Image: Moulin Rouge


Jason Allen 06/11/23

The Best London Theatre Right Now

The Best London Theatre | Amazing Shows to Book and See in November 2023

Ah, all the world’s a stage.

Particularly the big flat bits in front of the seating areas at London’s many theatres. Those parts are particularly stage-like.

And every evening they’re filled with performers ready to enthral, entertain, inspire, and make you laugh, cry, and think. And should you fancy doing any of those things in the near future, we’ve got just the thing to help you navigate yourself to the right place: a freshly updated theatre guide that collates reviews from all the top critics, tells you the best spots for dinner before the show, has a good place for some drinks afterwards, and includes literally dozens of fantastic shows



 Stranger Things: The First Shadow, which requires little to no introduction, but will probably be mind-flayingly good thanks to an award-winning team of creatives including Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry and the illusions team from Harry Potter: The Cursed Child. Opens 17th November at the Phoenix Theatre

➋ The RSC’s production of My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican was such an instant hit last year that it’s returning for a much longer run this winter. And tickets are somehow still available… Opens 21st November at the Barbican

➌ The National Theatre is premiering a new musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches this month, with the hugely respected playwright Lucy Kirkwood and Olivier Award-winning director Lyndsey Turner on board. Opens 7th November

A rare staging of Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures opens at the Menier Chocolate Factory in late November. Widely regarded as the legendary lyricist & composer’s most ambitious musical, it explores the dramatic meeting of two cultures as Japan opened its borders to the West in the 1850s. Opens 25th November

➎ The Enfield Haunting is based on a real series of events in the late 70s, when an Essex household apparently found itself in the grip of a poltergeist. Watch the new docuseries on Apple TV, then book tickets to this live stage adaptation starring Catherine Tate and David Threlfall. Opens 30th November at the Ambassadors Theatre


The Little Big Things | @sohoplace

Image: Pamela Raith

Following a diving accident, avid sportsman Henry Fraser became a tetraplegic. This new musical, based on Fraser’s acclaimed memoirs, tells the story of how he responded to this life-altering incident with unerring positivity. Directed by Luke Sheppard (My Son’s A Queer) with original music by talented composer and lyricist Nick Butcher, it’s a poignant, uplifting, immensely moving piece. Treat yourself to a pre-show drink at Nica’s Bar (it remains a Jedi-level theatre producer power move to name a bar after yourself) and a superb night out – @sohoplace may well have a little big hit on its hands.

Dinner before: Elegant British dining at Sussex
Drinks after: Fine wine at the infamous Noble Rot Soho
London Theatre Critics say:
WhatsOnStage 5*; The Evening Standard 4*; The Guardian 4*
DetailsThe Little Big Things runs at @sohoplace (closest tube stations Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square) until March 2024. Tickets cost from £30, and can be booked HERE.

Sunset Boulevard | The Savoy Theatre

Image: Marc Brenner

It’s a starry affair over at the ever-glam Savoy Theatre – with Jamie Lloyd taking the reins and directing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical adaptation of Billy Wilder’s all-time-classic Hollywood comic noir. Stepping into the iconic role of Norma Desmond, originated in the West End by Patti LuPone, is another American diva of the highest order – Nicole Scherzinger, who will be playing the fading (surely not?!) actress for a 16 week run. Expect high notes and high camp.

Dinner before: Exceptional Modern French dishes at Frenchie
Drinks after: Late-night drinking at the music-led, STEREO
London Theatre Critics say:
The Stage 5*; The Evening Standard 5*
DetailsSunset Boulevard runs at The Savoy Theatre (closest tube stations Embankment and Charing Cross) until 6th January 2024. Tickets cost from £20, and can be booked 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 3rd November 2024. Tickets cost from £19.50-67.50, and can be purchased HERE.

Mrs Doubtfire | The Shaftesbury Theatre

mrs doubtfire: the best london theatre right now

It takes a brave man to step into the shoes, dress, and latex mask of the mighty Robin Williams in one of his most iconic roles, but Gabriel Vick is up to the considerable challenge. His turn as hapless dreamer Daniel Hillard – AKA twinkly-eyed Scottish nanny Mrs Doubtfire – is a tour de force. The show is a big hearted slice of American family drama, but Vick’s highly physical, accent-hopping, farcical turn gives it the heft needed. You’ll be dancing in the aisle, dears.

Dinner before: Fresh and hearty pasta at Notto
Drinks after: Head to the plush wine bar, The Mulwray
: Mrs Doubtfire is running at the Shaftesbury Theatre (nearest tube stations Tottenham Court Road and Covent Garden) until 29th September 2024. Tickets cost from £27.50-£175, and are available 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: Soho’s stellar new opening The Devonshire, conveniently across the road
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 16th March 2024. Tickets cost £29.50 – £225, and can be booked HERE.

Rigoletto | Royal Opera House

All is not well in debauched Mantua, where the furious Count of Monterone places curse is placed on the playboy Duke – a serial womaniser – and court jester, Rigoletto. The ensuing chaos takes in cross-dressing, assassins, betrayals, and some of the most beautiful music ever written. Verdi’s powerhouse opera gave us ‘La donna è mobile’ and ’Caro nome’, amongst many other highlights, and this lavish Royal Opera House production is a chance to see true justice being done to an all-time classic.

Dinner before: At the modern Peruvian gem, LIMA CANTINA
Drinks after: Priceless views at Radio Rooftop Bar
DetailsRigoletto is playing at the Royal Opera House from 12th October – 28th November 2023. Tickets cost £12-£220 and are available 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 La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
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 the Bermondsey 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 August 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, has come 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: They’ve picked up 65 5* reviews so far…
Operation Mincemeat! is booking at the Fortune Theatre (closest tube stations Covent Garden and Temple) until 15th June 2024. Tickets cost from £35 – £79.50 and you can book HERE, or enter the £25 ticket lottery 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 28th September 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: Glitzy brasserie fare at The Ivy Victoria
Drinks after: Cocktails – and then inevitably a round of darts – at Flight Club
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 28th September 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 the Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears as the Emcee and Rebecca Lucy Taylor (a.k.a. Self Esteem) 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: 
Superlative cocktails at Velvet 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 21st July 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: Truly legendary dumplings at Leong’s Legend
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.


Boy Parts | Soho Theatre

A tense, atmospheric thriller – adapted from Eliza Clark’s pitch-black novel about a female erotic photographer with subversive, kinky and violent fantasies about her often-vulnerable male subjects – Boy Parts, described as “Fleabag meets American Psycho” (Telegraph), is playing in Dean Street throughout November. Aimée Kelly gives a compelling, virtuoso performance as the antihero Irina and all the play’s other characters, and the piece is directed by Sarah Joyce, who has previous with critically-acclaimed one-woman shows in the form of Milly Thomas’ Dust. Snap up a ticket.

Dinner before: Turkish street food dishes at Yeni
Drinks after:
Tequila time at La Bodega Negra
‘Boy Parts’ is playing at the Soho Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) from Friday 20th October – Saturday 25th November 2023. Tickets are from £28.60 and available HERE.

Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going to Happen | Bush Theatre

feeling afraid - best london theatre shows right now

Dark, funny, faultlessly-executed – following a multi award-winning Edinburgh run, picking up both a Fringe First and a The Stage Edinburgh Award, playwright Marcelo Dos Santos’ hit play comes to the Bush’s main space. The tale of a neurotic stand-up comedian’s search for love, Feeling Afraid… is produced by the all-conquering Francesca Moody (Fleabag) who previously took Richard Gadd’s dark and brilliant Baby Reindeer from Edinburgh to the Bush. Snag a ticket to see Samuel Barnett in spectacular form as the piece’s self-destructive comic, or the joke will be on you.

Dinner before: First-rate pizzas at The Hawk’s Nest
Drinks after: Sip natural wine while records spin at Next Door Records 
London Theatre Critics say:
FEST 5*; WhatsOnStage 5*; The Telegraph 5*
DetailsFeeling Afraid… runs at the Bush Theatre (closest tube station Shepherd’s Bush) from 10th November to 23rd December 2023. Tickets cost from £15 (concessions) and can be booked HERE.

King Lear | Wyndham’s Theatre

The Wyndham’s stage has just played host to Mike Birbiglia’s Old Man and the Pool, and now it’s time for ‘Kenneth Branagh’s Old Man and The Fool’ [NB. dear Nudge Editors – surely that gets me a raise?]. Yep, Sir Ken is ’giving his Lear’ – and directing it for good measure, luv – in a 50 performance West End run before taking it to New York, and you could do a lot worse than to treat yourself (although with vertiginous ticket prices, there is a heavy emphasis on ‘treat’). As well as a Hollywood star, Branagh is a genuine Shakespearian heavyweight, and he tackles the Mad King in hypnotic, rage-filled fashion. There’s a triumphant performance at the heart of this tragedy, and you’d be a fool to miss it.

Dinner before: Unbeatable steaks at Blacklock Covent Garden
Drinks after:
Drink whiskey in the hidden Spey Bar
King Lear is booking at the Wyndham’s Theatre (closest tube stations Leicester Square and Charing Cross) from 21st October until 9th December 2023. Tickets cost from £20 and you can book HERE.

The Homecoming | The Young Vic

the homecoming - best london theatre shows right now

No-one does eery, poetic menace quite like Pinter. At the Young Vic there’s a homecoming for director Matthew Dunster (previously the building’s Associate Director), whose production features a talented ensemble cast including Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) and Jared Harris (who won a BAFTA for his exquisite turn in Chernobyl). The Young Vic’s stage is a wonderfully intimate location to stage Pinter’s play, which remains tense, dark, and endlessly-layered, full of turns of phrase that stick in your mind long after the piece has ended.

Dinner before: Authentic tapas at Meson Don Felipe
Drinks after:
A relaxing drink before you head home at Unwined in Waterloo
‘The Homecoming’ is playing at the Young Vic (nearest tube stations Waterloo and Southwark) from 27th November 2023 – 27th January 2024. Tickets are from £24 (concessions) and are available HERE.

The House of Bernarda Alba | National Theatre

house of bernarda alba - best london theatre shows right now

Harriet Walter, you say? ‘Playing a formidable matriarch’, is it? This alone, frankly, is more than enough for most right-thinking readers to make haste to the NT’s booking page, however for those as-yet undecided, there’s more; Lorca’s classic final play has been adapted by the prolific Alice Birch (she of the TV adaptations of Sally Rooney’s Normal People and Conversations With Friends), and sees director Rebecca Frecknall making her National Theatre debut, having most recently helmed molten-hot productions of Romeo & Juliet and A Streetcar Named Desire. Powerful women collaborating on a powerful play – Bernarda Alba should expect a full house.

Dinner before: Share a pie at Lasdun
Drinks after: Exquisite cocktails at Lyaness
: ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ is running at the National Theatre (nearest tube station Waterloo) from 16th November 2023 –  6th January 2024. Tickets cost from £46-£99, and are available HERE.

Infinite Life | National Theatre

infinite life - best london theatre shows right now

Image: Ahron-R-Foster

The MacArthur-winning Annie Baker is the playwright behind this potent new comic drama playing at the Dorfman, which sees five women in Northern California philosophising about life, suffering, and desire. The setting: a Cali wellness facility, in which the patients’ physically vulnerabilities provide the gateway to the inner struggles they face. It’s elegantly written and masterfully delivered – another witty and soulful piece from one of our leading voices, with direction courtesy of James Macdonald (Glengarry Glenn Ross) and set design courtesy of über-cool American collective dots (Kate Berlant is KATE). 

Dinner before: Seasonal, wood-fired dishes at Elliots
Drinks after: Carry on the evening at Flat Iron Square
London Theatre Critics say:
The Stage 5*
: ‘Infinite Life’ is running at the National Theatre (nearest tube station Waterloo) from 22nd November 2023 –  14th January 2024. Tickets cost from £20-£60, and are available HERE.

Portia Coughlan | The Almeida

portia coughlin - best london theatre shows right now

Image: Marc Brenner

The vast industrial space of the Almeida is playing host to another world, as Marina Carr’s dreamlike modern Irish fable is brought to life under the direction of Carrie Cracknell. It’s the titular Portia’s birthday, but she is tormented – by the shadows of her past, the possibilities of her future, and the memories of her dead twin Gabriel. It’s heady, dextrous stuff, and Alison Oliver (Conversations With Friends) is captivating.

Dinner before: Fresh pasta at Noci
Drinks after: A dram of whisky at Homeboy 
Details: ‘Portia Coughlan’ is playing at the Almeida (closest tube stations Angel and Highbury & Islington) from Saturday 7th October until Saturday 18th November 2023. Tickets cost from £10-£53, and can be booked HERE.

Blue Mist | Royal Court Theatre

Image: Ali Wright

The Royal Court is doing what it does best; unpicking complex, contemporary themes with verve and flair. With Blue Mist, a shisha lounge (the gloriously-named ‘Chunkyz’) becomes the setting for a tale about South Asian Muslim men attempting to navigate life in a system that isn’t designed for them. It’s where Jihad, Rashid and Asif hang out – but Jihad’s aspirations to become a journalist seem set to cause waves among his social circle and beyond. Produced by innovative production house SISTER and directed by the Court’s Associate Director Milli Bhatia, it’s a rollicking, exhilarating debut from playwright Mohamed-Zain Dada.

Dinner before: Top-tier Catalan food at The Campaner
Drinks after: Bouji pints at The Cadogan Arms
‘Blue Mist’ is playing at the Royal Court (closest station Sloane Square) from Thursday 5th October to Saturday 18th November 2023. Tickets cost from £12-£25 and are available HERE.

Dear England | Prince Edward Theatre

Dear England - the best london theatre shows right now

Image: Marc Brenner

Joseph Fiennes doesn’t just play Gareth Southgate, he is Gareth Southgate in this pulse-raising NT hit from the power-trio of playwright James Graham (he of Best Of Enemies and lots more), director Rupert Goold (he of Spring Awakening and lots more) and set designer Es Devlin (she of Beyoncé’s Formation tour and lots more – but, again, to be clear, she designed Beyoncé’s Formation tour). It’s an epic, pacy piece – but it’s thoughtful, too. Graham’s text combines hours of meticulous research with well-judged flights of fancy, as Southgate leads his men to war – and comes to terms with the infamous unresolved struggles of his past. After a rapturous reception at the NT, it’s coming home (to the Prince Edward Theatre for a West End transfer).

Dinner before: Good old English grub at Dean Street Townhouse
Drinks after: Subterranean cocktails at Wun’s Tearoom
London Theatre Critics say:
Daily Telegraph 5*; WhatsOnStage 5*; Evening Standard 4*; The Times 4*
: ‘Dear England’ is running at the Prince Edward Theatre (nearest tube station Leicester Square) until 13th January 2024. Tickets cost from £20, and are available HERE.

Clyde’s | Donmar Warehouse

Directed by Lynette Linton (Blues for an Alabama Sky) and written by double Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage (The Secret Life of Bees), CLYDE’S is the raucous, exhilarating tale of a Pennsylvania truck stop staffed by ex-convicts, where – under the watchful eye of the titular Clyde, their tyrannical boss – they toil in constant pursuit of creating the perfect sandwich. The play receives its European premier at the Donmar, and features a rock solid cast including Ronkẹ Adékọluẹ́jọ́ as Letitia, and Giles Terera as Montrellous. A delicious night out.

Dinner before: Moody modern European dining at Social Eating House
Drinks after: Quirky basement cocktails in Bourne & Hollingsworth Bar
London Theatre Critics say:
The Guardian 5*
Details’Clyde’s’ runs at the Donmar Warehouse (closest tube station Covent Garden) from 13th October until 2nd December 2023. Tickets cost £55, and can be booked 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 Side Hustle
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.

Backstairs Billy | Duke of York’s Theatre

backstairs billy comedy play

Marcelo Dos Santos is on a roll. The playwright found phenomenal success up at the Fringe last summer with Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen (which has just transferred at the Bush Theatre), and now he’s got another – very different – show running in the West End. So it seems like very good things have happened after all. Backstairs Billy is an intimate portrait of the Queen Mother (Penelope Wilton) and her loyal manservant (a “loveably roguish” Luke Evans), which’ll tick all your ‘witty comedy of manners’ boxes. It might not be the kind of play that stays with you for weeks after seeing it, but it’s a genuinely funny and brilliantly staged show that makes for a great night out – and sometimes that’s just what you need.

Dinner before: A suitably regal feast at J. Sheekey
Drinks after: Gin cocktails and singalongs at Mr. Fogg’s Tavern
London Theatre Critics say:
The Telegraph 5*; The Independent 4*; The Times 4*
DetailsBackstairs Billy runs at the Duke of York’s Theatre (closest tube station Leicester Square) until 27th January 2024. Tickets cost £10-175, and can be booked HERE.

Ahir Shah: Ends | Soho Theatre

Ahir Shah’s smart, sensitive, open-hearted show interweaves tales of family, immigration, politics and history, won the 2023 Edinburgh Comedy Award, and is transferring to London for a victorious run at the Soho Theatre. It’s a moving, marvellous, masterful piece of work.

Dinner before: 10/10 grub for when you’re in a rush at Arcade Food Hall
Drinks after:
A couple of pints at one of the best pubs in Soho
London Theatre Critics say: 
‘A show so magnificent on every level…Absolutely my show of the Fringe.’ ★★★★ – Times
Ahir Shah is playing at the Soho Theatre (nearest tube Leicester Square) from Monday 16th October – Friday 24th November 2023. Tickets are from £15 and are available HERE.


Looking for more comedy? Check out our guide to the best comedy gigs in London this month


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 opposite the Tower of London, 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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