From romantic comedies old and new to epic pieces of musical theatre and intimate plays, the West End is packed full of love stories this Valentine’s Day. Treat yourself or a loved one to a truly magical date night – or grab your single friends and head to the theatre for a celebration of any and all the significant relationships in your life. We’ve gathered a list of everything you should look out for in London’s theatres this February 14th. Spoiler: there’s a lot to love.
When wealthy businessman Edward happens upon street walker Vivian, an unlikely love story begins. Based on the 1990 romcom of the same name starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, Pretty Woman is a musical theatre event not to be missed – and there couldn’t be a more perfect time to catch it than this Valentine’s Day. Laugh, sigh and dance in your seat as this musical romantic comedy delivers on both the rom and the com. Plus, it boasts a score by Bryan Adams and his long-time song writing partner Jim Vallance. Does it get any more perfect than this?
The romance, the drama, the showstoppers, the eye-popping spectacles… everything is turned up to 11 in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Follow the story of young composer Christian and his new muse, the cabaret performer known as Satine who dazzles audiences night after night at the Moulin Rouge. As the two prepare to put on Christian’s ‘Spectacular Spectacular’, their love for each other only grows – as do the threats to their newfound happiness… Prepare to lose yourself in the world of the Moulin Rouge this Valentine’s Day.
If you haven’t yet seen Mamma Mia then use this Valentine’s Day as an excuse. The feel-good romantic comedy set to the timeless discography of ABBA has been delighting audiences in the West End for over 20 years and it shows no signs of stopping. On a small, idyllic Greek island, you’re invited to the wedding of Sophie, the young daughter of single mother Donna. Also in attendance are three men, any one of which might be Sophie’s father… Funny, poignant and completely irresistible – we challenge you to have a bad date at this one.
Just as suited for Valentine’s Day as it is for Gal-entine’s Day or any variations thereupon. & Juliet is the fun, funny and feminist new musical that celebrates relationships of all kinds, whether they’re with friends, family, lovers, or just ourselves. What if Juliet hadn’t died beside her famous boyfriend, but had lived a life beyond Romeo? Set to the bombastic discography of Swedish producer Max Martin, you can expect to hear hits like ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ and ‘Roar’ like you’ve never heard them before. Join the lovefest.
One of the West End’s classic love stories and longest-running musicals, Phantom is a treat any time of the year. With 35 years on the West End under its belt, a spectacular cast and a dynamic score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, this haunting romantic tale combines love and madness to spectacular effect. Watch as young soprano Christine is taken under the wing of a mysterious new tutor at the Paris Opera House – one who is taken with her beauty and talent, and determined to never let her go…
It’s back! The West End favourite returns for a limited season at the start of this year, giving us the chance to experience the love story of Baby and Johnny all over again. She’s a young woman on a family holiday in the Catskills, he’s a dance instructor back to teach another season of holiday-goers how to move. When they meet, both their lives will be changed forever. If you’re looking for pure romance this Valentine’s Day, look no further.
The multi-award winning production returns to London with Call The Midwife’s Helen George starring as Anna. Experience a love story like nothing you’ve seen onstage so far, as English schoolteacher Anna travels to 1860s Bangkok to teach the many wives and children of the King of Siam. She soon finds herself swept up in an unexpected, tempestuous romance with an uncertain ending… Playing at the New Wimbledon Theatre from 14 to 18 February only, this will be an in-demand Valentine’s ticket so be sure to book quickly.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s famous lovers, this new play about two Welsh teens and their colliding worlds is an unconventional but excellent choice this Valentine’s Day. If you fancy something a little different, head to the National Theatre to watch the story of single dad Romeo and struggling student Julie, raised just a few streets apart but pulled in contrasting directions. Director Rachel O’Riordan reunited with writer Gary Owen to deliver this poignant love story.
One of the most talked about new plays in the West End asks what we might do if we ran out of words. Jenna Coleman and Aidan Turner star as a couple living in a world that restricts its citizens to just 140 words a day. Tender, funny and touching, this romantic comedy will play at the Harold Pinter Theatre for a limited season, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to catch it.
Shakespeare meets reality TV is not a concept we thought we’d see headed for the West End any time soon, but we’re not complaining. Heading to the Duke Of York's theatre in February, this brand new adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy from poet and playwright Debris Stevenson sees the National Youth Theatre taking us behind the cameras, where mischief and manipulation reign supreme. You and your date will feel cultured, and you’ll also have a ball.
Honestly, any excuse to see Wicked should be taken. But with its duel themes of romantic and platonic love, the iconic musical is doubly appropriate for Valentine’s Day, no matter what sort of relationship you might be celebrating. Follow Elphaba as she journeys from outcast witch to celebrated practitioner of magic, only to fall harder than anyone thought possible. Wicked is an examination of the relationships that shape our lives, and a reminder that as long as the people we love know who we really are, the rest of the world doesn’t matter.