London theatre critics' choice

Our theatre critics recommend the best London theatre of the moment

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New and limited run five star shows

Here Lies Love

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

David Byrne’s utterly winning ‘Here Lies Love’ doesn’t so much tear up the musical-theatre rulebook as exhibit a strange, endearing obliviousness to the fact that it even exists.The former Talking Heads leader has, inescapably, written a disco musical about the first lady of the Philippines/dictator’s wife Imelda Marcos. It should be the gayest thing ever. Instead, Byrne’s show and Alex Timbers’s prodigious New York production – restaged at the National Theatre to

  1. National Theatre, Dorfman
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Thu Jan 8
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King Charles III

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

The royal family is a soap opera that the whole nation loves to tune into – even the Scots. And Mike Bartlett’s audacious new comedy imagines their next episode as if it were Will Shakespeare scripting ‘The Thick of It’. Elizabeth II is dead, Charles III finally ascends the throne and promptly clashes with a handsome, populist Labour PM (sorry Ed, his name’s Tristram). Parliament is hellbent on restricting the freedom of the press but, in agonies of conscience, Charles

  1. Wyndham's Theatre Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DA
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Jan 31
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New and limited run shows

The Cherry Orchard

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Young Vic The Cut, SE1 8LZ
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Nov 29
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Cans

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Theatre 503 503 Battersea Park Rd, SW11 3BW
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Nov 29
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Far Away

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Young Vic The Cut, SE1 8LZ
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Nov 29
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East Is East

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Trafalgar Studios 14 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Jan 3
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Electra

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Old Vic 103 The Cut, Waterloo Rd, SE1 8NB
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Dec 20
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God Bless the Child

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Royal Court Theatre Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Dec 20
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Great Britain

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Haymarket Theatre Royal 18 Suffolk Street, SW1Y 4HT
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Jan 10
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Howie the Rookie

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Barbican Centre Silk St, EC2Y 8DS
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Nov 29
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Made In Dagenham

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Adelphi Theatre The Strand, WC2R 0NS
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Mar 28
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Our Town

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Almeida Theatre Almeida Street, Islington, N1 1TA
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Nov 29
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Pomona

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Orange Tree Theatre Clarence Street, TW9 2SA
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Dec 13
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The Scottsboro Boys

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Garrick Theatre 2 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HH
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Feb 21
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Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Harringtons Pie and Mash Shop Selkirk Road, SW17 0ER
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Nov 29
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Theatre Uncut

  • Critics choice
  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sun Nov 30
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'Tis Pity She's A Whore

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Sam Wanamaker Playhouse 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sun Dec 7
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Long-running shows

The 39 Steps

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Criterion Theatre 218-223 Piccadilly, SW1Y 4XA
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Mar 28
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Billy Elliot the Musical

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Victoria Palace Theatre 126 Victoria Street, SW1E 5EA
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Dec 19
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The Book of Mormon

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Prince of Wales Theatre Coventry St, W1D 6AS
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Mar 7
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Theatre Royal Drury Lane Catherine St, WC2B 5JF
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Oct 31
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  1. Gielgud Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6AR
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat May 23
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Jersey Boys

  • Rated as: 5/5
  1. Piccadilly Theatre 4 Denman Street, W1D 7DY
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sun Oct 25
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Les Miserables

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Queen’s Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6BA
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Sep 26
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Made In Dagenham

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Adelphi Theatre The Strand, WC2R 0NS
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Mar 28
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Matilda the Musical

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Cambridge Theatre Earlham St, WC2H 9HU
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sun Dec 20
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War Horse

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice
  1. New London Theatre Drury Lane, WC2B 5PQ
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Feb 14
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The Woman in Black

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice
  1. Fortune Theatre Russell Street, WC2B 5HH
  2. Fri Nov 28 - Sat Jul 25
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Users say

7 comments
Brian M
Brian M

Othello - Malachite Theatre Company - St Leonard's Church (Shoreditch) 

Excellent performances by Danielle Larose, Jude Owusu and Martin Coat as the three main characters of this folio version of Othello,Taking an Elizabethan (the first!) version of the play as a starting point, this production is brilliantly paced and brings out subtleties I had not seen before.Owusu plays Othello steeped in jealousy and confusion rather than with power and anger, Coat plays Iago with cunning and yet with some vulnerability. Larose's Desdemona is no passive victim.All in all, another brilliant performance by the Malachite's.Go see it.

Ninhom Passmore
Ninhom Passmore

Billy Elliet the Musical is brilliant awesome production. I was totally captivated. Will watch again, if chance is permitted.

Peter Lindley
Peter Lindley

W.E.B Bois: A Man for All Times until 1st September at the Victoria and Albert Museum, book online or call 0207 942 2211. Sometimes people can only hear your colour." A line from the powerful and intensely moving story of W.E.B. Du Bois, 1868 to 1963, American Civil Rights Leader and Activist who devoted his life to the strggle for equality by Afro-American people told in Brian Richardson's one man show. It runs until 1st September - get a ticket if you can before they sell out. It's difficult to overstate the importance and impact of this play. It's what theatre is all about. It's moving, informative, tender, funny, and at times truly terrifying. In a masterful demonstration of acting Brian Richardson is Dr W.E.B. Du Bois. His portrayal of the final days of the 93 year old Dr. Bois in the last scene of the play is stunning. I was so immersed in his performance I had to stop myself from offering him a helping hand as he shook and struggled to reach his seat. I don't mind admitting that I cried for him and for the terrible injustices imposed on his fellow Americans by white folk. However, I left the theatre elated that I had seen something very special indeed determined to learn more about Dr Du Bois and the American Civil Rights movement. Dr Du Bois died on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream..." speech, exiled in Ghana on 27 August 1963 only a year before the reforms he fought for became enshrined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

phil
phil

I thought Ghost Stories was awesoem, but since its not on anymore, its rather academic.

Dara
Dara

Ghost Stories was the worst 'thing' I have ever witnessed. Yours sincerely, An ambulance driver

lynne
lynne

arriving may 2012

marlene Dodes-Callahan
marlene Dodes-Callahan

Who reviewed Ghost Sories.? On your recommendation, of four stars, I expected something more professional, engaging, thoughtful than this What a waste of time and money .