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The best shows to see in London right now: From Six the Musical to ABBA Voyage

Sit back and relax whilst we tell you all about our favourite shows...

Updated 5 days ago
A split image from SIX the Musical and ABBA Voyage
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Calling all theatre lovers! A night at the theatre has never felt more important. With the dark winter nights that feel like they start at 4pm, and icy temperatures that just keep getting colder, nothing sounds better than cosying up in an auditorium and being immersed in a night of live music. 

As a self-confessed slave to Sondheim, former performer, and all-round theatre fanatic, me and my fellow colleagues at HELLO! are here to arm you with a glittering list of shows and performances you need to see right now in London - and it's not all in the West End.

Whether it's an immersive experience like ABBA Voyage, an off-West End production at Upstairs at the Gatehouse or our favourite ex-wives causing a storm at the Vaudeville, we are here to review London's best performances so you never miss out on the latest productions. 

Graziano Di Prima's Believe

Graziano in promo shot for new show© Pamela Raith
Graziano's show came to the West End

Something a little bit different for the West End, this new dance show is one not to miss. Strictly's Graziano Di Prima is traveling around UK with his wife (and dance partner) Giada Lini, as well as an array of incredible professional ballroom and Latin dancers to bring you Believe - a show that tells the pro's life story through the medium of dance. 

The evening was such a vibrant and lively experience with Graziano's world championship dance moves put on full display. As a weekly viewer of Strictly, I was curious to see how his production would size up to the Saturday night extravaganza. I can assure you that fans of the show will not be disappointed as Graziano serves an evening full of stunning routines and infectious energy. 

Graziano leading an ensemble of professional dancers in rehearsals© Pamela Raith Photography
Graziano leads an ensemble of incredible professional dancers

It was such a joy to see Graziano's Strictly co-stars arrive in full force to support him. From 2023 champ Vito Coppola and fan favourite Kai Widdrington to Graziano's celebrity partner Zara McDermott and 2022 winner Jowita Przystał, the audience was full of Strictly royalty taking the energy to electric levels.

Graziano in mid air and his dancers in rehearsals© Pamela Raith Photography
On the night Graziano and his dancers wore an array of incredible costumes

The Italian pro dancer was completely charming, telling his story in a way that was engaging and not overly self-indulgent which shows of this nature can often veer towards. It was so heartwarming to learn of his love story with Giada through some of the routines and his passion for dance radiated off the stage. 

Giovanni dancing face-to-face with his wife Giada© Pamela Raith Photography
Graziano dances with his wife Giada

From the powerful Paso Doble to the characterful Quickstep, Believe had it all for fans wanting a spot of ballroom glitz and glamour while waiting for Strictly's return to our screens.

Where: Peacock Theatre, London

When: On tour until 12 April 2024

Tickets: Believe

Reviewed by: Katie Daly, Junior Lifestyle Writer

A Midsummers Night's Dream

As I waited inside Wilton's Music Hall to watch A Midsummers Night's Dream, I was struck by how perfect the Grade II-listed building is for a Shakespeare play, the bar area almost resembles a tavern while large wooden beams running across transported you back to an older time. This was likewise replicated when I entered the auditorium to be greeted by a small stage with minimal staging. An irreverent pre-show from the actors that focused heavily on audience interaction also gave a feeling of being back in the time of Shakespeare and added a bit of flair to the pre-show, which generally consists of grabbing your seat and gossiping with whoever came with you, hoping the people walking down the aisle looking for their seats aren't on your row.

Several characters in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream© Michael Lynch
The small stage was used effectively

Although I mentioned the minimal staging, I must say for this production it was used effectively and I almost feel that to have something grander would have been a disservice. Theatre company Flabbergast thrived in this space making full use of the set and providing a surprising amount of depth which meant set pieces didn't need a full amount of scenery to be portrayed well. The minimal staging also meant there was plenty of room for background and physical humour – and this is where the play thrived the most.

Whether it be Puck joining the audience with a bag of popcorn to watch the major fight scene between Lysander, Hermia, Helena and Demetrius (with Bottom and Titania's background positions also providing plenty of laughs) or Oberon traipsing across the stage in stilts, there are plenty of laughs to be found in this production of Shakespeare's beloved comedy. Fourth wall breaks are also used effectively and provide an added bit of zest to the Shakespearean dialogue.

Lennie Longworth playing Puck in a production of a Midsummer Night's Dream© Michael Lynch
Lennie Longworth's Puck was a delight

However, this doesn't mean that staging was entirely perfect. Scenes that took place on the bottom step of the stage could be hard to make out for audience members sat further back while the lighting wasn't always perfect, creating plenty of dark spots. And despite being a relatively small theatre, projection from the actors could have been better when it came to their words.

Puck, played by Lennie Longworth, is the absolute star of the show bringing a confidence to the role despite what appeared to be a young age, and while Simon Gleave's overacting can grate for Egeus, he completely dominates the stage as Bottom bringing the pomp and presumptuousness that the character demands.

Where: Wilton's Music Hall, London

When: Now until 20 April 2024

Tickets: A Midsummer Night's Deam

Reviewed by: Matthew Moore, Diversity and Inclusion Lead

A Mirror 

Tanya Reynolds and Samuel Adewunmi for A Mirror at the Trafalgar Theatre© Marc Brenner
Tanya Reynolds and Samuel Adewunmi for A Mirror at the Trafalgar Theatre

For A Mirror, I wanted to keep an open mind and I am so glad I did. The "play within a play" was cleverly written that ended with an unexpected twist. The show follows a playwright navigating an authoritarian regime which was partly inspired by writer Sam Holcroft's trip to North Korea and work with the Royal Court International Department writers' programme in Beirut.

Jonny Lee Miller, Sex Education's Tanya Reynolds, and Geoffrey Streatfeild reprise their roles, while BIFA award-winner and BAFTA award-nominee Samuel Adewunmi joins the production in his West End debut. Their performances were amazing, with the actors completely captivating the audience. Their dialogue was engaging, funny, and thought-provoking. Toying with various settings, the show was powerful, timely and a darkly comedic exploration of free speech,  state censorship, and artistic expression. Although there is no break during the two-hour show, the play is a must-see for anyone interested in theatre that pushes boundaries and challenges conventions.

Where: Trafalgar Theatre

When: Until 20 April 2024

Tickets: A Mirror

Reviewed by: Sharnaz Shahid, Deputy Online Editor


Hadestown has landed in the West End
Hadestown has landed in the West End

I went way down into Hadestown on the show's opening night - and what a night it was! Hadestown has been around for much longer than you might think, first premiering in 2018 at the National Theatre before moving to Broadway and enjoying big success ever since. As such, I was buzzing for the show's debut on the West End, having long wanted to watch it for myself. 

The show is unique. The story is based on the Greek tragedy of lovers Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as the story of Hades and Persephone. In this updated version, Hades is the owner of an underground factory which Eurydice turns to due to her extreme poverty, leading Orpheus to go down to find her and bring her home. After a slow start, the show picks up steam around halfway through Act 1 with the welcome introduction of the deliciously evil Hades, and by the act 1 finale, I was hooked. 

© Marc Brenner

You can't help but think that the characters have maybe put much of these troubles on themselves, like Orpheus wouldn't have had to go to Hadestown to find Eurydice if he'd looked up from his desk just once while composing his spring song, while Eurydice can only apologise for the things that she did when she was hungry. Either way, the staging in glorious, the performances are wonderful - Dónal Finn has a voice like Freddy Mercury and the Fates are a highlight - going from cheeky banter to dramatically grave at a moment's notice. 

Where: Lyric Theatre, London

When: Booking until December 2024

Tickets: Hadestown

Reviewed by: Emmy Griffiths, TV and Film Editor


A photo of the cast of SIX on stage © Dave Benett
The cast of SIX is sure to give you a lift!

Listen up, let me tell you a story! I went to the press night for the new cast of SIX and here is what I thought. 

The show has reached stratospheric levels of popularity with each queen cast in the show acquiring their own cohort of superfans. Whenever there is a cast change I can't even imagine the pressure on the newbies to diversify their role and give it a different spin to the queen before them.

Cast-wise, the creative team mixed things up a lot whilst still staying true to the identifiable traits of the characters and naturally, several things stood out for me. 

Janiq Charles has taken on the role of Katherine Parr© Dave Benett
Janiq Charles has taken on the role of Katherine Parr

Janiq Charles as Katherine Parr was an exceptional choice. Casting a Trinidadian actress in this role was a decision that should have been made sooner. Her rich vocals had a velvety depth I haven't heard vocally in that role before (and I've seen the show three times…). Not to mention the fact that I couldn't stop watching her throughout the performance, she is a captivating performer and her stage presence is impeccable. 

Kayleigh McKnight arguably has one of the most iconic songs in the whole show, 'Heart of Stone', and having heard the song performed countless times, I was so impressed with her vocal choices and how she switched it up. And I mean up, because she wasn't just flawing the audience with her crystal-clear belt, but also when she showed off her soprano range in her vocal add-libs which were a very welcome change of pace.

 Kayleigh Mcknight plays Jane Seymour© Dave Benett
Kayleigh Mcknight plays Jane Seymour

All in all, I had a great evening - it's hard not to with such an uplifting tracklist! What I will say though, as the show keeps going I couldn't help but feel the slightly OTT, 'panto-like' elements of the production being slightly more elevated. Whether it was the pressure of press night, I don't know but overall, it's certainly a solid cast and brilliant show. 

Where: The Vaudeville Theatre

When: Now until 23 April 2024

Tickets:  SIX the Musical

Reviewed by: Isabelle Casey, Reporter

ABBA Voyage 

A photo of the ABBA Voyage arena
ABBA Voyage takes place in a purpose-built arean at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

"SOS, they didn't play Super Trouper!" was my immediate criticism as I left the custom-built arena but other than depriving me of my favourite ABBA number, you can't walk away from ABBA Voyage without feeling impressed, even if it's just by how realistic the band appear. 

The experience does exactly what it says on the tin and gives you as close to an authentic concert from the famed Eurovision band as you could want. I was in the standing area rather than the stadium seating towards the back, and I'm glad we were not only for dancing purposes but also I think it really helped to feel fully immersed in the experience. 

The seating was very far back, and although I suppose it would help to take in the entirety of the spectacle, I do think it wouldn't have been the experience it was had I not been on the floor.

Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus at the World Premiere of ABBA Voyage © Dave Benett
Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus at the World Premiere of ABBA Voyage

The live backing singers and band were exquisite and really got the energy going in the room, another reason why being near the front was a good choice as you could feel the energy they were giving off. 

Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford

When: Now until 25 November 2024

Tickets:  ABBA Voyage

Reviewed by: Isabelle Casey, Reporter

Roxie Rocks Chicago

Cabaret cast in black and red outfits© Eduardo Constante
A cabaret interpretation of hit musical, Chicago

If 'dinner and a show' and all that jazz tickle your fancy, then you need to enjoy an evening of decadence at the London Cabaret Club's latest offering, Roxie Rocks Chicago. With a captivating mix of Chicago hits like Roxie and Cell Block Tango with a cabaret twist, alongside spine-tingling circus acts from Britain's Got Talent's Duo Odyssey, the three-hour show is over in the blink of an eye.

We were seated in a raised booth with uninterrupted views of the stage at Bloomsbury Ballroom, which sat at the centre of the room. But the performances were by no means limited to that space – dancers and singers regularly surprised us by making their way through the audience, giving the experience an immersive, up-close feel that a regular theatre production often doesn't.

Cabaret girls in silver sequins holding a cocktail© Eduardo Constante
Themed cocktails will transport you back to the roaring 20s

After receiving a glass of champagne on arrival, we enjoyed a three-course meal that proved the gastronomic experience was equal to the theatrics. A lobster roll with brioche and caviar to start, a rump of lamb shoulder main and a devilishly delicious chocolate brownie dessert with black cherry were interspersed throughout the evening, but the star of the show was undoubtedly the themed cocktails. 

Served in a unique figure-shaped glass, The Velma transports you back to the roaring 20s in one sip thanks to its balanced blend of whisky, raspberries and gomme syrup. 

Where: Bloomsbury Ballroom

When: Until 22 June 2024

Tickets: The London Cabaret Club

Reviewed by: Nichola Murphy, Deputy Lifestyle Editor

Guys & Dolls

dancers on stage performing in musical © Alastair Muir/Shutterstock
Timmika Ramsay portrays Miss Adelaide

Nicholas Hytner's reimagining of Guys & Dolls is a joyful masterpiece chock-full of laughs, sequins and romance to boot. Visually, it's a delight. Technicolour neon lights jostle for attention from above, while the moving platforms allow for a constantly evolving set reminiscent of the buzzing streets of New York. One minute the 'Guys' are pounding the noisy pavements, the next, a leather-clad Miss Adelaide is swinging her hips in the luminescent Hot Box Club. 

The show follows crook Nathan Detroit (Owain Arthur) and his relationship with his fiancee of 14 years, showgirl Miss Adelaide (Timmika Ramsay). Their love story runs in tandem with the unlikely romance between gambler Sky Masterson and Salvation Army missionary Sarah Brown (Celinde Schoenmaker). Sky is challenged to find $1,000 to finance Nathan's crap game by taking Sarah to the cacophonous streets of Havana. But instead sparks start to fly and they slowly fall in love… 

The beauty of The Bridge Theatre is that there doesn't appear to be a bad seat in the house. Because the stalls are arranged in a square-like formation, you're pretty much guaranteed a reasonable eyeful of the unfurling action. For Immersive ticket holders, the viewing experience is as good as it gets in the West End. Standing spectators are encouraged to inch their way around the moving platforms, allowing for a more intimate, one-of-a-kind experience. But be prepared, the cast aren't afraid to occasionally enlist the help of nearby playgoers in some of their dance sequences… 

With former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips at the helm of the choreography alongside James Cousins, the West End show delivers some seriously high-octane dance routines. Despite the limited floor space, the cast deftly twirl and kick their way through the sequences which feel decidedly modern. As for the musical element, the cast deliver some spine-tingling moments, with Celinde and Timmika arguably leading the pack with their outstanding vocals. Memorable songs include 'A Bushel and a Peck', 'Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat' and 'If I Were A Bell'. 

While the immersive element is quite unlike anything in the West End currently, the ebb and flow of standing ticket holders can be slightly off putting if you're easily distracted. But for all this, it's undoubtedly worth the hype and merits a five-star review.

Where: The Bridge Theatre

When: Until 31 August 2024 

Tickets: Guys & Dolls

Reviewed by: Phoebe Tatham, News & Features Writer

Coming up...

Elvis Evolution

The King of Rock and Roll returns! This November, Elvis Evolution is launching in London, and if you loved ABBA Voyage, then you better get a jump on the waitlist. Thanks to thousands of unseen personal photos and home video footage, Elvis himself will take to the stage, via state-of-the-art AI and holographic projection. 

Culminating in a nostalgic and mesmerising celebration of music, Elvis Evolution allows fans to "experience his meteoric rise to fame, larger-than-life persona, and the cultural movement he catalysed in the 1950s and 1960s." 

Stay tuned for a review!

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