Immersive theatre: the West End shows to lose yourself in

Want to solve a murder from the jury box? Or get twerked on by oily topless men? These are the shows that put you right in the drama

Listen, we won’t ask questions about what it is you’re trying to escape from – we’re just here to point you in the direction of some of London’s most transporting nights out. From sultry burlesque to table-thumping singalongs, there’s plenty of West End productions that will let you become part of the action regardless of whether or not you’ve graduated from drama school. Here’s our guide to the London theatre you’ll get totally lost in. Just don’t blame us when real life looks a little underwhelming in comparison…

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

London’s Playhouse Theatre has been transformed into Berlin’s most notorious burlesque club especially to host Rebecca Frecknall’s Cabaret. You’ll sit sipping your drinks amongst other patrons and watch as the Kit Kat Club performers transport you out of the world we live in and into one where everyone is free to be themselves. If you visit before 23 September, you’ll be able to catch Mason Alexander Park as Emcee and Maude Apatow as Sally Bowles.

Magic Mike Live

Magic Mike Live

We’re sure you’ve heard of this one, and if you haven’t then you’re probably not the target audience. Still, this ab-ulous (sorry) display at the Hippodrome Casino is about a lot more than just shirtless men. There’s dance, comedy, music, acrobatics… and, alright, a lot of shirtless men.

Mamma Mia! The Party

If you’ve ever wished you could pry open the screen of your TV and crawl into Donna’s Grecian paradise, then Mamma Mia! The Party can offer you the next best thing. Tucked away in London’s O2 is a little slice of island life, complete with sun, good food, great drinks and lots of ABBA. You’ll enjoy a four-course meal as the story unfolds around you, before ending the night with an ABBA disco. Stepping back out into the London drizzle might be something of a shock.

Brokeback Mountain

Annie Proulx’s beloved short story gets a new life at Soho Place, the West End’s newest theatre. The story of Jack and Ennis, portrayed by Mike Faist and Lucas Hedges respectively, transports audiences to the bleak but beautiful landscape of Wyoming. The theatre’s intimate design, Tom Pye’s thoughtful set and Eddi Reader’s soulful vocals help to pull us in deeply. You’ll leave dazed.

Cirque du Soleil: Alegría

Cirque du Soleil celebrates the 30th anniversary of one of their most beloved productions with Alegría: In A New Light, coming to the Royal Albert Hall in January 2024. The magically immersive show (over your head and all around you) tells the story of a kingdom in disarray, with various forces struggling for power in the wake of the king’s death. If you’ve seen Cirque du Soleil before then you know already you’re in for something dazzling, but raise your expectations – Alegría is a classic for a reason. And if you’ve never caught the world-famous circus performers before, there really couldn’t be a better place to start.

Witness For The Prosecution

What better place to see Agatha Christie’s crime thriller than an actual court room? London’s County Hall opens its doors to this adaptation of Christie’s novel, where the audience becomes the jury in the trial of Leonard Vole, accused of murdering widow Emily French. As the court grapples with the case, you’ll be racing to put the pieces together yourself before the final reveal.

Choir Of Man

The Choir Of Man | 2023 West End Trailer

Choir Of Man is here to make sure you never have to choose between a night at the theatre and a trip to the pub. A roster of reworked chart-toppers awaits you at the Arts Theatre, along with a foot-stomping band of fellas to sing them and a real working bar onstage. Part concert, part theatre production, part lock-in; you’ve never experienced anything quite like this (unless you have the best local in the world).