Visit London Blog » mamma mia http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Olivier Awards 2014: Almeida Theatre the big winner on the night http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/olivier-awards-2014-almeida-theatre-the-big-winner-on-the-night/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/olivier-awards-2014-almeida-theatre-the-big-winner-on-the-night/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:51:16 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38413

The Royal Opera House hosted the 2014 Olivier Awards with Mastercard last night, where the cream of British theatre were saluted in a star-studded ceremony.

The show was opened by the company from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before hosts Stephen Mangan and Gemma Arterton, who is due to star in Made in Dagenham at The Adelphi Theatre in October, got things underway. The first award was presented by the ever-cool James McAvoy and went to Ghosts for Best Revival at the Almeida Theatre.

The Almeida itself made plenty of headlines, beating off the bigger West End theatres with plays Ghosts and Chimerica scooping eight awards between them, including the American Airlines Best New Play award for Lucy Kirkwood’s political epic Chimerica.

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be thrilled today, as their musical The Book of Mormon took away four awards, including Mastercard Best New Musical. Book of Mormon is one of the big winners that you can still catch on the West End stage, as its current run at the Prince of Wales Theatre doesn’t end until 3 May.

Other winners that can still be seen include Best New Comedy winner Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, which has recently swapped leading man and last night’s host, Stephen Mangan for Robert Webb. You can also catch the Best Actress in a Musical Zrinka Cvitešic in Once at the Phoenix Theatre.

The prestigious BBC Radio 2 Audience Award went to Les Miserables for the second time, which of course can still be booked at The Queen’s Theatre.

The National Theatre continues to get the best out of its actors, with Rory Kinnear winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Iago in Othello and Sharon D Clarke named Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Amen Corner.

The show was rounded off in style by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus reuniting to celebrate 15 years of Mamma Mia!, in one of 14 live performances on the night.

See the highlight reel above for a quick look at the red carpet, including the dashing Tom Hiddleston, Kristin Davis of Sex and the City fame, host Gemma Arterton in a full-length pale blue Prada gown and even ballet stars Let Marianela and Thiago from our London Story competition.

Full highlights of the ceremony can be seen on ITV Player for the next 29 days.

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Five Christmas Afternoon Teas in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/11/five-festive-afternoon-teas-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/11/five-festive-afternoon-teas-in-london/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 13:45:47 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35936 Winter’s here so it’s time to treat yourself to a traditional British afternoon tea with festive twist. We’ve picked out five Christmas-themed afternoon teas in London.

Winter Afternoon Tea at No.Ten Manchester Street, Marlyebone £28 per person (1 November – 30 December)

Elegant boutique hotel No. Ten Manchester Street in Marlyebone has teamed up with its tea supplier, the luxury UK tea emporium Tea Palace, to create an afternoon tea inspired by tea itself.

Served daily at Dieci restaurant, Tea Palace’s festive blends permeate all elements of the festive platter creating a selection of irresistible treats. Expect panna cotta infused with winter apple tea, mini panettones infused with spiced pear tea, mini Christmas spice tea mince pies and Christmas blend infused scones.

Family Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Capital Hotel, Knightsbridge £29.50 per adult (available every Sunday from 1 December)

This Christmas afternoon tea, created by a Michelin-starred team,  includes an array of sandwiches such as smoked salmon and cream cheese, salt beef and English mustard and a turkey roll with cranberry jelly.

Sweet treats include comforting scones with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream, spiced ginger cake with butterscotch, dark chocolate and Clementine mouse and a chestnut cream tart.

Children’s tea is offered at a discount price of £15 and one grandparent or child (under 12) can enjoy a complimentary tea with every two paying adults.

Festive Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory £34.50 per person  (25 November 2013 and 5 January)

Luxury Covent Garden Hotel One Aldwych presents a  fabulously fun afternoon tea inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  For theatre fans, there’s even an option to combine your afternoon tea with a top price ticket to see the West End musical.

Tuck into blueberry brioche, chocolate golden eggs, gingerbread pops and homemade candy floss! These wonderfully themed treats recall the wit and wonder of Roald Dahl’s classic tale and will leave you feeling like a big kid. This seasonal edition includes cranberry and turkey dishes, spiced pear tea and other winter warmers.

Valrhona Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Brasserie Blanc  £25 per person (14 December only)

Enjoy an exclusive Chocolate Afternoon Tea inspired by the  international best-selling novel Chocolat. While the tea is organised by The Chocolate Festival, it is hosted by expert French Chocolatier Valrhona. Look forward to beautiful chocolate scones, savouries and pastries specially created by Andrew Gravett, Valrhona’s Patissier for Nothern Europe.

The tea will be served in the comfortable surroundings of Brasserie Blanc just opposite The Chocolate Festival itself, plus food experts Kendall & Simms will be creating a special selection of savoury dishes to accompany the sweet treats.

Mamma Mia Afternoon Tea at The Waldorf Hilton  £45 per person (16 December only)

Enjoy a West End Afternoon Tea as the stars of Mamma Mia! give a one-off live performance at The Wardolf Hilton, London. This is the perfect opportunity to combine the glamour and magic of London theatre. Settle down into the elegant surroundings of Palm Court to watch an intimate performance of songs from the show as well as some festive favourites.

The festive afternoon tea includes mini mince pies, winter spice Madeleine, red velvet cupcakes, Mont Blanc tart, mandarin délice and ginger bread.

£5 from every afternoon tea will be donated to the hotel’s partner charity, Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity.

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Top 10 Long-Running London Theatre Shows http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/05/top-10-long-running-london-theatre-shows/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/05/top-10-long-running-london-theatre-shows/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 10:00:41 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=32485 Some West-End shows come and go, while others become a permanent fixture on London’s theatre scene. To celebrate London Theatre Month, we’ve compiled a list of the longest-running plays and musicals that are currently playing in London’s West End.

The Mousetrap: 61 years
The Mousetrap is the world’s longest-running play, captivating London audiences since 1952. Packed with suspense, the classic whodunit takes place in a remote English country house hotel during a snow storm.

Les Miserables: 28 years
Now in its 28th year, Les Misérables is the longest running musical in the world.  This global stage sensation has been seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries. Set in 19th-century France, Les Mis follows the plight of an ex-convict turned mayor who is hunted for decades by a ruthless policeman.

Phantom of the OperaThe Phantom of the Opera: 27 years
The Phantom of the Opera has reigned at Her Majesty’s Theatre for a whopping 27 years. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s epic musical, which opened on 9 October 1986,  tells the tale of a disfigured composer who terrorises the Paris Opera in an attempt to make his protégé a leading lady.

The Woman in Black: 24 years
The Woman in Black has been terrifying audiences since 1989, making it the second longest-running play in the history of the West End. Based on Susan Hill’s eponymous novel, the spooky show sees a malevolent ghost haunting a small English town, bringing devastation to the lives of anyone who lays eyes on it.

The Lion King: 14 years
Still a roaring success, The Lion King is celebrating its 14th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre. Bursting with colour and brilliant songs, the Disney-movie-turned-musical sees fearless lion cub Simba making his epic journey to fulfil his destiny as king of the lions. The Lion King is one of five musicals to play for 10 or more years on both Broadway and the West End.

Mamma Mia: 14 years
Mamma Mia is now well into its second decade, after first opening in the West End in 1999. Based on the catchy tunes of Swedish pop quartet ABBA and set on a Greek island paradise, this feel-good show follows a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father.

We Will Rock You: 11 years
Mega-musical We Will Rock You has been a permanent fixture at the Dominion Theatre since 2002. Based on the songs of rock legends Queen, the show is set in a futuristic world where rock music has been banned.

Stomp: 10 years
Celebrating its 10th year in London, Stomp has been kept fresh with new routines, choreography and music. As its title suggests, talented performers use everything from zippo lighters to bin lids to hammer out a feel-good rhythm.

Billy Elliot: 8 years
Billy Elliot has been dazzling London’s West End since 2005 with its heart-warming tale of a young boy who struggles against the odds to fulfil his dream of becoming a ballet dancer. The all-singing all-dancing musical features an acclaimed score by Elton John.

Wicked: 7 years
Wicked made its West End debut seven years ago in 2006. Still going strong, the show welcomed its five millionth audience member last month. The award-winning musical tells the story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young trainee witches who meet at sorcery school.

Read more about all London’s theatre shows at visitlondon.com/theatre

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London Theatre News: One Man, Two Guvnors; Viva Forever; ZooNation; and The Full Monty http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/05/london-theatre-news-one-man-two-guvnors-zoonation-the-full-monty-and-free-theatre-in-the-square-this-summer/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/05/london-theatre-news-one-man-two-guvnors-zoonation-the-full-monty-and-free-theatre-in-the-square-this-summer/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 10:00:16 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=32916

Firstly this week, I have news of two shows closing early, and another extending. So, if you’re eager to see Strictly Come Dancing stars Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor in Burn The Floor at the Shaftesbury Theatre, you’ll need to be quick. The show is now closing on 30 June. The same date will be the final performance of Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly Theatre. The musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls has run for just six months, but producers have blamed poor ticket sales and bad reviews for the early closure. Fans of One Man Two Guvnors are in luck however; the National Theatre’s hit comedy celebrates its third year in London this week by releasing an additional 150,000 tickets for the show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket: it’s now booking until 1 March 2014.

I’ve also got news of two new shows coming to London in the near future. Dance troupe ZooNation bring the world premiere their “unique twist” on The Wizard of Oz, Groove on Down the Road to the Southbank Centre this summer. Featuring music from the original 1978 film The Wiz remixed with current tunes by DJ Walde, Groove on Down the Road runs from 10 August to 1 September at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The acclaimed Sheffield Theatres production of The Full Monty will transfer to the West End next year for a 16-week season. The stage adaptation of the hit film will play at the Noel Coward Theatre from February next year. Following the news of American Psycho and The Commitments last week, it seems we can’t get enough of film adaptations on the London stage at the moment.

Finally, another summer treat to look forward to. The Lyric Hammersmith is running Theatre in the Square again this summer, encouraging visitors to indulge in free theatre from four of the country’s most innovative theatre companies over a four-week season. The shows’ themes range from water to motherhood to ice cream to The Bacchae. Theatre in the Square is part of the ever-brilliant Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.

London Theatre Cast News

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London Theatre News: Mamma Mia; Derren Brown; Matthew Morrison and Idina Menzel http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/04/london-theatre-news-mamma-mia-derren-brown-matthew-morrison-and-idina-menzel/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/04/london-theatre-news-mamma-mia-derren-brown-matthew-morrison-and-idina-menzel/#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:30:24 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=32539 Mamma Mia!Firstly, happy 14th birthday to Mamma Mia! The show has celebrated another successful year by extending their booking period to 5 April 2014. If you haven’t seen this musical yet, you really must: it’s such a fantastic feel-good show and has been seen by more than 50 million people in 37 productions worldwide.

This week, there’s news of another extension: My Perfect Mind is actor Edward Petherbridge’s tale about suffering a stroke, and will now run at the Young Vic until 4 May. The Told By An Idiot show features Petherbridge playing himself and Paul Hunter playing all the other characters. The play was inspired by Petherbridge who suffered a stroke as he was rehearsing to play King Lear. At the start of his recovery, he could hardly move his thumb and index finger together, but he could still remember every word of Shakespeare’s complex role.

Derren Brown fans will be pleased to hear the illusionist is returning to the West End in June, bringing a new one-man show called Infamous to the Palace Theatre. Infamous is described as one of Brown’s most personal works and sees the master of mind control reunite with his close collaborator, actor, director and magician Andy Nyman.

More Oliviers news this week: an influx of American stars are bringing a touch of US glamour to the Royal Albert Hall ceremony, with Broadway stars and Glee co-actors Matthew Morrison and Idina Menzel both performing solo. Other stars whose attendance is confirmed include Kim Cattrall, Daniel Radcliffe, Damian Lewis, Petula Clark, Will Young and Heather Headley.

If you’re able to get to the free public Oliviers event stage in Covent Garden, you’ll be treated to special live performances from shows including Billy Elliot, Matilda, The Phantom Of The Opera, Wicked, Burn The Floor, Potted Potter and Some Like It Hip Hop, before seeing the ceremony on the live big screen relay.

Stephen Campbell MooreLondon Theatre Cast News

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Thursday Theatre News: The New St James Theatre, Let It Be Launch, Mamma Mia Moving and Loserville http://blog.visitlondon.com/2012/08/thursday-theatre-news-the-new-st-james-theatre-let-it-be-launch-mamma-mia-moving-and-loserville/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2012/08/thursday-theatre-news-the-new-st-james-theatre-let-it-be-launch-mamma-mia-moving-and-loserville/#comments Thu, 23 Aug 2012 18:30:22 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=28666 This week’s top London theatre news stories:

Let It Be Rootfop Launch

One London rooftop echoed with the sounds of 1969 earlier today as the boys from the new Beatles musical, Let It Be, copied their heroes with a gig at Vista bar on top of the Trafalgar Hotel. In a nod to the famous 1969 concert on top of the Apple Corp building on Savile Row, Emanuelle Angeletti, Gordon Elsmore, Reuven Gershon and Stephen Hill, (who play Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison) entertained an audience of journalists and guests. I was lucky enough to get to the front of the busy scrum of people to hear songs including Hard Day’s Night, Twist And Shout and, of course, Let It Be.

A Sneak Preview of the St James Theatre
Yesterday I had a sneak preview of the new St James Theatre in Victoria. The new complex includes a state-of-the-art 312-seat theatre and an intimate 100-seat studio, perfect for comedy, cabaret and jazz nights. There’s also a swanky foyer bar and a lovely first-floor restaurant with space for 60 covers. Some of the space reminded me a little of the Trafalgar Studios, but with more luxurious touch (fitting for a venue so close to Buckingham Palace!). The first show, Bully Boy, opens on 18 September. Check out some more photos of the venue here.

Top Hat Cast Release Album
Great news for any fans of the lovely Top Hat musical, currently running at the Aldwych Theatre: they’re releasing a cast album recording of the acclaimed show. If you want a sneak preview, you can listen to some teaser clips on the production’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/tophatonstage

Loserville Comes to London’s West End
Loserville, the new musical from Busted star James Bourne, is coming to London’s Garrick Theatre this October, following a successful regional run. The 1970s-based musical tells the story of a computer geek and his misfit friends, who are all set to change the course of history… but don’t know it yet! The good news? There will be 25,000 tickets available for £25 or less during the first booking period. Find out more here.

Mamma Mia Charity Show for Children in Need
Following last week’s news about the West End supporting Children in Need, there’s another gala performance taking place in aid of the charity, this time of Mamma Mia! on 12 September. Celebrating the musical’s move to the Novello Theatre, this special show will feature appearances by BBC Radio 2 presenters Vanessa Feltz, Anneka Rice and Penny Smith, alongside a celebrity-packed audience.

London Theatre Casting News:
Just one piece of casting news this week: The Royal Court’s much-anticipated new show, The River will star Dominic West, Laura Donnelly and Miranda Raison. The reason this new play is such a hot ticket? It’s by the same team as the Royal Court’s previous smash: Jerusalem. That’s writer Jez Butterworth, director Ian Rickson and designer Ultz. All I know about the story is that it’s about a man, a woman, and a remote cabin on some cliffs. It runs from 18 October to 17 November, and (unusually) there are no tickets available for advanced purchase – instead you can buy tickets on the day of the performance.

Check out London’s top theatre shows, musicals, watch videos, and book tickets here

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Thursday Theatre News: Mamma Mia, Noel Coward, Young Vic, Billy Elliot & Simon Callow http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/10/thursday-theatre-news-mamma-mia-noel-coward-young-vic-billy-elliot-simon-callow/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/10/thursday-theatre-news-mamma-mia-noel-coward-young-vic-billy-elliot-simon-callow/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:00:18 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=23570 Firstly, news of an early closure. Cool Hand Luke was booking until 7 January, but it’s now closing on 19 November: bad luck guys…

On a more positive note, after 12 years, long-running musical Mamma Mia! is moving. I’ve yet to confirm the exact dates, but the hit ABBA show is moving from the Prince of Wales theatre to the Novello on Aldwych, following the excellent Crazy For You. More details when I have them!

The Young Vic has announced a new show: theatre company Sound&Fury are bringing Going Dark to the venue next March. It’s going to be an immersive show with interesting lighting, projections and sound, about a narrator in a planetarium.

Finally, the Evening Standard Theatre Awards longlist has been announced. Congratulations to the National Theatre, Matilda The Musical, Shakespeare’s Globe, Crazy for You and more who’ve all been nominated. I wouldn’t like to be the judge choosing between Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller, James Corden, Ralph Fiennes, Kevin Spacey and Jude Law for the Best Actor category…

This Week’s London Cast News:

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Thursday Theatre News: Matilda, Miranda Raison, Paul Daniels and Romola Garai http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/05/thursday-theatre-news-matilda-miranda-raison-paul-daniels-and-romola-garai/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/05/thursday-theatre-news-matilda-miranda-raison-paul-daniels-and-romola-garai/#comments Thu, 19 May 2011 17:00:08 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=21255

Firstly: we knew it was coming… we just didn’t know when! But now, it’s finally been announced: the London transfer of the hit musical Matilda is coming to the Cambridge Theatre on 22 November (previews from 18 October).

That means the record-breaking Chicago (14 years and counting!) will be booted out of the venue, but I’ve got every confidence they’ll find another home for their fishnets and jazz-hands soon.

Matilda, meanwhile, will retain much of its cast from the award-winning Stratford run, including London stage regular Bertie Carvel as child-hating headmistress Miss Trunchbull, and Paul Kaye and Josie Walker as Matilda’s parents Mr and Mrs Wormwood. Tickets go on sale this weekend for performances up until 12 February – get booking now!

I’ve got great casting news for you this week: so many great names are stepping up to put on a show in London, it’s a really exciting time.

  • Miranda Raison is returning to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in July. She’ll play the lead in Anne Boleyn a new play by Howard Brenton  which sold out last year. (I saw the show, and thoroughly recommend it.)
  • EastEnder Phil Daniels is joining the cast of The Beggar’s Opera at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. If you’re not a soap fan, you might know Daniels from the film Quadrophenia, TV series Holding On and Rock & Chips, and as the famous voice in Blur’s 1994 hit Parklife.
  • Romola Garai, who’s been all over our TV screens in period adaptations recently (Emma, The Crimson Petal and The White) is to appear at the Royal Court this summer. She’ll star alongside Alexandra Gilbreath and Nicholas Burns (Nathan Barley to you and me) in The Village Bike, a darkly comic, provocative new play by Penelope Skinner.
  • It’s a case of “Here I Go Again” for West End regular, Sally Ann Triplett. She’s heading back to Mamma Mia! after a two-year absence to play leading lady Donna Sheridan.
  • Finally, star of stage and screen Michael Feast is joining the cast of Pygmalion on Monday, replacing Simon Ward, who’s contracted a viral infection. Feast joins Rupert Everett, Kara Tointon and Diana Rigg in the hotly-anticipated new production of George Bernard Shaw’s classic.

Let us know in the comments what you’ve seen and enjoyed in London’s theatres this week…

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Thursday Theatre News: Shakespeare, Spice Girls and Sandy McDade http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/04/thursday-theatre-news-shakespeare-spice-girls-and-sandy-mcdade/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/04/thursday-theatre-news-shakespeare-spice-girls-and-sandy-mcdade/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2011 16:20:48 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=20758 Summer is always a great time to catch some Shakespeare in London, and summer 2011 is no exception. From a superb-sounding season at the Globe, to Pericles at the Open Air Theatre, and of course, THAT all-star Much Ado About Nothing, there’s plenty on offer.

Adding to the Bard mix is news that Simon Callow (best known as the guy who dies in Four Weddings and A Funeral) is bringing Being Shakespeare to the Trafalgar Studios in June. So if you feel like you’ve seen too many Hamlets and had enough Much Ado’s for one year, take a look at this one-man show. Being Shakespeare brings the Bard’s most memorable characters to life as it explores the man behind the world’s most famous plays. It runs from 15 June to 23 July.

From Shakespeare to Spice Girls! Yes, there’s going to be a Spice Girls musical. Viva Forever will be directed by War Horse co-director Marianne Elliot, and produced by Mamma Mia! producer Judy Craymer.

Judy said, “I am delighted that Marianne has agreed to direct Viva Forever. With her theatrical aptitude for exploring strong women and their relationships and her meticulousness to detail she is absolutely the right person to direct this new musical which is all about female friendship, celebrity and fame. I’m so happy to have her on board, together with Jennifer Saunders, who has written the musical.” Jennifer Saunders too! There’s enough Girl Power in that team to make the show a success, I reckon!

Finally, this week’s cast news. The National Theatre welcomes two returning actresses for A Woman Killed With Kindness in June. Sandy McDade last appeared in The Seagull, directed by Katie Mitchell. McDade is probably best-known as Lark Rise To Candleford’s Miss Ellison. Mitchell also directs the National’s revival of the 1603 domestic thriller A Woman Killed With Kindness. Liz White (from the BBC adaptation of The Crimson Petal And The White and Life On Mars) stars alongside McDade. White was last at the National in the double bill of Spring Storm and Beyond The Horizon last year.

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Free Tickets for Williams and Catherines at the tkts Booth Next Friday http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/04/free-tickets-for-williams-and-catherines-at-the-tkts-booth-next-friday/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2011/04/free-tickets-for-williams-and-catherines-at-the-tkts-booth-next-friday/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2011 09:30:29 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=20623

Are you called William or Catherine? Do you fancy a free trip to the theatre?

Then head down to the tkts booth on Leicester Square early on the morning of the big day (Friday 29 April): if you’re among the first 10 Williams and Catherines in the queue, you can get one free ticket to the show of your choice!

You can choose a show on the big day itself, or book ahead (subject to availability).

What show would you go for? A wedding theme (Mamma Mia!); a Queen theme (We Will Rock You); or a ROYAL wedding theme (Betty Blue Eyes)?! Or something totally different: check out our Top 10 London Musicals for something to inspire you.

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