London theatre shows 2018
This intriguingly audacious project from the experimental Chris Goode Company is a stage adaptation of Derek Jarman's surreal 1978 punk film, in which Elizabeth I journeys forward to the time of Elizabeth II's silver jubilee and hooks up with a rampaging gang of murderous girls. Toyah Willcox – who was in the film – stars as the monarch.
Following massive acclaim at Chichester in 2017, Sharon D Clarke reprises her show-stealing turn in Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's cult musical as the eponymous Caroline, a formiddable black maid living with the white Gelman family in 1963, at the peak of the civil rights era.
Tina Turner has gone from R&B singer to 'Mad Max' movie star to living legend, in an eclectic career that's spanned over half a century. Now, her life's being turned into a musical that's written by leading playwright Katori Hall ('The Mountaintop') and directed by Phyllida Lloyd ('Mamma Mia!').
'Chess', the 1984 collaboration between Tim Rice and ABBA's Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, is one of the most iconic musicals of the ‘80s. It finally scores a major London return in the the fourth of ENO's annual series of semi-staged musical revivals. Casting is tba, though the series has thus far boasted eye-catching big name stars including Emma Thompson, Glenn Close and Alfie Boe.
The brilliant, biennial London International Festival of Theatre will return for 2018. Only a handful of shows have been announced so far – including iconic New York performer Taylor Mac's 'A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: The First Act' – but expect startling, zeitgeist-heavy theatre from around the world.
Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'The King and I' is a swoony love story set in 1860s Bangkok, where the King of Siam falls for his children's strait-laced Victorian governess. This Broadway revival comes to London with an impressive crop of reviews, and with its star cast intact: Japanese movie star Ken Watanabe plays the king, with the role of Anna played by much-loved, Tony Award-winning musical theatre performer Kelli O'Hara.
The Old Vic's big summer show comes from Sally Cookson, who devised the National Theatre's smash productions of 'Jane Eyre' and 'Peter Pan'. Even more ambitious in scope, 'A Monster Calls' is an adaptation of Patrick Ness's magical realist novel about a boy consumed with grief and anger at his mother's terminal cancer, who is visited at night by a huge monster who tells him unsettling stories.
Well this is undoubtedly a big deal: after sitting out Emma Rice's entire tenure (admittedly it wasn't very long), the Globe's talismanic former artistic director Mark Rylance returns to his old theatre to star as the villainous Iago in Shakespeare's great tragedy 'Othello', alongside US actor André Holland in the title role.
Martin McDonagh's 'The Lieutenant of Inishmore' is set in 1993, against the backdrop of the Irish peace process. It follows hyper-violent republican paramilitary Mad Padraic, who sets off on a furious rampage when he realises that his beloved cat has come to a sad end. Dishy 'Poldark' star Aidan Turner leads the cast.
Stephen Sondheim's witty, endlessly charming musical about a bachelor in New York is getting a revival by West End heavyweight Marianne Elliott. Except for the first time ever, its central character Bobby will be a woman. Rosalie Craig will play Bobbi, opposite legendary Broadway star Patti LuPone.
Find cheap and last minute tickets
Terrified at the prices of theatre tickets in London? Worried that you can't get tickets to a sold out play or musical? Or just a fan of a good discount? The top prices in the West End can be daunting, but cheap theatre tickets abound in London… if you know how to get them. Here are Time Out’s tips on where to find them, as well as the best ways to score last minute tickets to sold out shows.