1. Once at the Phoenix Theatre
Once is a beautiful boy meets girl love story about an Irish busker and a young Czech mother who meet through a shared love of music. The musical, which won eight Tony awards on Broadway, is very raw and simple, with all the cast playing the music on-stage. Before the show and during the interval you can enjoy a drink with your loved one on the on-stage bar. Described as a “musical celebration of life and love”, Once will certainly provide a very special Valentine’s Day treat.
2. The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre
The love story between The Phantom of the Opera and Christine Daaé remains just as breathtaking as when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical opened in 1986. Every time I’ve seen Phantom what stands out is that at the heart of the show is such a simple story of love. Argentinian star Gerónimo Rauch recently joined the production, fresh from a three year stint in Les Miserables in the title role. Rauch gives a tremendous performance, the show is in very safe hands.
3. Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre
If you don’t fancy sitting through a soppy love story on Valentine’s Day, Spamalot is a perfect alternative. The best thing about Spamalot is that it has such wide appeal, meaning you and your partner will most certainly enjoy the Monty Python musical in equal amounts. You don’t have to be a Monty Python lover to find the show hysterical as it includes plenty of topical references and makes fun of other musicals and theatre in general. The show is just two hours (including an interval) and has two performances on Valentine’s Day at 6pm and 9pm making it easy to incorporate into a night out!
4. Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre
You can’t go wrong with Matilda, since opening in the West End just over two years ago nobody has had a bad word to say about it. Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s musical broke records when it won an impressive seven Olivier Awards in 2012 and I have heard incredible things about West End regular, Alex Gaumond who recently joined the production as Miss Trunchbull. Of course it is the children who are the true stars of the show and will leave you utterly amazed!
5. Shakespeare In Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
Finally, if you would rather give your partner tickets to something you can both look forward to later in the year, Shakespeare in Love would make the perfect option. The new play, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall from the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, will have a cast of over 26 actors and musicians. Shakespeare In Love’s producer, Sonia Friedman, recently described the romantic comedy as “a moving and hilarious celebration of everything that we love about the inspirational and transformative power of theatre.” Shakespeare In Love begins previews from 2nd July 2014.
Photo credit: Frank Ockenfels