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The Longest Running Productions in the West End

Thursday, 10th Sep 2015

The West End regularly welcomes new shows and September will see the opening of the likes of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, ensuring that this month is no different.

But some of the most famous shows here have been playing for a long time – in some cases decades – and they remain as popular as ever. With that in mind let’s take a look at some of the capital’s longest running shows.

 

Mamma Mia

Many shows have lasted in the West End for longer than this ABBA musical featuring a popular story of romance and long-lost fathers on a Greek Island, but most of those have since closed. Mamma Mia! has the distinction of remaining in the West End to this day, with audiences flocking to see it at the Novello Theatre. It originally opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1999 and was also seen at the Prince of Wales Theatre before settling on its current home.
Mamma Mia

 

The Woman in Black

Next up is a show that has been scaring the crowds since 1989 and continues to attract a large audience at the Fortune Theatre. The tale of ghostly goings-on at the Eel Marsh House as young solicitor Arthur attempts to settle the estate of Mrs Alice Drablow, the novel that inspired this show also saw a big screen adaptation in recent years with Daniel Radcliffe.
The Woman in Black

 

The Phantom of the Opera

This is one of the most famous musicals in the capital. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s tale of a masked figure causing chaos at the Paris Opera House has been causing queues outside Her Majesty’s Theatre since 1986, making it the second longest musical in the capital. Over the years it has attract top talent and there was also a special celebratory show at the Royal Albert Hall on its 25th anniversary in 2011.
Phantom of the Opera

 

Les Miserables

Another of the West End’s most famous musicals, Les Mis has captured the hearts of audiences since 1985, when it first opened at the Barbican before transferring to the Palace Theatre later that year. Since then it has also transferred to the Queen’s Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, where it remains to this day. It too enjoyed a 25th anniversary production at the O2 Arena in 2010.
Les Miserables

 

The Mousetrap

Now we move on to the longest running show in the world, which will take a lot of catching-up as it has been running in the capital for over 60 years! The Mousetrap has been entertaining West End audiences with is mysterious whodunit-tale since 1952, originally opening at the Ambassadors Theatre and then transferring to its current home of St Martin’s Theatre in 1974. Penned by Agatha Christie, it is a classic tale of a murder and the attempts to find the culprit.
The Mousetrap

Article filed under: Theatre News |