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London Theatre Week: our pick of the best West End shows to book from £15

 (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hourglass Cosmetics)
(Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hourglass Cosmetics)

Today marks the start of London Theatre Week, an annual event that offers tickets to some of the biggest stage shows in the West End for as little as £15.

More than 50 productions are taking part in the campaign from The Lion King to Stranger Things: the First Shadow, giving theatre fans the chance to snap up a top ticket at extraordinary prices.

And good news, London Theatre Week isn’t just a week – it actually runs until March 3, so there’s plenty of time to land tickets without breaking the bank. Whether it’s a long runner you’ve been meaning to see for ages or an exciting new opening, now is the time to get booking

Here are our picks of the new shows to book for:

1) Stranger Things: the First Shadow

If there was some trepidation around a stage adaptation of the hit Netflix show, that was blown away from the first scene of this inventive prequel, set in 1958 and featuring younger versions of some of the much-loved characters. With tickets from £35, this is an excellent chance to go to the small town of Hawkins before the world turned upside-down and experience a play that wowed critics when it opened just before Christmas.

Book tickets here

2) Guys and Dolls

 (Manuel Harlan)
(Manuel Harlan)

When director Sir Nicholas Hytner accepted the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical this year, he sympathised with the other shows in the category saying that, unfortunately for them, Guys and Dolls had been the best musical since 1950. And this immersive staging at the Bridge really shows off the delights of the Frank Loesser toe-tapper in all its glory, putting audiences right at the heart of Thirties Broadway with its hucksters and con artists, evangelists and show girls. An absolute joy and well worth going for a standing ticket for those who are up to it.

Book tickets here

3) The Lion King

For those with young kids, this adaptation of the hit Disney cartoon is a must-see, though adults will be equally enthralled by Julie Taymor’s glorious staging. Set amidst the Serengeti plains, it follow the hero’s journey of Simba from young lion cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands. And at tickets from £35 it’s Hakuna Matata indeed!

Book tickets here

4) Hello Dolly!

Fresh from her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, Imelda Staunton returns to take up her mantle as queen of the London stage. After stellar turns in Stephen Sondheim’s musicals Gypsy and Follies, she takes on the title role as Dolly Levi, the socialite matchmaker who realises the next match she needs to make is for herself. Jenna Russell and Andy Nyman also star in this revival of the 1964 musical which arrives in London this summer. Book from £24.

Book tickets here 

5) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

This two-part stage show has proved every bit the draw for audiences that the books and films about the teen wizard did. This show is set almost two decades on from JK Rowling’s final instalment, in which Harry, Ron and Hermione are joined by a brave new generation that has just arrived at Hogwarts. Spectacular and magical, this is the time to treat the Potter fans in your life, given tickets are available for each part at just £15.

Book tickets here

6) Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York)

 (Marc Brenner)
(Marc Brenner)

A surprise delight when it opened at the Kiln Theatre in December, this throw-back to Eighties and Nineties rom-coms fully deserved its West End transfer. Follow the wide-eyed Dougal on his first trip to the Big Apple, looking for adventure and the dad he’s never known, where he meets cynical New Yorker Robin, who’s late for work and annoyed but can’t help herself thawing towards this impossibly upbeat Brit. This new British musical is a gem, and tickets from £15 is an absolute steal.

Book tickets here

7) Opening Night

Just months on from selling out every show as Shirley Valentine, the great Sheridan Smith is back in the West End in exciting new musical Opening Night. This adaptation of John Cassavetes’ film follows a theatre company’s preparation to put on a major new play on Broadway – but everything is thrown into chaos when the leading lady is rocked by tragedy. This much-anticipated show, directed by Ivo van Hove with music from Rufus Wainwright, arrives in March.

Book tickets here

8) Red Pitch

After two rollicking runs at the Bush Theatre in west London, this story of friendship, community, gentrification and dreams of making it in football deservedly transfers to the West End. This extraordinary debut by Tyrell Williams, who won an Evening Standard Theatre Award for the play, was hailed by critics and stars Sex Education’s Kedar Williams-Stirling, Emeka Sesay (The Power) and Francis Lovehall (Small Axe). A real winner.

Book tickets here

9) Mean Girls

The hit Broadway musical adaptation of the 2004 film (which confusingly was itself recently adapted into a film) lands this side of the Atlantic. Home schooled Cady arrives at North Shore High and she finds high school a savage place – especially when she comes face to face with the Plastics: Regina, Gretchen and Karen. Deciding to end Regina’s reign, Cady quickly finds out that those who take on a queen bee often get stung. If you want to get in with the mean girls, book now, and on Wednesdays, wear pink!

Book tickets here

10) Tina Turner the Musical

 (Manuel Harlan)
(Manuel Harlan)

There was no one quite like Tina. Relive the singer’s life story and her greatest hits in a show that celebrates a music icon. Written by Olivier and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Katori Hall this show takes audiences from Tina’s humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee all the way to becoming the queen of rock ’n’ roll. Simply the best.

Book tickets here

For more information on London Theatre Week click here