Musicals and theatre in London

Your one stop guide to plays and musicals in the West End and the best of London shows. Theatre reviews, tickets and offers

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The best theatre of 2018
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The best theatre of 2018

It’s been another cracking year on the London stage, but now it’s time to give our verdicts…

The best festive shows in London this Christmas
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The best festive shows in London this Christmas

Whether you’re looking a panto, a giant puppet elephant, or Danny Dyer, here are the buggest, tinseliest shows in town this season

Latest theatre reviews
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Latest theatre reviews

Find out what our theatre team made of London's new openings

Christmas pantomimes in London
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Christmas pantomimes in London

Where's the best place to catch a London pantomime for Christmas 2018? 

Cheap and last minute theatre tickets in London
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Cheap and last minute theatre tickets in London

London's best theatre discounts and how to get in to sold out shows

Latest theatre reviews

‘Caroline, or Change’ review

‘Caroline, or Change’ review

Sharon D Clarke, eh? What force. And what a voice. In Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s musical – which started at Chichester last year before moving to Hampstead Theatre and now the West End – Clarke plays Caroline, a black maid for a Louisiana family of white Jews in 1963, stuck in a life of drudgery for $30 a week…

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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‘The Convert’ review
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‘The Convert’ review

Danai Gurira started this year as an obscure (in Britain) actor-playwright and ended it as a very successful actor-playwright…

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
‘Snow White’ review

‘Snow White’ review

Here’s a relatively big take: the Palladium Panto isn’t really a panto. At least, not in the usual, modern sense of a family-friendly, fun-filled fairytale…

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
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‘Hansel and Gretel’ review

‘Hansel and Gretel’ review

Humperdinck's 1893 opera for kids is as warm as a witch's kitchen, and as dark as the forest outside…

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Coming soon

True West

True West

Last seen in a production at the Tricycle Theatre a few years back, the late Sam Shepard’s 1980 drama about a pair of feuding brothers crumbling in the California desert has never made it to the West End before…

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

After turning his hand to a stylish, flamboyantly weird take on 'Edward II' at the National Theatre in 2013, director Joe Hill-Gibbins is taking on another renaissance history play with homoerotic undertones…

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Come from Away

Come from Away

The big sleeper hit Broadway musical of the last few years, ‘Come from Away’ tells the unlikely true story of a sleepy Newfoundland town that took in strangers from around the world when their planes were grounded at the local airport in the wake of 9/11…

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All My Sons
Theatre

All My Sons

The Old Vic's following up 'An American Clock' with another vintage Arthur Miller play, 'All My Sons' - Miller's tragedy about a shattered family in post-war America, and the patriarch who betrayed them. Sally Field, Bill Pullman, Jenna Coleman and Colin Morgan star.

Betrayal

Betrayal

What a way to wrap up Jamie Lloyd’s epic Pinter at the Pinter season: megastar Tom Hiddleston will star in Pinter’s 1978 masterpiece ‘Betrayal’, a drama about a trio of self-decieving lovers which devastatingly unfolds in reverse chronological order…

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Theatre tickets and offers

Exclusive London theatre offers

Exclusive London theatre offers

Discounts, exclusive access and special offers to some of London's top theatre shows

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Wicked

Wicked

Upgrade your seat to this spellbinding show - tickets from just £19.50 with no booking fee

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots

Life's a drag so glitz it up with tickets to this sparkly show from just £19.50

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Matilda the Musical

Matilda the Musical

It's good to be a little bit naughty - get your tickets for just £32

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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42nd Street

42nd Street

£25 for a ticket to this dazzling show and a free two-course meal at Boulevard Brasserie

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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More theatre tickets and offers

More great theatre tickets

Book of Mormon tickets

Book of Mormon tickets

It's the funniest musical in town...

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The Lion King tickets

The Lion King tickets

Nothing prepares you for the sheer impact of 'The Lion King's opening sequence...

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Wicked tickets

Wicked tickets

The musical witches of this 'Wizard of Oz' prequel are still casting a spell over the West End

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Everybody's Talking About Jamie tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie tickets

A staggeringly enjoyable musical about a teen drag queen

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Les Miserables tickets

Les Miserables tickets

A storming revolutionary musical that has been stirring up audiences since 1985

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The best theatre in London

London musicals
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London musicals

All the latest musicals, from the fringe to the West End.

West End theatre shows
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West End theatre shows

London's West End is teeming with plays and musicals, so how do you decide what to see? By using our handy guide

Children's theatre in London
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Children's theatre in London

Recommendations for the very little ones, the nearly big ones, and the grown ups

London theatre critics' choice
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London theatre critics' choice

These are the shows that got our critics talking

Discover more theatre in London

Shakespeare plays in London
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Shakespeare plays in London

Here's where to watch the best of the Bard in London

Immersive theatre in London
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Immersive theatre in London

London is bursting with plays and performances that defy stuffy conventions 

Theatre interviews
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Theatre interviews

Peek behind-the-scenes with London's theatrical talents

London theatre breaks
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London theatre breaks

Hotel and theatre combos that make life a whole lot easier

What's on at

Old Vic
Theatre

Old Vic

The combination of double-Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and top producer David Liddiment at this 200-year-old Waterloo theatre continues to be a commercial success – though Spacey's controversial artistic leadership has frequently come under critical fire. Still, the Old Vic's a great place to catch high-profile actors – Ian McKellen, Robert Lindsay and Neve Campbell have all trod its boards. David Mamet's 'Speed-the-Plow' thrilled audiences in 2008 and was followed by a winning revival of Alan Ayckbourn's 'The Norman Conquests' – a show that saw the venue spectacularly remodeled into a theatre-in-the-round. Summer 2009 heralded the first of Sam Mendes's The Bridge Projects, an Anglo-American collaboration between Mendes, the Old Vic and Joseph V Melillo's Brooklyn Academy of Music, that enticed Ethan Hawke to the British stage for its Shakespeare/Chekhov double bill.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
National Theatre

National Theatre

The concrete-clad, 1960s modernist grandmother of them all: no theatrical tour of London is complete without a visit to the National, whose three auditoriums – Olivier, Lyttelton and Cottesloe – offer a rolling repertory programme, often with a choice of several productions in a week. The National Theatre may have once had a fiercely inaccessible reputation, but the arrival of maverick artistic director Nicholas Hytner in 2003 rocked theatreland as he set about changing the venue's staid ethos with daring productions such as 'Jerry Springer the Opera' and an ambitious adaptation of Phillip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'. The change of tack proved a success, attracting audiences of mixed race, age and class – and Hytner's budget £10 Travelex-sponsored tickets still help pull in the crowds in the summer season. The home stable for Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse', which opened here in 2007 and went on to break West End records, the National is now developing a reputation for family-friendly blockbusters, cue its current production of Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time'. Meanwhile the National Theatre Live initiative has extended the theatre's reach by broadcasting high-publicity productions such as Danny Boyle's role-swapping smash-hit 'Frankenstein' and the comedy 'One Man, Two Guvnors', which introduced James Corden to the stage, live to Picturehouse Cinemas. A recent run of the post-modern musical 'London Road' proved it hasn't lost its edge. You

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Young Vic
Theatre

Young Vic

The Young Vic finally returned to its refurbished home in The Cut in 2007 with acclaimed community show ‘Tobias & the Angel’. As you would expect, it’s got more verve and youthful nerve than the grown-up Old Vic down the road and attracts a slightly younger more multicultural – yet still discerning – crowd. Director David Lan’s eclectic programming of rediscovered European classics has proved popular with the critics, while a stage adaptation of DBC Pierre’s ‘Vernon God Little’ was standing ovation material. Three venue spaces – the main house and studio spaces Maria and Clare – allow for flexible scheduling and more intimate works such as Tarell Alvin McCraney’s moving ‘The Brothers Size’. The Young Vic also provides its Waterloo home with a popular split-level bar and restaurant complete with an open-air balcony terrace.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Royal Court Theatre
Theatre

Royal Court Theatre

A hard-hitting theatre in well-heeled Sloane Square, the Royal Court has always placed emphasis on new British talent – from John Osborne’s ‘Look Back in Anger’ in 1956, to the discovery of numerous playwrights over the past decade: Sarah Kane, Joe Penhall and Conor McPherson among them. Artistic director Dominic Cooke has always injected plenty of politics into the programmes and successfully decreased the age of his audiences too. This is where you’ll find rude, lyrical new work set on the London streets by first-time playwrights like Bola Agbaje and the more established but no less cool Mark Ravenhill. Split between two floors – with the mid-capacity Jerwood Theatre Downstairs and the studio-style Jerwood Theatre Upstairs – the Royal Court also houses an excellent bookshop geared towards theatregoers and a café bar with a weighty menu serving up more than your average bag of peanuts.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare's Globe

The original Globe Theatre, where many of William Shakespeare's plays were first staged and which he co-owned, burned to the ground in 1613 during a performance of 'Henry VIII'. Nearly 400 years later, it was rebuilt not far from its original site, using construction methods and materials as close to the originals as possible. Shakespeare’s Globe has been an unbridled success, underpinned in part by its educational programme (you can drop in for talks and readings) and its commitment to faithfully recreating an original ‘Shakespeare in performance’ experience from April to October. The open-air, free-standing Yard is the best bet for those after complete authenticity – the absence of seating may test your stamina but tickets are excellent value – while the Middle and Upper Galleries afford a (marginally more comfortable) atmosphere of their own. The only thing that tends to mar a performance is the theatre’s somewhat noisy, flight-path location. In the UnderGlobe beneath the theatre is a fine exhibition on the history of the reconstruction, Bankside and its original theatres, and Shakespeare's London. Guided tours of the Shakespeare's Globe theatre run throughout the year. If the Bard is not your bag, look out for various seasonal festivals that take place on the riverside area outside the Globe Theatre. For more information about visiting the Globe Theatre, head to www.timeout.com/outdoor-theatre-faqs

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Lyric Hammersmith
Theatre

Lyric Hammersmith

A beacon of culture in Hammersmith, the Lyric's distinctive look is largely down to a fusion of the building's 1970s structure, the theatre's Victorian heritage and a modern interior.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars