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The best new theatre shows opening in London September 2019

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

A Doll's House, Lyric Hammersmith, 2019
© Helen Maybanks
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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
Version 31
Theatre, Interactive

Variant 31

icon-location-pin Space 18, Holborn
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It’s a big month for immersive theatre in London, with the launch of ‘Mamma Mia: The Party’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. Still, for sheer ambition this 200-room zombie horror experience has to take the proverbial biscuit. After a hefty delay, ‘Variant 31’ has to quietly be one of the biggest theatre shows London has ever hosted.

9
Faith, Hope & Charity, 2019
Theatre, Drama

Faith, Hope & Charity

icon-location-pin National Theatre, South Bank
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Director Alexander Zeldin and his hardhitting devised dramas have been one of the real success stories of the Rufus Norris-era National Theatre. ‘Faith, Hope and Charity’ brings together a truly excellent cast – including Cecilia Noble and Susan Lynch – to devise a drama about a struggling community centre.

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8
The Watsons, Menier, 2019
Theatre, Drama

The Watsons

icon-location-pin Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark
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This is a nice little coup for the Menier, as it secures the London premiere of Laura Wade’s acclaimed, arch Jane Austen adaptation ‘The Watsons’. Austen didn’t finish the book - so suddenly a writer called Laura is tasked with resolving everyone’s fates…

7
Caroline Horton performs 'All of Me', which transfers to The Yard in September 2019
Photo: Holly Revell
Theatre, Experimental

All of Me

icon-location-pin The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick
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It’s astonishing, watching this overwhelming, at times almost unbearable one-woman show to think that Caroline Horton is the same artist who first made a splash nine years ago with ‘You’re Not Like the Other Girls, Chrissie’, a winsome but ultimately fairly lightweight monologue about her French grandmother…

Time Out says
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6
The King of Hell's Palace, Hampstead Theatre, 2019
Theatre, Drama

The King of Hell’s Palace

icon-location-pin Hampstead Theatre, Swiss Cottage
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Incoming Hampstead boss Roxana Silbert kicks things off with a new thriller by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig ('Snow in Midsummer', RSC). 'The King of Hell's Palace' is a twisty drama set in 1992 China, where a young female Ministry of Health official uncovers a seriously dodgy trade in blood plasma, bought from impoverished farmers.…

5
Chiaroscuro, Bush Theatre, 2019
© Bronwen Sharp
Theatre, Drama

Chiaroscuro

icon-location-pin Bush Theatre, Shepherd’s Bush
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Incoming Bush Theatre boss Lynette Linton starts her reign by directing 'Chiaroscuro', poet Jackie Kays's 1986 debut play. Linton will stage a gig-theatre style take on this female-led story, which is set at a dinner party and explores debates around lesbian and black identity…

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4
A Doll's House, Lyric Hammersmith, 2019
© Helen Maybanks
Theatre, Drama

A Doll’s House

icon-location-pin Lyric Hammersmith, Hammersmith
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Rachel O’Riordan’s big, bold first season in charge of the Lyric Hammsmith kicks off with a new adaptation of Ibsen’s masterpiece from Tanika Gupta. She has radically transposed the action to imperial Calcutta, with heroine Nina now Niru, a young Bengali woman married to Tom, an English colonial bureaucrat. 

3
Blood Wedding, Young Vic
© Sebastian Nevols
Theatre, Drama

Blood Wedding

icon-location-pin Young Vic, Southwark
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Federíco Garcia Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’ is a fringe staple that’s not had a major revival in years. Now, following on from the transatlantic success of the Young Vic’s recent production of Lorca’s ‘Yerma’, here comes a new version of this bleak rural revenge tragedy, adapted by Irish playwright Marina Carr (‘By the Bog of Cats’) and directed by the great South African Yaël Farber, whose overwhelmingly intense style is perfectly suited to the great tragedies.

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2
A Very Expensive Poison, Old Vic, Lucy Prebble
Theatre, Drama

A Very Expensive Poison

icon-location-pin Old Vic, Waterloo
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Seven years since 2012’s dazzling ‘The Effect’, the great Lucy Prebble finally returns to the theatre with a completely audacious metatheatrical rewrite of Luke Harding’s book about the poisoning of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

1
Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. Caryl Churchill, Royal Court 2019
© Niall McDiarmid
Theatre, Experimental

Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp.

icon-location-pin Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square
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Britain’s greatest living playwright Caryl Churchill is back, with four short plays, which will be directed by James Macdonald and designed by Miriam Buether. We have no idea what to expect: the fourth play, ‘Imp’ wasn’t even part of the original announcement. But as ever with Churchill, expect the boundaries of theatre and language to be pushed far, far back.

Recommended transfers

Theatre, Drama

‘The Son’ review

icon-location-pin Duke of York’s Theatre, Covent Garden
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Hyperprolific Frenchman Florian Zeller has notched up an impressive six UK premieres since 2015, all translated by Christopher Hampton. I’m going to be honest and say that, ‘The Father’ excepted, Zeller’s success has always slightly mystified me: he seems ubiquitous without being beloved…

Time Out says

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