Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right The 10 best theatre shows of 2013

The 10 best theatre shows of 2013

The Time Out theatre team list the openings that impressed them most this year
'Land of Our Fathers', Theatre 503 The best new work to come from London’s fertile fringe this year was the debut play from Chris Urch, a soul-searching, soul-scorching drama about six Welsh miners trapped deep underground.  READ THE REVIEW
 (© Manuel Harlan)
© Manuel Harlan'My Perfect Mind', Young Vic The veteran actor Edward Petheridge offered up a late career tour de force in this delightfully batty show from Told By An Idiot – part evening of odd ball raconteuring, part gleeful irony overload, wholly delightful, surprisingly moving. READ THE REVIEW
'Old Times', Harold Pinter Theatre Kristin Scott Thomas and Lia Williams alternated roles in Ian Rickson’s wonderfully unsettling take on Pinter’s most cryptic play. The big name cast helped, of course, but it was a treat to see something so gosh darned strange in the West End. READ THE REVIEW
 (© Tristram Kenton)
© Tristram Kenton'Handbagged', Tricycle The relationship between Maggie Thatcher and the Queen was most famously examined in 2013 via the West End smash ‘The Audience’, but ‘Handbagged’, Moira Buffini’s weirder spin on the two great ladies, was funnier, ruder and better. READ THE REVIEW
 (© Richard Hubert Smith)
© Richard Hubert Smith'The Scottsboro Boys', Young Vic Not exactly fun, but entirely brilliant, this searing vaudeville musical about the shocking mistrial of a bunch of young black men in ‘30s Alabama was the final work by legendary songwriters Kander and Ebb, and a fitting note to end upon. READ THE REVIEW
 (© Johan Persson)
© Johan Persson'The Book of Mormon', Prince of Wales Theatre The (self-generated) hype around Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s satirical musical was preposterous, and perhaps inevitably it didn’t quite live up to it, but it was still bloody funny, with some set piece dance scenes to die for. READ THE REVIEW
 (© Richard Davenport)
© Richard Davenport'Fleabag', Soho Theatre Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s monologue about the porn obsessed owner of a guinea pig-themed café deserves this place for filthiness alone – the fact it was also hysterically funny and strangely tragic was the icing on the cake. READ THE REVIEW
 (© Johan Persson)
© Johan Persson'Edward II', National Theatre, Olivier The National Theatre turned 50 this year, but you wouldn’t know it from this stupendously sprightly production of Marlowe’s ‘Edward II’, a cacklingly provocative Brechtian rollercoaster that proved just how much life there is in those old concrete walls. READ THE REVIEW
'Let the Right One In', Royal Court Theatre New Royal Court boss Vicky Featherstone capped a good year by calling up her former chums in the National Theatre of Scotland to bring this bloody, beautiful vampire story down to Sloane Square for Christmas. READ THE REVIEW
 (© Johan Persson)
© Johan Persson'Chimerica', Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre As if there’d be any other winner. Lucy Kirkwood went from well-liked up-and-comer to major playwrighting talent with this dazzlingly witty widescreen thriller about an American photojournalist’s dangerous obsession with the Tiananmen Square Massacre. READ THE REVIEW
By Andrzej Lukowski |
Whether you dig one-woman monologues or ultra-obscene musicals, it's been a fabulous year for theatre. But which were 2013's biggest tickets of all?The Time Out theatre team have chosen their ten favourite shows of 2013; flick through the list to discover what made them so memorable.

Get the best of London's theatre


More to explore

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...