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Oh What a 
Lovely War

Phantom of the


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum – Ancient Rome.

Annie Get Your Gun – The Wild West at the time of Buffalo Bill’s Travelling Show.

Anything Goes – 1930s musical set aboard a cruise-liner en route from New York to London.

Aspects of Love – Aspects of a 17 year love affair, with music by Lloyd-Webber.

Babes In Arms – A teenager puts on a musical show to avoid being sent to work camp.

Barnum – The early years of Phineas T Barnum, the American showman. The movie 'The Greatest Showman' also tells aspects of the Barnum story

Boy Friend, The – The French Riviera in the1920s.

Boys from Syracuse, The – A musical based on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.

Buddy – Biopic ‘jukebox’ musical on Buddy Holly’s life, set in 1950s America.

Bugsy Malone – 1920s Gangsters, Molls & Flappers.

Cabaret – 1930s Berlin during the rise of the Nazis.

Camelot – Courtly love in Arthurian England.

Carousel – A play of Hungarian origin, transplanted to a New England fishing village. Best known for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’

Cats – Highly successful show based on TS Eliott’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The recent film wasn’t such as success!

Chess – Settings and endings vary.  It has been set in the Tirol, Bangkok and 1960s New York. Sometimes Freddie wins, other times Anatoly.


Evita – Argentina 1935-62 – The story of Eva Peron. Made into a film, starring Madonna.

Follies – Set at the reunion of the artists originally in a 1930 ‘Follies-style’ Broadway revue.

Grease – ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in an American High School setting.

Guys and Dolls – Set in 1940s New York and inspired by the stories of Damon Runyon.

Gypsy – Semi-biographical piece on the life and times of artiste Gypsy Rose Lee.

Hair – A Tribal Love-Rock musical, this hippy-orientated show broke new ground and several taboos.

Hairspray - Based around a TV talent contest with a sub-context of racial tolerence.

Half a Sixpence – Based on HG Wells’ novel ‘Kipps’ and originally starring Tommy Steele

Hamilton - American Revolutionary hip-hop musical.

Hello Dolly –  New York City, turn of the 20th Century, featuring brassy widow Dolly Gallagher Levi, whose arrival in the city causes a stir.

King and I, The – Supposedly based on the true story of English governess Anna Leonowens in the court of the King of Siam (Thailand) in the early 1860s.


Kiss Me Kate – Issues of ‘Taming of the Shrew’ are mirrored in the contemporary theatre group performing it.
Les Miserables - Popular stage-show (and now film) set in French Revolutionary times

Little Night Music, A – Musical on the romantic lives of a number of couples.

Little Shop of Horrors - Extreme gardening drama

Lock Up Your Daughters – Set in 1735. a British musical in the Restoration Comedy-style based on a Henry Fielding novel and featuring lyrics by Lionel Bart.

Me and My Girl – Set in the 1930s, the culture-shock of a long-lost Cockney heir to an aristocratic fortune.

My Fair Lady – Not dissimilar to the above, a street-girl is made ‘posh’ to satisfy a gentlemen’s wager.

No No Nanette – A bible-publisher and his wife seek to ‘tame’ their wild ward Nanette.

Oh What a Lovely War – The First World War done as an ‘end-of the-pier’ show.

We haven’t pictures for every suggestion here, but for the benefit of those wanting inspiration for a Musicals-based event, here's a short list of musicals from which you could perhaps get some ideas!

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West Side


Oklahoma! – Set in 1906– the first blockbuster of the 1940s’ ‘Golden Era’ of musicals.

Oliver! – Adaptation of Dickens’ Oliver Twist with lyrics by Lionel Bart.

Paint Your Wagon – Set in the 1853 California Gold Rush.

Pal Joey – 1930s Chicago and the ‘Joey’ in question is looking to set up his own night-club.

Phantom of the Opera – Set in a Paris Opera House in 1911.

Pippin – A Bob Fosse oddity, involving the son of King Charlemagne and some strolling players.

Pirates of Penzance – Comic opera from Gilbert & Sullivan

Pretty Woman - From the film of the same name..

Rocky Horror Show – A musical inspired by horror classics and B-movies.

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers – Lumberjack woodsmen and shotgun weddings.

Showboat – Musical set aboard an old-time Mississippi paddle-steamer.

Sister Act - Musical adaptation of the film of the same name.

Song and Dance –  A ‘Concert for the Theatre’ comprising ‘Variations’ and ‘Tell me on a Sunday’.

Sound of Music, The: The tale of the singing Von Trapp family at the time of the Nazi invasion of Austria

South Pacific – Tales of a Polynesian US Naval Base during the WII conflict with Japan.

Starlight Express – A musical about trains performed on roller-skates.

Sunset Boulevard – The musical of the famous film of 1950. Ready for my close-up, Mr De Mille?

Tell Me on a Sunday – The loves & losses of a single British girl in Los Angeles.

Tommy – The Who’s rock opera about a deaf, deaf and blind boy who becomes a messiah.

West Side Story – Romeo & Juliet set amongst the New York gangs of the 1950s.

Whistle Down the Wind – Musical adaptation of a much-loved film.

Wicked  - Spin-off/backstory musical based on the better-known Wizard of Oz.

Wizard of Oz – Follow the Yellow Brick Road, with Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Lion and Tinman

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