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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

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The new opera reclaiming Jack the Ripper’s victims
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The new opera reclaiming Jack the Ripper’s victims

Who was the real Jack the Ripper? There are hundreds of suspects, but the makers of ENO’s new opera couldn’t care less…

Betrayal extends by a week

Betrayal extends by a week

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Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars
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Latest theatre reviews
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Latest theatre reviews

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

The best new theatre shows to see in March
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The best new theatre shows to see in March

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

Cheap and last minute theatre tickets in London
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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

‘Wolfie’ review
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‘Wolfie’ review

In Ross Willis’s emotive, strange debut play, a newborn pair of twin girls slither and kick their way into a world that doesn’t know what to do with them…

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
‘The Phlebotomist’ review

‘The Phlebotomist’ review

Phlebotomy is the art of drawing blood: a mundane medical task, but in the dystopian world of Ella Road’s debut play, it’s a big deal…

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
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‘Random Selfies’ review
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‘Random Selfies’ review

Where most kids’ shows swirl you into a bustling world of friendship and adventure, Mike Kenny's ‘Random Selfies’ is a sombre look at what it's like to be lonely…

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
‘Emilia’ review

‘Emilia’ review

Transferring from the Globe, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s play about the seventeenth-century poet Emilia Bassano Lanier has already been widely heralded as ‘rousing’ – and it certainly is that…

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars
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A German Life
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A German Life

Aged 84, Maggie Smith is perhaps as big a screen star as she's ever been. But most of us assumed that she was done with the stage – it’s been years, and many a peer of hers has quite reasonably bailed out on the boards for good as they've hit their ninth decade…

All My Sons

All My Sons

The Old Vic's following up 'An American Clock' with another vintage Arthur Miller play, 'All My Sons' - Miller's tragedy about a shattered family in post-war America, and the patriarch who betrayed them. Sally Field, Bill Pullman, Jenna Coleman and Colin Morgan star.

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Man of La Mancha

Man of La Mancha

Opera fans might harrumph, but the ENO is continuing its quixotic forays into the world of musical theatre with this vintage historical musical. 'Frasier' star Kelsey Grammer will play Cervantes, starring alongside Australian operatic soprano Danielle de Niese…

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Dear Evan Hansen
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Dear Evan Hansen

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

& Juliet

& Juliet

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

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Theatre tickets and offers

Exclusive London Theatre Offers

Exclusive London Theatre Offers

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

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22% off ‘Follies’

22% off ‘Follies’

See the National Theatre production we gave five stars 

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
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Up to 50% off ‘The Phlebotomist’

Up to 50% off ‘The Phlebotomist’

See this chilling new Olivier award-nominated play at Hampstead Theatre

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
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41% off ‘Shit Faced Showtime: Oliver! With A Twist!’

41% off ‘Shit Faced Showtime: Oliver! With A Twist!’

Dickens's novel gets a musical interpretation by a cast with one pissed-up member, at Leicester Square Theatre

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More great theatre tickets

‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ review

‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ review

Is a feelgood jukebox musical the absolute best medium to tell a story about domestic abuse? Put crudely, that is the problem at the heart of big-budget global premiere ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’. The erstwhile Anna Mae Bullock’s eventful life and beloved back catalogue are perfect subjects for adaptation. But too often Phyllida Lloyd’s production struggles to make a sensitive synthesis of the two.Where ‘Tina’ undoubtedly succeeds is in the casting of its lead. Broadway performer Adrienne Warren is virtually unknown over here, but it’s instantly apparent why she was tapped up for this. She doesn’t so much imitate Turner as channel her: her technically dazzling but achingly world-weary gale of a voice feels like it should be coming out of a woman decades, if not centuries, older. And while Warren doesn’t really look anything like Turner, she perfectly captures that leggy, rangy, in-charge physicality. From a musical standpoint, she virtually carries the show, singing nigh-on every song and even giving us an encore at the end.Almost as good is heavyweight Brit actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who brings a demonic charisma to the role of Ike Turner. Tina’s abusive bandleader and husband is monstrous in his self-pitying, manipulative rage, but it’s not hard to see the appeal of his raw wit and powerful sense of certainty. It is a deadly serious performance.But the talented creative team of director Lloyd and writer Katori Hall never really crack the correct way to use their lea

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars
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‘Company’ review

‘Company’ review

Marianne Elliott’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical comedy ‘Company’ was announced at what felt like some point in the late Cretaceous Period. And we knew from the get-go that the lead role of terminally single 35-year-old New Yorker Bobby (a man) would be gender switched to Bobbie (a woman), played by Rosalie Craig. The potential for this to be a novelty hung over it… but now that it’s here I’m going to cheerily declare that Elliott has found hidden depths in what was already a stone-cold classic. In 2018, when the borderline geriatric likes of Tom Cruise and Daniel Craig still regularly play sexy bachelors, the notion of a 35-year-old man being under any great pressure to settle down seems kind of quaint. But there is, of course, intense pressure for women to do so, before society deems them wanting for letting their youth and fertility run out. The nagging concerns heaped upon Bobbie for her singledom make total, crystal clear, perfectly realised sense. (NB Bobbie is straight, with the hopeless trio of lovers now men – a move that takes a certain misogynist sting out of the writing). ‘One is lonely and two is boring’ runs Sondheim’s most pithy summation of Bobbie’s dilemma, and it’s intentionally never resolved. Craig is immaculate as a hazy woman trapped in an existential funk. Her coupled-up friends have committed to things, and it hasn’t made them happy. So Bobbie remains an outsider in her own life, committed to nothing, a permanent glass of bourbon her

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars
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& Juliet

& Juliet

Superstar Swedish songwriter Max Martin has probably done more to shape the contemporary pop landscape than any human being alive, with hits running from seminal ’90s smashes '…Baby One More Time’ and the Backstreet Boys' ‘Everybody’ to recent enormo-bangers like Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ and The Weeknd’s ‘Can't Feel My Face’. It’s an absolute no-brainer that a jukebox musical based around said catalogue would be a hen do-hoovering-up hoot… but what storyline to hang two decades of eclectic chart-toppers off? Here’s your answer: ‘& Juliet’ is a reimagining of the events of Shakespeare’s tragic romance ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in which Juliet opts not to top herself at the end and instead heads off to France on a roadtrip of self-discovery. It sounds unimaginably ridiculous, which is presumably the entire point. There's also some top-notch talent involved, with Martin himself co-producing a show with songs arranged by the great Bill Sherman, design by Soutra Gilmour, and Miriam-Teak Lee  – who was in the original Brit cast of ‘Hamilton’ taking on the title role.  Confirmed songs so far are ‘…Baby One More Time’, ‘Everybody’, ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’. Ticket go on sale February 11. Full booking period TBC.

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‘The Price’ review

‘The Price’ review

It’s Arthur Miller time for London theatre this year. ‘Death of a Salesman’ hits the Young Vic in May, a female-led ‘The Crucible’ is coming to The Yard in March, and the Old Vic is going for a double whammy with ‘The American Clock’ followed by ‘All My Sons’.  But first there’s this, a West End opening for a lesser-known slice of the Miller archive, inspired (like ‘The American Clock’) by the 1929 Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression.  NYC cop Victor Franz (Brendan Coyle) arrives at the brownstone apartment containing his now-dead parents’ furniture to sell it. Simon Higlett’s set design has the massive mound of chairs, bureaus, dressers, chairs, tables and more chairs climbing up the walls and exploding on to the ceiling, like the tornado from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ just hit.  Vic’s sale of the whole caboodle is interrupted by the surprise appearance of his brother Walter (Adrian Lukis). Unlike Vic who sacrificed his education to look after their ailing father, Walt escaped the gloom and became a wealthy surgeon. On its premiere in 1968, ‘The Price’ was a bit of critical flop. This revival – a transfer from the Theatre Royal Bath – suggests it’s a genuinely good play, albeit not as good as Miller’s better-known output. It would take a brave soul to claim it’s in the same category as ‘The Crucible’.  But the play’s quality comes from its slippery, hard-to-read characters and, in this excellent production, the actors performing them. David Suchet is the standout, makin

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Motown the Musical

Motown the Musical

I literally can’t think of any reason beyond being a massive racist (or actually hating music) that would cause anybody to regard the output of Motown Records – aka the greatest and most culturally significant pop label in history – with anything other than rapture. So it goes without saying that ‘Motown the Musical’ is unimpeachable from a music perspective. Can a show be musically unimpeachable and also not very good? Yes. Yes it can. Ironically this Broadway import’s Achilles heel starts with the embarrassment of riches that is its set list. It packs in about 60 songs – most musicals average less than half that – which is such a vast number that even accepting the frequent medleys, you’d think it might be wisest to dispense with a plot (a la ‘Thriller Live!’, the cheerfully story-free musical about Motown’s most famous son, Michael Jackson). Instead it’s Motown founder Berry Gordy’s own adaptation of his autobiography, tracing the label from mad gamble, to monolithic success, to fractious implosion. Given the author, the worry is that Charles Randolph-Wright’s production would come across as a hagiography, but to be honest there’s not even time for that. The show is effectively one enormous montage sequence in which Gordy (Cedric Neil) and his dopey sidekick Smokey Robinson (Charl Brown) spout a bit of exposition, audition a band, write a hit for them, spout a bit more exposition, audition another band, write another hit for them, etcetera etcetera. In the background t

Time Out says
2 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
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The best theatre in London

London musicals
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London musicals

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

West End theatre shows
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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
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Children's theatre in London

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

London theatre critics' choice
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London theatre critics' choice

These are the shows that got our critics talking

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

London theatre breaks
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London theatre breaks

Hotel and theatre combos that make life a whole lot easier

What's on at

Old Vic

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

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

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

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

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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