Jason Allen 09/05/24

The Best London Theatre Right Now

The Best London Theatre | Amazing Shows to Book and See in May 2024

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



So, we haven’t seen these yet. Obviously. But here are the shows we’re willing to bet good (ticket) money on now…

  • After sell out runs in Manchester, Bristol & Edinburgh, our fair capital is about to get treated to a comedy musical with some glowing reviews (and a premise that doubles as a title). Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder, Ambassador’s Theatre, 25th May – 14th Sept.
  • John Lithgow plays Roald Dahl in a play that’s set across a single, torturous afternoon, when the author’s anti-semitism was confronted head on by his family. Giant, The Royal Court, 20th Sep – 16th Nov.
  • If you don’t mind waiting till September, Waiting For Godot‘s worth marking in your diary. Ben Whishaw and Lucian Msamati are taking on Beckett’s existential two-hander under the Olivier Award-winning directorial steer of James Macdonald. Waiting For Godot, Haymarket, 13th September – 14th December.
  • Armando Iannucci? Adapting an iconic jet black comedy? Starring Steve Coogan? Sign us up. Dr Strangelove, the Noel Coward Theatre. 8th October – 21st December.
  • Anyone feeling miserable that the current series of Inside No. 9 is its last can be cheered by the prospect of a brand new stage version coming to London next January, starring Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton themselves. Inside No. 9: Stage/Fright, Wyndham’s Theatre, 18th January – 5th April 2025
  • David Tennant and Cush Jumbo’s sold-out Macbeth (which requires you to wear headphones for full aural immersion) is getting a West End transfer this Autumn, and tickets are already going like hotcakes. Macbeth, Harold Pinter Theatre, 1st October – 14th December.
  • Aaand talking of immediate sell-out blockbuster shows, the RSC’s adaptation of the beloved Studio Ghibli film My Neighbour Totoro returns for a third run in 2025. Tickets are on sale now. My Neighbour Totoro, Gillian Lynne Theatre, 8th March – 2nd November 2025.


Standing at the Sky’s Edge | Gillian Lynne Theatre

After bagging the Best New Musical award at the Oliviers last year, Standing At The Sky’s Edge is back. It’s an irrepressible, irresistible love letter to Sheffield – and it’s the real deal. It’s a co-production with Sheffield Theatres, with the book by playwright Chris Bush and music &s lyrics by the brilliant Richard Hawley (both, incidentally, authentic Sheffielders). It’s a generation-spanning exploration of lives of people on Sheffield’s Park Hill estate, set across three timelines – a grand, sweeping narrative that tackles hopes, dreams, and gentrification.

Dinner before: Stand at the bar’s edge at Barrafina Drury Lane.
Drinks after: Have a gentrified martini at Baudry Greene.
London Theatre Critics say: Guardian 4*, Telegraph 4*
Details: Standing at the Sky’s Edge is going to be playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre until 3rd August 2024. Tickets start at £20 and you can get them right here.

Hadestown | Lyric Theatre


They say the devil has all the best tunes – well now he’s also got a Tony and Grammy-winning megahit Broadway musical, making its long-awaited transfer to the West End.

Multi-talented singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell has written the lyrics, book and the brassy, brilliant soundtrack to this epic underworld tale steeped in Greek mythology, which tracks the intertwining love stories of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Persephone and her husband King Hades. Rolling into town on the back of rapturous critical notices, and with an enormous buzz ahead of its opening night, commit whatever unforgivable sins are necessary to secure a ticket – it really is a hell of a show.

Dinner before:First rate dumplings at Leong’s Legend, one of the best restaurants in Chinatown
Drinks after: Head to the underground candlelit bar, Below Stone’s Nest
London Theatre Critics say: Guardian 4*, FT 4*
Details: Hadestown is playing at the Lyric Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus) until 22nd December 2024. Tickets cost from £20-125, and can be purchased HERE.

Cruel Intentions (the ’90s musical) | The Other Palace

cruel intentions the musical

That’s right – it’s the live adaptation of the movie that launched a thousand nascent teenage sexual awakenings, coupled with a soundtrack of absolute 90s bangers. Look, if you want highbrow entertainment, read Les Liaisons Dangereuses – the book that inspired it all. But, if you want to listen to No Scrubs, Genie in a Bottle and Bittersweet Symphony whilst watching manipulative American high school students seduce one another – well, you’ve come to the right place…

Dinner before: All-day antipodean dining at Timmy Green
Drinks after: Head to the part-gallery, part-bar, amie wine studio
London Theatre Critics say: The Times 4*, Evening Standard 4*
Details: ‘Cruel Intentions’ is playing at The Other Palace (nearest tube station Victoria) until 19th May 2024. Tickets are from £25.50 and are 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 4th May 2025. Tickets cost from £34.50-74.50, 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: 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 5th October 2024. Tickets cost £29 – £229, 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 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 25th May 2025, with tickets running between £20 and £150. You can book them 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) until 4th January 2025. Tickets cost from £39.50 – £150 and you can book HERE.

Operation Mincemeat | Fortune Theatre

operation mincemeat

After multiple sell-out runs at London’s fringe theatres, Operation Mincemeat, the debut musical by creative quartet SpitLip, has come to the West End – and been extended eight times. 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 role-swapping physicality.

Now with two Olivier awards under its belt, ‘Operation take the West End by storm’ has been a resounding success. Go see it, that’s an order.

Dinner before: Get mincemeat made into one of London’s best burgers at Joe Allen
Drinks after:
A thoroughly old fashioned 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 16th November 2024. Tickets cost from £39.50 – £89.50 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 plays at the Sondheim Theatre (closest tube station Piccadilly Circus), with tickets from £47.50-£175. You can book up until 29th March 2025 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 29th March 2025. They cost from £20-200, and can be purchased HERE.

Cabaret | The Kit Kat Club (Playhouse Theatre)

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. Cara Delevingne and Luke Treadaway have now stepped into the shoes of Emcee and Sally Bowles. 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 1st February 2025. Tickets cost £30 – £375, 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 22nd December 2024. Tickets cost £19.55 (of course) – £168.50, 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 29th September 2024. They cost from £18-73, and can be purchased HERE.



People, Places, and Things | Trafalgar Theatre

This play by Duncan Macmillan has been regularly returning to the stage for almost a decade now, and it’s had consistently good reviews each time – and this latest revival is no exception. Denise Gough reprises her role as the drug addict who happens to be the one person in rehab who doesn’t actually have a problem, and who has to contend with the idiots around her who insist that she can’t control her habit. Ugh.

Dinner before: Get things from the people at the place Bancone Soho
Drinks after: Something intoxicating at Gordon’s Wine Bar
London Theatre Critics say: 5* Standard, 5* Time Out, 4* Guardian
Details: People, Places, and Things is playing at the Trafalgar Theatre until 10th August 2024. Tickets start at £30 and are available here.

Boys on the Verge of Tears | Soho Theatre

Sam Grabiner’s debut play is quite something, for two reasons: 1) it’s set entirely in a men’s public toilet, and 2) it’s already won an award. And it deserves it too. This piece is imbued with a relentlessly humorous energy, and out of it comes an ultimately bewildering shakedown of modern masculinity.

Dinner before: Send yourself to Paradise
Drinks after: Get dessert & cocktails at Basement Sate
London Theatre Critics say: Telegraph 4*, Time out 4*
Details: Boys on the Verge of Tears is playing at the Soho Theatre until the 18th of May. Tickets start at £17 and are available here.

Machinal | Old Vic

Originally written in 1928, Machinal is the true story of Ruth Snyder, who was executed in the electric chair after killing her abusive husband Albert. As you may have gleaned, there’s quite a lot to unpack in this case, and quite a lot of moral tightrope to navigate. And by all accounts, this production absolutely nails it.

Dinner before: Roti King is right next door, and delicious
Drinks after: Raise your standards at Lower
London Theatre Critics say: 4* Telegraph, 4* FT
Details: Machinal is playing at the Old Vic until 1st June 2024. Tickets start at £13 and are available right here.

Mary Said What She Said | Barbican

So, this is a bit of a weird one. ‘Mary’ is a one-woman show featuring Mary Queen of Scots herself (played by Academy Award nominee Isabelle Huppert), who recites her own historically accurate letters as she awaits her inevitable execution. It’s basically an 80-minute long monologue, so you’re very much not here to see a traditional play, but something a lot more boundary-pushing. But for those who are intrigued, there are rich rewards to be had, and the original Paris production was extremely well received. Just know what you’re getting into.

Dinner before: Something beautiful at Trattoria Brutto (Mary might not want you ordering a couple of chops though)
Drinks after: Have a regal cocktail at The Zetter Townhouse
London Theatre Critics say: 5* Telegraph (Paris production)
Details: Mary Said What She Said is playing at the Barbican from 10th-12th May. Tickets start at £35 and are available here.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night | Wyndham’s Theatre

Brian Cox takes a crack at the role of a machiavellian patriarch in Eugene O’Neill’s three-hour epic that’s commonly regarded as one of the greatest plays of all time. And although it’s not one of the greatest stagings of all time, it’s still a fine slice of entertainment. Cox is wonderful, but he could be reading the phone book and we’d be enthralled – it’s his co-star Patricia Clarkson who manages to take your breath away.

Dinner before: The classic fish pie at J Sheekey
Drinks after: Something with character at Spey Bar
London Theatre Critics say: Telegraph 4* (“a slow-burn marvel”), Guardian 3*
Details: Long Day’s Journey Into Night is playing at Wyndham’s Theatre between 19th March – 8th June. Tickets start at £25 and are available right here.

The Player Kings | Noël Coward Theatre

Ian McKellen has never played Falstaff, so he’s setting out to rectify that at 84. Now he’s in Robert Icke’s upcoming mash-up of Shakespeare’s Henry IV parts 1 and 2. Icke, for those who don’t know him, is quite young at 37 years of age, and is considered to be one of the voices of the next generation. McKellen is a shade older, and more experienced. And the power-couple combination of the two seems to make for a solid (if not earth shattering) play.

Dinner before: Eat like a king at Blacklock Covent Garden
Drinks after: Drink something old fashioned at Mr Fogg’s Tavern
London Theatre Critics say: Guardian 3*, Independent 3*
Details: The Player Kings is showing at the Noël Coward Theatre from 1st April – 22nd June. Tickets start at £20 and are available right here.

Blue Beard | Battersea Arts Centre

Blue Beard

Emma Rice’s adaptation of this classic (or at least immortal) fairytale is a big, boisterous, showy affair loaded with pop culture references and big musical set-pieces. But underneath it all, it’s a simple parable of violence against women, a theme that sadly seems to resonate in any generation. It’s coming off a highly successful run in Bath, and looks to be pulling the same trick here…

Dinner before: Something with rice from Ploussard
Drinks after: Steady your nerves with a glass of wine at Humble Grape
London Theatre Critics say: Guardian 4*, The Times 3*
Details: Blue Beard is playing at the Battersea Arts Centre from 23rd April – 18th May. Tickets start at £16 and are available right here.

The Cherry Orchard | The Donmar Warehouse

© Johan Persson

Benedict Andrews is widely considered to be one of the best interpreters of Chekov working in theatre today. His adaptations of Three Sisters and The Seagull were both absolute belters, so there’s been a lot of hype surrounding Chekov’s big gun, The Cherry Orchard. And guess what? He’s only gone and smashed it out of the park.

Dinner before: Fall in love with the food at The Barbary
Drinks after: Something with notes of cherry at Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
London Theatre Critics say: 5* Guardian, 4* FT
Details: The Cherry Orchard is playing at the Donmar Warehouse from 26th April 2024 until 22nd June. Tickets start at £15 and are available right here.

Spirited Away | The Coliseum

Spirited Away will be landing for a limited 12-week run at the Coliseum in April 2024, and the trailer already looks amazing. It’s all been ingeniously adapted for theatre by John Caird, whose work as a writer and director spans musicals, operas and plays (including a little fringe show called Les Misérables). Working together with his wife, Maoko Imai, and designer Jon Bausor, he’s created a stunningly inventive show that fuses elements of Western and Japanese theatre traditions, including noh, kabuki and bunraku puppetry. And to be truly authentic to the original film, the show will be performed entirely in Japanese, with live subtitles.

Dinner before: Get into the Japanese mood at Koya Soho
Drinks after: Complete the Japanese triptych at Moto
Theatre Critics say: The Tokyo adaptation has already toured around Japan to rave reviews
Details: Spirited Away runs at the London Coliseum from 30th April – 24th August 2024. Tickets start at £28 and are now on sale right here.

Minority Report | The Lyric Hammersmith

Minority Report

The premise to Philip K Dick’s original Minority Report is pure, uncut theme-fodder for adaptations of any sort. Morality, philosophy, AI, social problems, crime, all of it get a deep dive. And this adaptation takes its time in the set up so that the action pays off with an emotional & intellectually satisfying bang, albeit a slightly confusing one.

Dinner before: Your future self enjoyed Faber
Drinks after: Murder a cocktail at Kindred
Theatre Critics say: FT 3*, Telegraph 3*
Details: Minority Report is playing at The Lyric Hammersmith between 20th April – 18th May 2024. Tickets start at £10 and are available right here.

The Hills of California | Harold Pinter Theatre

Jez Butterworth, the man who brought us Jerusalem which by default makes him one of the best playwrights of the modern era, is back. And his script is being directed by Sam Mendes, whose own accolades are too many to mention here. So we’re in dream team territory, basically. And although The Hills Of California isn’t quite on the level that those names might have allowed it to aspire, it is still nevertheless an engrossing and impressive work. Set in the time-skipping jumble of the ’70s and the ’50s, it visits a Blackpool family called The Webbs, and digs deep into some good ol’ tragedy…

Dinner before: Zero-waste dinner at Fallow
Drinks after: Wines from the hills of California at The Mulwray
London Theatre Critics say:Standard 4*, Guardian 3*
Details: The Hills of California is playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre until June 15th. Tickets start at £15, and you can get them right here.

Harry Clarke | Ambassadors Theatre

If you’re going to do a one-man show, then you need to make sure that the man is a very charismatic one. And Billy Crudup could probably make the phonebook sound riveting. So it’s all the better that he’s not reading it here – he’s playing 19 (!) different characters in this multi-layered show about an American con-man pretending to be a Londoner. And now it is a Londoner, having transferred from sell-out runs in LA and NY to come here for a spell. Word is that the show is great, although not perfect – but worth it for Crudup’s performance alone.

Dinner before: Enter the world of Louie
Drinks after: Go underground to Below Stone Nest
American critics say: “Masterly” – New York Times, “Billy Crudup dazzles” – SFGate
Details: Harry Clarke is playing at the Ambassadors Theatre from 9th March until 11th of May. Tickets start at £25 and are available right here.

For Black Boys… | The Garrick Theatre

best london theatre right now - For The Black Boys...

Image: Ali Wright

Six young Black men meet for group therapy. So begins a joyous, impassioned, journey through worlds of music, dance, imagination, and personal confession – exploring and unpacking issues of fatherhood, abuse, sexual insecurities, depression, and suicidal ideation. Calais Cameron’s smash-hit exploration of Black male identity began life at the New Diorama Theatre, enjoyed a sold-out run at the Royal Court, transferred to the Apollo in 2023, and is now coming to the Garrick Theatre on Charing Cross Road for an encore West End run.

Dinner before: First rate tapas at Barrafina
Drinks after: Care for a pint of Guinness? Head to The Devonshire
London Theatre Critics say: The Guardian 5*; London Theatre 4*; Evening Standard 4*
Details: For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too heavy runs at the Garrick Theatre (closest tube station Leicester Square) until 1st June 2024. Tickets cost £15-69.50, and can be booked HERE.

The Picture of Dorian Gray | Theatre Royal Haymarket

the picture of dorian gray

Though “all art is quite useless” according to Oscar Wilde in the preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, that doesn’t stop tickets for this production of his infamous novella from being eye-wateringly expensive (then again, Wilde also dismissed cynics as those who know “the price of everything and the value of nothing”). If you can score a seat, you’ll be among the lucky few witnessing Sarah Snook, Succession’s very own Shiv, tackle yet another story of vanity and corruption – only this time, she’s playing all the characters. Without doubt the hottest solo show of the year (though obviously be wary of Matthew Macfadyen attempting to swoop in at the eleventh hour having been craftily preparing a one-man War and Peace…).

Dinner before: Northern India meets British cuisine at Tandoor Chop House
Drinks after: Mellow out with a couple glasses of red at Gordon’s Wine Bar
Details: The Picture of Dorian Gray is playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket (nearest tube stations Leicester Square and Charing Cross) until 11th May 2024. Tickets are £60-£289 and available HERE.

Nye | National Theatre

the best london theatre shows right now: nye

Michael Sheen’s mighty voice was last heard at the National Theatre tackling Dylan Thomas’ glorious, evocative poetry in 2021’s Under Milk Wood. Now he’s back embodying another Welsh titan – Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan, founder of the NHS, in a piece written by Tim Price (Teh Internet is Serious Business) and directed by outgoing NT mandarin Rufus Norris. Go on, book yourself in for an appointment with Nye – it’s good for what ails you.

Dinner before: Authentic tapas at Meson Don Felipe
Drinks after:
A relaxing drink before you head home at Unwined in Waterloo
Details: Nye is playing at the National Theatre until 11th May 2024. Tickets cost £20-£99 and can be booked HERE.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow | Phoenix Theatre

stranger things play

Manuel Harlan

There are TV shows, there are hit TV shows, and then there’s whatever Stranger Things is – at this point, a cultural psyche-shaping global mega-phenomenon. So to all those Stranger Things fans out there – and statistically, that’s very likely to be you – rejoice, for the show’s extended universe now expands, with a brand new play featuring a story by the Duffer Brothers (creators of Stranger Things) and written by Kate Trefry (a writer on the show) and Jack Thorne (writer of basically everything, and, in light of Cursed Child’s runaway success, the go-to playwright for all big-ticket-IP-stage-adaptations). The starry creative team is a hint at who’s backing the production – Netflix itself, making its first foray into theatre – and the title is a hint at the plot – the show is a prequel to the weirdness that eventually goes down in Hawkins, Indiana. A streamer-backed TV adaptation play that’s genuinely good? Stranger things have happened…

Dinner before: Turkish street food dishes at Yeni
Drinks after: Tequila time at La Bodega Negra
London Theatre Critics say: Sunday Times 5*, The Guardian 5*, Evening Standard 5*
Details: ‘Stranger Things’ is playing at the Phoenix Theatre (nearest tube station Tottenham Court Road) until 25th August 2024. Tickets are from £32.50 and are available HERE.



Fawlty Towers | Apollo Theatre

John Cleese himself has adapted three of the best episodes of Fawlty Towers (which, for those keeping score, is a quarter of them) for the stage, and woven them into one play. You can expect classic scenes from The Hotel Inspector, Communication Problems, and – yes – The Germans. Early word is good, but the show will really come into its own after the cast have had a couple of weeks to gel together. Basically, if you like Fawlty Towers, you’ll like Fawlty Towers.

Dinner before: Something Manuel would approve of from Barrafina 
Drinks after: Get a basil-based cocktail at Swift Soho 
Details: Fawlty Towers is playing at the Apollo Theatre until 28th September. Tickets start at £20 and you can get them right here.

Twelfth Night | Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

regents park theatre date ideas

Half the fun of seeing a production at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is simply the theatre itself. But having a witty, classic play like Twelfth Night to see makes it into a real treat. This particular text has been a consistent crowd-pleaser at the theatre over the years, and it looks like it’s weaving the same magic this season, too.

Dinner before: A cheeky steak & chips at Relais De Venise L’Entrecote
Drinks after: Tip a cocktail back at Scales
Details: Twelfth Night is playing at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until 8th June 2024. Tickets start at £19 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 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.

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 29th September 2024. Tickets available HERE.


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