Our Top 10 Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals Image

Our Top 10 Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals

Written by Estelle Ross

Jan 07, 2023

Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the most talented and well-known composers of musicals in British history. In total, Lloyd-Webber has composed 13 musicals, several of which have run for over a decade both in London and on Broadway. Here is our list of Lloyd-Webber’s top ten musicals so far.

1. School of Rock

For any aspiring musicians, this show is the perfect one to prove to children that with practice they can achieve anything. This show has three extremely talented children’s bands rocking out eight times a week and will blow you away from the very start. Based on the hit film School of Rock this musical has been adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellows (Downton Abbey) and tells the story of pretend teacher Dewey Finn and a group of talented children who enter the Battle Of The Bands to become the next biggest rock band. This really is the perfect show for people of all ages and is one not to be missed.

2. Evita

Written in 1976 and with lyrics by Tim Rice, Evita tells the story of Eva Peron, the wife of Juan Peron who was the President of Argentina. Featuring true classic songs such as ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’, ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’ and ‘You Must Love Me’, this show is one of the best ever created. Since opening, it has become a hit film in 1996 featuring Madonna and has been playing across countries all over the world.

3. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Possibly one of Webber’s most popular shows and the first to be written by himself and Tim Rice (in 1968), this true classic has gained nothing but praise since inception. Travelling all over the world and boasting an impressive list of celebrities in its starring roles, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat tells the biblical story of Joseph, son of Jacob, who is taken in by the Pharaoh to prophesy his dreams. Its songs such as ‘Any Dream Will Do’ and ‘Close Every Door’ are loved the world over and is returning to London in July 2020.

4. The Phantom of the Opera

This extremely popular show has been in London since it was written, with lyrics by Charles Hart, in 1986, making it the third longest-running show in the city. It tells the story of the ‘phantom’ who terrorises performers in a Parisian Opera in order to bring his leading lady to fame and fortune. Since its inception, The Phantom of the Opera was adapted into a film in 2004, and Lloyd-Webber wrote a sequel to the story in 2010. It is currently playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre and is a must-see for true musical lovers.

5. Jesus Christ Superstar

Following the success of ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’, Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice wrote their second musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ to similar triumph in 1970. At the time it was first released it was the subject of controversy due to some of its themes which were viewed as “blasphemous” at the time, but it quickly became a cult classic and remains so to this day. Based on the last supper, through to crucifixion of Jesus in the Christian Bible, this truly spectacular show has received unfounded praise since it was first released and has had 24 separate runs in London, New York and on various world tours. It was adapted into a film in 1973 and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a US tour. This mind-blowing show features songs such as ‘Heaven on their Minds’ and ‘King Herod’s Song’, and is sure to continue to amaze audiences for years to come.

6. The Wizard of Oz

Based on the 1939 film of the same name, Lloyd-Webber adapted the music to this beloved story along with Jeremy Sams and Tim Rice. This is Lloyd-Webber’s 18th musical and received rave reviews as soon as it opened in the London Palladium. This production was extremely popular for several reasons, one of which was its BBC TV Talent Programme ‘Over The Rainbow’ which searched for the actress who would play the title role of Dorothy. Since production in 2011 this show has played in Canada, the US and Australia.

7. Sunset Boulevard

Written by Lloyd-Webber, with lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, in 1993, this musical is based on the 1950 film and tells the story of outdated actress Norma Desmond as she attempts to make her return to the big screen. Since it first opened in London in 1993, this amazing show has featured a cast including stars such as Patti LuPone, Glenn Close and Danny Mac and has played in 12 countries across the world. In 1995 it won eight Tony Awards and has continued with similar success throughout each of its runs.

8. Starlight Express

This extraordinary musical tells the story of a series of trains, and when it was written in 1984 by Lloyd-Webber and Richard Stilgoe, was a show like no other. The show is centred on a young steam engine called Rusty and his race against the newer diesel and electric engines to impress the love of his life, Pearl. Famously, all of the actors in this show perform on roller skates; something which has never been done in any other show. It ran in London for 18 years and has become the most successful musical in Germany, where it has been playing in a purpose-built theatre since 1988.

9. Cats

Andrew Lloyd-Webber composed Cats in 1981 based on lyrics that were written by T.S. Eliot in his 1939 poetry collection ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’. Since it was first premiered in the New London Theatre, it has wowed audiences the world over and has been translated in several different languages. The show claims to have started the ‘megamusical’ phenomenon (whereby musicals are shown on a large scale for commercial profit) and ran for 21 years in London, and 18 in New York. It was adapted into a film that was released in January 2020 and received largely positive reviews and is loved by many across the globe. Interestingly, Cats played in the New London Theatre in London, and the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway and both of these theatres went on to show Lloyd-Webber’s newest musical – School of Rock!

10. Love Never Dies

With music by Lloyd-Webber and lyrics by Glenn Slater, Love Never Dies is the 2010 sequel to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, telling a love story of the characters Christine Daae and Raoul who feature in the Phantom of the Opera. Since opening in London this show has played in six different countries across the globe and despite receiving mixed reviews, it continues to hold audiences’ hearts to this day and is commencing its UK tour this year, opening in September at the Curve in Leicester.

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