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The best theatre to see in London in 2024: from Sarah Jessica Parker in Plaza Suite to The Devil Wears Prada

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London's the best for theatre, bar none. The treats in store this year are testament to the incredible talent, versatility and resilience of the city's performance scene – and this is only what's been announced so far...

January

Exhibitionists

A comedy about love, sex, happiness and freedom set in the San Francisco art world, and what happens when ex-partners (and their new boyfriends) collide. A big moment for London fringe theatre, as it marks the reopening of the King’s Head Theatre.

The King's Head, January 5 to February 10; kingsheadtheatre.com

The Unfriend

Lee Mack, Frances Barber and Sarah Alexander in The Unfriend (Manuel Harlan)
Lee Mack, Frances Barber and Sarah Alexander in The Unfriend (Manuel Harlan)

Stephen Moffat’s dark comedy about how becoming pals with people on holiday can go wrong is back. Directed by Mark Gatiss, the production stars Frances Barber, joined by Sarah Alexander and Lee Mack.

Wyndham's Theatre, January 9 to March 9; buy tickets here

The Enfield Haunting

Catherine Tate and David Threlfall star in Paul Unwin’s new play, based on a supposedly real poltergeist event in 1978. Prepare for things that go bump in the night.

Ambassadors Theatre; January 10 to March 2; buy tickets here

Plaza Suite

The first big West End star vehicle has Sarah Jessica Parker (of Sex and the City fame), alongside her husband Matthew Broderick, playing three separate couples in a revival of Neil Simon's witty take on love and marriage.

Savoy Theatre, January 15 to March 31; plazasuiteuk.com

Cowbois

 (Henri T)
(Henri T)

Described as a "rollicking queer Western like nothing you've seen before", Cowbois transfers from the Royal Shakespeare Company and is written and co-directed by Charlie Josephine, the playwright behind I, Joan.

Royal Court Theatre, January 17 to February 10; buy tickets here

Cruel Intentions, the 90s Musical

Based on the 1999 film with Reece Witherspoon, itself a take on Dangerous Liaisons, this uses tunes by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, REM and more to turn it into a musical.

The Other Palace, January 19 to April 14; buy tickets here

Othello

Sixteenth-century Venice becomes modern-day London with this new take on Shakespeare's tragedy. Ola Ince, who directed Romeo and Juliet at the Globe in 2021, makes her debut in the venue's candle-lit Sam Wanamaker space.

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, January 19 to April 13; buy tickets here

Till the Stars Come Down

 (National Theatre)
(National Theatre)

Playwright Beth Steel's new play is about a family falling apart, and is set at a wedding in a pub. It asks the question, what happens when the happiest day of your life goes wrong and opens the door to a frightening future?

National Theatre, January 31 to March 16; nationaltheatre.org.uk

February

A Mirror

Sam Holcroft’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards-nominated play about censorship and repression of art transfers from the Almeida with most of the cast, including Johnny Lee Miller, intact – though sadly Micheal Ward won't be reprising his role.Trafalgar Theatre, February 1 to April 20; buy tickets here

The Hills of California

A new play by Jez Butterworth, writer of Jerusalem and The Ferryman, is always a moment, especially as frequent collaborator Sam Mendes is on board too. The play follows the Webb sisters, who gather in their mother’s Blackpool guesthouse during the summer of 1976 as she lies dying upstairs.

Harold Pinter Theatre, February 6 to June 15; buy tickets here

Metamorphosis

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning he found himself changed... Kafka’s classic tale of cruelty and kindness has been adapted by Lemn Sissay in a story about how people can be crushed by the system.

Lyric Hammersmith, February 6 to March 2; buy tickets here

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Succession’s Sarah Snook plays all the parts in this witty and gripping adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic tale.

Royal Theatre Haymarket, February 6 to April 13; doriangrayplay.com

Hadestown

The multi-Tony award-winning musical by Anaïs Mitchell, based on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, finally arrives in the West End after running at the National Theatre a few years back.

Lyric Shaftesbury Avenue, February 10 to August 4; buy tickets here

Macbeth

There's been a fair few Macbeths recently – David Tennant and Cush Jumbo are currently playing the gruesome twosome at the Donmar – and the latest starry pair to take them on are Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma.

Dock X, February 10 to March 23; macbeththeshow.com

Just for One Day

The Live Aid musical features the music of Bowie, Queen, Dylan, McCartney, Elton John and many many more, in the story of the concert that made the world stand still.

Old Vic, February 13 to March 30; buy tickets here

The King and I

Call the Midwife's Helen George stars in the Lincoln Center production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's golden age musical; Darren Lee co-stars.

Dominion Theatre, February 14 to March 2; buy tickets here

King Lear

Following Kenneth Branagh's recent turn in one of Shakespeare's great tragedies, Danny Sapani takes the lead in Yael Farber’s production, with The Wire star Clarke Peters as The Fool. Blow winds...

Almeida Theatre, February 15 to March 30; almeida.co.uk

The Duchess of Malfi

A decade after John Webster's revenge tragedy opened this candlelit playhouse, it returns in a new revival directed by the award-winning Rachel Bagshawe.

Sam Wanamaker, February 17 to April 14; buy tickets here

Double Feature

This show about the glamour and the grit of filmmaking intertwines the making of two films – Marnie and The Witchfinder General – and the fraught relationship in each of the director and star. Written by John Logan, the playwright behind Red, about artist Mark Rothko.

Hampstead Theatre, February 19 to March 16; buy tickets here

An Enemy of the People

Matt Smith stars in Thomas Ostermeier’s take on the Ibsen classic about what happens to truth in a society driven by power and money.

Duke of York's Theatre, February 20 to April 6; buy tickets here

The Big Life

A revival of the theatre's Windrush Ska musical, based on Love's Labour's Lost, by Paul Sirrett and Tameka Empson, two decades after its premiere and subsequent West End transfer. It's directed by rising star Tinuke Craig.

Theatre Royal Stratford East, February 16 to March 30; stratfordeast.com

Shifters

A powerful new romance starring Tosin Cole and Heather Agyepong. This new play by Benedicte Lombe (Lava) is about the enduring power, and fragility, of memory and love, and is directed by the venue's artistic director Lynette Linton.

Bush, February 23 to March 30; buy tickets here

Nye

 (National Theatre)
(National Theatre)

Michael Sheen plays Nye Bevan in what is described as a Welsh fantasia about the man who transformed Britain's welfare state.

National Theatre, February 27 to May 11; nationaltheatre.org.uk

Nachtland

Satire on marriage, legacy and the rise of the new right by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg, directed by Patrick Marber, and starring Romola Garai, Jane Horrocks and John Heffernan.

Young Vic, February 27 to April 20; buy tickets here

The Human Body

This is a chance to see Keeley Hawes and Jack Davenport on stage, and a new play by Lucy Kirkwood is always an event. Directed by Michael Longhurst in his final season as Donmar artistic director this is set in Shropshire in 1948 and is a romantic drama that explore political and private passions.

Donmar Warehouse, February 27 to April 13; donmarwarehouse.com

March

Uncle Vanya

Trevor Nunn has directed Chekhov's The Seagull, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard, but this is the first time he is taking on Vanya. He will direct this tale of unrequited love and ageing in the intimate Richmond venue in March.

Orange Tree Theatre, March 6 to April 13; orangetreetheatre.co.uk

Opening Night

After thrilling audiences in Shirley Valentine in 2023, Sheridan Smith returns to the West End in this musical adaptation of John Cassavetes’ film about a theatre company preparing to stage a major new play on Broadway. It is directed by Ivo van Hove and has music and lyrics by Rufus Wainwright.

Gielgud Theatre, March 6 to July 27; buy tickets here

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy

 (Ali Wright)
(Ali Wright)

Ryan Calais Cameron’s mesmerising show about the hopes and fears of young black men, and how society views and shapes them, returns to the West End.

Garrick Theatre, March 7 to May 4; buy tickets here

Macbeth (An Undoing)

Zinnie Harris writes and directs this retelling of the Scottish play, putting Lady Macbeth at its heart.

Rose Theatre, March 12-23; rosetheatre.org

Sister Act

The hit musical adaptation returns to the West End, starring the wonderful Beverley Knight (with Alexandra Burke taking on the role from June 10), Ruth Jones, Clive Rowe and Lesley Joseph.

Dominion, March 15 to August 31; buy tickets here

Red Pitch

This brilliant show thrilled audiences and critics during its two runs at the Bush, and now it will have a chance to pull in a West End audience as it transfers to @sohoplace. If Dear England focused on the top of the footballing pyramid with an England team going to World Cups, this is the grassroots level as three lads kick a ball about on their local pitch dreaming of being picked up by a major club. It's about friendship, growing up, the lure of the Premier League and also about gentrification and how communities are broken up. A real winner

@sohoplace, March 15 to May 4; buy tickets here

Faith Healer

Brian Friel’s spellbinding play is revived by Rachel O’Riordan, about the Fantastic Frank Hardy who travels to villages in Ireland, Scotland and Wales promising miracle cures.

Lyric Hammersmith March 20 to April 13; buy tickets here

MJ The Musical

Well this one is sure to prove divisive. This musical about Michael Jackson at the time of his Dangerous tour comes to the West End. The allegations of child abuse that emerged after his death did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm for the show on Broadway – how will it be received here?

Prince Edward Theatre, March 27 to September 14; buy tickets here

The Divine Mrs S

April de Angelis has written a new play about Mrs Sarah Siddons, one of the greatest English actresses of all time, and her mission to become the leading lady in her personal life in 1800s Drury Lane.

Hampstead Theatre, March 28 to April 27; buy tickets here

April

Player Kings

McKellen plays Falstaff in this mash up of Henry IV parts I and II by visionary director Robert Icke.

Noel Coward Theatre, April 1 to June 22; buy tickets here

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

One of the 20th century's great American plays, this revival stars Brian Cox, still riding high from the final season of Succession, and Patricia Clarkson. One of the theatre events of the year.

Wyndhams Theatre, April 2 to June 8; buy tickets here

London Tide

 (National Theatre)
(National Theatre)

There is real buzz around this adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend, with music by none other than by PJ Harvey.

National Theatre, April 10 to June 24; nationaltheatre.org.uk

The Glass Menagerie

Atri Banerjee’s production of this great Tennessee Williams memory play arrives in Kingston from the Royal Exchange Manchester.

Rose Theatre, April 18 to May 4; rosetheatre.org

Minority Report

This unexpected adaptation of Philip K Dick story (which became the Tom Cruise blockbuster) is set in 2050, where Julie Anderton's pre-crime department catches people before they offend. All fine, until the authorities come after her.

Hammersmith Lyric, April 19 to May 18; buy tickets here

Spirited Away

John Caird’s adaptation of the Studio Ghibli film comes in from Tokyo, and following the success of My Neighbour Totoro at the Barbican in 2023 it's sure to find an audience.

Coliseum, April 30 to July 20; spiritedawayuk.com

May

The Cherry Orchard

This is a new version of the Chekhov classic by Benedict Andrews. Starring Nina Hoss, one of Germany’s most celebrated actors, making her London debut (she also played Cate Blanchett’s partner in Tar), and Adeel Akhtar.

Donmar Warehouse, May 2 to June 22; donmarwarehouse.com

Multiple Casualty Incident

A show about people in London training to help those in crisis in the Middle East. From playwright Sami Ibrahim who wrote Two Palestinians Go Dogging.

The Yard Theatre, May 2 to June 8; theyardtheatre.co.uk

Mary Said What She Said

The Oscar-nominated French actor Isabelle Huppert returns to the UK for a show about the life and torments of Mary Stuart and the passions that cost her the crown. This will no-doubt be an absolute barnstorming performance and a rare (and brief) chance to see this great star on our stage

Barbican Theatre, May 10 to 12; barbican.org.uk

Between Riverside and Crazy

For fans of Stephen Adly Guirgis' brilliant play The Motherf**ker with the Hat this can't come soon enough. It follows a former cop who is now hanging out with petty criminals. His landlord wants him out, the NYPD want to settle his lawsuit and the church ladies want to save his soul.

Hampstead Theatre, May 13 to June 15; buy tickets here

Now, I See

Two brothers reunite to honour their sibling’s life in this show created by Lanre Malaolu, the second in his trilogy about being a black man in contemporary Britain.

Theatre Royal Stratford East, May 16 to June 1; stratfordeast.com

Wedding Band

Director Monique Touko returns to the Lyric after her staging of School Girls, or The African Mean Girls Play went down a storm. She's back with Alice Childress’s 1962 play about interracial love in Carolina in 1918.

Lyric Hammersmith May 31 to June 29; buy tickets here

June

Next to Normal

The Donmar production of the Broadway musical about a suburban wife and mother struggling with bipolar disorder transfers to the West End for 14 weeks.

Wyndham’s, June 18 to September 21; buy tickets here

Mean Girls the Musical

So fetch... The Broadway musical adapted from Tina Fey's hit film makes its way over this side of the Atlantic.

Savoy Theatre, June 25 to October 27; buy tickets here

Starlight Express

All aboard as this Andrew Lloyd Webber classic steams back into town after a hiatus of two decades. It returns to a specially designed auditorium and promises to immerse audiences in a world of speed, song and storytelling.

Troubadour Wembley Park, June 30 to February 16; starlightexpress.com

July

The Hot Wing King

This Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Katori Hall, whose work includes The Mountaintop, about a group of friends preparing for the annual Hot Wang Festival (yes, that's not a typo – the Hot Wang Festival).

National Theatre, July; nationaltheatre.org

Visit from an Unknown Woman

Christopher Hampton based this play on a short story by Stefan Zweig set in Vienna 1934. Stefan is one of the world’s must successful authors and lives like a playboy. But two clouds are on the horizon: the rise of the Nazi Party and the appearance of a woman he's sure he knows but cannot remember how.

Hampstead Theatre, July 1-27; buy tickets here

Primary Trust

Directed by Matthew Xia, this acclaimed work by Eboni Booth is about a man in upstate New York who has to reconsider his life when his bookstore shuts down.

Donmar Warehouse, July 4 to August 24; donmarwarehouse.com

FANGIRLS

The Lyric is staging this UK premiere of Australian pop musical Fangirls by Yve Blake and Paige Rattray. It's a thrilling and subversive musical comedy about the danger of underestimating teenage girls.

Lyric Hammersmith, July 13 to August 24; buy tickets here

Red Speedo

This thriller set in the world of competitive swimming explores the weight of success in a world where the only crime is getting caught. Lucas Hnath’s play is directed by Matthew Dunster.

Orange Tree Theatre, July 17 to August 10; orangetreetheatre.co.uk

Hello Dolly!

One of the musical events of the year. Imelda Staunton, Jenna Russell and Andy Nyman star in this show about socialite and matchmaker Dolly, who decides the next match she needs to make is for herself.

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

September

Waiting for Godot

Lucian Msamati and Ben Whishaw take on the Beckett masterpiece.

Theatre Royal Haymarket, September; trh.co.uk

October

Dr Strangelove

Steve Coogan stars in this highly anticipated adaptation of the classic Cold War satire, with Armando Iannucci and Sean Foley bringing it to the stage.

Noel Coward Theatre, October; drstrangelove.com

November

The Devil Wears Prada

The iconic film is coming to the West End stage as a musical, with music by Elton John, and lyrics by Shaina Taub.

Dominion Theatre, November; buy tickets here

The Hunger Games

Another film adaptation, this time of Suzanne Collins' hugely successful book. Promises to be a blockbuster affair.

No information on dates or location