The Best Plays & Musicals in the UK to Book Now

By CTH Editors

2 years ago

Your cultural calendar for 2022

Wondering what to see at the theatre this season? Here we bring you all the latest on the plays, musicals and operas to book now.

Best Plays & Musicals To Book Now

The Boy with Two Hearts

National Theatre

The Boy with Two Hearts play at the National Theater

Jorge Lizalde

A stage adaptation of Hamed Amiri’s book The Boy with Two Hearts is coming to the National Theatre this autumn, directed by Amit Sharma and adapted by Phil Porter. It tells the touching story of a family who are forced to flee Afghanistan after a mother speaks out against the Taliban. But as their eldest son’s life-threatening heart condition starts to worsen, their escape across Russia and through Europe becomes a race against time. 1 October – 12 November 2022,

My Neighbour Totoro

Barbican Theatre

My Neighbour Totoro play poster

The Royal Shakespeare company is teaming up with legendary Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi for the global stage premiere of My Neighbour Totoro. Based on the 1988 Studio Ghibli animated film of the same name, for which Hisaishi was the original composer, this new theatrical adaptation was written by Tom Morton-Smith in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon and features puppetry from Basil Twist. Expect a whole heap of nostalgia with this coming-of-age story, which sees sisters Satsuki and Mei discover a magical fantasy world in the countryside surrounding their new home. 8 October 2022 – 21 January 2023,

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare North Playhouse & Northern Stage

Cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream posed in contrast lighting

Shakespeare’s milestone comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be gracing theatres once again later this year, in a production directed by MAtthew Dunster and Jimmy Fairhurst. Taking things to the North-West of the UK, this will be the first Shakespearean play to be staged at the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Merseyside and features a mix of well-known actors and up-and-coming talent. Notable names include BAFTA-nominated actor David Morrissey, who lends his voice to the role of Oberon, and Mercury Prize nominee Nadine Shah, who will be making her theatre debut as Titania. This version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will also integrate British Sign Language throughout to enable all theatre-lovers can enjoy the show. 22 September – 22 October 2022 at Shakespeare North Playhouse, & 29 October – 12 November 2022 at the Northern Stage,


The Kit Kat Club

Callum Scott Howells

(c) The Other Richard

Having opened to roaring success last year, Rebecca Frecknall’s production of Cabaret is set to make a grand return to London’s Kit Kat Club with an updated cast list. BAFTA nominee and star of Channel 4’s It’s A Sin Callum Scott Howells be playing The Emcee alongside Emmy-nominated actress Madline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Sally Bowles. Having won big at the 2022 Olivier Awards, securing seven awards in total, Cabaret is guaranteed to be just as fantastic – if not more so as the original.

The Gretchen Question

The Master Shipwright’s House, Deptford

Woman holding up a shell pendant in front of her face

The Gretchen Questions is a new play from Melly Still and Max Barton examining the climate crisis from the perspective of three women, set over different time periods and asking audiences how we arrived at our current emergency. The cast features a range of talent, with Yohanna Ephrem, Ryan Gerald, Katherine Manners, Lauren Moakes, Alex Mugnaioni, Al Nedjari and Christopher Saul all taking to the stage. 22 September – 2 October 2022,

Much Ado About Nothing

National Theatre

Katherine Parkinson and Company in the NT's Much Ado About Nothing

(c) Manuel Harlan

Another Shakespeare revival, the National Theatre’s production of Much Ado About Nothing has been directed by Simon Godwin (who previously worked on a rendition of Romeo & Juliet) and will see actors Katherine Parkinson and John Heffernan take on the roles of Beatrice and Benedick respectively. Set in the fictional Hotel Messina, nestled within the Italian Riviera, the play is a must-watch for fans of classic comedy. 18  July – 10 September 2022,

Life of Pi

Wyndham’s Theatre

Life of Pi

(c) Johan Persson

The much-anticipated premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s stage adaptation of Life of Pi has arrived in the West End. Starring Hiran Abeysekera, Mina Anwar and Nicholas Khan, the play is based on Yann Martel’s award-winning novel, which follows a group of survivors from a cargo ship disaster: a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a sixteen-year-old boy and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Booking extended until 15 January 2023,

Main Image: The Company of Much Ado About Nothing at the National Theatre (c) Manuel Harlan