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The Best Plays in London

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The Best Plays in London

The show must go on, however...these are showstoppers.


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

Alexandra Palace

Richard III

Alexandra Palace Theatre

John Haidar directs Tom Mothersdale as Shakespeare’s most notorious and complex villain, Richard III. This inventive new staging is a co-production between Headlong, Alexandra Palace and Bristol Old Vic, with Royal & Derngate Northampton and Oxford Playhouse. After decades of civil war, the nation hangs in the balance. Enter Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to change the course of history. Richard was not born to be a king, but he’s set his sights on the crown. So begins his campaign of deceit, manipulation and violence – and he’s killing it. Yet, behind his ambition lies a murderous desire to be loved. 1 March to 9 March at Bristol Old Vic; 13 March to Sunday 31st March at Alexandra Palace Theatre 


BalletBoyz Presents ‘Them/Us’

Sadler’s Wells

This spring, the dance troupe BalletBoyz will present the London premiere of Them/Us, an innovative double bill and a brand new collaboration from the company’s own dancers and the Olivier Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. A co-production with Sadler’s Wells, Them/Us will arrive at the London venue from 5 to 9 March, 2019. BalletBoyz are known for their live performances, films and TV appearances. The new productions are both set to original scores by world-class composers and asks where we see ourselves in relation to the “other”. 5–9 March 

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: TOTEM at The Royal Albert Hall

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



Almeida Theatre

Experimental playwright Anne Washburn’s new play, Shipwreck, centres in President Trump – though it doesn’t look like it’ll be a direct political satire. Directed by Rupert Goold, it’s described as a “nightmarish comedy” involving a group of guests gathering for a dinner with Trump in a rural American farmhouse. 11 February-30 March 

War Of The Worlds

New Diorama Theatre, Regent’s Park

Back in 1938, Orson Welles’ ‘retelling’ of HG Wells’ novel as a series of news bulletins led many to believe an alien invasion was imminent. Isley Lynn’s newest staging of War Of The Worlds, created with physical theatre company Rhum and Clay, plays homage to this notorious incident, at a time when fake news remains a growing threat to modern society. The play flits between the ’30s and the present day, in which young British podcaster Meena (Mona Goodwin) travels from the UK to New Jersey – the site of Welles’ fictional invasion – to unearth a story about a woman whose family abandoned her during the broadcast. But is she a seeker of truth or fiction? Who is telling the truth? And why are we inclined to trust certain news mediums? The play grapples with such questions, wrestling with the boundaries of truth and fiction. Until 9 February 

True West

Vaudeville Theatre

Game of Thrones legend Kit Harrington and Beast‘s Johnny Flynn star as brothers Austin and Lee in the West End premiere of Sam Shepard’s critically acclaimed modern classic, True West. Set in the blazing hot Californian desert, the drama centres on a family being torn apart as the two brothers are pitted against one another, exposing the cracks in the American Dream. The story begins with Austin working on a movie script that he has sold to producer Sam Kimmer – but when brother Lee returns to the scene with his his own idea to pitch to Kimmer, the tensions begin to unfold…Until 16 February 

Garrett Millerick

Matthew Hall

Garrett Millerick: Sunflower

Soho Theatre

Garrett Millerick’s Sunflower is making its London debut after becoming one of the most talked about shows of last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The plan for the happy-go-lucky performance took a bit of a u-turn after a brutal rollercoaster of events in Garrett’s own life, which meant he was left with the choice of cancelling the show or finding a path to complete it in just a few weeks. He chose the latter, and the result is a truly touching demonstration of how comedy can carry us through – whatever life hurtles at us. 12-15 February

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

Cost of Living

Hampstead Theatre

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

Berberian Sound Studio

Donmar Warehouse

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 

All About Eve

The Noël Coward Theatre
All About Eve

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 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Palace Theatre
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 

Pinter at the Pinter

Harold Pinter Theatre

Harold Pinter
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. Until 23 Feb 

Best Current Art Exhibitions in London

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Piccadilly Theatre

Curious Incident

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. Until 23 Feb 2019 

What’s on in London This Week? The Town Culture Diary



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