London's theatre calendar is flooded with exciting new shows, big names and hotshot directors, and there's no way anyone can see them all. Check out our latest theatre reviews for the full rundown, or shortcut to the list below for ten critics' choice theatre shows opening in London this month that you won't regret booking for.
Need somewhere to stay while you're taking in a show? Check out the best hotels near the West End.
London's top ten new theatre shows
It feels like Britain's done little else but talk about the aftermath of the EU referendum – and the National Theatre's been listening. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and NT boss Rufus Norris will try to distil all the hot air into a new piece of verbatim political theatre, working with interviews collected from people from up and down the country.
The Bush Theatre reopens after a massive, year-long, £4m refit and upgrade with this programme of short plays that muse on the question 'do black lives matter?' Unsurprisingly affiliated with the US movent Black Lives Matter, it's a selection of American works that have been performed in other cities already, plus new pieces from British writers Rachel De-Lahay and Winsome Pinnock.
Tennant fans, rejoice! He'll be playing the titular rogue in this top-notch drama by hugely successful playwright Patrick Marber, who'll direct this revival. It's a savage drama that updates Molière's tragicomedy 'Don Juan' for modern Soho. It trails a debauched seducer who lives for sexual adventure.
The Labour Party's tumultuous '70s has provided us with one of the best plays of recent times, James Graham's brilliant 'This House'. Could Steve Waters's latest be its '80s-set eqivalent? 'Limehouse' is a fictionalised portrayal of the meeting between Bill Rodgers, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and David Owen that led to the creation of the shortlived but briefly popular Social Democratic Party.
With timing both serendipitous and sad, this revival of Edward Albee's most famous play was announced the week the 88-year-old titan of American theatre died. Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill will star as Martha and George, a warring WASP couple who suck new college professor Nick and his wife Honey into their horrible personal war. James McDonald – who directed Staunton in the excellent 'Circle, Mirror, Transformation' – is a pleasingly leftfield choice to helm the project. Imogen Poots and Luke Treadaway complete the cast.
The Royal Court's tack to the left under Vicky Featherstone had borne some serious fruit in the shape of this collaboration with the towering genius Simon McBurney, fresh from blowing our minds with his theatre company Complicite's reality-shredding 'The Encounter'. Produced by Barbara Broccoli, 'The Kid Stays in the Pictures' charts the rise and fall of legendary Hollywood man Robert Evans.
Find the best West End theatre shows
When it comes to its best hotels, those with deep pockets are well catered for, but so too are those on backpacker budgets and those looking for comfort, but who’d rather spend the bulk of their dosh on the streets. Here's our pick of the best hotels near the West End.
Macellaio RC Union Street
Macellaio RC bills the third of its meaty Italian eateries as a ‘lovingly hand-crafted dining theatre, in-house butchery and open air Ligurian bakery’. If that doesn’t make you want to hot-foot it to Southwark to find out more (or Google ‘Liguria’, at least), I don’t know what will. In truth, the thrilling description pips the place itself. We were seated on a long table with a dropped walkway down the middle, along which the wait staff shuffle to a pulsating soundtrack, like models pacing a catwalk. Theatrical? Perhaps. But really it just created a disjointed dynamic between diners who either had to shout across the aisle to chat or twist awkwardly to speak to the person next door. The cooking was more of a hit. A starter of steak tartare was silky smooth, and a crisp, Stracchino-cheese-filled focaccia was nicely gooey. And the glistening beef rib we had for our main course, prepared by a butcher in a red leather apron on a raised counter at the head of the table, was supple and soft and totally sublime, though we could easily have eaten another half again. Focus on the food and Macellaio RC is enjoyable enough. Beyond that, it doesn’t quite deliver on the promised drama.
Venue says: “Italian butchery, restaurant and Ligurian bakery. Book butchery and bakery masterclasses now!”