With the OLT sale starting on the 6th of December at 10 am, now is the best time to find out which musical based on a book is the right one for you to see in the near future. With ‘Matilda,’ Les Miserables’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ all included in the sale, it’s time to see which one you’re most excited for, or maybe try and see all three!

Mary Poppins 

When you think about the magical tale of Mary Poppins, your mind probably goes to the classic Disney film from 1964. But PL Travers – the Australian-British writer – actually wrote eight Mary Poppins books based on the five Banks children. So, while Disney popularised the story of everyone’s favorite nanny, the reality is that PL Travers is responsible for the magic. 


Although Matilda the book was only published by Roald Dahl in 1988, it quickly became one of his most popular works and remained one of the most loved children’s books in the world. The book has inspired children all around the world in so many different ways, encouraging kids to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges in the face of adversity. The Matilda musical has been showing at the Cambridge Theatre since 2011 and is one of the most popular shows in the West End. 

Les Miserables 

Before it became one of the world’s leading musicals, Les Mis was a book that was written in 1862 by Victor Hugo. The story is a product of the 1832 June Rebellion and has since become one of the most cherished tales of the present day. One thing to realize, however, is that the book has much darker undertones than the musical, and there are a lot of murders and other criminal acts that aren’t necessarily portrayed in the musical. Still, it’s worth reading if you’re a fan of Les Mis and are hoping for more context to the story! 

Phantom of the Opera 

The story of Christine and the Phantom was originally released as a five-part serial in Le Gaulois, a popular French newspaper in the early 1900s. The dramatic tale became exceptionally popular at the time and was based on a real rumor that the Paris Garnier opera house was haunted by a ghoul. Given its humble beginnings, few could have imagined that it would become one of the most enduring on-stage tales, playing out to millions of people all around the world. 

Beauty and the Beast 

While many people associate Beauty and the Beast with the film, the reality is that Disney’s hit show is actually based on a book – and it’s a true story! The 1991 film of the same name was inspired by the classic French fairytale La Belle et la Bete, written sometime in the 1700s. The original fairytale was based on a story that played out within the French nobility, as Courtier Petrus Gonsalves became famous for his unsightly hairy appearance, which resulted from a medical condition. Although his bride wasn’t told about his condition until their wedding day, they went on to live a long and happy life together! 

The bottom line 

Ultimately, there are so many musicals based on books, even if you didn’t realize it before now! If you’re inspired to read and then watch some of the best-loved tales in the world, discover which musicals are currently playing in London’s West End, and book your tickets today.