Top 5 pop rock musicals in London and on tour

Andy Stevens / 10 May 2017 ( 26 March 2019 )

Five of the best of the current crop of pop rock musicals for you to book, see - and no doubt dance in the aisles to - in London's West End and further afield.

Kinky Boots

A musical based around the ailing fortunes of a shoe factory in Northampton must have initially been a tough sell for the writers, hoping not just to get it staged but turn it into a West End smash. The same was probably said about The Full Monty, Billy Elliot and Made In Dagenham - and look what happened to them.

But turn Kinky Boots into a bona fide box office sensation they have, and with an Olivier Award for Best New Musical under its belt to, ahem, boot. Ripsnortingly chucklesome it is too with Cyndi Lauper, no less, as Kinky Boots' tunesmith guaranteeing a zippy night of glamour, campish capers and footwear-focused fun and flounce.

Kinky Boots has finished its run in the West End, but can be seen on tour in various locations around the UK until November 2019. 

Buy tickets to see Kinky Boots on tour

Motown The Musical

The unmistakeable driving beat that is the Sixties sound of the Motor City - as in Detroit, not Sunderland - provides the so-familiar, soul-fuelled engine of this story of Berry Gordy and his revered record label which became the undisputed sound of young America, Tamla Motown.

This uplifting musical charts the rise and rise of Motown's unimpeachable transatlantic hit factory which gifted Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more megastars to an ever-grateful music-loving public.

And you'll have umpteen name-that-tune epiphanies by the opening bars of each hit as you hear 50 of Motown's greatest 45s (and there were so many) played by an on-the-money 18-piece orchestra that's seriously uptight and outta sight, as Stevie himself might put it.

Buy tickets to Motown the Musical here

TINA - The Tina Turner Musical

From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, Tina Turner didn't just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new stage musical reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race. 

Featuring Adrienne Warren, an accomplished singer who delivers a performance that's at once all her own and an eerily convincing mimicry of the eponymous Tina, who reportedly handpicked her to play the part, this electrifying musical sees the audience on their feet and dancing as though it's really Tina Turner up there, belting out the songs. 

Buy tickets to TINA - The Tina Turner Musical here

Celebrities in West End theatre productions

The Simon & Garfunkel Story

The stage story of the tall curly haired one who did most of the singing, and the little one with the guitar who wrote all those unforgettable tunes so pivotal to the soundtrack of the Sixties, has toured the world to great acclaim.

This is a pop rock musical with a difference, with old film footage and other impressive visuals adding to an immersive theatrical experience worthy of this 50th anniversary (and more) celebration of one of pop-folk music's greatest duos.

And then there are, of course, all those lovingly-honed Simon & Garfunkel songs, which are of course the essence of this thrilling musical. Shall you list them, or shall we? Well, there's Homeward Bound, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Mrs Robinson, just for starters. At this popular show, we guarantee that when you look around you, all you'll see are sympathetic eyes.

Buy tickets to The Simon & Garfunkel Story

Bat Out Of Hell

When it comes to Bat Out Of Hell The Musical, there's an undeniable sense of "what kept you so long?" We're happy to crank up the Marshall stacks and tell you the wait is over.

The remorseless rock theatricality of Jim Steinman's big Meat Loaf hits - and they never did small - are boomed with appropriate bombast across a storyline that's full-on fantasy dystopian biker gang future shock, as you would hope and expect.

Mighty and meaty, Bat Out Of Hell is an air-punching, fist-pumping, rock 'n' roll experience delivered at full throttle.

Currently touring Germany, Bat Out Of Hell is due to retun to the UK - sign up here to be the first to hear about the UK tour.

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