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The cast of Six The Musical by Pamela Raith

Baylie Carson as Anne Boleyn and the cast of SIX the Musical. Photography credit - Pamela Raith

10 theatre shows that finish before 10pm

First Published 23 April 2019, Last Updated 30 May 2023

Is there anything better than immersing yourself in some fantastic theatre, then having a stroll towards the train station, with hardly any crowds around you, feeling fully confident that you’ll comfortably make your train home? If you’re not a night owl and you’re a slave to your bedtime (or indeed, the train schedule) here’s a list of shows in the West End that finish before 10, so you can have a night out in style and still be home before your carriage turns into a pumpkin!

1. 2:22 A Ghost Story

2:22 A Ghost Story

Running time: 2h, finished by 9.30pm

Following three record-breaking seasons at the Noel Coward, Gielgud Theatre and Criterion Theatre with a host of acclaimed star performances, this edge-of-your-seat, supernatural thriller now stars Girls Aloud’s Cheryl at the Lyric Theatre.

You may be thankful of the early night, but we can’t guarantee you’ll be able to sleep when you get home….

2. The Choir Of Man

Men having drinks

Running time: 1h30 (no interval), finished by 9pm

The multi-talented cast of nine guys combine beautiful harmonies and foot-stomping singalongs with world-class tap dance and poetic meditations on the power of community. This is a riotously feel-good homage to that unique gathering place: the pub.

3. Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing, photo Mark Senior

Running time: 2h10, finished by 9.40pm

Seen by millions across the globe this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.

See the hit film come to life before your eyes with this fantastic, emotional and triumphant live stage show.

4. Disney’s Frozen

Running time: 2h30 (inc. interval), finished by 9.30pm

Starting at 7pm, Disney’s Frozen is one of the earlier shows to finish in the West End. Taking the film you know and love and incorporating new songs, expanded characters and a whole host of beautiful choreography and sets, the land of Arendelle and beyond are brought to life before your very eyes.

Whether you’re treating the kids to a magical trip to the theatre, or seeing it for yourself, come and be enchanted by Elsa, Anna, and friends.

5. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

Running time: Part 1: 2h40, Part 2: 2h35 (inc. intervals), finished by 9.35pm

Surprisingly, given that it’s in two parts, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child makes this list! With Part One usually running from 2pm and Part Two from 7pm (1pm and 6pm on Sundays), you can fit more than 5 hours of theatre into one day and still be home well before the last train. So dig out your old Gryffindor scarf and head to the Palace Theatre to experience something as close to real magic as it gets.

6. Heathers The Musical

Running time: 2h20 (including interval), finished by 9.50pm

Welcome to Westerberg High where Veronica Sawyer is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers and her dreams of popularity may finally come true, mysterious teen rebel JD teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder being a somebody…

Plus, the Other Palace is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Victoria Station, so you’re mere moments away from whatever bus, tube or train you need to catch home!

7. Magic Mike Live

The cast of magic mike live in a party-like setting on stage - there are fake money notes being flown around

Running time: 1h30 (no interval), finished by 8.30pm

If you’re looking for 90 minutes of pure entertainment, look no further. Comedy, dance, audience participation – and of course… the cast – this show has it all. While there is a later showing you can head for if you’re looking for more of an ‘out out’ night, you can also see the show at 7pm most evenings, meaning you can be heading back out, blinking in the light, by a whopping 8.30pm. We just can’t promise you won’t be in the mood to find a club afterwards!

8. Matilda The Musical

Running time: 2h35 (including interval), finished by 9.35pm

A delightful interpretation of Roald Dahl’s classic book, Tim Minchin’s hilarious and heart-warming songs bring this musical to life. Closer to the book than the 1996 film starring Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, you get a deeper delve into some wonderful characters, including the friend Matilda makes in Mrs Phelps the librarian. Though you may by now have seen the new film of the musical, there’s nothing quite like seeing it performed live on stage – especially when it’s so jam-packed full of talented kids!

9. The Mousetrap

The Mousetrap Cast

Running time: 2h20 (including interval), finished by 9.50pm

Written by Agatha Christie, The Mousetrap is one of the most famous whodunnits in the world. Even after running for over 60 years, theatregoers are still trying to suss out the culprit! 

Will the police be able to solve the case before another “mouse” falls? This beloved and thrilling play will keep you on your toes the entire time but even with a twist ending, will still have you leaving before 10pm! 

10. The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play That Goes Wrong, photo Robert Day

Running time: 2h05 (including interval), finished by 9.35pm

Watch out for falling scenery, misplaced props and unprepared actors in The Play That Goes Wrong.

One of the longer productions on this list, this slapstick show about an amateur dramatics group trying to put on a performance has previously won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. You’ll certainly be in for a side-splitting treat that’s for sure! (not literally of course…the scenery won’t fall on your head or anything)



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    9 to 5 come from away ghost stories showstopper! the improvised musical six the musical the comedy about a bank robbery the mousetrap the play that goes wrong thriller live Witness for the Prosecution

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