Which Long-Running Musical Is Based On A Victor Hugo Novel The West End’s Best Shows Ever

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The West End’s Best Shows Ever

London’s own West End is synonymous world-wide with unforgettable, first-class entertainment. Talent from all over the globe aspires to land the gig of a lifetime: a part in one of the West End’s star-studded, epic London theatre shows that line the district’s streets. Titles such as the award-winning Disney musical the Lion King, or Queen’s new musical We Will Rock You are pitted against musical theatre epics like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and the feel-good revival of Grease. However, despite the bright lights and the sparkle of most London theatre shows, one show has held on to its place in West End’s florescent firmament.

The thrilling internationally acclaimed Les Misérables opened in 1985 at the Barbican Centre and remains the longest running London theatre showsof all time. As of 2011, the show is now in its 27th season. The musical is based on Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name written in 1862. On October 3rd, 2010 it became the first musical in history to have three productions running in the same city at the same time.

The second runner up for the most popular West End musical to ever grace an audience is the award winning Phantom of the Opera, composed by London’s own Andrew Lloyd Webber. The hit musical opened in 1986 in London and, across the pond, in America it holds the title for the longest running Broadway musical to date. This year in fact, Webber revives the notorious romance in the new musical “Love Never Dies” wherein the Phantom and Christine meet again twenty years later in Coney Island. One must admire Webber for brazenly ignoring the admonition to ‘quit while one is ahead.’ and this new musical might make the original Phantom the only musical to continuously run alongside its own sequel!

Among other long running musicals are Blood Brothers, Cats, Oliver, and the Starlight Express which was revised mid-run and included entire numbers choreographed on roller skates. Current modern favourites which may someday hold the title for longest running or the most popular London theatre show of all time are Mama Mia, comprised solely from the greatest hits of the Swedish band ABBA, Chicago, which opened in 1979 has come back to West End via a revival, and Grease. The Lion King, based on the Disney movie, features out of this world spectacle which makes innovative use of puppetry and dance. Each of these fabulous West End musicals are sure to make their mark in London’s theatrical history and if a show lands in West End? It is only a matter of time before the hit show debuts in other major cities across the globe with similarly spectacular results.

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