The best way to find out which shows are coming up in London is to search online for a London theatre guide. There are lots of different websites that detail the latest musicals and plays in the West End, from ticket agencies, to online listings websites like whatsonstage. If you visit any of the major London theatres, you can normally pick up a listings magazine at the theatre box office or from one of the ushers in the theatre foyer.
Generally, most West End musicals run for many years, so you can normally find out which theatre is playing host to which show. Most Londoners are pretty knowledgeable too, so if you can’t find the theatre you’re looking for, you can just ask someone on the street, they can normally point you in the right direction!
If you manage to pick up a London theatre guide, you will find they are normally split into sections – the first, and arguably most important for tourists – is the London musicals section – this will list all the main musicals, the theatres, location, box office telephone numbers and sometimes reviews of each show. Some of London’s most famous theatres are listed, including the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Palladum. All the long running shows will appear in the London theatre guide, like Les Miserables, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and Blood Brothers, together with the newer shows like Million Dollar Quartet and Betty Blue Eyes.
The next main section will normally be about London plays, drama and comedy shows. Plays tend to have a shorter “shelf-life” so be sure to pick up the latest theater guide as otherwise; it might be somewhat out of date. Most of London’s main theatres will be listed, together with some off-West end and fringe venues. The 39 Steps and The Mousetrap have been running for years, together with shows like Woman in Black. The official london theatre guide will also include the newer plays at venues like Trafalgar Studios and the Donmar Warehouse.
Another option might be to pick up a free copy of London’s Evening Standard newspaper. These are handed out outside most London tube and train stations and contain a theatre listings guide which, although not as detailed as the London theatre guide
you can normally pick up at the theatres, contains lots of useful information to get you around London’s West End.