16 Top Shows To See In 2019

In 2019, Harold Pinter season continues with a run of top-cast plays starring the likes of Tom Hiddleston and David Suchet. We also have an array of award-winning Broadway musicals making the hop over the pond, performances from Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Gillian Anderson and Cillian Murphy, while the Young Vic hosts a new play by Idris Elba. Here’s SL’s pick of what to book for the year ahead…

9 to 5 The Musical

This month, a new production of the musical celebrating all things Dolly Parton will be clocking into the West End, with a limited season at the Savoy Theatre. Starring Louise Redknapp, Love Island’s Amber Davies and seasoned West Enders Natalie McQueen and Brian Conley, smash-hit show 9 to 5 The Musical features an original Oscar- Grammy- and Tony Award-nominated score by country legend and pop icon Parton herself. Just what we need to get over the winter blues.

Savoy Court, West End, WC2R 0ET; 28th January-31st August

Visit Savoy.LondonTheatres.co.uk

All About Eve

Ivo van Hove’s stage version of Joseph L Mankiewicz’s seminal 50s film All About Eve is one of 2019’s most-anticipated plays: if you want tickets, we seriously suggest grabbing them while you can. A-listers Gillian Anderson and Lily James will play the famous feuding actresses (made famous by Bette Davis and Anne Baxter), while Monica Dolan (W1A, A Very English Scandal), Sheila Reid (Doctor Who, Benidorm) and Rhashan Stone (Black Mirror, Episodes) co-star. The play also features an original score from PJ Harvey. We can’t wait.

85-88 St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AP; 2nd February-11th May

Visit DelfontMacintosh.co.uk


Golden Globe and Olivier Award-winner Tom Hiddleston stars in the Jamie Lloyd Company’s revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, opening at London’s Harold Pinter Theatre for a limited 12-week season this March. With poetic precision, rich humour and an extraordinary emotional force, Betrayal charts a compelling seven-year romance, thrillingly captured in reverse chronological order. Described as “the greatest, and the most moving, of all Pinter’s plays” (Daily Telegraph), this production marks the culmination of the Jamie Lloyd Company’s 20-play strong Pinter at the Pinter season.

Panton Street, Covent Garden, SW1Y 4DN; 5th May-1st June

Visit ATGTickets.com

Come From Away

As it continues sold-out, record-breaking dates on Broadway, across the USA and in Canada, Come From Away lands for its UK premiere at the Phoenix Theatre from 30th January. This joyous new musical shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives. As uneasiness turned into trust and music soared into the night, gratitude grew into friendships and their stories became a celebration of hope, humanity and unity.

Charing Cross Road, Covent Garden, WC2H 0JP; 30th January-25th May

Visit ATGTickets.com

Dear Evan Hansen

The winner of six 2017 Tony Awards including Best Musical and a 2018 Grammy Award, Dear Evan Hansen has struck a remarkable chord with audiences and critics since its very first performance. Described by the Washington Post as "one of the most remarkable shows in musical theatre history,” it’s safe to say we’re excited about its London transfer. A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Both deeply personal and profoundly contemporary, this is a new American musical about life and the way we live it.

85-88 St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AP; Autumn 2019

Visit DelfontMackintosh.co.uk


With a chart-topping score including Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Oh What A Circus, You Must Love Me, and Another Suitcase in Another Hall – this summer, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre presents Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical, Evita. From a life of poverty to the First Lady of Argentina, Eva Peron was hailed as the spiritual leader of the nation. Seen as the champion of the poor, her ambition, glamour and power made her the world’s first major political celebrity, winning the adoration of the people. If this is anything like the theatre group’s recent Jesus Christ Superstar, we’re in for an absolute treat.

Inner Circle, Regent's Park, NW1 4NU; 2nd August-21st September

Visit OpenAirTheatre.com

Grief Is A Thing With Feathers

Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) gives a riveting, shape-shifting performance in Enda Walsh’s adaptation of Max Porter’s award-winning novel, a heart-wrenching meditation on love, loss and living. In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair, they are visited by Crow – antagonist, babysitter, trickster and healer. The sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him.

Silk Street, Clerkenwell, EC2Y 8DS; 25th March-13th April

Visit Barbican.org.uk

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most iconic musicals. Told entirely through song with the help of the Narrator, the show follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his 11 brothers. After being sold into slavery by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife. This reimagined, brand new production will play a limited 11-week summer season from June-September. Not to be missed.

8 Argyll Street, Soho, W1F 7LA; 27th June-8th September

Visit LWTheatres.co.uk

Leave To Remain

A modern love story with music by Bloc Party's Kele Okereke. Leave To Remain follows Obi (Tyrone Huntley) and Alex (Billy Cullum), a young gay couple leading busy London lives. When Alex’s visa comes into question, their relationship takes a turn. Marriage is an option, but the timing isn’t perfect, and it means confronting their families and their pasts. Told through a mix of music, movement and drama, Leave to Remain is a tender portrait of love in the face of an uncertain future.

Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL; 18th January-16th February

Visit Lyric.co.uk

Richard II

Adjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton direct the first ever company of women of colour in a Shakespeare play on a major UK stage, in a post-Empire reflection on what it means to be British in the light of the Windrush anniversary and as we leave the EU. As we play our part in defining a nation’s history and become the shoulders on which future generations will stand, Shakespeare asks us to consider the destiny that we might be shaping for our island. Beset by problems at home and abroad, a capricious king is forced to relinquish his ‘hollow crown’. As his supporters abandon him and his power trickles away, Richard reflects with startling eloquence on the disintegration of his status and identity.

21 New Globe Walk, South Bank, SE1 9DT; 22nd February-21st April

Visit ShakespearesGlobe.com


Divorced. Beheaded. Live: from Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to rewrite history, remixing 500 years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power. Following a sell-out UK tour, hit pop-concert musical Six returns to the Arts Theatre this month. We seriously suggest grabbing tickets while you can.

6-7 Great Newport Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 7JB; 19th January-9th May

Visit ArtsTheatreWestEnd.co.uk

The American Clock

Visionary director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Hadestown) presents Arthur Miller’s ground-breaking play about hope, idealism and a nation’s unwavering faith in capitalism. In New York City in 1929, the stock market crashed and everything changed. In an American society governed by race and class, we meet the Baum family as they navigate the aftermath of an unprecedented financial crisis. The world pulses with a soundtrack fusing 1920s swing and jazz with a fiercely contemporary sound, creating a backdrop that spans a vast horizon from choking high rises to rural heartlands.

The Cut, Waterloo, SE1 8NB; 4th February-30th March

Visit OldVicTheatre.com

The Price

Two brothers, Victor (Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle) and Walter (Adrian Lukis) Franz, one a New York cop nearing retirement, the other a successful surgeon meet for the first time in 16 years to sell their family furniture stored in the attic of a condemned New York brownstone. Revelation follows stunning revelation as each brother realises the price they have paid for heart breaking decisions made decades earlier. Overseeing the psychological battlefield is the wily veteran appraiser, Gregory Solomon (Poirot’s David Suchet), who has his own demons to conquer as well as securing the best possible price for the Franz family possessions.

Charing Cross Road, Covent Garden, WC2H 0DA; 5th February-27th April

Visit DelfontMackintosh.co.uk


Tree takes you on a thrilling journey in search of the soul and spirit of contemporary South Africa. Created by Idris Elba, whose album Mi Mandela provides the soundtrack, and Kwame Kwei-Armah (who also directs), this major world-premiere production will be performed in the round. Music, dance and film combine with an exciting cast to explore the past, present and future of this country at a crossroads – all through the eyes of one young man on a journey of healing.

66 The Cut, Waterloo, SE1 8LZ; 29th July-24th August

Visit YoungVic.org


Meet Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life. When a baking contest in a nearby county — and a satisfying run-in with someone new — show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it. Brought to life by an all-female creative team, this Tony Award-nominated hit is set to be a joyous affair.

Strand, West End, WC2R 0NS; 8th February-25th May

Visit LWTheatres.co.uk

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

This new play breaks through the surface of contemporary debate to explore the messy, often violent nature of desire and the fluid, complicated roles that men and women play. Using Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela as a provocation, six characters act out a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance. The production reunites Martin Crimp (Attempts On Her Life, In the Republic of Happiness) and director Katie Mitchell (Waves, Cleansed). The biggest draw is Cate Blanchett, who makes her National Theatre debut.

Upper Ground, Waterloo, SE1 9PX; 16th January-2nd March

Visit NationalTheatre.org.uk

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily