This year, London stages are wearing something old (classics), something new (debuts), something borrowed (adaptations) and something blue (stormy tragedies)….
Welcome to our rolling round-up of London shows at the top of our wish list.
What’s on at the Theatre in London
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
The First National Theatre Production of Macbeth in 25 Years is being directed by the theatre’s artistic director, Rufus Norris. Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff (the Macbeths) play alongside Stephen Boxer (Duncan), Kevin Harvey (Banquo), Patrick O’kane (Macduff) and Amaka Okafor (Lady Macduff). After it’s initial sellout, the production will now run from 26 February, its first preview, until 23 June. Visit National Theatre.
Strictly Ballroom the Musical by Baz Luhrman and Craig Pearce
Based on Baz Luhrmann’s movie Strictly Ballroom, this musical about passion and competition stars Jonny Labey (Winner ITV’s Dance Dance Dance) and Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) as the star-crossed, dance-crazed lovers Scott and Fran. Will Young, Michelle Bishop, Ivan De Freitas and Gerard Horan also play in this 30-strong cast who affirm that song, dance and love are most certainly in the air. From 29 March. Visit Strictly Ballroom the Musical.
The Moderate Soprano by David Hare
Duke of York’s Theatre
Olivier Award winners Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll will reprise their roles as Glyndebourne founder John Christie and the young soprano Audrey Mildmay. The play tells the story of Mildmay’s influence on Christie and his formidable vision for Glyndebourne- one of the most esteemed opera houses in the world, running since 1934 in the English countryside. From 5 April to 30 June. Visit The Moderate Soprano.
Slip out the door of Geppetto’s workshop with Jiminy Cricket and follow Pinocchio on his mission to truly live. Of course, adventure ensures – from alpine forests to Pleasure Island to the bottom of the ocean. The production is brought to life by the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the writer of Matilda the Musical. The show also features new arrangements of Walt Disney film favourite songs including I’ve Got No Strings, Give a Little Whistle and When You Wish upon a Star. Visit National Theatre.
A Very Very Very Dark Matter by Martin McDonagh
‘In a townhouse in Copenhagen works Hans Christian Andersen, a teller of exquisite and fantastic children’s tales beloved by millions. But the true source of his stories dwells in his attic upstairs, her existence a dark secret kept from the outside world.’
Dangerous, twisted and funny, not unlike his play The Pillowman and film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, this new play by Martin McDonagh’s takes imaginative leaps. London Theatre Company has announced Matthew Dunster as director and Jim Broadbent as the lead. Previews begin 10 October 2018 and the 12-week run will conclude on 29 December. The rest of the cast has yet to be announced; Visit Bridge Theatre.
Queens of the Coal Age by Maxine Peake
Royal Exchange Theatre
In her debut for the Royal Exchange, Maxine Peake’s new play Queens of the Coal Age captures the lives and support system of four women working in the Parkside Colliery pit. This true story is directed by Bryony Shanahan, who makes her main-stage debut with a sharp, witty telling of ordinary women taking extraordinary action. A co-production with the New Vic Theatre, the show runs from 28 June – 21 July. Visit Royal Exchange.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill
A great 20th century American drama, Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, directed by Dominic Hill, delves into the struggles of the conflicted Tyrone family. Each family member is confronted with painful memories and trying circumstances, which elicits responses indicative of their personal vices. This Bristol Old Vic production with runs from 13 April to 5 May. Visit Delfont Macintosh.
Girl From North Country by Conor McPherson
Noël Coward Theatre
Arranged to the music of Bob Dylan, Conor McPherson’s play tells a story of the unlikely crossing and uncrossing of paths at a guesthouse in Minnesota. Each member of the ensemble shines with renditions of Dylan that surge with hope and heartbreak. A wife about to be consumed by dementia, a pregnant daughter without a partner, a son with dreams but no ambition-all are swept up in the unpredictability of an evening. Until 24 March. Visit Delfont Mackintosh.
Fun Home by Lisa Kron
The 5x Tony Award winning, London premiere of Broadway’s Fun Home couldn’t come sooner. Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, the musical crescendos over three stages of Alison’s life as she comes to terms with her sexuality and the complexity of her father, as well as the relationship shared that the two share. From 18 Jun – 1 September. Visit Young Vic.
The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez
Directed by Stephen Daldry, the premiere of this two-part play, inspired by the novel Howards End by E.M. Forster, is about a generation of men, in love, in pain and in New York after the worst of the AIDS crisis. Members of the cast include Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, John Benjamin Hickey, Michael Marcus and Vanessa Redgrave. Visit Young Vic.
New McGregor/The Age of Anxiety/New Wheeldon
Royal Opera House
Celebrating the centenary of composer Leonard Bernstein’s birth, this triple bill is a medley of work from The Royal Ballet’s three associate choreographers: Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon. Bernstein’s work has a unique range and danceability, celebrated by this programme that includes new work from both McGregor and Wheeldon. A revival of Liam Scarlett’s The Age of Anxiety features, set to Bernstein’s Symphony no.2. From 15 March to 9 April. Visit Royal Opera House.
Memorial by Alice Oswald
Alice Oswald’s Iliad inspired poem, Memorial, uses narrative from Homer’s epic in an urgent elegy for the 215 soldiers named in the classical poem. Helen Morse embodies the text and is accompanied by a 215- strong ensemble of singers and musicians. Chris Drummond directs, with choreography by Circa’s Yaron Lifschitz. This telling of war, sacrifice and tradition runs from 23 – 30 September. Visit Barbican.
King Lear by William Shakespare
Duke of York Theatre
Directed by Jonathan Munby, this Chichester Festival show, which had a sell-out, limited run in 2017, comes to the West End. The stormy play will focus on Lear’s torment with an intimate staging; McKellan tweeted, ‘It’s a small theatre, but we shall make it even more intimate by removing half the stalls seats.’ £5 tickets will be available each day, at the door, for people aged 16-25. From 11 July to 3 November. Visit ATG tickets.
Speaking of show tickets, here’s 3 Ways to get Involved in LFW Without Show Tickets.
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