The best new theatre to see in London this July from Red Speedo to Slave Play

Mnemonic (Via Complicite Theatre Productions )
Mnemonic (Via Complicite Theatre Productions )

From fresh adaptations of beloved classics to thought-provoking original shows, London is heaving with new theatre productions each month.

But with so much to choose from, picking what to see in the capital can feel like a dramatic epic. So we’ve done the heavy lifting for you with a list of our top picks to watch this month...

New in July


 (Johan Persson)
(Johan Persson)

This play about origins, memory and our place in the natural world, has now been revived after 25 years – with stellar results. Created by Complicité, Simon McBurney’s acclaimed experimental theatre company, it was recently described by the Standard as an “intensely humane and richly layered” show, “beautifully performed by both original and new cast members”.

NT’s Olivier Theatre, July 2 to August 10; buy tickets here

Skeleton Crew

Described by one reviewer as “warm-blooded, astute, deeply moral”, this 2016 musical from US playwright Dominique Morisseau won a Tony Award after transferring to Broadway in 2022. Set in Morisseau’s hometown of Detroit in 2008, the play depicts a group of workers facing economic ruin when the car factory they work in is threatened with closure.

Donmar Warehouse, July 3 to August 24; buy tickets here

The Children’s Inquiry

This musical, which describes itself as a “call to arms”, draws on 150 years of care system history and asks questions about forms of love, version of success, and how to build a better future for children. Co-Commissioned by The Lowry and made by campaign-led, verbatim theatre company LUNG, whose work includes the devastating recent show Woodhill, this new show drawns on real children’s testimonies.

Southwark Playhouse, July 9 to August 3; buy tickets here

Slave Play

Kit Harington and Olivia Washington in Slave Play (Photo by Olivia Lifungula)
Kit Harington and Olivia Washington in Slave Play (Photo by Olivia Lifungula)

Jeremy O Harris’s 12-time Tony award-nominated 2018 play now heads to London. Exploring sex and race, the show sparked huge debate, being described as “so serious, so furious” and “a cause célèbre and a scandal“. It’s about three interracial couples undergoing a kind of physical therapy because the black partners no longer feel sexually attracted to their white lovers.

Noël Coward Theatre, July 10 to September 21; buy tickets here

ECHO (Every Cold Hearted Oxygen)

Written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour (White Rabbit Red Rabbit), and directed by Italian-Palestinian theatre-maker Omar Elerian, whose previous work includes Two Palestinians Go Dogging, ECHO (Every Cold-Hearted Oxygen) continues Soleimanpour’s celebrated experiment, where a new performer takes to the stage every show. They don’t know what’s going to happen next, and are instead led by the script – which in this case asks questions about climate change and immigration.

Now the lineup of performers has been announced and it’s jam-packed full of huge names, including Toby Jones, Baby Reindeer’s Jessica Gunning, Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker and Doctor Strange’s Benedict Wong.

Royal Court, July 17 to July 27; buy tickets here

Hello, Dolly!


This 10-time-winning 1964 musical, which has been revived on Broadway and on the West End numerous times over the past 70 years (and made into a fantastic 1969 film starring Barbra Streisand), is returning to London. Set in 1890, and based on Thornton Wilder’s play The Matchmaker, the story follows widow-socialite-matchmaker Dolly Levi as she helps various clients. Riotous and incredibly charming, Imelda Staunton will play the delightful Dolly.

The Palladium, July 18 to September 14; buy tickets here

The Hot Wing King

Following the set up of a sitcom, and telling the story of a Hot Wing Contest in Tennessee in the summer, this Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy from Katori Hall (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, The Mountaintop) is set to sizzle as it explores black masculinity.

NT’s Dorfman Theatre, July 18 to September 14; buy tickets here

Red Speedo

With the Olympics just a few weeks away, and a 2021 Chinese swimming doping scandal currently rocking the sport, this play about performance-enhancing drugs being found at a club swimming pool couldn’t be more timely. Written by US playwright Lucas Hnath, directed by Matthew Dunster (The Pillowman, 2:22 A Ghost Story) and starring Peaky Blinders’ Finn Cole, the thriller depicts how the close circle around competitive swimmer Ray reacts when drugs are discovered.

Orange Tree Theatre, July 18 to August 10; buy tickets here



This award-winning, sell-out Australian musical comedy, which bills itself as a pop concert, asks questions about the astonishing reality of fandoms – the hardcore, economically influential groups of super fans whose passions can make and break artists’ careers. Edna is a 14-year-old teenager who is in love with boy band hunk Harry, and is determined to catch his eye when he performs in Sydney, Australia – but how will she do it? And what do her efforts say about ambition, youth and disappointment?

Lyric Hammersmith, July 23 to August 24; buy tickets here

Grapes of Wrath

Frank Galati’s Tony Award-winning adaptation of John Steinbeck’s masterpiece is now being reimaged by Carrie Cracknell, who has previously directed Julie and The Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre. Tony Award-winner Cherry Jones, last seen on the London stage in The Glass Menagerie, as well as on screens in Succession, will play Ma Joad and Harry Treadaway (The Chemistry of Death, Penny Dreadful) will play Tom Joad in this story about poor farmers trying to survive during the Great Depression.

NT’s Lyttelton Theatre, July 25 to September 14; buy tickets here

Death of England: Michael, Death of England: Delroy, Death of England, Closing Time

Clint Dyer and Roy Williams’s celebrated Death of England trilogy, which premiered at the National Theatre between 2020 and 2023, is now being shown together for the first time. Interconnected – chapters delve into the lives of Michael, then his best friend Delroy, then Delroy’s girlfriend Carly – and moving, the energetic, whip-sharp comedies explore loss, racism in the UK and family dynamics in the UK today.

@sohoplace, July 30 to September 28; buy tickets here

Already open

The Bounds

Written by Stewart Pringle and directed by Jack McNamara, The Bounds is set in 1553, a time which the play describes as “the true Golden Age of English football”. As a fiercely competitive game plays out, Percy and Rowan are wandering around, miles from everyone. They bump into a stranger who sets their lives on a different course.

Royal Court Upstairs, to July 13; buy tickets here

Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York)

 (Marc Brenner)
(Marc Brenner)

Transferring to the West End after a sell out run at Kiln Theatre (which the Standard described as a “charming two-person musical that riffs on New York rom-coms”) this new piece from Jim Barne and Kit Buchan, directed by Tim Jackson, is about the blossoming friendship between upbeat Brit Dougal and New Yorker Robin, his new aunt courtesy of his dad’s second marriage.

Criterion Theatre, to July 14; buy tickets here

The Secret Garden

The beloved 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett is now being adapted by Holly Robinson (soft animals, Soho Theatre) and Anna Himali Howard (Graceland, Royal Court). The 10-year-old Mary Lennox finds herself at her uncle’s Misselthwaite Manor, a place full of secrets.

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, to July 20; buy tickets here

Standing at the Sky’s Edge

Lauryn Redding, Laura Pitt-Pulford and the cast of Standing at the Sky's Edge in the West End (Brinkhoff-Moegenburg)
Lauryn Redding, Laura Pitt-Pulford and the cast of Standing at the Sky's Edge in the West End (Brinkhoff-Moegenburg)

This glorious musical, which has already won an Olivier award and enjoyed sold-out runs at the National Theatre and the Crucible in Sheffield, is runningin the West End. Set in Sheffield, it follows the lives of three generations in the brutalist Park Hill housing estate over six decades.

Gillian Lynne Theatre, to August 3; buy tickets here

Romeo and Juliet

Tom Holland is Romeo and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers is Juliet in this buzzy “new vision” of Shakespeare’s most famous love play. Director Jamie Lloyd previously directed last year’s Sunset Boulevard.

Duke of York’s Theatre, to August 3; buy tickets here

A View From The Bridge

Dominic West and Kate Fleetwood in A View from the Bridge (Johan Persson)
Dominic West and Kate Fleetwood in A View from the Bridge (Johan Persson)

Dominic West, star of The Affair, The Wire and The Crown, plays Eddie Carbone in Lindsay Posner’s take on Arthur Miller's 1955 play, one of the great works of 20th century American theatre, which unpacks the destructive nature of obsessive love. Kate Fleetwood and Callum Scott Howells also star.

Theatre Royal Haymarket, to August 3; buy tickets here

2:22 A Ghost Story

This Olivier-nominated ghost story about a couple who invite round two friends to get to the bottom of strange noises in their home, has seen a plethora of stars, including Lily Allen, Cheryl, Constance Wu, Jaime Winstone and Mandip Gill play its leading roles. Now Stacey Dooley has taken up the mantle, making her West End debut playing Jenny.

Gielgud Theatre, to August 4; buy tickets here

People, Places and Things

Malachi Kirby, Denise Gough, Sinéad Cusack and Kevin McMonagle (Marc Brenner)
Malachi Kirby, Denise Gough, Sinéad Cusack and Kevin McMonagle (Marc Brenner)

Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things, directed by Jeremy Herrin and starring Denise Gough, was first staged at the National Theatre in 2015 and picked up rave reviews, winning two Olivier awards. Now it, and those creatives, have returned with a revival of the stellar play about an actress coping with addiction. “I’ve rarely seen a show where script, production and star mesh so perfectly,” said the Standard. “Lightning strikes twice in this triumphant revival.”

Trafalgar Theatre, to August 10; buy tickets here

The Constituent

This new play from Olivier award-winner Joe Penhall (Blue/Orange, Sunny Afternoon) and directed by Olivier and Tony Award winner Matthew Warchus (A Christmas Carol, Matilda The Musical) stars Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland) as an opposition backbencher whose ideals are tested by an ex-serviceman, played by James Corden, in crisis. The actors put on a masterclass of acting in this timely work.

Old Vic, to August 10; buy tickets here

Viola’s Room

 (Viola's Room, Punchdrunk)
(Viola's Room, Punchdrunk)

Written by Daisy Johnson, the youngest-ever person to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Viola’s Room is a tantalising update of a Victorian gothic mystery and is set to be a huge departure from immersive theatre company Punchdrunk’s previous works. A haunting linear, audio-driven story director Felix Barrett has described it as ‘the ultimate date show’.

Punchdrunk, to August 18; buy tickets here

Much Ado About Nothing

Sean Holmes’s take on Shakespeare’s beloved comedy was described by the Standard as joyful and intelligent: “Amalia Vitale and Ekow Quartey are arch and spirited as the central, wittily unwilling lovers”, it said about the sunkissed show.

Shakespeare’s Globe, to August 25; buy tickets here

Stranger Things: The First Shadow

Stranger Things: The First Shadow (Netflix)
Stranger Things: The First Shadow (Netflix)

The blockbuster opening of last year was this prequel to the ridiculously popular Netflix show. Set in the small town of Hawkins in 1959 – “before the world turned upside down” – it finds some of the much-loved characters in their youth, and when a new student arrives, the shadows of the past arrive too.

The Phoenix Theatre, booking to August 25; buy tickets here

Spirited Away

Spirited Away (Johan Persson)
Spirited Away (Johan Persson)

Olivier and Tony Award-winning Canadian director John Caird’s sell-out Japanese stage adaptation of Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki’s acclaimed 2001 animation, has finally arrived in London. Featuring some original cast members – including Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, who both play Chihiro – the play is presented in Japanese with English-language captions. A live orchestra plays Joe Hisaishi’s original music, which has been specially arranged by Brad Haak (Disney’s Mary Poppins, Elton John’s Lestat). Gorgeous!

London Coliseum, to August 25; buy tickets here

Sister Act

First it was a well-loved 1992 crime comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg, then it became a hit 2006 musical, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner. Now enjoying its 10th production – its fifth in the UK – Sister Act, which is about a mobster’s girlfriend who is placed under witness protection disguised as a nun, remains a total hoot.

In its latest iteration, Alexandra Burke stars alongside Gavin and Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones, Lesley Joseph (Birds of a Feather), Clive Rowe (The Story of Tracy Beaker), and Lizzie Bea (Hairspray).

Dominion Theatre, to August 31; buy tickets here

MJ The Musical

MJ the Musical on Broadway (Publicity Picture)
MJ the Musical on Broadway (Publicity Picture)

An exercise in separating the art from the artist: two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and Tony Award-winning director Christopher Wheeldon have made a jukebox musical about Jackson’s life that has been pulling in mixed reviews, but has been adored by the fans. After premiering on Broadway in 2021, over 1.1 million people went to see the New York production.

Prince Edward Theatre, to September 14; buy tickets here

Kathy and Stella Solve a Murder!

This award-winning musical comedy from Jon Brittain (Rotterdam) and Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky and Mannish), produced by Fleabag’s Francesca Moody, has enjoyed sell out runs in Manchester, Bristol and Edinburgh. Now it’s delighting London audiences, as they follow BFFs Kathy and Stella, hosts of an unsuccessful regional true crime podcast, who are trying to solve a murder mystery.

Ambassadors Theatre, to September 14; buy tickets here

Kiss Me, Kate

Stephanie J Block and Adrian Dunbar in Kiss Me, Kate (Johan Persson)
Stephanie J Block and Adrian Dunbar in Kiss Me, Kate (Johan Persson)

Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty, Ridley) and Stephanie J. Block (Into The Woods, The Cher Show) star in this new production of Cole Porter’s 1948 musical comedy, a story about a company trying to put on a musical version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, and the relationship between director Fred Graham and his ex-wife, leading lady Lilli Vanessi.

Barbican, to September 14; buy tickets here

Next to Normal

This 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical about a woman dealing with bipolar disorder took 14 years to cross the Atlantic after its 2009 Broadway run. But it was worth the wait: when it opened at the Donmar last year, with Michael Longhurst directing, it sold out and picked up some rave reviews. Now it’s transferred to the West End, with Cassie Levy and Jamie Parker returning to play husband and wife Diana and Dan.

Wyndham’s Theatre, to September 21; buy tickets here

Fawlty Towers, The Play

Perhaps it was only a matter of time before John Cleese and Connie Booth’s Fawlty Towers, the treasured comedy series that’s frequently cited as one of the greatest ever British TV sitcoms, was turned into a play. Now the story of a hapless hotel owner trying to run a business with his wife, has opened in the West End, being described by the Standard as an “efficient and energetic stage adaptation”.

Apollo Theatre, to September 28; buy tickets here


Original Broadway Company (Matthew Murphy)
Original Broadway Company (Matthew Murphy)

This multi-Tony award-winning musical by Anaïs Mitchell is based on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. After running at the National Theatre a few years back it’s finally getting its time in the West End.

Lyric Theatre, to December; buy tickets here

Starlight Express

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic roller skate musical about a child’s train set that comes to life, and races against other, fancier train models, opened in the West End in 1984 and enjoyed an stellar 18-year run, making it the 9th-longest-running musical of all time. It’s been touring the world ever since, but has now, thrillingly, returned to London. Expect a cast of 40, whizzing around.

Troubadour Wembley Park, to February 16, 2025; buy tickets here

Mean Girls The Musical

The cult high school comedy, which premiered on Broadway in 2018, is now coming to this side of the Atlantic.

Savoy Theatre, to February 16, 2025; buy tickets here