Theatre and musicals to see in London in 2018
- Craig Angus
- 11 January 2018
The Lion King
Best shows in the West End this year including Glengarry Glen Ross, Phantom of the Opera, Long Day's Journey Into Night and many more
Planning a visit to foggy London town in 2018? Or, are you a resident of the big smoke, looking for ways to kick back and relax in the evening. The new year once more brings an impressive array of new theatre productions, as well as long running favourites, in the West End, here's some you should check out.
Glengarry Glen Ross
David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning tale of lies, greed and corruption stars Christian Slater as Ricky Roma in its current, critically acclaimed London run. Adapted for cinema in 1983, the story of some ethically questionable Chicago real estate agents is as popular as it's ever been.
Until Sat 3 Feb, Playhouse Theatre
Girl From The North Country
Set at the height of America's Great Depression, the inspired Girl from the North Country is a result of a collaboration between playwright Conor McPherson and a songwriter that goes by the name Bob Dylan (you may have heard his work).
Until Sat 24 Mar, Noel Coward Theatre
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical masterpiece runs at Wyndham's Theatre until April, with two stellar actors – Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville – starring. It's Irons' first on-stage role in over 10 years, while Manville is reunited with director Richard Eyre; the two worked together on after a critically acclaimed, sold-out production of Ibsen's Ghosts.
Until Sat 7 Apr, Wyndham's Theatre
A hit in 1882, and a hit today. Gilbert & Sullivan's absurd, satirical comic opera, Iolanthe, tells the story of the sought-after Phyllis, desired by all the members of the House of Peers. The production is directed by Cal McCrystal, who coaxes excellent physical comedy from a talented cast.
Until Sat 7 Apr, London Coliseum
The Birthday Party
Harold Pinter's classic The Birthday Party, a bizarre, ambiguous story set in a rundown seaside boarding house, has been a theatre favourite since its world première in 1958. The 2018 production stars Zoë Wanamaker, Toby Jones and Stephen Mangan.
Until Sat 14 Apr, Harold Pinter Theatre
The Lion King
The all singing, all dancing circle of life is still wowing crowds almost 20 years after it first played at London's Lyceum Theatre. With songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, a spectacular set and creative costume design, it's no surprise.
Possibly the best-known musical of all, Victor Hugo's French revolution novel was first performed as a sung-through show in Paris back in 1980. Featuring the famous songs 'I Dreamed a Dream' and 'Do You Hear The People Sing', it's a rousing triumph of a show, running at the Queen's Theatre with Killian Donnelly playing the lead, Jean Valjean.
Goodnight Mister Tom
A perfect show for kids, but the stage adaptation of Michelle Magorian's uplifting tearjerker will captivate folks of all ages. Set during World War II, the story follows young London boy William Beech who's evacuated to the English countryside, and the heart-warming bond he develops there with the elderly Tom Oakley.
Wed 25 Jul-Sat 25 Aug, Southwark Playhouse
The Lieutenant Of Inishmore
Now writing successful films, with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri tipped to win big at this year's Academy Awards, Martin McDonagh has a whole host of hilarious plays in his oeuvre. His terrorist satire, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, is one of the best of them, with Aidan Turner taking the role of cat lover 'Mad Padraig' in Michael Grandage's production.
Sat 23 Jun-Sat 8 Sep, Noel Coward Theatre
The Play That Goes Wrong
Compared to both Fawlty Towers and The Mousetrap, The Play That Goes Wrong is an innovative farce where, as you'd expect, everything that could possibly go awry does. It's grown from its original run in an Islington Pub theatre, an unlikely but deserved success story.
Until Sun 30 Sep, Duchess Theatre
The Phantom Of The Opera
Now in its 32nd year on London's West End, Lloyd Webber's musical has been seen by an astonishing 140 million people. Featuring well known songs 'All I Ask of You' and 'Music of the Night', the current production features the talented Ben Lewis as the titular Phantom.
Her Majesty's Theatre
School Of Rock
The feel-good School of Rock (based on the hit 2003 film) balances comedy and moments of genuine emotional depth, showing that, while it's only in its second year, it could well have the staying power of other long running musical heavyweights. With music by Lloyd Webber, Stephen Leask plays the role of rogue substitute teacher Dewey Finn.
Until Sun 13 Jan 2019, New Theatre London
The Woman in Black
A lawyer obsesses over a curse he believes has been placed on his family, in this terrifying and claustrophobic production that's a favourite of critics, and (after The Mousetrap) is the second-longest running non-musical on the West End. Terence Wilton and James Byng star as Arthur Kipps and The Actor, respectively.
Until Sat 26 Jan 2019, Fortune Theatre