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Musicals and theatre in London

Your guide to plays and musicals in the West End and the best of London shows. Theatre reviews, tickets and offers

39 London theatre shows we're still looking forward to in 2016
Theatre

39 London theatre shows we're still looking forward to in 2016

Want to know what theatre tickets to buy for the rest of the year? Here's out guide, from choice EdFringe transfers to massive West End smashes

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The best theatre in London

London musicals
Theatre

London musicals

It had fantastic reviews when it opened – but is it still kicking after five cast changes?

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West End theatre shows
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West End theatre shows

Here's the full scoop on the best shows in London's West End

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London theatre critics' choice
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London theatre critics' choice

These are the shows that got our critics talking

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Open-air theatre in London
Theatre

Open-air theatre in London

Read our round-up of open-air theatre events for the summer ahead

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Theatre tickets and offers

Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots

See the Tony Award-winning musical that’s been dazzling audiences for as little as £23.98 - up to 50% off

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon

Buy tickets for the smash hit show from the creators of 'South Park' from just £27.50

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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The Truth

The Truth

Prepare to be spellbound! Tickets from £20.82

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

See the truly novel adaptation we awarded four stars from just £18

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's

see See Pixie Lott stars as Truman Capote's heroine in this new adaptation of his classic novella from just £18.45

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Latest theatre reviews

They Drink It In the Congo
Theatre

They Drink It In the Congo

This invigorating sprawl of a play cheerily draws attention to its potential problems straight away…

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips
Theatre

946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

‘In the dark times, will there also be singing?’ A quote from German dramatist Bertolt Brecht is an unlikely start to a family show…

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Jungle Book
Theatre

Jungle Book

I’m lost in the jungle. Metta Theatre have shifted Rudyard Kipling’s classic children’s story onto the streets of London…

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

‘Groundhog Day’, Tim Minchin’s adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, is a musical about repetition…

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Discover more theatre in London

Shakespeare plays in London
Theatre

Shakespeare plays in London

Here's where to watch the best of the Bard in London

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Immersive theatre in London
Theatre

Immersive theatre in London

London is bursting with plays and performances that defy stuffy conventions 

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Theatre interviews
Theatre

Theatre interviews

Peek behind-the-scenes with London's theatrical talents

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Circus in London
Nightlife

Circus in London

Although you'll not see any lions being 'tamed' in massive stripy tents, London's modern circus scene is far more jaw-dropping than the suspicious magicians and caged animals of old. Have your breath taken away with your pick from our list of London circus shows.

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Coming soon in 2016

The Entertainer

The Entertainer

John Osborne's great play about a music hall performer 'The Entertainer' reignited Laurence Olivier's career when he performed it in 1957…

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No Man's Land

No Man's Land

It's been on the cards in London ever since they did it in New York and now here we go: on-screen nemeses and real-life BFFs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen bring their hailed production of Harold Pinter's 'No Man's Land' – directed by Sean Mathias – to Wyndham's following a short UK tour…

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School of Rock - The Musical

School of Rock - The Musical

They may not be your stereotypical idea of rock gods but Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellows have come together to bring 'School of Rock' to the stage.…

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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An American in Paris
Theatre

An American in Paris

Packed full of jazz standards from George and Ira Gershwin, 'An American in Paris' is a musical to treasure. And this lavish, award-winning Broadway production is a chance to see it at its glitzy finest…

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Hamilton
Theatre

Hamilton

Easily the biggest hit theatre show of our age – and the winner of 11 gongs at the 2016 Tonys – Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’ is an exuberant, multi-racial hip hop account of the life and times of American founding father Alexander Hamilton…

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What's on at

Old Vic
Theatre

Old Vic

The combination of double-Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and top producer David Liddiment at this 200-year-old Waterloo theatre continues to be a commercial success – though Spacey's controversial artistic leadership has frequently come under critical fire. Still, the Old Vic's a great place to catch high-profile actors – Ian McKellen, Robert Lindsay and Neve Campbell have all trod its boards. David Mamet's 'Speed-the-Plow' thrilled audiences in 2008 and was followed by a winning revival of Alan Ayckbourn's 'The Norman Conquests' – a show that saw the venue spectacularly remodeled into a theatre-in-the-round. Summer 2009 heralded the first of Sam Mendes's The Bridge Projects, an Anglo-American collaboration between Mendes, the Old Vic and Joseph V Melillo's Brooklyn Academy of Music, that enticed Ethan Hawke to the British stage for its Shakespeare/Chekhov double bill.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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National Theatre
Theatre

National Theatre

The concrete-clad, 1960s modernist grandmother of them all: no theatrical tour of London is complete without a visit to the National, whose three auditoriums – Olivier, Lyttelton and Cottesloe – offer a rolling repertory programme, often with a choice of several productions in a week. The National Theatre may have once had a fiercely inaccessible reputation, but the arrival of maverick artistic director Nicholas Hytner in 2003 rocked theatreland as he set about changing the venue's staid ethos with daring productions such as 'Jerry Springer the Opera' and an ambitious adaptation of Phillip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'. The change of tack proved a success, attracting audiences of mixed race, age and class – and Hytner's budget £10 Travelex-sponsored tickets still help pull in the crowds in the summer season. The home stable for Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse', which opened here in 2007 and went on to break West End records, the National is now developing a reputation for family-friendly blockbusters, cue its current production of Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time'. Meanwhile the National Theatre Live initiative has extended the theatre's reach by broadcasting high-publicity productions such as Danny Boyle's role-swapping smash-hit 'Frankenstein' and the comedy 'One Man, Two Guvnors', which introduced James Corden to the stage, live to Picturehouse Cinemas. A recent run of the post-modern musical 'London Road' proved it hasn't lost its edge. You

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Young Vic

Young Vic

The Young Vic finally returned to its refurbished home in The Cut in 2007 with acclaimed community show ‘Tobias & the Angel’. As you would expect, it’s got more verve and youthful nerve than the grown-up Old Vic down the road and attracts a slightly younger more multicultural – yet still discerning – crowd. Director David Lan’s eclectic programming of rediscovered European classics has proved popular with the critics, while a stage adaptation of DBC Pierre’s ‘Vernon God Little’ was standing ovation material. Three venue spaces – the main house and studio spaces Maria and Clare – allow for flexible scheduling and more intimate works such as Tarell Alvin McCraney’s moving ‘The Brothers Size’. The Young Vic also provides its Waterloo home with a popular split-level bar and restaurant complete with an open-air balcony terrace.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Royal Court Theatre
Theatre

Royal Court Theatre

A hard-hitting theatre in well-heeled Sloane Square, the Royal Court has always placed emphasis on new British talent – from John Osborne’s ‘Look Back in Anger’ in 1956, to the discovery of numerous playwrights over the past decade: Sarah Kane, Joe Penhall and Conor McPherson among them. Artistic director Dominic Cooke has always injected plenty of politics into the programmes and successfully decreased the age of his audiences too. This is where you’ll find rude, lyrical new work set on the London streets by first-time playwrights like Bola Agbaje and the more established but no less cool Mark Ravenhill. Split between two floors – with the mid-capacity Jerwood Theatre Downstairs and the studio-style Jerwood Theatre Upstairs – the Royal Court also houses an excellent bookshop geared towards theatregoers and a café bar with a weighty menu serving up more than your average bag of peanuts.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Shakespeare's Globe
Theatre

Shakespeare's Globe

The original Globe Theatre, where many of William Shakespeare's plays were first staged and which he co-owned, burned to the ground in 1613 during a performance of 'Henry VIII'. Nearly 400 years later, it was rebuilt not far from its original site, using construction methods and materials as close to the originals as possible. Shakespeare’s Globe has been an unbridled success, underpinned in part by its educational programme (you can drop in for talks and readings) and its commitment to faithfully recreating an original ‘Shakespeare in performance’ experience from April to October. The open-air, free-standing Yard is the best bet for those after complete authenticity – the absence of seating may test your stamina but tickets are excellent value – while the Middle and Upper Galleries afford a (marginally more comfortable) atmosphere of their own. The only thing that tends to mar a performance is the theatre’s somewhat noisy, flight-path location. In the UnderGlobe beneath the theatre is a fine exhibition on the history of the reconstruction, Bankside and its original theatres, and Shakespeare's London. Guided tours of the Shakespeare's Globe theatre run throughout the year. If the Bard is not your bag, look out for various seasonal festivals that take place on the riverside area outside the Globe Theatre. For more information about visiting the Globe Theatre, head to www.timeout.com/outdoor-theatre-faqs

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Lyric Hammersmith
Theatre

Lyric Hammersmith

A beacon of culture in Hammersmith, the Lyric's distinctive look is largely down to a fusion of the building's 1970s structure, the theatre's Victorian heritage and a modern interior.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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