A-Z: West End theatre shows on now in London
It can be diffiult to keep up with everything on in London’s West End, which is full of more theatre shows, musical productions and ticket offers than you can shake an interval ice cream at. So where to start? We’ve pulled together literally everything currently running in the West End, from new plays to long-running musicals, for YOUR delight. Want to shortcut to the good stuff? Check out the best new London theatre shows opening this month. Is it just musical theatre you’re here for? Head over to our complete guide to musicals in London.
Christmas 2022 dance shows in London
It's Christmas, so London's dance companies are putting their twinkliest toes forward and staging a beautiful array of yuletide shows. If you want to see a festive classic like 'Swan Lake' or the immortal ‘Nutcracker’, you're in luck, because these tutu-tastic trad ballet spectaculars dominate the bill at big venues like the Coliseum and the Royal Opera House. With dazzlingly well-drilled choruses and stunningly glitzy visuals, they're the perfect intro to the wonderful world of ballet. But there's also quirkier Christmas fare at London's smaller dance venues, and they'll be added to this page as they're announced. Read on to book tickets to a London dance show that'll inspire you to leap off the sofa and into the yuletide spirit. RECOMMENDED: Find more Christmas shows in London
Adult Christmas shows in London
Going to the theatre this season doesn't have to mean nutcrackers and knob jokes from wise-cracking panto dames. These festive nights out are pitched at adults will help to quell the Christmas cheese overload with everything from drag, edgy comedy, (Christmas) dinner theatre to wintry circus wonderlands. And no kids allowed! RECOMMENDED: Find more Christmas shows in London
Top children’s theatre shows this half-term
Prise your kids away from their mobile phones this half-term with these ace theatre shows. London has tons of great children’s theatre during the October half-term (Saturday September 15 Sunday September 30 2022), and we’ve found some shows that’ll keep everyone from toddlers to teenagers to parents thoroughly entertained. And if you’d rather leave the little ones at home, check our critics’ round-up of the best new theatre openings. RECOMMENDED: Explore our full guide to half-term in London.
LGBTQ+ theatre in London
London's thriving LGBTQ+ theatre scene means that you can see queer stories live on stage, any day of the week. Okay, there are just a few dedicated LGBTQ+ performance venues in the city, including gay theatre hubs Above the Stag, Royal Vauxhall Tavern and the King's Head. But we've helped you out by tracking down some of the best LGBTQ+ shows at theatres across London. Expect everything from genre-smashing queer cabaret to lesbian romance to gay theatre classics to explorations of trans experience. Here's the low-down on the shows that are exploring LGBTQ+ lives, history and communities, beyond the stereotypes.
Best West End theatre shows in London
Call it the West End or call it Theatreland, but central London is the best place to see theatre in the world. And Time Out’s guide to the best theatre shows currently running in the West End. Our critics pick the best theatre shows in town, featuring anything from London musicals to the best children's theatre shows. We'll be updating this page as new West End theatre shows open, so keep checking back as our critics refresh their choices. And if you want to look further afield for great shows, don't forget our pick of the best new theatre openings this month. RECOMMENDED: your complete A-Z guide to West End theatre shows
The best family theatre in London this Easter
Forget stuffing your face with chocolate eggs – there's an even better buzz in store at London's children's theatre shows. The school Easter holidays run from Monday 6th April until Friday 17th April 2020; plenty of time to introduce the kids to everything from musicals to puppetry to Shakespeare. From tiny toddlers to grumpy teenagers, here's some critics' choice theatre that'll leave kids of all ages on a high. RECOMMENDED: Crack open the full guide to Easter in London
LIFT festival: what's going on this year?
LIFT 2020, or the biennial London International Festival of Theatre, is back with an international line-up featuring everything from performing pigeons to immersive dance to world-class drama. Taking place at venues across the city and running for an entire month this summer (Wednesday June 3 - Saturday July 11 2020), here's our rundown of LIFT 2020's unmissable line-up. Can't wait? Get more theatre inspiration by browsing our London theatre reviews or our top ten new theatre shows hitting the capital this month.
Halloween theatre in London
Seeking a bigger scare than you'll get from the local sugar-swindling kids? Spend your Halloween at one of these terrifying London theatre shows instead. RECOMMENDED: The full Halloween in London guide
Top children's theatre shows this summer
When school's out for summer, London's theatres come alive with rambunctuous kids' shows of every flavour. Summer 2019's line-up is full of theatre, puppet shows and musicals to appeal to children of every age, whether it's at mega West End venues or at specialist local theatres like the Little Angel or the Unicorn. This year, younger kids are well-catered for with omnipresent (but nonetheless very good) Julia Donaldson adaptations like 'The Gruffalo' and 'Zog', plus the odd live CBeebies show like 'Twirlywoos'. Older kids will be enchanted by stagings of favourite books, like 'The Worst Witch' or 'The Falcon's Malteser'. Or get them interested in something new; this summer's theatre shows also include an animal-filled Benjamin Britten opera for kids, boisterous comedy shows, musicals for teenagers, and a smart retelling of Aesop's ancient fables. The summer hols are also a great time to make for the West End; perk up a rainy day with a family-friendly musical like 'Matilda' or thrill your resident Harry Potter fan(s) with a trip to 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'. Prices can add up, so the best way to get cheap theatre tickets is through 'Kids Week'; the West End's annual family discounting scheme means under-16s go free with adults for the whole of August (at participating shows only). Full info here. Or if you want an even bigger bargain, make for free family outdoor theatre shows at The Scoop, Greenwich Fair, or River Stage. RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the summer holid
Greenwich + Docklands International Festival guide
Between June 21 and July 6 2019 Greenwich and its surrounding area will be flooded with colourful performances as part of London's biggest celebration of outdoor theatre, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. Most events are free, so pick one you like the sound of from our festival listings below or just head down there to see what you can find – and if you prefer your theatre performances with a roof over your head, check out latest London theatre reviews or our top ten new theatre shows for some more inspiration this summer.
CircusFest: the shows not to miss
See a hugely talented bunch of performers test their bodies to their limits at CircusFest 2018, which is back with a line-up that centres round London's Roundhouse, but also features work at The Place, Jackson's Lane, ArtsDepot, and even at a special V&A late. It's a place to see where circus is now: whether that's riot grrl tumbling from French crew Groupe Bekkrell, steampunk-style trapeze by Pirates of the Carabina, or dazzling kaleidoscopic juggling from Gandini. Taking inspiration from street dance, contemporary art and experimental performance, these shows are taking circus leagues away from the stripy tent, big tiger stereotype - and 2018's line-up has a feminist spin that means you'll see as many strongwomen as strongmen. For more shows that are on right now, check out our list of circus in London. Or stay on more solid ground with our critics' choice theatre shows.
Bag tickets to see Andrew Scott in ‘Hamlet’ before anyone else
You thought it was not to be? Well, we’ve got our hands on the hottest tickets in town, so if you want to see the star of ‘Sherlock’ tread the boards as the Prince of Denmark as Robert Icke’s critically acclaimed production transfers to the West End in the summer, we’re the place to come. The show heads to the Harold Pinter Theatre from June, following its sold-out run at the Almeida. The talent on show is certainly impressive. Andrew Scott plays the Dane fresh from creeping the hell out of everyone as Sherlock’s nemesis, and it’s from the creative team behind ‘1984’ and ‘Oresteia’, with direction from Olivier Award winner Robert Icke. And with tickets from a tenner? You’d be mad as the sea and wind not to. To check prices and book tickets, click here. Read our five-star review of ‘Hamlet’ here.