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The Burnt City
Photograph: Julian Abrams

The best new London theatre for 2022 – shows not to miss

Our pick of the best new plays, shows and musicals to book for in London’s theatres in 2022

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski
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The theatres have reopened, social distancing is over… okay, as we head on into 2022 the omicron wave is causing problems, but there is plenty of reason to think that it’ll burn itself out relatively quickly and next year’s theatre openings should go more or less to plan. 

We’re not out of the woods yet, but theatre has survived 2020 and 2021 and it’s not going away any time soon. So with a slight note of caution, let’s get excited for London theatre in 2022.

Please note: these are ‘new’ productions. For a list of the return dates of long-running shows and musicals, see when will London’s big, long-running shows and musicals return?

Unmissable theatre shows coming to London in 2022

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Soho

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Well, maybe not without dinner first. But now you have the option to spend your evening at ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’, the acclaimed Broadway stage ‘remix’ of Baz Lurhmann’s fabulous jukebox musical feature film. Forced to cancel its December 2021 opening night, ‘Moulin Rouge!’ is currently due to open in early January.

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • South Bank

The National Theatre’s first big musical of the pandemic era is ‘Hex’, an all-singing adaptation of the Sleeping Beauty myth. Originally due to open just before Christmas, it’s been pushed back to January following disruption from Covid.

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  • Theatre
  • Experimental
  • Sloane Square

Alistair McDowall hit upon a rich, dark seam of magical realism (or surrealism) with the Lovecraftian ‘Pomona’ and the brain-melting sci-fi ‘X’. The follow-up to ‘The Glow’ sounds like it will continue down that path.

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  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Waterloo

Caryl Churchill’s chillingly prescient 2000 cloning drama ‘A Number’ is back again. In this production, Lennie James stars as Salter, with Paapa Essiedu as the clones.

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Waterloo

In 1984, an ageing Andy Warhol, long past the peak of his fame, persuaded rising star Jean-Michel Basquiat to collaborate with him. Kiwi playwright Anthony McCarten’s new play ‘The Collaboration’ imagines their New York workshops together. Paul Bettany plays Warhol, with Jeremy Pope playing Basquiat.

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  • Theatre
  • Interactive
  • Woolwich

Eight years after ‘The Drowned Man’, the mighty Punchdrunk – hands down the best immersive theatre company in the world – finally return with this immense new show…

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Waterloo

Colloquially known as ‘Sexy Oklahoma’, US director Daniel Fish’s stripped back, smoulderingly intense, radically inclusive new version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic took Broadway by storm in 2019 and would probably have come over here earlier if it weren’t for you-know-what…

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  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Leicester Square

Jodie Comer makes her stage debut in a monologue about a brilliant, competitive young working-class barrister whose upwards ascent is suddenly stalled when a colleague rapes her…

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  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Shaftesbury Avenue

Mark Rylance reprises the greatest performance of the twenty-first century as the original production of ‘Jerusalem’ returns for 2022.

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  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Leicester Square

‘The Seagull’ flies again! The Jamie Lloyd Company’s 2020 production of Chekhov’s masterpiece marked the West End debut of Emilia Clarke: and it started previews before being shuttered by the pandemic on the week it was due to open. Now it’s it’s back, with a largely unchanged company headed by Clarke…

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