In our regularly updated London theatre guide, we bring you the best plays to see in town to inject a little culture into your week. These are the best plays in London, from classics and adaptations, to debuts, comedy shows and beloved West End hits.
10 Things to Do in London This Week
A compelling adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s 19th Century play, Olivier Award-winning Irish playwright Conor McPherson presents
Uncle Vanya, a dark humour-filled production based around the tumultuous lives of Uncle Vanya, played by acclaimed actor Toby Jones, and Doctor Astrov, performed by renowned television actor Richard Armitage, who has starred in the likes of The Hobbit and Ocean’s Eight. Harold Pinter Theatre; until 2 May 2020. Book via lovetheatre.com
Image: Uncle Vanya, Toby Jones, Richard Armitage © Muse Creative Communications, photography by Seamus Ryan
Jennifer Saunders returns to the stage as the farcical clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Sir Richard Eyre’s adaptation of Noël Coward’s 40s comedy
Blithe Spirit. Also starring the likes of Geoffrey Streatfeild, Lisa Dillon and Emma Naomi, the plot follows Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth as a séance mystically brings forth the ghost of his first wife, Elvira. See it at the Duke of York’s until 11 April 2020. Book via lovetheatre.com
Image: Geoffrey Streatfeild, Emma Naomi, Jennifer Saunders and Lisa Dillon in Blithe Spirit | Photo: Nobby Clark
Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford star in this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about painter Georges Seurat and the drastic measures he takes in order to complete his most famous painting,
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Having previously played a sold-out limited season at Hudson Theatre on Broadway, the show now arrives in London at the decadent Savoy Theatre. 11 June – 5 September 2020. Book via lovetheatre.com
Image: Jake Gyllenhaal in Sunday in the Park with George | photo: Matthew Murphy
If you’re at all worried that this sacred text is being subjugated to any overblown, blindingly bright theatrics, then take a breath and relax. It’s not. The production delivers the same bliss of quality story telling as the books. Solid acting jobs in an almost black box theatre environment form the sturdy foundation of this production, so that once the effects are thrown in the mix (expect to be genuinely amazed) the result is pure magic.
Palace Theatre; until January 2021. Book via lovetheatre.com
You’ve been summoned for jury service. Ingeniously set in the real-life chamber of London’s County Hall, Lucy Bailey’s production of
Witness for the Prosecution breathes fresh life into the Agatha Christie courtroom drama. Taking well-plotted twists and unexpected turns in a manner capable of only Christie herself, the play is as entrancing and beguiling as the short story. Through the debated innocence of murder suspect Leonard Vole, the plot picks apart the law itself, reminding the audience of its theatricality; the pomp, the circumstance, the wigs. This brilliant rendition of Witness for the Prosecution certainly gives the well-loved BBC adaptions of Christie’s work a run for their money. Booking until 29 March 2020. Book via lovetheatre.com
Image: Sheila Burnett
Created with legendary Vegas magicians Penn & Teller, Mischief Theatre conjure up an evening of grand illusion, playing a hapless gang of magicians presenting a charity event. As the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fund- raising target!
Booking until May 2020. Book via lovetheatre.com
For a ‘fright’ to remember, it has to be
The Woman in Black. Following its 30th anniversary celebration in June of last year, the thrilling production has taken to the Fortune Theatre, now starring Terence Wilton ( Taming of the Shrew and Never So Good) as ‘Arthur Kipps’ and Max Hutchinson as ‘The Actor’. Booking until March 2021. Book via lovetheatre.com
Image: The Woman in Black. Max Hutchinson ‘The Actor’. Photo, Tristram Kenton
Catch renowned Scottish actor, comedian and writer – including episodes for Netflix favourite
Sex Education – Richard Gadd make his one-man theatre show debut in the West End with Baby Reindeer. The unsettling show, which explores how an act of kindness can lead to ‘six years of torment’, has already won a Fringe First award and Stage Edinburgh Award last year. 2 April – 2 May 2020. Book via lovetheatre.com
Image: Michael OReilly
The year is 1759 and Sally Poppy (played wonderfully and with defensive truculence by Ria Zmitrowicz) has been convicted (with her lover) of murdering an 11-year old girl. We watch the ‘jury of matrons’ — 12 women empanelled on a jury; a legal procedure that happened from medieval times until the 19th century — deliberate before delivering a verdict on another woman. The matrons have to ascertain if Sally is telling the truth when she claims to be pregnant. If she is, instead of being hung, she’ll be transported to the colonies.
By Caroline Phillips. Read the full review here. See it at the Lyttelton Theatre until June 2020. Book to see a live screening on 21 May via atgtickets.com
The Crown’s Alex Jennings take to the stage in Stephen Beresford’s The Southbury Child, a both dark and diverting play surrounding ‘frequently drunk’ priest David Highland whose world turns upside down after taking a ‘hard line’ with a grieving parishioner. See it at the Bridge Theatre from 29 April – 27 June. start the slideshow