There is a view, often, among the public, that good musicals are on Broadway and that Broadway is bigger and better than the West End. What better time than St George’s Day to debunk the myth. These musicals were all on the West End, before they made it to Broadway;
Lionel Bart’s classic came before the film, and didn’t originate on broadway. The production premiered at the Noel Coward theatre in London on 30th June 1960, but didn’t move to broadway until 1964. Since then, it’s had revivals in 1977, 1983, 1994, 2009, and a tour which opened in 2011.
This probably shouldn’t strictly count – but despite being based on the french novel by Victor Hugo, the english version which we all know and love was originally produced in the UK. It has been running ever since in the UK, but has opened and closed a couple of time
Tim Minchin’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s much loved book currently has two productions running simultaneously in the UK, and there are very few people with a bad word to say about it. Its impressive and child-heavy cast is mesmerising and it is currently booking in London until February 2019.
Billy Elliot opened on at the Victoria Palace theatre, now home to smash hit Hamilton, in 2005. It then transferred to Sydney before it even made it to broadway, in 2008. Based firmly in a period of pivotal British Politics, it is a wonderfully english piece which is emotional and light hearted in equal measure.
Blood Brothers opened in the UK in 1983 and took until 1993 to make it to the other side of the pond. It ran until 2012 in London and has been on several UK tours both during the London run and since, with a huge number of cult fans.
What are your favourite shows which weren’t Broadway to London transfers?
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