From something old (classics), something new (debuts), something borrowed (adaptations) to even 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
Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda
Victoria Palace Theatre
The phenomenon has spread overseas. Lin Manuel Miranda’s jewel of a hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton is not only about a revolution, but is a musical revolution in and of itself. Follow the story of the American Founding Father through song and rap in one of the most soulful, theatrical experiences to date. Now extended to 15 December Visit Hamilton.
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
Allelujah! by Alan Bennett
The Bridge Theatre
Bennett’s work is back onstage after the writer’s five year hiatus. In Allelujah, Beth is an old fashioned cradle-to-grave hospital, serving a town on the edge of the Pennines. When the hospital is threatened with closure as part of an NHS efficiency drive, a documentary crew, eager to capture its fight for survival, follows the daily struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward and the triumphs of the old people’s choir (newest member: the Pudsey Nightingale). 11 July – 29 September. bridgetheatre.co.uk
A Shakespearian #MeToo? In othellomacbeth, Shakespeare’s two brutal, poetic plays are condensed and told from the female perspective. Under the direction of Jude Christian, cycles of violence give way, allowing the wronged women of Othello to exact their revenge on Macbeth in a society showing the cracks of patriarchy. 5 Oct – 3 Nov. lyric.co.uk
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
Imperium 1: Conspirator and Imperium 2: Dictator
Cicero, the greatest orator of his age, devoted all his energy and cunning to preserve the rule of law and defend Rome’s Republic against political rivals, discontented aristocrats and would-be military dictators. Imperium follows Cicero’s triumphs and disasters, through power struggles, civil wars and personal highs and lows, told through the eyes of Tiro, his loyal secretary. After a sell-out season in the Swan Theatre, Gregory Doran’s epic productions of Imperium: The Cicero Plays, based on the bestselling Cicero Trilogy by Robert Harris and adapted by Mike Poulton, is a backstage view of Rome at its most bloody and brutal. Until 8 September 2018. rsc.org.uk
Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks
This musical is based on the 1974 comedy film of the same name by Brooks and Thomas Meehan. Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein inherits his family’s estate in Transylvania along with a legacy of mad scientist mayhem. ‘It’s alive!’ he exclaims as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather’s. Hmmm, wonder how that will go? Until 29 September. Visit Young Frankenstein.
Dreamgirls by Tom Even
Dreamgirls is the story of three singers – Deena, Lorrell, and Effie who begin as a group called the Dreamettes at The Apollo Theatre’s Amateur Night. Soon they will get to know what show business is all about…. How come success so often goes hand in hand with torrid affairs? Until 22 September, Visit Dream Girls.
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.
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.
14 of the Best Current Art Exhibitions in London
What’s on in London This Week? The Town Culture Diary
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. 21 Sept – 19 January. Visit delfontmacintosh.co.uk
Whereabouts to Find Culture in Countryside
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.