The 1990s called, they want their London theatres back
The 1990s gave us the Game Boy, jelly sandals, and Friends. Brit-pop and trance music took over the 1990s radio stations, and you had to tune in to listen, rather than stream music on demand. Y2K fashion and ’90s trends are also overtaking fashion runways and street style, so it only makes sense that London theatres would be in on the fun.
Now we love a stand-out show in London that sets itself apart from the crowd, but London theatres are definitely tapping into the 1990s trend, and we’re here for it. Shows with chart-topping ’90s hits are finding a new audience and enjoying a second lease of life on stage. At the same time, ’90s films are being revamped with musical twists, and you’d be forgiven for thinking we’re pre-Y2K again.
Whether you lived through the decade, or you’ve just vicariously experienced the era through music videos and fashion trends, now is your time to travel back in time to the 1990s via the theatre.
Sure, William Shakespeare plays may not scream fun at first. But at & Juliet, you can definitely party like it’s 1999. This jukebox musical imagines what Juliet’s life would be if she didn’t die, set to bangers by Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC. If you’re usually the person who waits for hours at the barrier to be at the front for your favourite artist, then & Juliet is the West End concert you need to be at.
At first glance, The Choir of Man may not scream 1990s. It’s a celebratory homage to British culture, with a group of nine men singing feel-good music at everyone’s favourite location — the pub. But this isn’t just any old pub. It’s a pub where double denim is highly encouraged, and ’90s tracks are played on the radio. Think Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Paul Simon, and recent music by Adele, Sia and Avicii.
Not drawn in by the upbeat melodies? Then wait for this… there’s a working bar on stage. Yes, audiences will be invited (and encouraged!) to pour a pint on stage and relax with The Choir of Man company. If there’s one thing The Choir of Man teaches, it’s that you can get knocked down, but you can get up again.
Pride and Prejudice* (sort of)
Plug in your Walkman and get ready to bop to the beats in Pride & Prejudice* (sort of), as the Jane Austen story is modernised for 2021. Sure, the songs are older than the 90s era — there’s hits like Cher and Sonny’s “I Got You Babe” and Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.” But its all-female cast oozes Spice Girls girl power, and there’s nothing wrong with that in our book. These women have a story to tell, and it’s their turn to take the mic. Get ready for this poppy Pride and Prejudice remake to blow your mind.
If, by some unbelievable turn of events, you haven’t heard of the Moulin Rouge! film, then where have you been? The seminal masterpiece is awash with 1990s bangers by everyone from Whitney Houston to Nirvana. And now the spectacular spectacular comes to London, complete with incredible costumes, choreography, and the iconic Parisian windmill. The love story remains the same though, with Christian and Satine falling for one another at the Moulin Rouge. The question is though, will you fall in love at the Moulin Rouge too? Discover why Moulin Rouge! The Musical is one of this season’s hottest shows.
There can be miracles in the power of the 1990s. Arguably one of the most revered animated films of the decade, The Prince of Egypt attracted a new generation of filmgoers to the Genesis story, and that beautiful tale is coming to life on stage. Experience the 1990s film in incredible fashion, where parting the Red sea is even more dramatic than England losing in the Euro 1996 final. And yes, the Academy Award-winning song “When You Believe”, as made famous by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey is in it too.
Scrunchies, spaghetti straps and butterfly clips were all the rage in the nineties. So too were romcoms: Notting Hill and 10 Things I Hate About You are still loved today. But, right at the start of the decade, the world saw Pretty Woman for the first time, and Rodeo Drive really did come to London. If you’re a fan of the original movie, then get ready for a nostalgia-fuelled theatre trip at Pretty Woman: The Musical. All the classic Vivian and Edward-isms are in the show, so don’t be the one that makes a big mistake (huge!) by missing out.
1990s takes over the theatre world
It’s not just London theatres which are tapping into the 1990s vibes. Over on Broadway, the Alanis Morrisette musical Jagged Little Pill is wowing New York audiences. Maybe one day, it’ll come over to the UK? And who can forget the brand new musical Once Upon a One More Time, a fairytale-inspired show packed with Britney Spears’ greatest hits. It’s set to make a world premiere in Washington D.C., ahead of a Broadway transfer, and hopefully one day a West End run.