BEST THEATRE SHOWS IN LONDON
So, what’s on at the theatre? If you are looking for the best theatre shows in London, whether you love musicals or prefer a bit of Shakespeare, we’ve got you covered with the best London theatre shows in 2023.
London has long been home to some of the best shows in the world, with incredible Victorian theatres and experimental venues dotted all across town. From icons such as The Royal Court, The Old Vic, and The National Theatre you can always expect quality productions with some of the world’s most talented theatre actors, and often the odd Hollywood A-lister. And what can be better than a cheap standing ticket at Shakespeare’s Globe on a sunny summer evening? Summer also brings a variety of outdoor theatre productions in London’s parks and it’s always worth keeping an eye on what Punchdrunk, the innovators of immersive theatre, are up to.
What’s On in London Theatres?
There are plenty of epic long-running shows on throughout the year in London, so you can catch a production of Mamma Mia!, The Mousetrap or Wicked most weeks. But some of the best London theatre shows in 2023 include Witness for the Prosecution at County Hall, Hamilton at The Victoria Palace Theatre, The Play That Goes Wrong at The Duchess Theatre and The Book of Mormon at The Prince of Wales Theatre. There are a load of new musicals hitting the stage too, including Moulin Rouge!, Pretty Woman and Back to the Future.
How to Get London Theatre Tickets?
London theatre tickets don’t come cheap but if you book early enough then you can still get some bargains. And if there are no tickets available for the particular show that you want to see, don’t forget that many theatres will release a small number of extra tickets before each show.
Theatre shows in London have never been stronger, and Londoners are turning out in huge numbers to catch a show. There is more to life than Netflix after all, so grab some tickets for London theatre and catch one of these amazing shows.
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM
- Thursday: 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM
- Sunday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Andrew Scott has made many roles his own – Moriarty in Sherlock, Hot Priest in Fleabag – and now he’s taking them all on with this new one-man production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Simon Stephens’ adaptation of the classic play goes by Vanya and sees Sam Yates on directing duty and Scott playing all the roles, in what is set to be a thrilling examination of human behaviour and its range of emotions.
FRANK AND PERCY
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
- Thursday: 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
- Sunday: 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM
Following acclaimed runs at Theatre Royal Windsor and Theatre Royal Bath, Ben Weatherill’s comedy Frank and Percy is coming to The Other Palace for a London run. Directed by Sean Mathias, the play stars Ian McKellen and Roger Allam as the titular characters, one a widowed schoolteacher and the other a somewhat radical elder statesman, and explores the nature of human relationships and what strengthens the bonds between people.
- Monday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Thursday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
After a sell-out run at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon, Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s bestseller Hamnet, directed by Erica Whyman, is transferring to the West End. Much of the cast are reprising their roles for the run at the Garrick Theatre, including Ajani Cabey (playing Hamnet), Madeleine Mantock (playing Agnes Hathaway), and Tom Varey (playing William Shakespeare). The novel and the play tells the story of William Shakespeare and Agnes Hathaway’s relationship and how they navigate the loss of their son Hamnet, who dies from the plague at only eleven years old.
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
Tim Sheader is reviving Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s classic musical La Cage aux Folles for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The production (based on the film of the same name) tells the story of a gay couple, drag nightclub owner Georges and his partner Albin, and their son Jean-Michel, who causes chaos when he brings home his fiancé and her ultra-conservative parents.
AS YOU LIKE IT
- Monday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Thursday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Friday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Ellen McDougall is directing the final play in the Globe’s 2023 summer season with an all-singing, all-dancing version of As You Like It. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, As You Like It is a tale of romance and redemption, following Rosalind and Celia, who are in disguise and on the run, as encounter many different kinds of love in the Forest of Arden.
- Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
- Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
- Sunday: Closed
Following a sold-out run at Bristol Old Vic, Mark Rylance is retuning to the West End with Dr Semmelweis, playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Directed by Tom Morris, the play tells the story of pioneering Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who was working in 19th century Vienna where thousands of women were dying in childbirth each year, as he battled to get his ideas around antiseptic accepted by the medical community.
GUYS & DOLLS
- Monday: 1:00 – 11:00 PM
- Tuesday: 1:00 – 11:00 PM
- Wednesday: 1:00 – 11:00 PM
- Thursday: 1:00 – 11:00 PM
- Friday: 1:00 – 11:00 PM
- Saturday: 1:00 – 11:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
The Bridge Theatre is staging one of the greatest musicals of all time with this production of Guys & Dolls, starring Marisha Wallace as Miss Adelaide, Daniel Mays as Nathan Detroit, Celinde Schoenmaker as Sarah Brown and Andrew Richardson as Sky Masterson. Prepare to be immersed in the streets of Manhattan and bars of Havana, with all those big numbers to tap along to.
MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL
It’s spectacular spectacular news for musicals fans – after ten years in development, a run on Broadway, and a delay due to the pandemic, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is finally here at the West End. Alex Timbers’ stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film follows the original story – penniless writer Christian falls in love with courtesan Satine but the pair have to hide their relationship so nightclub owner Harold Zidler can secure funds for the venue’s transformation from The Duke, who wants Satine for himself. All the iconic songs like ‘Come What May’ and ‘Lady Marmalade’ are in there too along with a whole load of new additions, including hits from Whitney, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Adele and Lady Gaga, so there’ll be even more songs to can-can along to.
Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome! Cabaret, one of the most iconic musicals of all time, is back in the West End. This immersive production has taken over the Playhouse Theatre and turned it into the Kit Kat Club so prepare to lose yourself in the world of Weimar Berlin.
- Monday: 8:30 AM – 12:00 AM
- Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 12:00 AM
- Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 12:00 AM
- Thursday: 8:30 AM – 12:00 AM
- Friday: 8:30 AM – 12:00 AM
- Saturday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM
- Sunday: Closed
This version of George Bernard Shaw’s classic Pygmalion, directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Richard Jones (Endgame, The Hairy Ape), stars fellow Olivier Award-winners Patsy Ferran (Camp Siegfried, A Streetcar Named Desire) and Bertie Carvel (The 47th, The Crown) as cockney flower-seller Eliza Doolittle and linguist Professor Henry Higgins, who after making a bet with his associate Colonel Pickering, attempts to turn the irrepressible Eliza into a proper lady.
THE LION KING
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:45 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 7:45 PM
- Thursday: 10:00 AM – 7:45 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 7:45 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 7:45 PM
- Sunday: 11:00 AM – 2:45 PM
You’ve seen the movie, now see The Lion King on stage and watch Simba grow from young cub to king of the pridelands with Timon and Pumba by his side. The award-winning show features all the classic songs, including ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight?’, ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Circle of Life’, with all the animals of Pride Rock brought to life with incredible puppetry, costumes and special effects.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Great Scott, a Back to the Future musical has come to the West End! And the actual creators of the film trilogy – Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale – are behind it. All the regulars like Doc, Marty, Biff, George and Lorraine are making a return but this time they’re belting out the tunes. Obvs the absolute classics like ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode’ will be involved, but as it’s a musical there’ll be some new songs to learn and sing your heart out to as well. Get into your DeLorean and roll up to the Adelphi Theatre.
SIX THE MUSICAL
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s smash-hit Six The Musical, which is a modern retelling of Henry VIII’s wives complete with pop-inspired soundtrack, is back on stage at the Vaudeville Theatre.
WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION
The Olivier Award-nominated Witness for the Prosecution brings Agatha Christie’s famous tale to life in a whole new way thanks to its staging in the debating chamber of County Hall. The set design is so well executed that you do really feel like you’re sitting in criminal court, which adds a new level of tension to the testimonies of Leonard Vole, accused of murdering a wealthy widow, and the witness trying to send him down.
THE BURNT CITY
Renowned immersive theatre company Punchdrunk have returned to London, this time at One Cartridge Place, a former military arsenal in Woolwich, with their latest production Burnt City. It depicts the fall of Troy and the mythical world of Gods and mortals that rise from the ashes, and makes use of the opposing military arsenal buildings that house Troy and Ancient Greece, including neon backstreets, sprawling labyrinths and a colossal playground, and you’re free to dive in and explore as you like.
Having been performed over 28,000 times, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the longest running play in the world and after a brief pause, it’s back at St Martin’s Theatre. The murder mystery is known for its twists and turns so you’ll be trying to guess whodunnit right up until the end.
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG
The award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong, which stated life at fringe venue in London with only four punters in the house, has had a remarkable run in the West End and shows no signs of slowing down. The show is (shockingly) about a drama society putting on a play that goes wrong, collapsing sets and all, and it’s an absolute riot.
Hip-hop meets history in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s epic musical about the US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an Caribbean immigrant who fights in the War of Independence and becomes the country’s first Treasury Secretary. Even if you think you don’t care about American history, you’ll find yourself rapping about the 1776 the Declaration of Independence and Aaron Burr for weeks afterwards.
THE BOOK OF MORMON
If you like your musicals to be wildly politically incorrect and funny as hell, The Book of Mormon is the one for you. Created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the minds that brought you South Park, the show follows two Mormon missionaries on their journey to convert Ugandan natives to their religion. The lyrics may inappropriate, bordering on offensive, but the songs are bloody catchy and you won’t be able to stop laughing.
Over 20 years on stage and two record-breaking films and we’ve still got Mamma Mia fever. The musical, which tells the tale of a mother, a daughter and three fathers set on Greek island to a soundtrack of ABBA’s greatest hits, has been seen by almost 9 million people in London since it premiered in 1999 and it’s still going strong at the Novello Theatre.
The award-winning Wicked, London’s 14th longest running show, is based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, which is set in the land of Oz way before Dorothy and the gang got there in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The show tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two sorcery students at Shiz University, who eventually become Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.GET TICKETS