Top 10 selling shows on WhatsOnStage in February
See the most popular shows on the site last month
10. The Grinning Man
Trafalgar Studios, until 17 April
Hallelujah to the Grinning Man! The West End run of the musical version of Jules Verne's morbid and surreal tale continues apace, with the puppetry, haunting music and some gruesome facial prosthetics making this a surefire hit for West End audiences. With just over a month left in its West End run and direction from the Bristol Old Vic's artistic director Tom Morris, audiences are clearly enthralled by this new British musical.
9. 42nd Street
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Since opening, 42nd Street has danced its ways into audiences' hearts, going so far as to bag four WhatsOnStage Awards in February including Best Musical Revival. It's no surprise, therefore, to see it featured on our list of top-selling shows, especially with the news this month that singing icon Lulu will be joining the cast alongside Ashley Day. With the show tapping the night away at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, audiences can head on down for a night of pizzazz in the heart of the West End.
8. Kinky Boots
Leave expectation at the door – Kinky Boots is a rollicking ride of fun set in a shoe factory in Northampton that challenges prejudices in the most glittery way possible. Having bagged three Olivier Awards and now in its third year in the West End, the feel-good musical is a firm fixture on the Strand at the Adelphi Theatre. What's more, the show is about to get its shoes on and head out on a UK tour, opening this autumn.
7. Songs for Nobodies
Wilton's Music Hall
Bernadette Robinson has the weight of five icons on her shoulders. Portraying Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas, Robinson comes to Wilton's musical hall in a one-woman tour-de-force throughout March. After a storming success when the show first debuted in Australia, audiences are keen to see it hit UK shores, expecting a trip down musical memory lane.
6. Harold and Maude
Charing Cross Theatre, until 31 March
Sheila Hancock proves why she's a theatrical powerhouse in this new production of Harold and Maude, based on the cult classic 1971 film of the same name. With Hancock taking on the role of Maude, a woman grappling with her own mortality, this is an off-the-wall addition to the London theatre roster, and clearly that intrigue has paid off with punters.
5. The Best Man
Playhouse Theatre, until 12 May
Martin Shaw, Maureen Lipman and Honeysuckle Weeks lead the cast in the West End run of Gore Vidal's '6os political drama, which comes to the Playhouse after a UK tour last year. Set in the US, the piece sees two politicians vying to become their party's presidential candidate. With the state of politics constantly scrutinised both sides of the pond, this seems like a timely run for Vidal's piece, directed by Simon Evans (who directed the equally pertinent Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui).
Apollo Victoria Theatre
Wicked continues to work its magic on West End audiences, securing a solid spot on our top openings for another month. With a cast led by Sophie Evans and Alice Fearn (who recently performed a number from Waitress at the 18th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards), the land of Oz seems to be a popular place right now. Stephen Schwartz's show is also on the road with a new UK tour – the streets are paved with Green for Wicked right now!
London Coliseum, 26 April to 2 June
Ever since the revival production of Chess was announced, audiences were itching to find out who will be leading the musical. And the show's cast did not disappoint when unveiled in February – West End legend Michael Ball, leading lady Cassidy Janson and Bodyguard-lead Alexandra Burke starring alongside original cast member Murray Head. Running for a strictly limited season from next month, audiences have been buying in droves or face missing what will invariably be a big occasion for the West End.
2. The Light Princess in concert
Cadogan Hall, July 1
After opening at the National Theatre four years ago, many were wondering when exactly Tori Amos and Samuel Adamson's fairytale musical, about a woman lighter than air, would float back onto the British stages. The answer was revealed last month when Club 11 announced a concert performance of the show, featuring original lead Rosalie Craig back as princess Althea, joined by her husband and current young Frankenstein Hadley Fraser as the prince Digby. With so much star calibre onstage, it's no surprise it's soared to the number two spot on our list.
1. King Lear
Duke of York's Theatre, from 11 July to 3 November
It's no surprise that one of Britain's most iconic actors has hugged the top spot on our highest selling shows list. After a critically storming success down in Chichester (including a five-star review from WhatsOnStage), Ian McKellen returns to the West End as the ill-fated King who tries to divide up his kingdom between his three daughters. The show is directed by Jonathan Munby, who is currently giving audiences the chills with his revival of Frozen at Theatre Royal Haymarket.