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10 must-see London Shows

So called ‘Theatreland’ is home to some of the world's most popular musicals and the finest stage dramas

For glamour, excitement, and the highest standard of entertainment, there’s nowhere in the UK better than London’s West End.

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So called ‘Theatreland’ is home to some of the world’s most popular musicals and the finest stage dramas. Here’s a selection of the shows that you simply cannot afford to miss.

Grease

Grease, currently showing at the Piccadilly Theatre is a West End feel good favourite, and tells the story of goody-two-shoes Sandy (played by Over The Rainbow’s Lauren Samuels) and leather-clad bad boy Danny (Noel Sullivan). Grease is open until April 30, 2011.

The Wizard of Oz

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s televised search for a Dorothy found the remarkable Danielle Hope, and now work on The Wizard of Oz is in full swing. The show opens at the London Palladium in February 2011, and tickets are available now.

Chicago the Musical

Chicago is a sexy, sassy, glittering story of murder, prison, and an unquenchable thirst for the spotlight. Often boasting a high-profile star on the cast list, the musical currently stars Emma Barton (EastEnders’ Honey Mitchell) as seductive murderess Roxie Hart.

Les Misérables

Perhaps the best-known show in the West End, Les Misérables has been a hit with theatregoers since 1985. Currently running at the Queen’s Theatre, this powerful musical set in the Parisian underworld during the French Restoration stars X Factor’s Lucie Jones and ‘I’d Do Anything’ finalist Samantha Barks.

Legally Blonde The Musical

This unlikely screen-to-stage adaptation has rapidly become a West End phenomenon, taking over £2 million in ticket sales before it even opened. The super-girly show tells the story of Elle Woods (played by Sheridan Smith), a ditzy blonde who joins the prodigious Harvard Law School in search of love.

Mamma Mia!

Seeing Mamma Mia! is a truly incredible experience for Abba fans. A touching story about a girl searching for her biological father cleverly weaves together some of Abba’s best-loved hits into an uplifting musical with a good old-fashioned happy ending. Mamma Mia! is as close as you’ll ever get to a live Abba concert.

Flashdance

One of the most eagerly-anticipated West End shows of 2010, Flashdance is opening at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 24 September. With the world-famous Arlene Phillips choreographing and a score which blends favourites like Manic and Flashdance — What a Feeling with ten brand new songs, the show is sure to be smashing. Look out for Busted’s Matt Willis playing Nick and Grease’s Victoria Hamilton Barritt starring as Alex.

Wicked

There’s no other show on Earth quite like the spellbinding spectacle of Wicked. With a legion of utterly dedicated fans, the most iconic score of modern musical theatre, and an all-star cast featuring Rachel Tucker, Louise Dearman, and Lee Mead; it’s no wonder that Wicked is among the most celebrated shows in the West End.

The Mousetrap

There’s much more to the West End than just musicals, The Mousetrap is a classic whodunnit by the one and only Agatha Christie and it has been running at St Martin’s Theatre since 1952. As you’d expect from Agatha Christie, The Mousetrap is an engrossing drama with a closely-guarded twist ending.

Ghost Stories

A relative newcomer to the West End, Ghost Stories opened at The Duke of York’s Theatre on June 25 after successful runs at the Lyric Hammersmith and the Liverpool Everyman. Despite being a new production, Ghost Stories has already stolen the title of scariest West End show from The Woman in Black. The show was written by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman, so expect plenty of clever scares, black humour, and unexpected twists.

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