18 London theatre shows not to miss in 2018

Our pick of the best upcoming theatre shows in London in 2018

Want to know what the theatre tickets you should be buying 2018? Head straight here for our critics' guide – updated throughout the year – to the London theatre shows you need to book for, from West End musicals to cool off-West End plays. 
RECOMMENDED: Find more plays and musicals 

1
Ian McKellen stars as 'King Lear' at Duke of York's Theatre
Theatre, Shakespeare
King Lear
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Ian McKellen began his West End career at Duke of York's Theatre in 1964. Now he's back at the same venue, and tackling one of Shakespeare's most challenging roles…
icon-location-pin Covent Garden
2
Allelujah!, Alan Bennett
Theatre, Drama
Allelujah!
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The 83-year-old Alan Bennett remains a potent and relatively prolific force, with 'Allejulah!' his fifth play since 2004's blockbuster 'The History Boys'. It follows a TV documentary crew charting the battle for survival of the geriatric wing of an ailing West Yorkshire hospital. Nicholas Hytner directs.
icon-location-pin Bermondsey
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3
A Monster Calls
© Manuel Harlan
Theatre, Drama
A Monster Calls
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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.
icon-location-pin Southwark
4
Andre Holland and Mark Rylance
© Bruce Glikas
Theatre, Shakespeare
Othello
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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.
icon-location-pin South Bank
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5
LIES, Ontroerend Goed
© Michiel Devijver
Theatre, Interactive
£¥€$ (LIES)
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Call it interactive theatre or call it a satirical party game, but ‘£¥€$ (LIES)’ is a show about the credit crunch that make us complicit. 
icon-location-pin Barnsbury
6
Little Shop of Horrors, Regent's Park Theatre
Theatre, Musicals
Little Shop of Horrors
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The summer wouldn't be complete without the Open Air Theatre's traditional big musical blowout, and this looks to be a real treat: the first major London revival in a decade for Howard Ashman and Alan Menken camp horror comedy musical. Drag queen Vicky Vox (formerly of pop group DWV) as the terrifying plant Audrey II
icon-location-pin Regent's Park
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7
Pinter at the Pinter
Theatre, Drama
Pinter at the Pinter
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Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, David Suchet, Jane Horrocks, and Harold Pinter’s former protégée Danny Dyer will be amongst the constellation of stars gathering for super-director Jamie Lloyd’s massively ambitious new season at – where else? – the Harold Pinter Theatre…
icon-location-pin Soho
8
Rosalie Craig stars as Bobbi in 'Company'
© Dan Kennedy
Theatre, Musicals
Company
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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. 
icon-location-pin Soho
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9
Iwan Rheon in Foxfinder
© Shaun Webb
Theatre, Drama
Foxfinder
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Well this is great news: Dawn King’s brilliant dystopian thriller ‘Foxfinder’ hits the West End with ‘Game of Thrones’ sadist Iwan Rheon (aka Ramsay Bolton) starring as as William Bloor, the titular ‘Foxfinder’, raised from birth to hunt down the titular creatures in a decaying, superstitious future England.
icon-location-pin Covent Garden
10
Hayley Atwell
© Ed Marshall
Theatre, Shakespeare
Measure for Measure
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In a production of Shakespeare’s dark moral satire so high concept it's somewhere in the ionosphere, stars Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden will alternate the roles of puritanical deputy duke of Venice Angelo and his virtuous victim Isabella…
icon-location-pin Covent Garden
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11
'Twelfth Night' at Young Vic Theatre
Theatre, Musicals
Twelfth Night
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Kwame Kwei-Armah is kicking off his first season at the helm of the Young Vic with something he prepared earlier: a musical version of 'Twelfth Night' that premiered in New York, made with composer Shaina Taub. He'll rope in a sizable (the US version had a whopping 150 performers) cast of amateur performers to tell a quirky, warm-hearted reimagining of Shakespeare's story, set to Taub's score that mixes Motown girlgroup sounds with jazz and R&B, brass bands and Beyoncé. Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis direct. Casting tba.
icon-location-pin Southwark
12
Wise Children, Emma Rice
Theatre, Drama
Wise Children
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The inaugural production for Emma Rice’s post-Shakespeare’s Globe company Wise Children is Rice’s stage adaptation of Angela Carter’s great late novel of the same name, which follows a bizarre theatrical dynasty headed by dancers Dora and Nora Chance…
icon-location-pin Southwark
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13
Antony & Cleopatra, National Theatre, Ralph Fiennes
Theatre, Shakespeare
Antony & Cleopatra
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Ralph Fiennes recommences his one-man journey through the most herculanean roles in theatre as he stars opposite Sophie Okonedo in Shakespeare’s great tragedy of starcross'd older lovers.
icon-location-pin South Bank
14
Jim Broadbent will star in 'A Very Very Very Dark Matter' at the Bridge Theatre
Theatre, Comedy
A Very Very Very Dark Matter
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Another Martin McDonagh outing for 2018, this time a new one. 'A Very Very Dark Matter' stars Jim Broadbent in the story of Hans Christian Anderson, the Danish storyteller whose fairytales mixed magic with moments of pure horror. 
icon-location-pin Bermondsey
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15
Macbeth, Niamh Cusack and Christopher Eccleston
© Paul Stuart
Theatre, Shakespeare
Macbeth
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The National Theatre's recent dud of a ‘Macbeth’ has set the stage for a more robust 2018 production of the Scottish play. And the RSC has gladly obliged with this imposing-looking production from Polly Findlay, starring Christopher Eccleston in his RSC debut as murderous nobleman Macbeth, and Niamh Cusack as Lady M. 
icon-location-pin Barbican
16
'White Teeth' at Kiln Theatre
Theatre, Drama
White Teeth
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Zadie Smith's novel is a stunningly complex, warm look at multiple generations in North London's cultural 'melting pot'. It's partially set in the community that surrounds Kiln Theatre (formerly The Tricycle) so what better venue for this ambitious new stage version? 
icon-location-pin Kilburn
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17
'Hadestown' comes to the National Theatre in November 2018
Theatre, Musicals
Hadestown
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Ooh, this is one to get excited about: hit indie musical 'Hadestown' is coming to the NT, as it warms up for a run on Broadway. 
icon-location-pin South Bank
18
Kit Harrington
Rob Greig Time Out
Theatre, Drama
True West
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The late Sam Shepard’s 1980 drama about a pair of feuding brothers crumbling in the California desert finally makes it to the West End, starring ‘Game of Thrones’ heartthrob Kit Harrington, and the multi-talented actor, composer and songwriter Johnny Flynn.
icon-location-pin Charing Cross
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