11 Theatre Shows To Book This Autumn

While early 2018 was hot for hip new musicals (and we’re not just talking about the runaway success of Hamilton), autumn takes a darker turn, as we’re treated to everything from Agatha Christie revivals to hard-hitting returns from The Inheritance and The Jungle. Here's our pick of what to book for the months ahead…

Othello, Shakespeare’s Globe

The republic of Venice employs General Othello (André Holland), a self-made man and a Moor, to defend its overseas territories against the Turks. As the Turkish threat gathers and Venetian forces are dispatched to Cyprus, the love Othello holds for his new wife Emilia (Sheila Atim) becomes a raging, uncontrollable torrent. Iago (the inimitable Mark Rylance), a junior officer secretly enraged by Othello, exploits his General’s ambiguous position and ingenuous nature, driving him into a passionate and overpowering jealousy. Catch it while you can.

New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT; until 13th October

Visit ShakespearesGlobe.com

Misty, Trafalgar Studios

Following its sold-out run at the Bush Theatre, Arinzé Kene’s acclaimed Misty transfers to London’s Trafalgar Studios for six weeks only. Through a visceral blend of theatre, gig and performance poetry, Kene (Girl from the North Country, Lion King, EastEnders) delivers an epic yet playful exploration of creative freedom, set against a pulsing vision of modern London. Directed by the Bush Theatre’s Omar Elerian (One Cold Dark Night, Islands) Misty features an original musical score, performed live during the show.

Whitehall, Westminster, SW1A 2DY; until 20th October

Visit TrafalgarTheatre.com

The Jungle, Playhouse Theatre

Following critical acclaim, and direct from a sold-out run at the Young Vic, The Jungle transfers to the Playhouse Theatre until November. A story of loss, fear, community and hope, we encounter the hopeful, resilient residents of The Jungle camp in Calais, prior to its dismantling. The audience joins the residents over fresh baked naan and sweet milky chai at the Afghan Café, as the play explores the intense, moving and uplifting encounters between refugees from many different countries and the volunteers who arrived from the UK. A moving watch.

Northumberland Avenue, Covent Garden, WC2N 5DE; until 3rd November

Visit Playhouse.LondonTheatres.co.uk

Witness for the Prosecution, London County Hall

We can’t imagine a more appropriate setting for a legal drama than the imposing court room of London County Hall. And that’s exactly where the capital’s latest incarnation of the Agatha Christie classic Witness for the Prosecution is set, as the audience play jury. The twisted tale of justice, passion and betrayal focuses on Leonard Vole, who’s accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. The stakes are high – will Leonard survive the shocking witness testimony, and will he be able to convince the jury – and audience – of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose?

Belvedere Road, Waterloo, SE1 7PB; until 31st March

Visit WitnessCountyHall.com


Foxfinder, Ambassador’s Theatre

Olivier Award-winner Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones, Misfits), Heida Reed (Poldark), Paul Nicholls (Law & Order, EastEnders) and Bryony Hannah (Call the Midwife) star in the West End premiere of Dawn King’s award-winning thriller. England is in crisis: fields are flooded, food is scarce. When the Coveys’ harvest fails to meet target, the government sends William Bloor to investigate. William is a Foxfinder, trained from childhood and fixated on his mission to unearth the animals that must be to blame. But as the hunt progresses, he finds more questions than answers…

West Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9ND; until 5th January

Visit TheAmbassadorsTheatre.co.uk

Pinter at the Pinter: Landscape/A Kind of Alaska/Monologue, Harold Pinter Theatre

From now until 23rd February, the Harold Pinter Theatre presents a season of one-act plays by the man himself, to celebrate the legacy of the Nobel Prize-winning British writer on the tenth  anniversary of his death. Our pick? Pinter Three, which includes the plays Landscape, A Kind of Alaska and Monologue. Across the trio of performances, characters will be played by Keith Allen, Tamsin Greig, Lee Evans and Meera Syal. Penelope Wilson will make 12 special guest appearances from 19th November, performing the witty monologue Tess,  written for her by Pinter – a must see.

Panton Street, Piccadilly, SW1Y 4DN; 25th October-8th December

Visit PinterAtThePinter.com

Wise Children, Old Vic

Emma Rice (Romantics Anonymous, Brief Encounter) brings her impish vision to Angela Carter’s great final novel as she launches her London residency at the Old Vic. It’s 23rd April, Shakespeare’s birthday. In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 70th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father and greatest actor of his generation Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all. A big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak, Wise Children is a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope.

The Cut, Waterloo, SE1 8NB; 8th October-10th November

Visit OldVicTheatre.com

The Inheritance, Noel Coward Theatre

Following a sold-out, critically-acclaimed run at the Young Vic, Matthew Lopez's major two-part world premiere The Inheritance lands in London's West End for just 15 weeks. Directed by multi Olivier Award-winner Stephen Daldry, the production questions how much we owe to those who lived and loved before us. A generation after the peak of the AIDS crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? Daldry's remarkable production explores profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious New Yorkers. What is the legacy left to them by previous generations? What do they owe the future and each other?

St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AP; until 5th January

Visit NoelCowardTheatre.co.uk

Antony & Cleopatra, National Theatre

Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony (Ralph Fiennes) now rules alongside his fellow defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian queen Cleopatra (Sophie Okonedo) and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war, as politics and passion are violently intertwined in Shakespeare’s gripping tale of power. Simon Godwin (Twelfth Night, Man and Superman, The Beaux' Stratagem) directs. Essential viewing.

Upper Ground, Southbank, SE1 9PX; until 19th January

Visit NationalTheatre.org.uk

King Lear, Duke of York’s Theatre

Following its sold-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, Jonathan Munby’s explosive revival of Shakespeare’s epic tragedy moves to the West End with a celebrated cast led by Ian McKellen as the embittered monarch in a fractured kingdom. With its intimate staging, this contemporary, dystopian production places audiences at the centre of the storm as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with shocking ends. It’s worth it just to see McKellen at work.

St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4BG; until 3rd November

Visit ATGTickets.com

Heathers, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Welcome to Westerberg High, where Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day. But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity finally start to come true. Based on the 1985 film starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, this new musical lives up to the hype – and more.

Haymarket, Covent Garden, SW1Y 4HT; until 24th November

Visit TRH.co.uk

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