One does not book London Paddington Hotel Deals without expecting to find themselves in a comfy, plush seat in one of London’s finest West End theatres just down the road from the area – it is just part of the package, along with a fine afternoon tea and perhaps a stroll through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens! Here are the shows that are on this March and April in the wonderful theatreland of London.
Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon is the hilariously-told, tongue-in-cheek version of the story of the Mormon faith in America, from the writers of smash-hit (and equally tongue-in-cheek) Southpark. People are sometimes put off by the religious nature of the musical, but this is needless – if anything, Book of Mormon is playing around with the notion of doctrine at large rather than being pointedly nasty. Take it with a pinch of salt and be prepared to be stitching your sides back up by the time you are finished at The Prince of Wales theatre near Leicester Square.
If you only see one show in London (which is not recommended – see as many as you can), many would argue that Les Miserables is one of the most iconic. It certainly takes the cake when it comes to the most historically significant show, as it has been running almost non-stop on the West End since 8 October 1985 and is the second longest-runner in the world. The tragic, musical retelling of Victor Hugo’s classic novel about injustice during the lead-up to the French revolution. Rousing music, heart-wrenching narrative and absolute top-class performers, Les Mis is a bucket lister, there is no doubt about it.
The story of the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, and her unlikely, untold friendship with Glinda, The Good Witch of the North – all pivoting around the old classic musical The Wizard of Oz. This twist (of their friendship) is the premise of the musical – a prequel, if you will, to the original show which displays how the feud depicted in The Wizard of Oz came to be, suggesting a reason for, or a rebuttal to the animosity that existed. Between the wonderful songs and emerald-studded cast of munchkins, lions and bears (oh my!), you should follow the yellow-brick road all the way to the Apollo Theatre this March and April. This show has been on the West End since 2006 – so it is safe to say they are doing something very right.
If you have yet to see the Hamilton decorated taxi cabs, or heard the excitable rumblings of rave reviews over the cereal bar at your Bed And Breakfast Paddington, then you have probably not been paying enough attention. Nobody can stop talking about the wonderful, unique rap-musical, written by the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda. The musical is the story of America’s founding fathers and namely, the unsung hero, Alexander Hamilton – whose immigrant status has arguably seen him white-washed from the history books. This musical is not only excellent, but almost as revolutionary as its subject matter and you will be humming along to every song by the final curtain call. Head to Victoria immediately and make sure you are in the room where it happens.
Waitress is the story of Jenna, a young, bright, but trapped woman living out her days making the pies her late mother taught her to make in an American diner. Her abusive relationship with her husband, Earl, leaves her daydreaming of a better life – one which is quickly shaken up when she realises when she realises she is pregnant. A tale of love, bravery, and the power of female friendship, Waitress is a modern-day cautionary tale that leaves audiences sighing, laughing, gasping and starving for one of Jenna’s Marshmallow Mermaid Pie! Though you may not be able to get your hands on the latter, the Adelphi Theatre serves a mean apple pie flavoured martini, suitably named the Apple Pie-tini.
Aladdin has had a remarkable run, especially after Will Smith’s participation in the Disney remake of the musical. But that is no reason not to see the show on the stage – it grasps a very special type of magic that just does not translate anywhere else except a theatre. The atmosphere in the room is energetic, with the old bizarre’s vibrancy and colours turning the Prince Edward Theatre into an Arabian dream. With new songs and awe-inspiring direction, you are bound to share a whole new world with the wonderful cast of Aladdin. Got kids? Be sure to book one of the matinee performances and make sure you are home before dinner.
Adam Kay: This Is Going To Hurt
The West End can often be associated with musicals, but the eclectic theatre district has a lot more to offer than just a show tune (though they are admittedly remarkably good at it). At various venues across London, including the Garrick and Lyric Theatres on the West End, comedian Adam Kay is performing his one-man show of his best-selling non-fiction book published in 2017, This Is Going To Hurt. A touching, hilarious, horrifying and memorable evening is in store for anyone in the room with Kay, who tells the stories from the journal he kept when he was a junior doctor for the NHS. Spoiler alert: he quits, writes a book and makes a one-man show out of it, so you can expect none of the gritty details to be spared! It is honest, brave and, just in case it was not absolutely clear: totally hilarious.
There are a number of perks that can be listed when receiving your booking confirmation for Devonshire London, but none is more song-inspiring than your proximity to London’s West End where, this March and April, you can enjoy all manner of hit musicals, plays and performances.