Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Musicals and theatre in London

Musicals and theatre in London

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

Book theatre tickets

Edinburgh Fringe theatre reviews
Theatre

Edinburgh Fringe theatre reviews

Check out the best of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The best new theatre shows to see in August
Theatre

The best new theatre shows to see in August

It’s another massive month for theatre – don’t miss any of these shows

What to see at Edinburgh Fringe: 15 of the best
Theatre

What to see at Edinburgh Fringe: 15 of the best

Our top pix for the Fringe and EIF

Latest theatre reviews
Theatre

Latest theatre reviews

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

Cheap and last minute theatre tickets in London
Theatre

Cheap and last minute theatre tickets in London

London's best theatre discounts and how to get in to sold out shows

Latest theatre reviews

‘The Worst Witch’ review

‘The Worst Witch’ review

If Harry Potter can have a West End play, then Mildred Hubble can damn well have a West End play too…

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
Matthew Bourne’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ review
Dance

Matthew Bourne’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ review

After ‘Swan Lake’, ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Cinderella’, another of ballet’s big beasts has received the Matthew Bourne treatment…

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
‘Evita’ review

‘Evita’ review

Forget everything you know about ‘Evita’: this one properly rocks. Gone are the romanticised shots of sun-soaked South America, sliced out are the filler numbers clogging the score and deleted is the simpering, blonde starlet…

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
‘Go Bang Your Tambourine’ review
Theatre

‘Go Bang Your Tambourine’ review

‘Go Bang Your Tambourine’ is a frustrating curio of a play…

Time Out says
2 out of 5 stars
More theatre reviews

Coming soon

Evita

Evita

In a big year for the back catalogue of Andrew Lloyd Webber, this looks set to be the most exciting entry…

Buy
Fleabag

Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge brings her career-defining monologue back for one last run in summer 2019. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy
Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp.
Theatre

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp.

Britain’s greatest living playwright Caryl Churchill is back at her usual haunt the Royal Court with four short plays…

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen

It feels like 2019 is the year every single hit Broadway musical of the last three years descends upon London…

Buy
& Juliet

& Juliet

Superstar Swedish songwriter Max Martin has probably done more to shape the contemporary pop landscape than any human being alive…

Buy

Theatre tickets and offers

Up to 66% off ‘A Very Expensive Poison’ at The Old Vic

Up to 66% off ‘A Very Expensive Poison’ at The Old Vic

Lucy Prebble returns to the stage with this ace spy thriller

Buy
Exclusive tickets to ‘The Son’ at Duke of York’s Theatre

Exclusive tickets to ‘The Son’ at Duke of York’s Theatre

A chilly family thriller from Florian Zeller

Buy
Up to 36% off ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ at Harold Pinter Theatre

Up to 36% off ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ at Harold Pinter Theatre

Last chance to see the first major theatrical adaptation of this wartime romance

Buy
More Exclusive London Theatre Offers

More Exclusive London Theatre Offers

Discounts, exclusive access and special offers to some of Lonson's top theatre shows

Book now

More great theatre tickets

The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street

Well you have to admire the chutzpah: the creators of long-running immersive London hit ‘The Great Gatsby’ have followed up with an interactive adptation of Jordan Belfort’s hit memoir ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. It details how the former Wall Street trader made a colossal amount of money in the ’90s while behaving extremely poorly, before being put away for fraud for 22 months and reinventing himself as a motivational speaker.  Given Belfort is chiefly famous for making millions while taking monumental amounts of drugs plus breaking the law and being jailed, it will be intriguing to see exactly what this show involves. Exact details are somewhat opaque at present, but the show will take place in a four storey building in central London that will house a recreation of various locations from the memoir.  You can either play an amoral Wall Street trader or an FBI agent, which sounds noticeably less like actual fun. The tickets are pricey but there will be a £10 and £25 day-seats lottery, or VIP packages for people who want to spen Belfort-like levels of cash.

Buy
‘Fiddler on the Roof’ review

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ review

The Playhouse Theatre is surprisingly good at hiding its Victorian gilt flourishes. It got turned into a flung-together Calais refugee camp for ‘The Jungle’ last year, and now it’s full of the scent of woodsmoke and the cramped rickety buildings of a Jewish shtetl. Transferring from the Menier Chocolate Factory, Trevor Nunn’s intense, dark-hued, mildly immersive production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is as close as this Broadway musical could ever get to gritty naturalism.The production’s muddy colour palette is the background for nostalgia and poignancy of every possible shade. It’s based on stories by Sholem Aleichem, who wrote about the precarious Yiddish-speaking communities of mid-nineteenth-century Russia just as they started to vanish. Andy Nyman makes wearily humorous work of the central role of Tevye, a dairyman who’s forever bellowing ‘Tradition!’ at his five daughters as they each concoct their own plans for their futures. His singing voice sometimes falters, but he more than makes up for it with knowing wit: he interrupts the famous opening to ‘If I Were A Rich Man’ for a leisurely scratch at his hairy forearm. But Nyman’s performance also has a real darkness, which complicates this story’s more nostalgic notes - it's especially evident in the unexpected violence of his reaction to his daughter Chava’s decision to marry a non-Jewish Russian man, even as their community is threatened by state violence. Judy Kuhn plays Tevye’s wife Golde with all the frustration of a w

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
School of Rock - The Musical

School of Rock - The Musical

It is the ultimate musical about male privilege, a show about an under-qualified, over-entitled white guy who shambles his way to public adoration by blithely inflicting bankrupt baby boomer values upon a bunch of impressionable people who don’t know any better.  ‘School of Rock – The Musical’ is also quite good fun. I dunno if it’s the state of the world today, the fact I haven’t seen the Jack Black-starring film, the fact that so much has changed – musically and politically – since the film came out in 2003, or simply the knowledge that it’s written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes, a couple of Tory lords in their late ’60s, but I felt a bit politically uneasy about ‘School of Rock’, which follows schlubby charlatan Dewey (David Fynn) as he masquerades as a teacher and proves a hit by tearing up his sensitive young charges’ syllabus and making them play old person music.  Its big, catchy number is called ‘Stick It to the Man’. Yet there’s something both problematic and ironic about the fact that in Laurence Connor’s production The Man is represented by two women – Florence Andrews’s hard-working, professional  headmistress Rosalie and Preeya Kalidas’s Patty, a hard-working, professional wife-to-Dewey’s best friend Ned – while in the blue corner we have... Dewey, a self-absorbed bum who everything turns out brilliantly for. Despite apparently being somewhere in his thirties – so presumably born around 1980 – Dewey exclusively loves classic rock bands, and mocks

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
Les Misérables

Les Misérables

Well here’s an interesting question: is this production of ‘Les Misérables’ a continuation of the longest-running musical production of all time, following several months’ hiatus while its home the Queen’s Theatre underwent some much-needed maintainance work? Or it is effectively a new show?  It seems super-producer Cameron Mackintosh is pretty much trying to have his cake and eat it: to all intents and purposes this is a new production of the epic Victor Hugo adaptation, first directed by Laurence Connor as a touring incarnation of the show in 2009. It’s since been rolled out globally, with London the last place in the world that you could see Trevor Nunn’s original RSC production, which finally closed in July 2019, taking the iconic revolve with it. Connor’s version is informed by Nunn’s, but not Nunn’s; nobody seems entirely sure why Mackintosh felt the need to change it, not least Nunn, who has been vocally pissed off at the whole affair. But the artwork and the ’brand’ remain consistant, and it’s the same basic idea and musical arrangements; bemusing at the entire thing is, we won’t begrudge ‘Les Mis’ one more day – or indeed, another 35 years.

Buy
‘Magic Mike Live’ review

‘Magic Mike Live’ review

Magic Mike on stage feels a bit like dating in London in my thirties: all the young, hot people got it on while I sat on the sidelines. But as a voyeur at this expensive strip-meets-cabaret show, there was some serious titillation: pains are taken to remind you that it has very much been made with the female gaze in mind. The romp unfolds in a faux-club built in Leicester Square’s already-slightly-seedy (in a good way) Hippodrome Casino, based upon the Xquisite strip joint from Steven Soderbergh’s surprise 2012 cinematic  smash. The movie’s star Channing Tatum – whose IRL undressing escapades originally informed the film’s plot – is behind this theatrical reimagining, with London the second destination of ‘Magic Mike Live’ following a hugely successful run in Vegas. But it’s important to note that co-director Tatum (who, alas, merely lends his voice to the performance) has worked with a gender-balanced team and the sense that this is a safe space for women enshrouds the entire show, despite it being filled with semi-naked men.  The plot (in the loosest sense) centres on Michelangelo – Mike to you – a waiter plucked from the crowd and trained in showing a woman a (consensual) good time by our female emcee, played by actor Sophie Linder-Lee. She sounds a bit like Jane Horrocks and makes a lot of jokes about ‘jizz’ and the tightness of her own vagina. Most of the ladies pulled to the stage for some public gyration were mega hot (so hot, it almost felt like they’d been planted

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy

The best theatre in London

London musicals
Theatre

London musicals

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

West End theatre shows
Theatre

West End theatre shows

London's West End is teeming with plays and musicals, so how do you decide what to see? By using our handy guide

Children's theatre in London
Theatre

Children's theatre in London

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

London theatre critics' choice
Theatre

London theatre critics' choice

These are the shows that got our critics talking

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

London musicals
Theatre

London musicals

Our comprehensive guide to all musicals in London's West End and beyond…

Immersive theatre in London
Theatre

Immersive theatre in London

London is bursting with plays and performances that defy stuffy conventions 

London theatre breaks
Theatre

London theatre breaks

Hotel and theatre combos that make life a whole lot easier

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
Book online
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
Buy
Royal Court 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
Buy
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
Book online
Lyric Hammersmith

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
Buy