Our Favourite Musicals of the Noughties


High School Musical

I have always been rather fond of musicals, and the escapism they create in an elaborate song and dance, with the occasional bit of text thrown in for good measure. Although I presently prefer the allure of the spotlight in grand theatres, with musicals such as Les Misérables and Wicked taking centre stage in my life, my admiration for musicals did not always equate to these eloquent classics.

Aside from an introduction to obvious classics such as Annie and Oliver, my first real glimpse into the world of musical theatre began with High School Musical – a Disney production that took overall children’s childhoods in the noughties.

I remember being blown away by the glitter and sparkles incorporated, even believing that that is what high school would truly look like – you can imagine my horror when I did eventually start secondary school. The storyline and songs are simplistic – focusing on a group of students involved in their upcoming school play – yet the words and images remain ever-intact within my mind. The characters are iconic, with Sharpay’s hideous addiction to pink and squealing every five seconds when something did not go her way and the timeless romance between Troy and Gabrielle.

Of course, watching a movie musical by no means compares to sitting face-to-face with actors and actresses on the big stage, particularly when examining one as cheesy as High School Musical, but, as a child living far away from the West End, it perfectly peaked my childhood curiosity, and got me hooked on the gleeful sensation that they inhabit. So much so, that I now frequently travel to London to get my theatre fix.

By Ellie Griffiths

Mamma Mia!

Other than writing, my one true love will always be musical theatre. I have acted, directed, and produced them since I was 11 but this love also extends to watching them. The noughties was a wonderful time for live theatre, with the first performances of many engaging and classic musicals, from Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and Hairspray to I Love You Because. However, to me, the ultimate noughties musical is Mamma Mia! 

Now, I know that technically, its first performance was in 1999, but I discovered the musical (and the film adaptation was released) in the noughties. As a girl who has always adored ABBA and cheesy musicals, Mamma Mia! lives up to every expectation. Glittery, over-the-top costumes, large sets that transport you to Greece, feel-good, nostalgic music, and a simple yet engaging plot, Mamma Mia! has all a musical fan could want.

After falling in love with the film in the noughties, I was lucky enough to see it live for my eighteenth birthday in London and it only made me love it more. The actress playing Donna even waved at me as I was wearing a massive birthday badge and the actor playing Skye stopped me and my family in the street to say how much he loved our costumes. Yes, we went in full, glittering 70s attire.

For me, Mamma Mia! will always be my go-to happy musical. It’s such a stark contrast to my favourite (Les Miserables) but I cannot wait to see it in the West End again. For now, though, I’ll just rewatch the film for the 50th time.

By Daisy Gazzard



About Author

Third-year History student, Classic Culture Editor 2021/22. Loves everything theatre and literature but especially horror books and musicals.

2021-22 News/Culture Executive. Studies music, plays music, writes about music.

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