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London Theatre Guide: The Best Plays in London

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London Theatre Guide: The Best Plays in London

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In our regularly updated London theatre guide, we bring you the best plays to see in town to inject a little culture into your week. These are the best plays in London, from classics and adaptations, to debuts, comedy shows and beloved West End hits.

10 Things to Do in London This Week

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    Uncle Vanya

    A compelling adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s 19th Century play, Olivier Award-winning Irish playwright Conor McPherson presents Uncle Vanya, a dark humour-filled production based around the tumultuous lives of Uncle Vanya, played by acclaimed actor Toby Jones, and Doctor Astrov, performed by renowned television actor Richard Armitage, who has starred in the likes of The Hobbit and Ocean’s Eight. Harold Pinter Theatre; 23 Jan – 2 May 2020

    Image: Uncle Vanya, Toby Jones, Richard Armitage © Muse Creative Communications, photography by Seamus Ryan 

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    Blithe Spirit

    Jennifer Saunders returns to the stage as the farcical clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Sir Richard Eyre’s adaptation of Noël Coward’s 40s comedy Blithe Spirit. Also starring the likes of Geoffrey Streatfeild, Lisa Dillon and Emma Naomi, the plot follows Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth as a séance mystically brings forth the ghost of his first wife, Elvira. See it at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 5 March to 11 April 2020.

    Image: Geoffrey Streatfeild, Emma Naomi, Jennifer Saunders and Lisa Dillon in Blithe Spirit | Photo: Nobby Clark

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    Sunday in the Park with George

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford star in this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about painter Georges Seurat and the drastic measures he takes in order to complete his most famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Having previously played a sold-out limited season at Hudson Theatre on Broadway, the show now arrives in London at the decadent Savoy Theatre. 11 June – 5 September 2020

    Image: Jake Gyllenhaal in Sunday in the Park with George | photo: Matthew Murphy

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    You Stupid Darkness!

    Described as an ‘urgent play about the struggle for optimism and community amid the chaos of a collapsing world’, You Stupid Darkness! follows four helpline volunteers as they navigate the ‘catastrophes’ in their personal lives, as well as with the strangers on the other end of the line. An eccentric show from Manchester’s fast emerging playwright, Sam Steiner, the show makes its London debut at the Southwark Playhouse this January. 16 January – 22 February

    Image: Andrew Finnigan in You Stupid Darkness | Photo: Matt Austin

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    The Haystack

    ‘Yes, we’re geeks, yes, we sit at computers all day, yes, we barely leave Cheltenham, but we are still, when it comes down to it, spies’

    Follow tech ‘geeks’ – and the UK’s most unlikely National Defence Information Security Team – Neil and Zef as their intelligence operations enable them to witness more than expected… A thought-provoking and gripping production from playwright Al Blyth, The Haystack challenges the boundaries of ‘living freely’ in high tech society, and explores what happens when technology overshadows the law. The Hampstead Theatre, 31 January – 7 March 2020.

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    Faustus: That Damned Woman

    Opening at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and written by award-winning playwright Chris Bush, Faustus: That Damned Woman is set to be a fascinating performance inspired by the Faustus myth, questioning what it is we have to sacrifice in order to achieve eminence. Lyric Hammersmith Theatre; 22 January – 22 February 2020

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    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. Palace Theatre; until January 2021

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    Deluxe

    The latest production from trailblazing dance group BalletBoyz, Deluxe promises to be an exciting and enthralling performance, combining spectacular dance acts with an exclusive and original soundtrack. Marking 20 years since the company first launched, the show is bound to be one of their best yet, featuring performances choreographed by Shanghai dancer and choreographer Xie Xin and outstanding jazz music from artist and composer Cassie Kinoshi. Sadler’s Wells Theatre; 25 – 27 March 2020, followed by a UK tour until May

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    Witness for the Prosecution

    You’ve been summoned for jury service. Ingeniously set in the real-life chamber of London’s County Hall, Lucy Bailey’s production of Witness for the Prosecution breathes fresh life into the Agatha Christie courtroom drama. Taking well-plotted twists and unexpected turns in a manner capable of only Christie herself, the play is as entrancing and beguiling as the short story. Through the debated innocence of murder suspect Leonard Vole, the plot picks apart the law itself, reminding the audience of its theatricality; the pomp, the circumstance, the wigs. This brilliant rendition of Witness for the Prosecution certainly gives the well-loved BBC adaptions of Christie’s work a run for their money. Booking until 29 March 2020

    Image: Sheila Burnett

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    Mischief Theatre: Magic Goes Wrong

    Created with legendary Vegas magicians Penn & Teller, Mischief Theatre conjure up an evening of grand illusion, playing a hapless gang of magicians presenting a charity event. As the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fund- raising target! Booking until May 2020