The top ten longest running West End shows

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By AdFeatures | Wednesday, July 04, 2012, 09:16


London's West End is known around the world as the place where the very best stage productions are to be found. Whether, musicals, dramas or comedies are your particular choice, when you buy your London theatre tickets from you can be sure that the highest quality productions will be on offer.

Here are the ten most successful, longest running West end productions:

1. Although it is accepted that the general rule of thumb is that musicals make up the majority of the longest running productions, it is a drama that holds the coveted number one spot. 'The Mousetrap' by Agatha Christie in now in its 60th year, making it the longest-running play in the world. Having opened on 25th November 1952 at the Ambassadors Theatre, it now continues its world record breaking run at The St Martin's Theatre.

2. 'Les Misérables' opened 8th October 1985 at the Palace Theatre and moved to the Queen's Theatre in 2004 where it continues today, now in its 27th year. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo the love story of 19th century revolutionary France features lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and music by Claude-Michel Schonberg

3. 'The Phantom Of The Opera', the tragic love story of a beautiful opera singer and a young disfigured composer based on Gastine Lore's famous novel, in now in its 26th year. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webbed and lyrics by Charles Hart it continues at Her Majesty's Theatre and is currently booking to April 2013.

4. Willy Russel's 'Blood Brothers' is in its 24th year. Its successful run continues at the Phoenix Theatre. As with most of the other productions listed here, you can book seats online at

5. 'The Woman in Black' bills itself as "the most terrifying live theatre experience" and is inspired by the world of film noir. Over 7 million people have seen the show in its 23 year run and it is currently staged at the Fortune Theatre.

6. For many years 'Cats' by Andrew Lloyd Webbed held the record for the longest running musical. Having opened 11th May 1981 at the New London Theatre it closed in 2002 on its 21st anniversary after running for 8,949 performances.

7. 'Starlight Express' opened 27 March 1984 at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and closed 12 January 2002 after a run of 17 years.

8. 'Chicago' opened at the Adelphi Theatre on 18 November and is now in its 15th year.

9. 'Mamma Mia' features the songs of ABBA by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and is the story of a mother and daughter set on the eve of the daughter's wedding. Originally at the Prince Edward Theatre it moves to the Novello Theatre in September 2012 and is in its 13th year.

10. Also in its 13th year is the stage production of the Disney film 'The Lion King' at the Lyceum Theatre on The Strand.



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