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Musical Theatre

2019-01-15

Musical Theatre can be traced back to 5th century Greece where music and dance were included in their stage comedies and tragedies. The Romans also used music in their comedies, usually accompanied by a full orchestra. It can then be traced to medieval times where song and dance were used by travelling entertainers. In 1735, musical theatre came to America with the operatic show, ‘Flora.’

You might ask, what is the point of going to see a live musical theatre production when most of them are filmed anyway? In the filmed versions you are given the perspective, you don’t have a choice of what you focus on as the camera does that for you. When you go and watch something live however, this an entirely different matter. If you’ve ever been to see a production, you’ll understand what I’m talking about as there is never just one thing going on at the same time. Obviously, there’s a focus point but if you look past that around the stage, you’ll notice that the actors are always doing something, and you have a choice to pick these things out making the whole night that little bit more personal. You miss these little details when you watch it through a lens.

There’s also something quite nostalgic about going to the theatre, it’s a chance to go out with your friends or family and experience something together. The great thing about musical theatre is that no show is ever the same due to natural human error, so you never really know what to expect. You could see the same show over and over again but always see it in a different way.

Do people still go and watch musicals?

Musical theatre is still the most popular type of stage production you can see, usually knocking a standard non-musical show out the park. This is partly because musicals are normally quite visually stimulating as well as being pleasing to the ear. This means that even if it’s a terrible storyline, you’ll still enjoy the ‘show’.

Another reason may be that musical theatre has a broader reach as usually the songs will appear on radio and other advertising platforms. What’s more is the songs typically cover a wide range of genres so there is a show for everyone!

Which shows are currently showing on the West End?

Musical Theatre is for everyone; there will always be a show out there tailored to suit your needs. If you’ve never been to see one, then maybe you should give one of these a go!

Wicked

A fantastic musical, based on the book by Gregory Maguire, tells the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West became evil and feared throughout the land of Oz. Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

Les Miserable

Les Mis follows the story of the ex-convict Jean ValJean, hunted by policeman Javert after breaking his parole. His story is entwined with Cosette, the daughter of an ex-factory worker who sells herself to the streets to help give Cosette the life she deserves. Fun fact: Unlike popular belief, Les Miserable does not take place in the French revolution. It takes place almost a whole century after around 1830.

Thriller

Combining the hit songs of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, this show is guaranteed to get you moving!

The Lion King

A visual marvel, combining the timeless music of Elton John, the evocative rhythms of Africa and phenomenal costume design, this is not a show to be missed! If you love the animation, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the musical!

Aladdin

Another production based on animation, this show follows the story of loveable street rat Aladdin and how he uses his 3 wishes, granted by the genie in the bottle.

Mamma Mia

This musical rom-com takes all the great hits of ABBA and combines them in one ultimate feel-good production of a young girl who invites three potential fathers to her wedding.

The Book of Mormon

If you’re looking for a musical with a bit of an edge or something close to the mark, then the Book of Mormon is the one for you! It follows a pair of teenage Mormons on their quest to convert a village in a hostile part of Uganda.

The Phantom of the Opera

This classic is a very popular, all-time favourite Musical of many! Set in 1881 it follows the story of Christine, who becomes the obsession of the notorious Phantom. Consumed with envy as Christine falls for someone else, this musical follows the dramatic downward spiral of the Phantom of the Opera!

School of Rock

Based on the movie by Mike White starring Jack Black, Andrew Lloyd Webber has re-invented this fantastic movie for the big stage. Like the movie this follows Dewey Finn and his quest to turn his class into the ultimate rock band!

Matilda

Adapting Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ for the stage, Dennis Kelly and Tim Michin have created a master piece. If you’ve never seen or read Matilda, then maybe this is the time to take yourself to see it live on stage and immerse yourself in world of Roald Dahl.

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These are just a few of the shows that are currently on the West End. You can head over to our sheet music section by clicking here or if you’d like to take a more detailed look into the world of musical theatre and maybe book your tickets, then click here.

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