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The Top 10 Longest Running Shows To Ever Hit The West End


If you are reading this article then you would gather that the West End is one of the most celebrated places in the world when it comes to theatre. It hosts the greatest productions anyone will ever see on stage and brings stars to your eyes when you see it in all of its glory. The West End is dominated by musicals when it comes to popularity, but it’s not all just show and tunes; this list will show you the longest running West End shows of all time.

10. No Sex Please, We’re British

From: 3rd June 1971 To: 16th January 1987

Despite being critically panned during its entire run, this British farce played to full houses consistently.

9. The Lion King

From: 19th October 1999 To: Present

After capturing the hearts of everybody out there with the movie, Disney brought this to the West End. Elton John made the music and Tim Rice wrote the lyrics; what more could you want?

8. Starlight Express

From: 27th March 1984 To: 12th January 2002

One of many fine works by the incredible Andrew Lloyd Webber. However, Starlight Express has had more success in Germany where it has remained consistent since 1988.

7. Mamma Mia!

From: 6th April 1999 To: Present

Mamma Mia exploded onto the musical scene in incredible fashion becoming a worldwide classic. With an ABBA fuelled soundtrack and hilarious story, it became a musical on plenty of bucket lists.

6. Cats

From: 11th May 1981 To: 11th May 2002

Cats is an incredibly celebrated piece of theatre that has been translated into 20 different languages! There’s a rumour that Universal Studios have a film adaptation of Cats to be produced this or next year.

5. Blood Brothers

From: 28th July 1988 To: 10th November 2012

Blood Brothers originally opened in Liverpool before a brief stint on the West End in 1983. However, it’s return to the West End couldn’t be better as it played over 10,000 performances.

4. The Woman In Black

From: 7th June 1989 To: Present

The eerie play is mainly notable for have two actors within its duration. It originally opened in Scarborough as it progressed to the West End.

3. Phantom Of The Opera

From: 9th October 1989 To: Present

Credit: Johan Persson

This is one of the most unique musicals to this day and still plays in over a hundred cities across the globe. Jim Steinman, of Bat Out Of Hell fame, was originally approached to write the lyrics for this.

2. Les Miserables

From: 8th October 1985 To: Present

The ultimate must-see musical that barely any theatre goer would hate. It opened up in Paris in 1980 before taking over the musical world across the world country by country.

1. The Mousetrap

From: 25th November 1952 To: Present

This play is absolutely untouchable as its presence in the West End has a total of over 26,000 performances. It’s known for its twisted ending which audiences are told to never reveal once they leave the theatre.

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