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The 3 Weepiest West End Musicals 2016

Thursday, 7th Jan 2016

Sometimes, watching a theatre show can be so powerful that it tugs on the heartstrings and we let our emotions get the better of us. Much like watching a film or listening to a sad song, it’s often a comforting thing to let go, just in that moment, and it helps you connect with the performance better.

There are quite a few ‘weepy’ West End musicals that always attract a large audience.  Les Mis, for example, is perhaps one of the most well-known weepies, and those that go to see it know it will be an emotional performance. There’s a few other shows that are particularly tear-jerking too, so here’s our top 3 weepiest West End musicals of 2016:

Goodnight Mister Tom

Plot Summary: If you’ve read the book and seen the TV adaptation, you’ll know this is a story of young evacuee meets grandad-like character during World War II where both need each other more than you might think. The relationship between Mister Tom and William Beech, the boy, is warm and comforting where you feel compassion and empathy for both core characters.

Why it’s Weepy: There isn’t necessarily a defining moment when the waterworks will start, it’s simply a build-up throughout the show, probably most evident when Mister Tom rescues William from his crazed mother in London.

Reviews: The critics also agree this is a show that will tug at the heartstrings. The Times review summed it up perfectly: “It ends as children’s theatre should: adults audibly snivelling and children breathlessly attentive”.

War Horse

Plot Summary: Set in World War One, the play is based on a young horse called Joey who is sold to the Cavalry and ends up in France. His previous owner, Albert, cannot forget his faithful companion and sets out on a mission to find him and bring him home.

Why it’s Weepy: Even a puppet horse is distinctly moving to a theatre audience, and the technical effects make this show just as emotional as the film. Animal lovers aren’t expected to leave the theatre with a dry eye, particularly when Joey the horse is requisitioned by the British Army. Get the tissues at the ready!

Reviews: This show has earned rave reviews since it opened. A Sunday Times reviewer said they “wept like a baby” and The Financial Times was quick to note the emotion felt in the audience: “By the end everyone around me, young and old, was hunting for a handkerchief”.

Miss Saigon

Plot Summary: This West End favourite is set during the Vietnam War, where a destitute Vietnamese orphan meets an American GI. They fall in love, yet are forced apart. Years later when they meet again in Vietnam, Chris brings his American wife with him and finds Kim gave birth to their son.

Why it’s Weepy: The passion between Chris and Kim is captured beautifully, amidst a backdrop of a war-torn country. At the end, when Kim dies in Chris’ arms, you’re immersed in their moment and you might not be able to hold back the tears at this bit.

Reviews: When The Guardian reviewed Miss Saigon in the West End back in October 2014, they noted that 2 teenagers had cried from start to finish; that pretty much says it all!

Note: Miss Saigon only runs until Feb 2016 so you’ll need to be quick to secure those tickets.

Bronwen Morgan
Bronwen Morgan Bronwen is our theatre show aficionado with a real passion for musicals. She regularly visits the theatre as part of her role here at Box Office to help with our latest news and social media updates. Originally from Scotland, Bronwen has seen shows in the US as well as the UK.

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