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The best new theatre shows opening in London July 2019

Our theatre critics pick the best new theatre shows and musicals that will wow London in July

Peter Gynt, James McArdle, National Theatre 2019
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The best new theatre shows, plays and musicals coming to London this month, as recommended by our critics, plus a round-up of the best previously reviewed transfers moving to the West End or elsewhere.

To play further ahead, check out our top shows to see this year.

Also check out our latest theatre reviews

And if you need somewhere to stay, see the best hotels near the West End

RECOMMENDED: Find the best West End theatre shows.

London's top ten new theatre shows

10
Noises Off, Lyric Hammersmith, 2019
© Johan Persson
Theatre, Comedy

Noises Off

icon-location-pin Lyric Hammersmith, Hammersmith
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In a bridging production between Sean Holmes’s final season at the Lyric Hammersmith and Rachel O'Riordon’s first, Jeremy Herrin will direct a revival of Michael Frayn’s deathlessly brilliant backstage comedy about a group of bickering actors stuck in a ropey old sex farce. The show premiered at the Lyric in 1982, so this is something of a homecoming. 

9
'The View UpStairs' at Soho Theatre
Theatre, Musicals

The View UpStairs

icon-location-pin Soho Theatre, Soho
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Max Vernon's new musical about a lost gay nightclub comes to Soho Theatre after a run Off-Broadway. Jonathan O’Boyle directs a production featuring rising musical theatre star Tyrone Huntley, who's best known for his award-winning turn as Judas in 'Jesus Christ Superstar'.

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8
The Bridges of Madison County, Menier Chocolate Factory
Theatre, Musicals

The Bridges of Madison County

icon-location-pin Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark
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This Broadway hit musical is a lushly romantic story of a housewife who falls for a visiting photographer, and comes close to losing everything. The ever-excellent Jenna Russell heads up the cast of this look at yearning and repression in the ’60s American Midwest. It’s directed by Trevor Nunn, who is pretty much a Menier fixture these days.

7
Blues in the Night at Hackney Empire
Theatre, Musicals

Blues in the Night

icon-location-pin Kiln Theatre, Kilburn
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After a brief run at Hackney Empire a few years back, Susie McKenna’s excellent production of this sizzling jazz and blues revue gets a proper London run. Sharon D Clarke and Clive Rowe head up a superlative cast. 

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6
Peter Gynt, James McArdle, National Theatre 2019
Theatre, Drama

Peter Gynt

icon-location-pin National Theatre, South Bank
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With the addition of a sneaky 't', National Theatre stalwart David Hare signals his ambition to bring Ibsen's 1867 classic 'Peer Gynt' into the twenty-first century. James McArdle stars in the title role of 'Peter Gynt', Hare's reworked story of a restless wanderer whose travels take in Florida, Egypt, and his homeland of Scotland. 

5
Sheridan Smith, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, London Palladium 2019
Theatre, Musicals

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

icon-location-pin London Palladium, Soho
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Andrew Lloyd Webber is bringing back his first ever hit: the epic, Biblically-inspired 'Joseph', in a new staging from Laurence Connor – who directed Lloyd Webber’s recent smash ‘School of Rock’. In a fantastic bit of star signing Sheridan Smith will take on the role of Narrator, her first stage role since ‘Funny Girl’, and former star of the show Jason Donovan will return to the show as the Pharaoh, with newcomer Jac Yarrow in the title role.

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4
The Night of the Iguana, 2019, Clive Owen Lia Williams, Julian Glover, Anna Gunn
Theatre, Drama

The Night of the Iguana

icon-location-pin Noël Coward Theatre, Covent Garden
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It’s been 19 years since Clive Owen acted on the West End stage and almost as long since London saw a major revival of Tennessee Williams’s brooding classic ‘The Night of the Iguana’. Now big Brit star Owen will take on the role of Rev T Lawrence Shannon, a disgraced priest now plying his trade as a second rate Mexican tour guide. James Macdonald’s production has an excellent further cast, headed up by Lia Williams, Anna Gunn and Julian Glover.

3
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Open Air Theatre 2019
Theatre, Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Air Theatre)

icon-location-pin Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park
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The last time Shakespeare’s beloved comedy was staged at the Open Air Theatre (in 2012) the whole thing was given a brutal post-industrial staging that seemed to almost taunt us for our twee expectations of London’s most picturesque theatre. No telling at this stage what the vibe is going to be vis a vis this new production from storied Scots director Dominic Hill, but statisticaly it’s liable to at least be a bit more of a crowd pleaser.

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2
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe 2019
Theatre, Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Globe)

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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This really is the summer of ‘A Midummer Night’s Dream’; whether the Globe’s production will actually be better than the Open Air Theatre’s (or, indeed, the Bridge’s, which opened last month) is TBC. But we’ve popped it ahead of its outdoor rival simply because we’re so intrigued as to what former Lyric Hammersmith boss Sean Holmes is going to do with the thing (and indeed, exactly what his new role exactly is at the Globe).

1
the end of history…, Royal Court
© Niall McDiarmid
Theatre, Drama

the end of history…

icon-location-pin Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square
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Playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany will spend the rest of their lives best known for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’, but there's more to their enduring partnership than that. Set in 1997, their latest, ‘the end of history…’, is a family drama that examines the legacy of the generation of women that protested at Greenham Common. It stars Lesley Sharp and David Morrissey, with Zoe Boyle, Laurie Davidson, Kate O’Flynn and Sam Swainsbury.

Recommended transfers

Theatre, Drama

Barber Shop Chronicles

icon-location-pin Roundhouse, Chalk Farm
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Sometimes the toughest conversations work best when you’re not looking someone in the eyes – like during a phonecall, a car ride, or in Inua Ellams’s brilliant new play, when you’re sat in a barber’s chair…

Time Out says
Theatre, Drama

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

icon-location-pin Harold Pinter Theatre, Leicester Square
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I am from the ‘90s and in the ‘90s I loved Louis de Bernières’s hyper-vivid, bittersweet monster of a breakthrough novel ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’…

Time Out says
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Equus, Theatre Royal Stratford East
© The Other Richard
Theatre, Drama

Equus

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Studios, Whitehall
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Oh, the things teenagers got up to before the internet. Perhaps a modern version of Alan, the teenage protagonist of ‘Equus’, would’ve been deep into writing online brony fanfic…

Time Out says
Theatre, Musicals

Jesus Christ Superstar

icon-location-pin Barbican Theatre, Barbican
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One of the many contradictions that underpin the life and career of Andrew Lloyd Webber is that his musical about Jesus is about a gazillion times more fun than his musical about cats…

Time Out says
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Theatre, Musicals

The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4

icon-location-pin Ambassadors Theatre, Seven Dials
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I was born in 1981, the year Adrian Mole turned 13¾, and realise I’ve perhaps spent the best part of the intervening years underestimating Sue Townsend’s iconic comedy novel…

Time Out says

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