Image: Johan Persson/La Cage Aux Folles


Jason Allen 31/08/23

The Best London Theatre Right Now

The Best London Theatre | Amazing Shows to Book in September 2023

Usually, we open with a play on words.

But here are some words on plays.

Specifically, the most critically acclaimed plays, musicals, stand-up gigs and dance shows hitting the stages at London’s theatres this month, which we’ve handily corralled into your newly updated London theatre guide. That means great new drama, comedy, musicals and immersive experiences on now – with recommendations for nearby pre-show restaurants & post-show bars, plus a neat little summary of the critical consensus – and great new reasons to have an unforgettable night out in town.



La Cage Aux Folles | Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

La Cage Aux Folles 

Image: Johan Persson

It’s classic, it’s fabulous, and it’s coming to Regent’s Park. The multi Tony-winning musical is a stone-cold classic, and a pioneering LGBTQ+ love story – and the tale of Georges, Albin and their son Jean-Michel has lost none of its punch in 2023. The production is helmed by Artistic Director Timothy Sheader, whilst Set Designer Colin Richmond is tasked with transforming the Open Air Theatre into the titular St. Tropez nightclub. Playing Albin is acclaimed cabaret host Carl Mullaney, who ends act one with the earth-shattering ‘I Am What I Am’. A searing summer treat.

Dinner before: At the 100-year old chippy, The Golden Hind
Drinks after: In the ultra-bouji hotel bar, Artesian
Details: La Cage aux Folles is running at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (nearest tube stations Baker Street and Regent’s Park) from 29th July – 23th September 2023. Tickets cost from £23-£63, and are available HERE.

A Strange Loop | Barbican Theatre

A strange Loop

The Pulitzer prize – ever heard of it? How about ‘every single musical theatre award on Broadway’?

Meta-musical spectacular A Strange Loop offers you a high concept, high notes, and leaving on a high unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

Dinner before: Modern British at Chiswell Street Dining Rooms
Drinks after: A glass of vino at Fare
London Theatre Critics say: 
The Guardian 4*; Evening Standard 5*
: A Strange Loop is running at the Barbican Theatre (nearest tube stations Moorgate and Barbican) from 17th June – 9th September. Tickets cost from £20-£75, and are available HERE.

Next to Normal | Donmar Warehouse

You’ll have to fight tooth and nail for a ticket to this critically-lauded, Pulitzer prize-winning Broadway hit – but, if you can find a way to muscle elbow your way into the Donmar then it will be worth it. The New York times summed it up best; “It is much more than a feel-good musical; it is a feel-everything musical.” And so it is – with a barnstorming central performance from Caissie Levy as suburban wife and mother Diana Goodman, battling both bipolar disorder and her own difficult past. Next to Normal is close to extraordinary.

Dinner before: Lauded steak at Hawksmoor Seven Dials
Drinks after: Quality wine at Casanova & Daughters
DetailsNext to Normal runs at the Donmar Warehouse (closest tube station Covent Garden) from 14th August until 7th October 2023. Tickets are nearly sold out, but limited releases are being made available HERE.

SIX | Vaudeville Theatre London

Six The Musical

Divorced, beheaded, live in concert: it’s the story of Henry VIIIth’s six wives, performed by the queens themselves in the form of a punk girl-band. To say it’s a phenomenon would be to undersell it: it started out as an Edinburgh Fringe show, and has now scored runs in the West End, on Broadway and down in Oz. Expect neon ruffs; Greensleeves-techno mash ups and unexpectedly poignant moments interspersed with its high-energy score.

Dinner before: Cult dumplings at Din Tai Fung
Drinks after: Subterranean cocktails at Eve
London Theatre Critics say: Evening Standard 5*; The Telegraph 5*; The Times 4*
Details: Six is booking at the Vaudeville Theatre (closest tube station Charing Cross) until 28th April 2024. Tickets cost from £19.50-67.50, and can be purchased HERE.

Moulin Rouge! | Piccadilly Theatre

Moulin Rouge The Musical

Why should you go see this live musical production of Moulin Rouge? Because you can can can! This dazzling show has transferred from Broadway to London, with an impressive 14 Tony nominations under its belt, a crack team of award-winning producers and creatives (including Baz himself), and an incredible soundtrack of 71 songs

Dinner before: Keep it French at Brasserie Zédel
Drinks after: 
Subterranean cocktails at SOMA
London Theatre Critics say: 
The Independent 4*; The Telegraph 4*
Moulin Rouge! runs at the Piccadilly Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus) until 13th January 2024. Tickets cost £29.50 – £225, and can be booked HERE.

Matilda The Musical | Cambridge Theatre

The Best London Theatre Right Now: Matilda - The Best London Theatre Right Now

A show in which a genius-level child with telekinetic powers somehow starts off as an underdog, this long-running musical take on the classic Roald Dahl tale – produced by theatre nobility the RSC – has had critics positively raving. And with good reason too – with lyrics by the inimitable Tim Minchin, ridiculously catchy tunes and a genuinely exceptional cast of kids, there’s not a single hole in this colourful patchwork of song and dance.

Dinner before: Grab a quick bite at KERB Seven Dials
Drinks after: Slip into The Barbary Next Door
London Theatre Critics say: The Telegraph 5*; The Guardian 5*; The Evening Standard 5*; The Independent 5*
Details: Matilda The Musical is booking at the Cambridge Theatre (closest tube station Covent Garden) until December 2024, with tickets running between £20 and £125. You can book them right HERE.

Guys & Dolls | Bridge Theatre

guys and dolls - the best london theatre playing right now

Image: Manuel Harlan

Down at the Bridge Theatre, Nicholas Hytner’s going all-in on giving you a quality night at the theatre. It’s Guys & Dolls, baby, and it’s here to banish your late-winter blues. The set and costumes come from multi award-winning Bunny Christie (The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Night Time), and they look as lush, glossy and indulgent as you’d hope. The always-compelling Danny Mays leads the cast, playing good old reliable Nathan (Nathan, Nathan, Nathan) Detroit. And the songs? Why, it’s hit after toe-atapping hit, courtesy of composer and lyricist Frank Loesser – we’re talking Luck Be a Lady, we’re talking Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat, and we’re certainly talking the titular Guys & Dolls. It’s a fast-talkin’, crap-shootin’ helluva night out. With Anything Goes no longer playing at the Barbican, the position of ‘London’s go-to feel good musical’ is vacant, but not for long if Hytner and co have anything to do with it.

Dinner before: Meat, fish, fire at The Coal Shed
Drinks after:
Grab a pint on theBermondsey Beer Mile
London Theatre Critics say:
Evening Standard 5*, The Independent 4*, The Guardian 4*
Guys & Dolls is booking at the Bridge Theatre (closest tube stations London Bridge and Tower Hill) from 4th March until 24th February 2024. Tickets cost from £39.50 – £150 and you can book HERE.

Operation Mincemeat | Fortune Theatre

After multiple sell-out runs at the Southwark Playhouse, and a mounting sense of buzzing anticipation, it’s happened: Operation Mincemeat, the debut musical by creative quartet SpitLip, is coming to the West End. What is it? It’s the story of the (genuine) Second World War plan to confound the Nazis by planting false intel on a corpse, and allowing the Germans to discover it. How is it told? In a riotous, rapid-fire barrage of multi-roling physicality.

‘Operation take the West End by storm’ has been a resounding success.

Dinner before: Authentic Laotian cuisine at Lao Cafe
Drinks after:
Victorian style drinking den, Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration
London Theatre Critics say: The FT 4*, Evening Standard 4*, The Guardian 4*
Operation Mincemeat! is booking at the Fortune Theatre (closest tube stations Covent Garden and Temple) from 3rd April until 24th February 2024. Tickets cost from £35 – £79.50 and you can book HERE.

Les Misérables | Sondheim Theatre

The Best London Theatre Right Now: Les Miserables - The Best London Theatre Right Now

Do you hear the people sing? Well, you will if you head to Les Mis, an iconic musical based on Victor Hugo’s gloomy revolutionary novel that’s now in its 4th decade. It closed for the first time in 34 years while the theatre got some upgrades (and, er, other global events interfered) – but now it’s back, flying the flag once more with a critically acclaimed new production.

Dinner before: Enjoy classic brasserie fare at Dean Street Townhouse
Drinks after: A drink at The French House seems strangely appropriate
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 5*; The Telegraph 5*; Evening Standard 4*
DetailsLes Misérables runs at the Sondheim Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus), with tickets from £10-£165. You can book up until 2nd March 2024 right HERE.

Hamilton | Victoria Palace Theatre, London


Hamilton might have won 11 Tony Awards for its Broadway run, but the London cast have proved they were ready to Rise Up to the challenge.

Following the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton, it’s a pioneering musical that raps its way through history, and within months of playing here, earned a record-breaking 13 Olivier nominations for its troubles…

Dinner before: Al fresco brasserie fare at Rail House Café
Drinks after: Cocktails upstairs at The Ivy Victoria
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 5*; The Telegraph 5*; The Independent 5*; The Stage 5*; The Evening Standard 5*
Details: Tickets are on sale for Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre (closest tube station Victoria) until 2nd March 2024. They cost from £47.75-£238, and can be purchased HERE.

Cabaret | The Kit Kat Club (Playhouse Theatre)

The Best London Theatre Right Now: Caberet - The Best London Theatre Right Now

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome to this phenomenal new production of cabaret, directed by the sensationally talented Rebecca Frecknall. For this revival of the classic musical & film, the Playhouse Theatre has been transformed into a giant version of the Kit Kat Club, where (the lucky few, at least) can sip cocktails and dine at intimate cabaret tables while the show unfolds. And even if you missed the acclaimed performances by Jessie Buckley and Eddie Redmayne in the leading roles, the current cast – starring Mason Alexander Park as the Emcee and Maude Apatow as Sally Bowles – are just as strong. Plus, you’ll see some of the most beautiful costume design that’s hit London stages in the past few years…

Dinner before: Go fancy at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill
Drinks after: 
Wine in a candlelit cave at Gordon’s Wine Bar
London Theatre Critics say: 
Evening Standard 5*; The Independent 5*; The Telegraph 5*
Cabaret is booking at the Playhouse Theatre (closest tube station Embankment) until 29th June 2024. Tickets cost £25 – £325, and you can book HERE.

Back To The Future: The Musical | Adelphi Theatre

Back to the future the musical

Image: Sean Ebsworth-Barnes

Future you visited us, and said it was imperative we tell you about this new musical. And to be fair, if you like cult movies and 80s hits, you’re probably going to enjoy it.

Dinner before: Steak at 1985 prices at Flat Iron Covent Garden
Drinks after: Hand-picked wines at Lady of the Grapes
London Theatre Critics say: The Metro 5*; The Telegraph 5*;  Michael J. Fox: “A truly great show.”
Details: Back To The Future: The Musical is booking at the Adelphi Theatre (closest tube station Charing Cross) until 11th February 2024. Tickets cost £19.55 – £224.50, and can be booked HERE.

Choir of Man | Arts Theatre

The Best London Theatre Right Now: choir of man

Grab a (free!) pint and strap in for an evening of resolutely non-toxic masculinity down at the Arts Theatre – the beardy, burly blokes of the Choir of Man are here to sing their hearts out in their onstage pub, whilst touching on themes of friendship, gentrification and mental health. Plot? What plot! You’re here for the vocal performances (uniformly superb) and the musical arrangements (likewise, courtesy of Musical Supervisor Jack Blume). The production, which has toured to Edinburgh and back, is as slick as can be, and the covers – including Somebody to Love, and Sia’s Chandelier, are absolute bangers. If music be the food of love, have another pint and enjoy 90 minutes of foot-stomping fun.

Dinner before: Everything Hawaiian at El Ta’Koy
Drinks after: World’s 100 Best Bars entry, Side Hustle at NoMad 
Details: Tickets are on sale for Choir of Man at the Arts Theatre (closest tube station Leicester Square) until 18th February 2024. They cost from £22.50-£67.50, and can be purchased HERE.



The Father and the Assassin | National Theatre

The Father and the Assassin

Rehearsal Image: Marc Brenner

It’s a killer show, and it’s back at the Olivier. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, the piece follows Nathuram Godse (the titular assassin), the man who shot Mahatma Gandhi (you guessed it, the father). It’s an epic set across thirty years, in an India fighting for its independence and sense of identity as the (frankly useless) British prepare to end their colonial rule.

A play that explores nationalism and religious conflict en route to an assassination might seem like heavy-going stuff – but for the most part it’s surprisingly frothy and fun. If you’re after a blockbuster slice of stirring theatre, a serious tale told with a mischievous wink, all held together by a mercurial – and disarmingly likeable – lead performance, you should head to the National like a shot (sorry).

Dinner before: Share a pie at Lasdun
Drinks after:Exquisite cocktails at Lyaness
Details: ‘The Father and the Assassin’ is running at the National Theatre (nearest tube station Waterloo) from 8th September – 14th October. Tickets cost from £20-£89, and are available HERE.

Dr Semmelweis | Harold Pinter Theatre


Image: Simon Annand

Six words that describe why you should see Dr Semmelweis? Mark Rylance, Mark Rylance, Mark Rylance. Sure, there’s far more to the National Theatre’s West End production, which has transferred from the Bristol Old Vic following rapturous reviews, and tells the tale of the pioneering Hungarian doctor who introduced antiseptic procedures designed to save mothers in childbirth – the tale is elevated by beautiful choreography and soaring live music, for instance. But any chance to see Possibly the World’s Greatest Living Actor should be greedily taken, and Rylance is in fine form here – gimlet-eyed, mercurial, and never less than captivating. You will see the Doctor now.

Dinner before: Tableside raclettes and lobster fondues at Heritage
Drinks after: Speakeasy-style cocktail bar Experimental Cocktail Club
London Theatre Critics say: The Observer 5*, Evening Standard 4*, The Times 4*
DetailsDr Semmelweis runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre (closest tube stations Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square) from 29th June – 7th October. Tickets cost from £10 and can be booked HERE.

Red Pitch | Bush Theatre

Red pitch : the best london theatre shows right now

Image: Craig Fuller

Vital, energetic, joyous – Red Pitch is a properly exciting piece that makes a welcome return to the Bush. It’s a tale of brotherhood, gentrification and growing up that follows three football-obsessed teens, played with verve by Kedar Williams-Stirling, Francis Lovehall and Emeka Sesay. Tyrell Williams’ rapid-fire script tells a story that’s relatable and powerful without being pious – and director Daniel Bailey oversees a stylish, powerhouse little production. A high-scoring hit.

Dinner before:Punchy Thai-American dining at Chet’s
Drinks after: A little light dancing at Next Door Records
Details‘Red Pitch’  runs at the Bush Theatre (closest tube station Shepherd’s Bush) from 7th September until 30th September January 2023. Tickets cost from £30 and can be booked HERE.

Death of England: Closing Time | National Theatre

Death of England: Closing Time

Rehearsal Image: Feruza Afewerki

The powerful, punchy Death of England series, written by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer, and directed by Dyer, is winding to a close. Having begun life in 2020 with a powerful monologue delivered by Ralph Spall, and the sequel, Death of England: Delroy, featured a star-making performance from Michael Balogun (most recently seen in another potent theatrical trilogy – The Lehman Brothers). It’s Closing Time now, and Denise and Carly (played by Jo Martin and Hayley Squires) play a mother and daughter-in-law piecing their lives back together in the wake of their family’s mistakes. A standalone climax to an ambitious theatrical project, and well-worth seeking out.

Dinner before: Five star pub grub at The Anchor & Hope
Drinks after: Terraced drinks at the all-new Forza Wine at the National Theatre (as of 7th September)
: ‘Death of England: Closing Time’ is running at the National Theatre (nearest tube station Waterloo) from 13th September –  11th November. Tickets cost from £20-£60, and are available HERE.

Vanya | The Duke of York’s Theatre

Fans of Chekhov – and Andrew Scott – assemble (and don’t worry, no-one’s going to quiz you on the door about which applies to you)! Long before Scott seduced the world as Hot Priest, he was one of our most compelling and dextrous actors – and his turn in Sea Wall demonstrated his ability to carry a complex piece, written by Simon Stephens, entirely solo. Here, Scott is in even deeper waters – Stephens’ script runs to nearly two hours, required an incredibly sustained and versatile solo performance from Scott as he takes on multiple roles and delivers a bravura one-man Uncle Vanya for the ages. Plus, y’know, his beautiful neck.

Dinner before: Deep South dining with a side of live jazz at Louie
Drinks after: A dram of whisky to see the night away at Spey Bar
: Vanya is running at the Duke of York’s Theatre (closest tube stations Charing Cross and Leicester Square) from 15th September — 21st October 2023. Tickets cost from £15-£145 and are available HERE.

Strategic Love Play | Soho Theatre

strategic love play - the best london theatre shows right now

A Fringe First-winning Edinburgh smash hit, Miriam Battye’s Strategic Love Play is an acerbic exploration of modern dating, delivered in the form of an excruciating – but addictively watchable – two-hander. She’s uncomfortable. He’s awful. The whole thing’s clearly doomed. So why is it so impossible to look away? Co-produced by the ever-impressive Paines Plough, and directed the company’s joint Artistic Director Katie Posner. Strategise your path to some tickets immediately.

Dinner before: Enjoy Israeli fare at Bubala Soho
Drinks after: Hang back in the Soho Theatre Bar
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 4*; The Times 4*
DetailsStrategic Love Play is playing at the Soho Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) from Wednesday 6th – Saturday 23rd September 2023. Tickets are from £14.20 and available HERE.

Imposter 22 | Royal Court Theatre

A joyous and subversive treat, Imposter 22 is an exploration of neurodiversity and barrier navigation by frequent Court-collaborator Molly Davies, and based on an idea by Royal Court Associate Director Hamish Pirie. A genuinely ambitious and unusual project from a building that prides itself on pushing boundaries and taking risks.

Dinner before: Classic brasserie fare at Colbert
Drinks after: Al fresco wine at Mother Vine
Details‘Imposter 22’ is running at the Royal Court Theatre (nearest tube station Sloane Square) from 23rd September to 14th October 2023. Tickets cost from £12-£49 and are available HERE.

Frankie Thompson & Liv Ello: Body Show | Soho Theatre

the best london theatre shows right now - frankie and livee

Frankie Thompson’s CATTS and Liv Ello’s Swarm were both weird and wonderful breakout hits last year – this year, they’ve joined forces to create Body Show, which was one of the runaway successes of the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe. It’s a words-don’t-do-it-justice romp, which somehow tackles gender dysphoria and eating disorders, heteronormativity and gender expectations – all through a kaleidoscopic pop-culture lens of dizzying scope and variety. It’s funny, it’s silly, it’s surprisingly moving.

Dinner before: Elegant British dining at Sussex
Drinks after:
Fine wine at the infamous Noble Rot Soho
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 4*
Details: ‘Frankie Thompson & Liv Ello: Body Show’ is playing at the Soho Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) from Monday 25th September – Saturday 14th October 2023. Tickets are from £17 and available HERE.

Ben Target: LORENZO | Soho Theatre

the best london theatre shows right now

You simply must see Ben Target’s LORENZO. The quiet, assured comedian’s work has always verged on performance art, and his subtle sidestep into theatre has proven to be a sublime decision. The show is an artful, careful, deeply funny and vividly-felt retelling of the time he spent caring for a mischievous octogenarian family member, prior to their death. A mesmeric central performance, a wonderful sweeping story, and a hypnotically beautiful simple wooden set – made by hand by Target – all come together to create something extremely special. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll leave enriched and uplifted.

Dinner before: Cult Sri Lankan at Hoppers
Drinks after:
Breton cidre at The French House
London Theatre Critics say: What’s On Stage 4*
: ‘Ben Target: Lorenzo’ is playing at the Soho Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) from Wednesday 27th September – Saturday 14th October 2023. Tickets are from £17 and available HERE.


Kate | Soho Theatre

the best london theatre shows right now

This is not a drill: Kate Berlant is back at the Soho Theatre. Perhaps the preeminent exponent of LA’s current arch, meta, self-involved but self-mocking standup style, Berlant is a hypnotic presence onstage – her digressions are seemingly entirely improvised, but the show builds to a compelling whole. Following her last sell-out run at the Soho Theatre, Berlant is back with a brand new show – originally directed by the mighty Bo Burnham. Book now, book vigorously, book often.

Dinner before: Outstanding open-fire cooking at Firebird
Drinks after: 1950’s Italianate cocktails at Bar Termini
Kate Berlant is playing at the Soho Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) from Thursday 31st August – Saturday 30th September 2023. Tickets are £23-£49 and available HERE.

Courtney Pauroso: Vanessa 5000 | Soho Theatre

Surrender, mortals, to the indomitable presence of Californian clown Courtney Pauroso’s alter-ego; sex robot Vanessa 5000. Following her brilliant debut hour Gutterplum in 2019, Pauroso makes a welcome return to London, with a daring, dark and filthily hilarious exploration of femininity and technology, delivered in vertiginous black thigh-high boots and a PVC two piece. Genuinely provocative and brilliantly delivered – you won’t see anything like this, anywhere else.

Dinner before: Turkish streetfood style dishes at Yeni
Drinks after:
Tequila time at La Bodega Negra
Courtney Pauroso is playing at the Soho Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) from Wednesday 30th August – Saturday 16th September 2023. Tickets are £12-18 and available HERE.

Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool | Wyndham’s Theatre

the best london theatre shows right now

Mike Birbiglia is perhaps the most acclaimed stand-up you’ve never heard of. Unless you have, in which case it’s highly likely you’ll have already bought a ticket for this thriflling, rare, West End run. He’s a storyteller par excellence, and his narrative shows are impeccably structured, infused with charm and humanity, and delivered with sparkle and panache. The New York Times called it “the best comedy of the year” and it’s in town for four weeks. Enjoy.

Dinner before: At one of London’s finest, The Barbary
Drinks after:
A glass or two at The 10 Cases
Mike Birbiglia is playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre (closest tube stations Leicester Square and Charing Cross) from 12th September until 7th October 2023. Tickets cost from £15 (previews) – £85 and you can book HERE.

Kieran Hodgson: Big in Scotland | Soho Theatre

kieran big in scotland

He’s done it again. A fourth nomination for the Edinburgh Comedy Award capped off a sensational run for character-comedian-cum-stand-up Kieran Hodgson, whose intricate, dextrously-performed autobiographical shows have set new standards for performance, structure, joke-rate, and impressions of former British Prime Ministers. Now coming to the Soho, Big In Scotland is a joyous recounting of the life events that saw Hodgson and his husband move to Glasgow, and his struggles to come to terms with his new identity. It’s exquisite.

Dinner before: Build-your-own epicurean adventure at Lima London
Drinks after:
Wacky cocktails at Mr Fogg’s Hat Tavern & Gin Club
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 5*; The Telegraph 5*; The Independent 4*
Kieran Hodgson is playing at the Soho Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) from Monday 11th – Saturday 23rd September 2023. Tickets are from £15 and available HERE.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist | Theatre Royal Haymarket

Helen Murray

Tom Basden’s at it again – ‘it’ in this case meaning ‘writing cerebral-yet-silly, highbrow but deftly crowd-pleasing comedy which you should jump at the chance to see’. A keen adapter of existing works (his Joseph K was based on Kafka’s The Trial, and The Crocodile on a Dostoyevsky short story) Basden’s Accidental Death… comes after Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s classic play, and is a zingy farce taking aim at the corruption and haplessness at the heart of the police force. Director Dan Raggett conducts the melee with aplomb, and BAFTA-winner Daniel Rigby (Noises Off) is in rare form. An instant modern classic – and that, at least, is no accident.

Dinner before: Stellar Thai at Speedboat Bar
Drinks after: Post-show pints at The Blue Posts
London Theatre Critics say: The Stage 5*, The Times 4*, The Guardian 4*
DetailsAccidental Death of an Anarchist is playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket (nearest tube stations Leicester Square and Charing Cross) from 12th June – 9th September 2023. Tickets are £15-£99, available HERE.

The Way Old Friends Do | Criterion Theatre

Image: Darren Bell

Devotion. Desire. Dancing queens. The Way Old Friends Do really does offer everything you need for a night out at the theatre. It’s a tale of the world’s first drag-ABBA tribute band – and, thus, it’s as camp as scientifically possible to be. But it’s also tender and touching and heartfelt – as well as deeply silly and very, very funny. Direction comes from Mark Gatiss directs (whose League of Gentleman compatriot Reece Shearsmith was recently at The Criterion serving up his inimitable ‘barely suppressed rage’ for Stephen Moffat’s The Unfriend), and there are lovely voiceover cameos from Miriam Margolyes and the late grate Paul O’Grady. Anything but a drag.

Dinner before: Fresh pasta at Notto
Drinks after: Cocktails at the 1930s Bar Américain
London Theatre Critics say: The Stage 4*, Broadway World 4*
DetailsThe Way Old Friends Do is running at the Criterion Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus) from 17th August – 9th September 2023. Tickets cost from £19.50 – £62.50, and are available HERE.

The Play That Goes Wrong | Duchess Theatre

The Play That Goes Wrong

Honestly, they could be messing this up horribly every night, and no one would notice. In fact, they’d probably clap.

Dinner before: Bombastic Italian at Ave Mario
Drinks after: Highly-rated cocktails at the NoMad bar
London Theatre Critics say:
 The Independent 4*; Financial Times 4*; The Stage 4*
DetailsThe Play That Goes Wrong is booking at the Duchess Theatre (closest tube station Covent Garden) until 28th April 2024. Tickets cost £22-67.50, and can be booked HERE.



The Burnt City | One Cartridge Place

punchdrunk the burnt city

No-one does it bigger, better, or immersive-er than Punchdrunk. They’re the grandmasters of sprawling, epic, site-specific happenings that appear at times to be infused with genuine magic, and over in Woolwich you’ll bear witness to – and participate in – their latest coup de theatre. The ‘burnt city’ in question is Troy, which you will explore (whilst wearing an anonymising mask) however you see fit. It’s a mysterious, engrossing, mostly wordless experience. For a hint of what you might be in for, read The Nudge’s review – or better yet, for the full experience, don’t…

Dinner before: Comfort food at Goddards
Drinks after: Pints with a view at The Cutty Sark
Details: The Burnt City is playing at One Cartridge Place, Woolwich, SE18 6ZR (closest tube station Woolwich), until 24th September 2023. Tickets cost from £55, with a number of £25 tickets available via lottery, for under 25s and for residents of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and can be booked HERE.

The Gunpowder Plot | Tower Vaults

Best things to see in the theatre right now: Gunpowder Plot

Step into the past, and a purpose-built venue in the Vaults in Tower Hill, as you experience – and participate in! – the historic gunpowder plot, via the medium of ‘Layered Reality’. What does that mean? Think VR headsets combined with live theatre, plus ‘real physical sensations’ (that’s right). Written by Danny Robins (he of 2:22 A Ghost Story), the piece stars Slytherin’s very own Tom Felton as Guy Fawkes, who leads a ‘digital cast’ that includes Gary Beadle and Michelle Asante. A unique – and explosive – night out.

Dinner before: Riverside dining at Coppa Club
Drinks after: Moonshine Saloon if you can’t get enough of all things immersive
The Gunpowder Plot is currently playing at the Tower Vaults, 8-12 Tower Hill Vaults London EC3N 4EE until 31st December 2023. Tickets available HERE.

Want to see great theatre for less? Find out how to get cheap theatre tickets in London…

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