London's top ten new theatre shows
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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…
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’…
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…
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…
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…
Encore UK Theatre Widget
See the brightest stars on stage with Time Out
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...