London’s best West End theatre shows for schools

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17 May 2021

Everyone loves a West End show. The glitz. The glamour. The special thrill that comes from being so close to the action. There really is no business like show business, and for school students they can be an incredible experience like no other.

This has been a tough year for theatres, and though at one point it may have seemed like the fat lady had sung her swan song, the West End is finally getting a second act.

Come catch the curtain call as theatres move out of the pandemic and into a bright, sequined future. There are all sorts of school-friendly West End shows on the horizon, so we’ve collated some of the best ones to look out for below.

West End shows opening in May

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Out of the darkness, into the spotlight! The first show opening its doors is Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, showing from the 20 May 2021 at the Apollo. This inspirational coming of age story sees our protagonist overcome prejudice, bullying and homophobia to become a full-blown drag queen. Tour plans are to be confirmed.

West End shows opening in June

Hairspray the Musical

The starry production, led by Michael Ball and Lizzie Bea, will initially open with socially distanced audiences from 21 June for a limited season until September. With 1960s-style dance music and "downtown" rhythm and blues, it follows Baltimore teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream to dance on the local television show. A fantastic feelgood show for any London school trip.

West End shows opening in July

Cinderella

Andrew Lloyd Webber's hotly-anticipated musical has unveiled its new opening night in mid-July. A timeless tale, little is known about Lloyd Webber’s new endeavour other than it is going to be a night to remember. Book your West End school trip now to avoid disappointment!

Come From Away

You can be welcomed back to the Rock from July! Described by critics “as a cathartic reminder of the capacity for human kindness in even the darkest of times” and “a triumph of humanity over hate” it follows the stories of passengers on planes diverted to Canada after the September 11 attacks.

Jersey Boys

The all-singing all-dancing musical is returning to the West End to open the new Trafalgar Theatre from 28 July. Slick back that hair, tune up those guitars and take a seat as 1960s sensations the Four Seasons sing you through their rise, fall and eventual break-up.

The Lion King

The circle of life really is coming round again, as this blockbuster musical will reopen in the West End in July. Dazzling audiences for decades, watch as the performers bring the Disney fable to life with scale models, dancing and those famous songs.

West End shows opening in August

Hamilton

Do not throw away your shot...The room where it happens reopens its doors in August and this global juggernaut is showing no signs of slowing down. Following Alexander Hamilton’s life before, during and after the American Revolution, Lin Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece is perfect for students of every age.

Mary Poppins

There have been books, there have been movies, there was Julie Andrews, there was Emily Blunt, but have you seen perhaps the most perfect distillation of this timeless tale? Winner of two Olivier Awards and beloved by school audiences and amdram groups across the country, the practically perfect musical will be back in action in August!

Frozen

This one time, don’t let it go...The Disney smash hit is getting the West End makeover. Expect big set pieces and bigger tunes as this musical unveils its newest iteration. Concrete premiere dates have been set from late August.

Mamma Mia!

The original musical that spawned the international movie hit is back from 25 August at the Novello Theatre. Even for students who might not be fully aware of ABBA’s enviable back catalogue, there is more than enough here to keep them on the edge of their seats, toe tapping away.

Back to the Future The Musical

Great Scot! It’s been a long time coming, but now time has finally started flowing again and the world is reopening, Back to the Future is back into theatres. This screen-to-stage show will receive its West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre from 20 August.

West End shows opening in September

Matilda The Musical

Based on the 1988 children's novel by Roald Dahl and with new music by Tim Minchin, this heartwarming musical is all about Matilda, a 5-year-old gifted with very special powers. Audiences have been thrilled for years by Matilda’s battles against her family and school, and her mission to help her teacher reclaim her life.

&Juliet

It’s Shakespeare, but not as you know it. The bard goes pop banger as we take a reinventive trip down memory lane and imagine what would happen if Juliet hadn’t died at the end of the original play. Packed full of 90’s pop masterpieces, this muso-Shakespearean experience has set a September return date, and is perfect for English Literature school trips.

The Woman in Black

Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story comes dramatically alive in Stephen Mallatratt’s ingenious stage adaptation. Now celebrating three decades in the West End, Robin Herford’s gripping production will be back in September and touring soon. Not for the faint-hearted, this spooky tale is better for secondary school trips.

Wicked

Citizens of Oz rejoice! The long-runner has confirmed it will return this autumn. Another clever reimagining, Wicked follows the events of the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the witches. Laurence Olivier Award–nominated, this West End production is a magical, mind bending experience perfect for students of all ages.

Ready to book your school trip to London’s West End?

Whether you’re looking to reward your students after a tough year, enhance their learning with an English-themed itinerary, or go behind the scenes with specialist backstage tours and drama workshops, our award-winning experts are here to help.

Simply contact WST today to request a quote, or learn more about our Book With Confidence promise here.