We pick your 14 February plans based on your relationship status
Haven’t you heard? Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers anymore. No matter if you’ve been together forever or single for what feels like forever, the West End is the perfect place to head for some Valentine’s Day festivities. Celebrate with your partner, live vicariously through one of this season’s great romances, or have an unforgettable girls’ night out. Or just hunker down in the theatre and wait for all the love to clear from the air… We’ve put together your ultimate guide to the West End this Valentines Day, to help you pick the perfect show for you based on your relationship status.
If it’s your first date:
The Choir Of Man
If you’ve bravely chosen to have your first date on Valentine’s Day, you’ll probably want to steer clear of anything too romantic. The Choir Of Man at the Arts Theatre is a great pick. This immersive theatre experience is half show, half party – it’s the theatrical equivalent of a night at your local, only with some quality entertainment.
If you’re single and loving it:
Six The Musical
Think your ex was the worst? Allow the queens of Six to set you straight as they sing you through the insults they’ve suffered at the hands of ex-partners. This West-End-musical- meets-pop-concert sees the six wives of Henry VIII take back their stories, this time putting the infamous monarch in the backseat and claiming centre stage for themselves.
If you’re newly in love:
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
There are few more show-stopping celebrations of love and life than Moulin Rouge! With a soundtrack that cleverly weaves pop songs into the fabric of the 19th century French setting and some of the most stunning visuals you’ll see onstage, this show is a perfect blend of the familiar and the dazzlingly new. If you and your partner are planning your first loved-up Valentine’s and can’t quite make the Parisian weekend work, this is the next best thing.
If you just went through a bad breakup:
If you need an excuse to sob in a theatre for two plus hours, allow us to guide you towards one of the most sob-worthy shows in London. Les Misérables has been sending audiences home in floods of tears since 1985, so you’ll feel right at home amongst the crowd at the Sondheim Theatre. Besides, there’s nothing like the struggles of 19th century street French street urchins to put your own problems into perspective.
If it’s girls’ night:
Magic Mike Live
Where else would we send you? The live experience based on the hit film franchise is THE Gal-entines night out. The excellent choreography, vibrant atmosphere and handcrafted cocktails are just the cherry on top of – well, you know what they’re on top of.
If you’re ready to propose:
The Time Traveler’s Wife
This ever-popular story of love that endures against all the odds is now a West End musical, and there’s very few shows in London more romantic. Following the relationship between a time traveler and the woman he is repeatedly pulled back to at different points along her timeline, the stage version of Audrey Niffenegger’s novel boasts an original score and some dazzling onstage magic. If you’re right on the precipice of dropping down onto one knee – or kicking your partner in the back of theirs – then this might tip you over.
If you’ve been together forever:
If you’ve been together so long that your friends can barely remember you apart, then this mythological love story is one for you. The Broadway hit has finally made its way to the West End, and this Valentine’s is the perfect time to check it out. Hadestown is an unorthodox love story that acknowledges the huge tests some relationships go through – although fingers crossed none of us will have to go and retrieve our partners from the underworld anytime soon.
If you’re taking the whole family:
Mamma Mia! The Musical
Babysitter bailed last minute? Salvage the night with the jukebox musical that’s proven to be a hit with audiences of all ages. Sure, the kids might have been born three decades after the height of ABBA, but no one is immune to the charms of ‘Dancing Queen’. And there’s plenty of romance in here as well, so date night is still on.
If you’re newlyweds:
This domestic drama about the Shakespeares at home is a heart-wrenching watch, so steer clear if you’re looking for a cheerful, uplifting date night. But the discussions that Maggie O’Farrell’s book and Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation sparks about marriage are well worth entering into if you’ve recently tied the knot – and Will and Agnes’ complicated but enduring love for each other makes this an incredibly moving watch.
If you prefer something different:
If you’re looking for a night out with your partner this 14 February that doesn’t give you a toothache, head on down to the Kit Kat Club and try this acclaimed production of Cabaret. Currently starring Jake Shears as The Emcee and Rebecca Lucy Taylor (better known as Self Esteem) as Sally Bowles, this immersive take on the classic musical is one of London’s most in-demand tickets.
If you want to break up:
An Enemy Of The People
Listen, this new production of Henrik Ibsen’s classic about truth verses power is going to be spectacular, stirring and incredibly provoking. But it won’t be romantic. Book this for Valentine’s Day, and your partner will probably get the hint.