Wicked is the multiple award-winning West-End show dubbed as ‘the untold story of the witches of Oz’ – currently playing at the grand Apollo Victoria theatre. Originally based on the 1995 novel penned by Gregory Maguire which itself was an unusual interpretation of the 1900 novel and 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Wicked the musical tells a story from the perspective of the two witches – Elphaba and Glinda – who eventually become the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of The North. Rather cleverly, the story is set both before and after the original Wizard of Oz timeline – taking place before and after Dorothy’s adventures in Oz. It is, in essence, that oh-so-popular medium haunting Hollywood at the moment – a prequel.

Originally debuting on Broadway in 2003, Wicked was subject to a luke-warm reception from the theatre-going critics and even suffered some scathing criticism from certain quarters. Despite this, it has proved to be a continued success throughout the last few years, with shows in Japan, Germany, Australia – hitting the West End in 2006. Since the initial outing in 2003, Wicked has won multiple awards including a Grammy and has broken box office records around the world – most notably of which was taking £100,000 within the first hour of tickets being on sale.

The original story of Wicked (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West) is known for being a complicated commentary on the nature of good and evil with political, social and ethical undertones. Obviously adapting such a complex story for stage was quite an undertaking. Where the author of the novel told the story from the Wicked Witches’ perspective, the production team decided to focus instead on the friendship between the two witches, thus completely changing the plot for the theatre. The two main characters contrast so wonderfully in appearance and personality that the story is sure to make for good viewing. Glinda – the beautiful blonde who’s popular with everyone is the unlikely friend and unwitting enemy of Elphaba – the green-skinned, raven-haired distrusted Witch of the West.

Now in its 5th year, the West End production is quite different to the original theatre performance first debuted in San Francisco. Tweaked for the discerning British audience, the show saw changes to dialogue, choreography and more. There have also been a number of cast changes, seeing the lead roles changing hands for the more recent performances.

The plot begins with the death of the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) and then travels back in time to tell the tale of the friendship between the two witches. Wicked treats us to brief appearances from the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion, but Dorothy is missing from the stage as the limelight shines on the witches – and rightly so.

The score of Wicked is truly tremendous and enthralling. Critics have widely commented on the thematic nature of the songs, but the power ballads are what stand out the most, with the two female leads taking centre stage and reminding the audience who the story is about.

The current West-End leads are played by Rachel Tucker (Elphaba) and Louise Dearman (Glinda) both thoroughly beautiful and talented actresses with strong history on the stage behind them and it shows. They put on a marvellous performance and do the original production justice.

Use Compare to find the best priced Wicked tickets online today and book your tickets to see one of the best-selling West-End shows of all time.

For more information on Wicked The Musical – see the official website and watch the videos on their Youtube channel.



Despite the recent heat wave and the fact that we’d all probably rather deny it, Christmas is most certainly on its way. And what would Christmas be without a rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?

This year’s stage adaption, presented by Tiny Tim Productions, will be showing from early November 2011 (previews from the 11th) at The Arts Theatre in London. This is now the fifth year the production will run and a testament to its success and popularity.

Adapted for stage by Susie McKenna and Steve Edis, A Christmas Carol is the story we all know and love, but mixed with the magic of the West End. The Arts Theatre is going the extra mile by transforming its innards to present a Victorian theme. Ensuring that your Christmas outing to the theatre has the Dickens charm.

Once again, Gareth Hale (of Hale and Pace fame) is set to step back into the meagre shoes of Ebenezer Scrooge, backed by a strong cast of enthusiastic, dedicated members of the team.

Of course, A Christmas Carol is the pinnacle of Christmas cheer, as Scrooge, the grumpy miser, is taken through time to teach him the error of his ways. The stage version has, as you’d expect, some unusual elements and quirks that you might not find in the original work by Dickens. Danny and Sidney are locked in the theatre and end up performing the play in front of the audience with the aid of a cat and mouse (puppets). Thereafter follows a musical rendition of the original story with even the puppets taking part. The songs are a wonderfully pleasant addition to the iconic Christmas tale and thoroughly enjoyable.

This stage version of A Christmas Carol contains a healthy mix of the original story penned by Dickinson with beguiling music and tongue-in-cheek humour.

If you’re after some Christmas cheer, book tickets to see A Christmas Carol online with Compare Theatre Tickets. Book now to avoid disappointment.


Showing the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue from the 26th of November The Ladykillers is a stage adaptation of the 1955 film of the same name written by William Rose, directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers. The original black comedy (which won a BAFTA) was said to have based on a dream William Rose.

In 2004, The Ladykillers once again returned to the big screen in an American remake by the Coen brothers, starring Tom Hanks as the head of the team of thieves setting out to steal from a local casino and using their god-fearing landlady as an unwitting alibi.

The American film was a slight departure from the original story which took place at a humble abode in King’s Cross. But otherwise remains relatively true to the theme.

The stage adaptation is set to pay homage to the original film outing on British screens. Peter Capaldi takes the lead as Professor Marcus, leader of a gang of thieves purporting to be part of an amateur string quintet. The gang manage to convince the eccentric Louisa Wilberforce (Marcia Warren) to rent them a room to practice their trade – using music as a front while they plan and execute the robbery of a security van. Things take a turn for the unpleasant when Mrs Wilberforce discovers the truth and threatens to go to the police and the gang decide there is only one course of action. But somehow they end up fighting each other – who will end up with all the cash?

The theatrical adaptation of The Ladykillers is written by Father Ted/The IT Crowd author Graham Linehan and directed by Sean Foley and is supported by a strong cast you’ll easily recognise from recent British television. Based on a strong classic black comedy and re-imagined for stage by a writer whose credits includes Father Ted, The IT Crowd, Brass Eye, as well as co-writing on Black Books, you can be pretty certain that The Ladykillers will be a thorough treat for theatre goers. Linehan is quoted as saying that the theatre version of The Ladykillers will be much ‘more of a farce’ than the original film.

The Ladykiller tickets are available to order through Compare Theatre Tickets – the place where you can always be sure of making a saving on the biggest and best West-End shows.


When you hear about a new theatre show which is based on a musical legend, you’d expect something similar to the likes of Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You – West-end musicals with narrative spawned from and based around a collection of classic tracks. Thriller Live does things differently. Instead of trying to tell a story, Thriller Live simply re-enacts all the old songs in the vein of concert performance.

5 dancer/singers and a cast of back-up dancers sing and replay a variety of Jackson songs spanning the 40 years of his career, starting with the songs of the Jackson 5 and ending with Thriller (hence the name). The lead singers/actors/dancers change as the songs (and time) progresses with Kieran Alleyne playing Michael Jackson in his early afro-toting Jackson 5 years, followed by Ben Foster, John Moabi and Roger Wright who perform the years afterwards and topped off with a superb performance by Ricko Baird who had some experience dancing with Michael Jackson before his passing and therefore is able to re-enact the classic dance moves including the moonwalk, Jackon’s glides, body shuffles and more with the same finesse which would lead you to believe you were watching the master perform. Of course, not all the performers bare a strong resemblance to Michael Jackson, but that is not the intention of the show, Thriller Live is merely meant to be enjoyed for the music and the atmosphere, not any story or re-enactment of Michael Jackson’s actual life. This is where it succeeds and does a fabulous job.

If you’re thinking of going to see Thriller Live then you can be sure to hear all the classic Michael Jackson hits including the likes of I Want You Back, I’ll Be There, Show You The Way To Go, Can You Feel It, Rock With You, She’s Out Of My Life, Beat It, Billie Jean, Earth Song and Thriller plus many more besides.

The king of pop is properly remembered for the excellent music he made over the decades which he graced the charts and our hearts. Thriller Live is doing such a good job that it’s been in the West-end for a while now and since debuting in 2006 it has had a successful tour across the UK and Europe before settling at the Lyric Theatre in Shaftsbury Avenue.

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StompStomp has been going for so long now it’s almost a household name. In fact, it’s been 20 years now since its original inception in 1991. Originally a piece of street theatre performed in the seaside town of Brighton, Stomp quickly became so much more and was an instant smash success. Touring worldwide, Stomp swiftly gained critical-acclaim and won many awards as people across the world recognised the magnificence of its simplicity. And that is why Stomp has been so successful – because it is simple. In short, Stomp does something which had never been done in theatres before. It turned everyday objects into musical instruments. It turned movements into rhythmic sounds and combined the two into an extraordinary musical extravaganza which breaks through cultural and language barriers and captures the imagination and interest of audiences across the world.

The brilliance of Stomp lies in its simplicity. Because there is no plot and no script it can easily be enjoyed by any audience, of any age from any country. There is no confusing story or plot to worry about, the audience can just sit back and enjoy the precisely choreographed performance.

It’s a fun-packed, lively show, performed by an enthusiastic energetic cast who never seem to falter. Where they do, it’s used as a clever joke to entertain and engage the audience.

Stomp probably boasts the widest range of props ever used in a stage performance, yet they are remarkably simple and insignificant. Everyday items are turned into musical instruments – including bins lids, plastic containers, brooms, plungers and even the odd kitchen sink. The secret to Stomp lies in the name. The cast bang, crash, thump and stomp their way around the stage, creating a magnificent musical experience which everyone can enjoy and appreciate. The show opens the audience’s eyes and ears to the world around them – seeing simple everyday household items being turned into musical instruments gives you a different outlook. The sound and movement is fantastic and the climactic scene has a gladiatorial edge to it as dustbin lids as smashed together in what feels like war of the dustbin men.

The magic of Stomp is undeniable. Despite its age, it is still a breath of fresh air, even for modern theatre. It is a change from the norm and a welcome one at that. You cannot but help being impressed by the masterful talent of the cast as they stomp, wosh, brush and crash their way about the stage. Its wonderful simplicity is also its genius.

Stomp has to be seen to be appreciated, but the fact that it has since spawned a US show, several tours worldwide, DVD’s, Blu Ray’s and various television adverts speaks volumes.

Book your Stomp tickets today to see what all the fuss is about.


Betrayal is, as the title suggests, a story of deceit, lies, distrust and broken relationships. It centres around the love triangle between Emma (Kristin Scott Thomas) an art gallery owner, Robert (Emma’s husband) and Jerry, a literary agent and Robert’s best friend. The affair between Emma and Jerry continues for 7 years, and we (the audience) see the trail of destruction, played out backwards from the end of it all. The end of the play, finishing at the beginning, when it all started.

This original story written by Harold Pinter, only involves three main characters (plus an arbitrary waiter) and is famed for the use of the minimal dialogue, veiled emotions and dishonesty which paints a picture of tortured relationships and broken hearts. Betrayal is critically regarded as one of Pinter’s most dramatic works – its simplicity, clever dialogue and face-saving dishonesty paint a perfect picture. Often hailed as a modern classic, it is the perfect telling of an otherwise outwardly clichéd story. The backwards retelling adds a nice twist to the story, but hardly helps you decipher the characters and their constant lies and deflections.

‘I’ve always rather liked Jerry. To be honest, I’ve always liked him rather more than I’ve liked you. Maybe I should have had an affair with him myself.’

Pinter helps the audience realise that the betrayal is not just between the lovers, but also between friends. The consequences of lust and desire are all too clear. It is said that the story for Betrayal is inspired by Pinter’s own clandestine, extra-marital seven year affair with a television presenter. His experiences clearly seep through into the characters and add an extra level of believability to the tale.

With BAFTA award-winning actress Kristin Scott Thomas at the helm of this Olivier award-winning play, it’s bound to be a winner.  Together with Douglas Henshall and Ben Miles, they manage to reinvigorate Pinter’s original play as it was written in 1978. The director, Ian Rickson, has himself had many successes in recent years and is highly praised among the theatre-going critics. It’s easy to see why. Betrayal is a magnificent story with adult themes of deceit, desire and decadence.

Betrayal is not suitable for young audiences.

Betrayal is only running at the Comedy Theatre in Panton Street until August, so be sure to book your tickets now to save disappointment. Remember, you can save up to 50% on Betrayal tickets using our comparison service. Book online today!



It’s been 40 years since Butley was first written by Simon Gray back in the early 1970s and it is safe to say that it’s probably his best known play to date. As a testament to that fact, an anniversary production is now showing at the Duchess Theatre in London, directed by Lindsay Posner and designed by Peter McKintosh.

Dominic West, famed for his role in HBO’s The Wire fills Butley’s shoes with the same dark humour and vile tongue as his predecessors – delivering sharp one-liners and snide put-downs just as Simon Gray intended with the original character.

For those not familiar with Butley, the story centres on Ben Butley – an alcoholic English University lecturer with problems; A rocky marriage, broken friendships and a never-ending disgust for his students. Butley is in full self-destruct mode and he’s taking everyone with him.

“The extraordinary thing about Butley, it still seems to me, is that the play gives us a character who hurls himself towards the destruction while  living, in the fever of his intellectual hell, with a vitality and brilliance known too few of us.” (Harold Pinter)

Butley is a clever, witty, black comedy which the majority of people will enjoy, but academics and students will revel in. Dominic West adds his own spin to the character, adding a new edge and welcome style. You’ll both love and hate Butley and in all likelihood will leave the theatre feeling doubtful whether he’ll ever get his life in order.

The supporting cast gel well and the whole play comes together magnificently – a homage to Simon Gray’s original work. Yet another thoroughly enjoyable night out at the theatre.

Find out more about Butley on Simon Gray’s website, see the official Butley site or follow the play on Twitter – @ButleyLondon.

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