer in the way of musicals, with both Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera still running after 30 years on stage! With these productions come a great deal of famous songs, which you are likely to know, regardless of whether you’ve seen the musical they’re from or not.
Below is a selection of the greatest songs from the West End musical…
Aladdin: ‘A Whole New World’ With the continued success of The Lion King, on stage since 1999, it is clear to see that Aladdin is likely to follow in its footsteps, and become another long-term resident of the West End. A Whole New World is a song which needs no introduction, as famous as it already is. Book tickets here.
An American in Paris: ‘I Got Rhythm’ Based on the 1951 film starring Gene Kelly, An American in Paris follows former solider Jerry living in post-war Paris. Originally written in 1930, I Got Rhythm is performed alongside a tap-dancing routine. An American in Paris has managed to immortalise the song, and the performance has made it the signature tune of this musical. It feels as if the song was written specifically for the musical, as it fits so perfectly into the narrative. Book tickets here.
Annie: ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’ Performed by Annie and the other children living in the orphanage, we see the hardships they face as they are watched over by the cruel Miss. Hannigan. This song has been sampled by many artists, most famously Jay Z, but this is a chance to see It’s the Hard Knock Life as it was originally written. Bonus: comedian Miranda Hart will be staring as Miss Hannigan when Annie opens in June 2017. Book tickets here.
The Book of Mormon: ‘I Believe’ Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, have brought to life their first theatre production with The Book of Mormon, telling the story of two Mormon missionaries as they travel around Uganda. Songwriter Robert Lopez (of Frozen fame) along with Parker and Stone have succeeded in the often difficult task of writing a song which is both funny and memorable. This is a tune you will be humming for weeks after hearing. Book tickets here.
Carousel: ‘If I Loved You’ One of the most famous musicals from Rodgers and Hammerstein; Carousel is returning to the West End with singers Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins in the lead roles. With hints of opera, and beautiful choreography, the duet If I Loved You cements the relationship between the two lead characters. Carousel will be running for 5 weeks only from April 2017. Book tickets here.
Les Misérables: ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ I Dreamed a Dream had a resurgence in popularity after Susan Boyle performed it on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2009, and also featured in the 2013 film version of Les Misérables, sung by Anne Hathaway. This is one of the first songs performed solo in the production, as Fantine laments her terrible situation. Certainly one of the most emotionally charged performances you will see on stage. Book tickets here.
The Lion King: ‘The Circle of Life’ If you grew up with Disney, then you will likely already know the amazing soundtrack which accompanies The Lion King. Arguably the most famous song is the opening number, The Circle of Life, written by Elton John and Tim Rice. As opening numbers go, this visually stunning version is both a feast for the eyes and ears when witnessed on stage. Book tickets here.
Mamma Mia: Every Song! It would be impossible to pick out one song from Mamma Mia, as every song from the catalogue of music by 70s band Abba is a classic. The 2008 film version has brought whole new audience to the West End production, which will seem like a sing-a-long when you attend! Book tickets here.
The Phantom of the Opera: ‘The Music of the Night’ Since its arrival in the West End in 1986, The Phantom of the Opera has managed to delight and entertain audiences worldwide. The Music of the Night, performed by the Phantom and his love interest Christine, is rather a romantic song, in an otherwise dramatic production. This is certainly one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous songs. Book tickets here.
Wicked: ‘Defying Gravity’ As a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, Wicked follows the story of the Good Witch Glinda and the Wicked Witch Elphaba, and how their relationship formed over the years. Defying Gravity is the signature song of the musical, bringing to a close Act One of the performance. Wicked is booking through until May 2018, leaving you plenty of time to catch it. Book tickets here.
With the news that La La Land is to be adapted for the stage and will be dancing its way onto the West End soon, it seems that the musical is truly alive and well. With all that is on offer in the West End currently, there is no better time to brighten up your March (and beyond) than with a trip to the theatre.
TheatreTickets.uk has a great selection of West End theatre tickets available, for both plays and musicals, all at great prices and availability. Tickets can be booked securely via their website or by phone, and delivered to your door, or to the theatre box office for you to collect. Have a look at their website and follow on Facebook and Twitter, for all the latest deals and offers!