From something old (classics), something new (debuts), something borrowed (adaptations) to something blue (stormy tragedies).
These are the best plays in London- the ones that have us wishing we could pop back in the DVD and watch all over again. So, open a window for ATG Tickets and get ready to type the code on the back of your card into the browser! Here are the shows at the top of our wish list, Olivier-winning, 5 star bespeckled and some that just really float our boat.
The Best Plays in London
Cirque du Soleil: TOTEM
Royal Albert Hall, Knightsbridge
Cirque du Soleilis’ famous TOTEM will return to London this month. Approaching it’s 10th successful year of touring since it’s 2010 debut, TOTEM is a fantastical glimpse into the journey of mankind. On an island evoking the shape of a giant turtle, TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. Through a visual and acrobatic language, TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential. With acrobatic performances evoking selected scenes from the story of evolution, TOTEM depicts a world of archetypal characters who, in their own way, witness and act out the perennial, existential, questions of life. Alternating between science and legend, and peppered with aboriginal stories of creation, TOTEM explores the evolutionary progress of species, Man’s ongoing search for balance and the curiosity that propels him ever further, faster, and higher…12 January-23 February royalalberthall.com
When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other
National Theatre, Southbank
Cate Blanchett makes her National Theatre debut in Martin Crimp’s new drama about desire, a playwright known for his unsettling work. A contemporary reworking of Samuel Richardson’s 18th century novel Pamela, it’s an epistolary story about a young maid terrorised and imprisoned by a libertine nobleman, exploring themes of sexual power dynamics and seduction. 16 January – 2 March nationaltheatre.org.uk
Cost of Living
Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living makes its highly anticipated UK Premiere at Hampstead Theatre this month, starring Adrian Lester, Katy Sullivan, Emily Barber and Jack Hunter. The story centres around the interconnected lives of four characters: John, a wealthy PhD student with cerebral palsy, who hires Jess, a recent graduate, as his new carer. Meanwhile truck driver Eddie (Adrian Lester) struggles to reconnect with his estranged wife Ani, following a tragic accident that has left her quadriplegic. As four very different lives collide and intersect, Majok explores the emotional complexities of caring for and caring about others, prompting the question: who is actually caring for whom? 25 January-2 March
Berberian Sound Studio
Italy, 1976. Gilderoy is a long way from home. His work as a sounddesigner for Dorking-based nature documentaries has not gone unnoticed. He has swapped the foley table of his garden shed for the glamour of the BerberianSoundStudio. Here, at the height of giallohorror, cabbages become corpses, your own voice can be over-dubbed and silence speaks louder than screams. Peter Strickland’s acclaimed horror film is adapted for the stage by Joel Horwood and Director Tom Scutt in this darkly comedic, sonic experience. 8 February – 30 March 2019. donmarwarehouse.com
All About Eve
The Noël Coward Theatre
Sonia Friedman Productions and Fox Stage Productions are putting on Ivo van Hove’s highly anticipated stage production of the 1950 Twentieth Century Fox film All About Eve. The much acclaimed film, based on Mary Orr’s original play “The Wisdom of Eve”, remains the only film to receive four female acting nominations. The Emmy Award-winning Gillian Anderson (X-Files, The Fall, A Streetcar Named Desire) will return to the stage alongside Lily James (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Downton Abbey, Romeo and Juliet). BAFTA Award-winner Monica Dolan will join the cast in the role of Karen, alongside Sheila Reid as Birdie and Rhashan Stone as Lloyd. 2 Feb – 11 May 2019. allabouteveplay.com
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
If you’re at all worried that this sacred text is being subjugated to any overblown, blindingly bright theatrics, then take a breath and relax. It’s not. The production delivers the same bliss of quality story telling as the books. Solid acting jobs in an almost black box theatre environment form the sturdy foundation of this production, so that once the effects are thrown in the mix (expect to be genuinely amazed) the result is pure magic. Until 28 July. harrypottertheplay.com
Pinter at the Pinter
Harold Pinter Theatre
A roll call of great names, including Keith Allen, Martin Freeman and Celia Imrie, will tread the boards in Pinter at the Pinter, a season where all 20 one-act-plays by the 20th-century playwright will run together for the very first time, and at the Harold Pinter Theatre. 6 Sept – 23 Feb. pinteratthepinter.com
The Ambassadors Theatre
Dawn King’s Foxfinder will have its West End premiere starring Olivier Award-winner Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton, Misfits). William Bloor, a foxfinder, arrives at Judith and Samuel Covey’s farm to investigate a suspected fox infestation. The Covey’s harvest has failed to meet their target and the government wants to know why. Trained from childhood, William is fixated on his mission to unearth the animals that must be to blame for the Covey’s woes. The unsettling and dark, comic drama is directed by Rachel O’Riordan, whose production of Killology at the Royal Court won the 2018 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre. 6 Sept 2018 – 5 Jan 2019. foxfinder.co.uk
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.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Following its UK and International tour, the smash-hit National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time returns to London for a strictly limited season. Winner of 7 Olivier Awards and 5 Tony Awardsincluding ‘Best Play’, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to thrilling life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning director Marianne Elliott. 29 Nov 2018 – 23 Feb 2019. Visit curiousonstage.com
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. 21 Sept – 19 January. Visit delfontmacintosh.co.uk
Speaking of show tickets, here’s 3 Ways to get Involved in LFW Without Show Tickets.
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