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The West End: Home of Jukebox Musicals

Sunday, 11th Oct 2015

To celebrate next month’s opening of Close To You: Bacharach Reimagined at the Criterion Theatre, we take a look at some of the other West End shows to celebrate well known pop stars.

Sunny Afternoon

This celebration of 60s band The Kinks runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre and provides an array of hits songs alongside a story that chronicles their rise to the top. With Ray Davies behind the show and various Kinks songs making it to the stage, it is definitely a must-see for fans of this 60s band.

Mamma Mia

This is another that celebrates a well known band, in this case ABBA. The hit pop group have fans worldwide and this fanbase has only grown as a result of this fantastic musical, which tells the story of a girl attempting to find her real father before she walks down the aisle. As well as this heart warming story, it also features the songs of ABBA as its score. 

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical 

This one only opened in the West End this year and was recently deemed popular enough to extend well into 2016! Beautiful – The Carole King Musical entertains the crowds at the Aldwych Theatre and stars Katie Brayben as the titular Carole King, the singer songwriter who penned an array of hits during the 20th century. It features songs like (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and So Far Away, amongst various others. 

Jersey Boys

 This one has been a hit on both Broadway and in the West End, with audiences flocking to pick up theatre tickets. It chronicles the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, with many of their hit songs making it to the stage along the way. It entertains the crowds at the Piccadilly Theatre and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. 

Thriller Live

 This one is more like a concert than a story-driven musical, but you can’t have a list of jukebox musicals and miss out the one that celebrates one of the biggest stars of the last century. Michael Jackson was the undisputed King of Pop and throughout his life and career, whether it was part of the Jackson Five or as a solo artist, he released songs that remain an intrinsic part of popular culture, from ABC to Thriller and beyond. It can be seen at the Lyric Theatre. 

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