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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

'It’s terrifying': Stephen Daldry on Trump, 'The Crown' and refugees
Theatre

'It’s terrifying': Stephen Daldry on Trump, 'The Crown' and refugees

The master director talks about his many, many projects, including the return of 'An Inspector Calls', saving the world, and 'The Crown'

'Hamilton' the musical: how to get tickets to the West End show
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'Hamilton' the musical: how to get tickets to the West End show

It’s the most anticipated musical of our time – Lin-Manuel Miranda’s all-conquering, Trump aggravating, hip hop masterpiece ‘Hamilton’ finally hits London’s Victoria Palace Theatre this year and we’ve got a few extra details…

London International Mime Festival: what to see
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London International Mime Festival: what to see

It's London! It's January! It's mime time! 

Latest theatre reviews
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Latest theatre reviews

Find out what our theatre team made of London's new openings

The best theatre in London

London musicals
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London musicals

All the latest musical, from the fringe to the West End.

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

London theatre critics' choice
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London theatre critics' choice

These are the shows that got our critics talking

Children's theatre in London
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Children's theatre in London

Recommendations for the very little ones, the nearly big ones, and the grown ups

Theatre tickets and offers

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie

See John Tiffany's haunting production for as little as £20

This House

This House

See the five-star show for as little as £23.80

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera

See the classic show for just £28.29

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

The Book of Mormon

Laugh your head off in musical comedy heaven from just £33.82

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots

Life's a drag so glitz it up with tickets to this sparkly show for just £23.98

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Latest theatre reviews

The Convert
Theatre

The Convert

Think drama set in the 1890s and you might well think of sitting room squabbles over cucumber sandwiches…

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
In the Depths of Dead Love
Theatre

In the Depths of Dead Love

'Theatre of Catastrophe' is what Howard Barker named his own unique brand of plays - full of elliptical language, dislikeable characters and unfathomable meanings. The name has never been so apt…

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 1 out of 5 stars
Winter Solstice
Theatre

Winter Solstice

I can’t help but think this German comedy – by Roland Schimmelpfennig, presented by ATC and the Orange Tree – has been a bit spoilered by the accompanying press and publicity materials, which has all strongly built it up as a topical play about the resurgence of the far right…

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 1 out of 5 stars
Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises

Re-creating Burt Bacharach Hal David and Neil Simon’s swinging sixties New Yoik musical in Southwark Playhouse was never going to be easy, and Bronagh Lagan’s new production of 'Promises, Promises' – a tale of sexual and work-place politics in mid-century Manhattan – feels not only out of place, but out of touch…

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

Shakespeare plays in London
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Shakespeare plays in London

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

Immersive theatre in London
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Immersive theatre in London

London is bursting with plays and performances that defy stuffy conventions 

Theatre interviews
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Theatre interviews

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

Circus in London
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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.

Coming soon

Hamlet
Theatre

Hamlet

Proof that Moriarty was always cooler than Sherlock: where Benedict Cumberbatch 'gave' his Hamlet in the summer of 2015 at the vast Barbican, his screen nemesis Andrew Scott will take on the part of Shakespeare's doomed Danish prince in the tiny, hip Almeida…

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Tom Stoppard became an overnight celebrity after his witty riff on Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' opened at the Old Vic. 50 years on, the Old Vic is marking this success with an anniversary revival of 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead' starring Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire as the hapless double act, with David Haig as The Player King…

Obsession
Theatre

Obsession

Cementing Ivo van Hove's position as perhaps the foremost theatre director in the world today, this month-long adaptation of the classic 1943 Italian film 'Obsession' forms the centrepiece of his theatre company Toneelgroep Amsterdam's 2017 takeover of the Barbican…

Woyzeck

Woyzeck

Some Disney film or other has made John Boyega an A-list name in the years since he last performed on the London stage in 2009. But those who know him solely as the larksome Finn from 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' might be surprised at the heaviness of his vehicle for his theatrical comeback…

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…

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
National 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
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
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
Shakespeare's Globe

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
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