The Magic of Theatre

Theatre is so much more than a song and dance: let us take you on a tour through the magic of theatre and what we can learn from it

By Society of London Theatre & UKT

& Juliet cast member Miriam-Teak Lee and ensembleSociety of London Theatre & UKT

& Juliet

& Juliet asks: what if Juliet’s famous ending was really just her beginning?  What if she decided to choose her own fate?  And what if she got over Romeo by running off to Paris with her best friends on a whirlwind journey of self-discovery and second chances?  
Juliet takes control of her narrative in an imaginative reworking of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.  Music is the lifeblood of empowerment within the story, with the set design weaving a motif of music into each city featured, including a classic jukebox, a fairground organ, and a vintage radio.

The Office by Pamela RaithSociety of London Theatre & UKT

9 to 5 the Musical

9 to 5 the Musical tells the story of three workmates, Violet, Doralee and Judy, who come together to fight the 1980s workplace patriarchy, pushed to a boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss.  They stand together in the face of adversity, empowering anyone being silenced in the office environment to have their voices heard, and how determination to change the establishment pays off in the end.

The Book of Mormon: Hello!Society of London Theatre & UKT

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon focuses on the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, Elder Cunningham and Elder Price who are thrown out of their comfort zones into a remote community in Uganda.  Despite their initial reservations, they are ultimately able to endorse power of love and service, bringing positivity to the village.  Satire and religion mix together, revealing the darker issues at hand, such as famine, disease and oppression which they are able to begin to overcome as a community.

Cinderella & StepmotherSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella

A subversion of the traditional fairytale, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella explores the concept of beauty and self-acceptance.  It adapts the original narrative to be able the beauty of being what you are, rather than what you try and make yourself.

Come From Away: EnsembleSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Come From Away

This joyous musical shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives. The musical explores kindness and friendship, regardless of where you’ve come from, in a celebration of hope, humanity and unity.

Dear Evan Hansen by Matthew MurphySociety of London Theatre & UKT

Dear Evan Hansen

DEAR EVAN HANSEN begins with the title character as a socially-anxious teenage boy, outcast from the crowd at his school, until he is swept up in the death of a classmate and a lie that enabled him to build new friendships through grief.  This musical examines the facets of relationships, life and the way that we live it.

Everybody's Talking About JamieSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Inspired by a true story, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows Jamie New on his journey to embrace his true self.  Coming from a council estate in Sheffield, Jamie feels like he doesn’t quite fit in.  His love of drag subjects him to bullying and prejudice, only able to overcome this with support from his loving mum and surrounded by friends.  Through his newfound self-assurance, Jamie is able to step out of the darkness and into the spotlight, teaching us that our individuality should be celebrated, not shied away from.

Frozen by Disney Theatrical GroupSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Frozen

Frozen the Musical focuses on the relationship between two sisters, Anna and Elsa, who need to reconnect after the death of their parents.  As Elsa’s powers grow she feels unable to control them; Anna undertakes a journey to bring her sister back, along with the help of Kristoff, Olaf and Sven.  They teach us that true love comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes we need a little support from our friends to get through uncertain times, featuring both songs from the film and new ones written for the stage!

HairspraySociety of London Theatre & UKT

Hairspray

Hairspray centres on Tracy Turnblad: a girl with big hair and even bigger dreams.  This musical encourages individuality, acceptance and freedom, and can be applied to any social context and time, as it highlights ongoing issues such as fat-shaming, racism and discrimination.  It also explores femininity and challenges the societal norms of women via the strong female characters that drive the story forward.  But, ultimately, Hairspray is a fantastically fun and upbeat musical for all.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Hermione, Harry and RonSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

While Harry Potter grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus struggles with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted.  Past and present fuse ominously together, with both father and son learning the uncomfortable truth that sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.  The strength to overcome this brings them closer together, battling in the face of these revelations and adversity.

HamiltonSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton is the story of America’s Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, who was a key player during the Revolutionary war and an impassioned champion of a strong federal government.  The score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway to celebrate America, both then and now.  Hamilton aided the country’s emancipation from colonial oppression whilst fighting for political reform.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour DreamcoatSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

After being gifted a coat of many colours by his father, Joseph is subjected to a cruel betray by his brothers and sold into slavery.  He managed to climb the social ladder back to a position of autonomy and wealth through his interpretation of dreams and determination to prevent devastation. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat teaches the power of forgiveness and resourcefulness, never giving up on faith.

Ashley Gilmour as Enjolras, Harry Apps as Marius and Company in Les MisérablesSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Les Misérables

Les Misérables, the West End's longest running musical, questions the severity of punishment against crime and explores the abuse of power by authority during the events leading up to the French Revolution.  Javert’s unrelenting mission to capture Jean Valjean, whose two crimes of theft were to help children in need, ends with Javert unable to rationalise that those who have committed crimes are able to be kind.  He, and the audience, reconsider the grey area of right and wrong during a turbulent political and social landscape.

Hiran Abeysekera (Pi) and Richard Parker the Tiger - Life of Pi by Johan PerssonSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Life of Pi

After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, there are five survivors stranded on a lifeboat – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a Royal Bengal tiger, and a sixteen year-old boy named Pi.  Together, he and Richard Parker (the tiger) go on an epic journey of endurance and hope, able to survive by working together against the harsh elements, nature and time. Life of Pi employs puppetry and visuals to immerse the audience into their turbulent world.

The Lion King: Rafiki by Disney Theatrical GroupSociety of London Theatre & UKT

The Lion King

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s The Lion King explores the circle of life and death, acceptance of the past and the value of friendship.  Simba overcomes the grief of losing his father and fights against Scar’s ideology of fascism and tyranny to take his rightful place as King of the Pridelands.

Magic Goes Wrong - Magician's Grand Entrance by Mischief Theatre CompanySociety of London Theatre & UKT

Magic Goes Wrong

This comedy features a hapless gang of magicians presenting a charity event – as the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fundraising target!  The show was co-written by Penn and Teller, the magic duo, and one of the actors was sent to Las Vegas to learn a particular magic skill from the experts there as no one (until now) taught that talent in the UK.

Mary Poppins - Step in TimeSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins, the world’s favourite Nanny, mysterious arrives at the troubled household of the Banks family.  She takes charge of Michael and Jane, but also teaches their parents the importance of spending time with the family, as both their mother and father are distracted by their work.  Mr Banks has to stand up to his boss at the bank and Mrs Banks helps canvass for women’s rights under the Suffrage movement.

MAMMA MIA!Society of London Theatre & UKT

MAMMA MIA!

At the eve of Sophie’s wedding, she invites three of her mother’s ex-lovers to find out which is her father.  Donna, her free-spirited mother, has to re-live her youth and face the men from her romantic past with the help from her two best friends.  MAMMA MIA! explores the importance of urban family, where friendships are just as strong as blood ties, accompanied by the music of ABBA.

Matilda: When I Grow Up (2019-09) by Royal Shakespeare CompanySociety of London Theatre & UKT

Matilda The Musical

Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and sharp mind, dares to take a stand against oppressive authority and change her own destiny.  Her powers enable her to seek justice for those unable to, showing that strength and courage come in all sizes.

Moulin Rouge: Harold ZidlerSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Moulin Rouge! the Musical

Welcome to Moulin Rouge! The Musical.  In the heart of Paris, Harold Zidler’s Moulin Rouge enables all classes to rub elbows and revel in the electrifying enchantment.  Christian, a penniless writer and bohemian revolutionary, falls for the beautiful courtesan Satine.  Together they must overcome the dark underworld to fight for truth, beauty, freedom, and – above all – love.

The MousetrapSociety of London Theatre & UKT

The Mousetrap

Agatha Christie's THE MOUSETRAP is the best-loved murder mystery in the West End.  It opened in 1952, with its’ longevity aided by the audience’s commitment to keeping the plot a secret.  Intrigue, thrills and plenty of drama surrounds this production – but we won’t reveal what happens!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Photo of the original NT cast by Manuel HarlanSociety of London Theatre & UKT

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane follows a man returning to his childhood home in Sussex, reminded of the treacherous events that occurred on his 12th birthday.  At the centre of the action is a mysterious pond, which his childhood friend Lettie refers to as an ‘ocean’, in the country banks where they used to play.  He is transported back to his youth to discover the truth, exploring childhood knowledge against adult rationalisation and bravery through friendship.

Only Fools and Horses - Ensemble by Theatre Royal HaymarketSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Only Fools and Horses the Musical

Bringing the iconic television series to life on-stage, Only Fools and Horses the Musical follows the antics of the Trotter family on their infamous money-making schemes, led by Del Boy.  They highlight the loyalty of family an the importance of a positive outlook, particularly in times of economic austerity.

The Play That Goes Wrong - Mystery in the Drawing Room by Mischief Theatre CompanySociety of London Theatre & UKT

The Play That Goes Wrong

The Comley Polytechnic Drama Society put on a 1920s murder mystery, but luck is not on their side as everything that could go wrong, does.  The accident-prone thespians battle against the odds to make it to the final curtain call.  Mischief Theatre's THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG uses a healthy dash of improvisation to keep each show unpredictable and farcical.  

Pretty Woman by Helen MaybanksSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Pretty Woman: The Musical

One of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories Pretty Woman: The Musical, follows the free-spirited Vivian Ward is hired by Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman, to escort him to several business and social engagements.  During this time, their relationship flourishes and they fall in love, with a modern take on the Cinderella narrative.  Vivian teaches Edward to be softer and how to love again, whilst he shows her kindness and respect.

The Prince of Egypt: Ensemble by DreamWorks Animation LLCSociety of London Theatre & UKT

The Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt features two young men, raised together as brothers in a kingdom of privilege, who find themselves suddenly divided by a secret past.  One must rule as Pharaoh, the other must rise up and free his true people; both face a destiny that will change history forever.  The brothers must learn that faith and unity can overcome hardship.

The Seagull by Jamie Lloyd CompanySociety of London Theatre & UKT

The Seagull

Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, with direction by Jamie Lloyd, has a rich subtext and was originally intended to be a comedy.  It centres on the romantic and artistic conflicts of four contrasting characters, raising important questions about art against fame and the ego versus the self.  Anya Reiss propels Chekhov’s tale of ambition, love, loneliness and fame into the 21st century.

Six: The Wives ClubSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Six

From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a celebration of 21st century girl power.  During the course of the competition, the ladies realise that they don’t need to receive Henry’s love as validation, emancipating them from his power and giving these ladies from history their independence back, rewriting their narratives with a happy ending.

Sunday in the Park with George: Annaleigh Ashford and Jake Gyllenhaal by Matthew MurphySociety of London Theatre & UKT

Sunday In the Park with George

Inspired by Georges Seurat’s painting, ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jaffe’, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's musical centres around Seurat’s inspiration and creation of the piece.  Completing the painting comes at the cost of his romantic and social relationships, alienating him from others.  Artistic vision, for Seurat, comes at a dear price and forces the audience to reconsider their own work-life balance.

Tina Turner (Aisha Jawando)Society of London Theatre & UKT

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

Her voice is undeniable. Her fire is unstoppable. 
Her triumph is unlike any other. 

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 musical reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race.

Elphaba and Fiyero by Apollo Victoria TheatreSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Wicked

Based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire that re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West, showing the audience that there is always another perspective and the good-wicked dichotomy is not black and white.

Witness for the Prosecution - The CourtroomSociety of London Theatre & UKT

Witness for the Prosecution

Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow in order to inherit her wealth.  He needs to convince the jury – and the audience – of his innocence in order to escape the hangman’s noose.  With the backdrop of London County Hall, the audience is situated in the courtroom to experience the justice, passion and betrayal intimately.  Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution questions the legal duty of truth, walking the line between that and a lie.

The Woman in Black: Ghost Story by Tristram KentonSociety of London Theatre & UKT

The Woman in Black

Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black tells the story of a lawyer obsessed with a curse he believes has been cast over his family by the spectre of a ‘Woman in Black’.  He engages a young actor to help him tell the story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul.  It begins innocently enough, but as they delve further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in the world of eerie marshes and moaning winds.  The controlled horror is atmospheric, using illusions to haunt the audience.

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