London Theatre Guide: best plays on now in London, 2020
Wondering what theatre to book and what plays to see? From fringe to the West End: London's best theatre
BEST PLAYS ON NOW
Family epic: Leopoldstadt, Wyndham's Theatre ★★★★★
Tom Stoppard turns his talents to a heartfelt story following a Jewish family in Austria over the beginning of the 21st century.
Triumphant: Message in a Bottle, Peacock Theatre ★★★★★
Katie Price and Sting's new show is a triumph of effervescent dancing to classical pop tunes, telling an all too human story.
When you believe: The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre ★★★★★
The stage of adaptation of 1998 Dreamworks animate film features Stephen Shawartz's award-winning songs and plenty of spectacle to enthral kids.
Viral songs: Be More Chill, The Other Palace Theatre ★★★★★
Cult Broadway musical Be More Chill brings catchy songs and science-fi take on the anxious teenager trope to London.
The bard is back: Upstart Crow, Gielgud Theatre ★★★★★
David Mitchell plays William Shakespeare in a droll and pun-heavy comedy by Blackadder writer Ben Elton.
Revenge drama: The Visit, National Theatre ★★★★★
Tony Kushner re-works tragicomic revenge drama The Visit in a sumptuous but bloated production at the National Theatre, boasting impressive performances from Lesley Manville and Hugo Weaving.
Hats off: Far Away, Donmar Warehouse ★★★★★
Director Lyndsey Turner revives Caryl Churhcill's Far Away at the Donmar and the 'world at war drama' feels more relevant now that ever.
Call to arms: Nora A Doll's House, Young Vic Theatre ★★★★★
Ibsen's classic A Doll's House is reworked into three different time periods in this insightful and incendiary new play by Stef Smith.
Toby Jones plays Uncle Vanya in Conor McPherson's fresh and visually stunning take on the Chekhov classic.
Royally good: Kunene and the King, Ambassadors Theatre ★★★★★
This thoughtful but forceful two-man play starring Anthony Sher and John Kani gives a moving insight into the impact of the apartheid.
Crime and punishment: The Welkin, National Theatre ★★★★★
Chimerica playwright Lucy Kirkwood's gripping new play is about a jury of 12 women in 1759 who must decide if another woman is hanged.
Magical mishaps: Magic Goes Wrong, Vaudeville Theatre ★★★★★
The masterful comics at Mischief Theatre deliver more raucous slapstick in this disastrous - and dangerous - magic show.
Herstory: Six the Musical, Arts Theatre ★★★★★
The six wives of Henry VIII finally tell their stories via rock/pop anthems in this infectious girl power alternative history, that began at the Edinburgh Fringe and continues to delight on the West End.
Poptastic: & Juliet, Shatesbury Theatre ★★★★★
This jukebox musical gives Juliet a feminist alternative ending full of soaring pop hits, glitter and fun.
Viral hit: Dear Evan Hansen, Noel Coward Theatre ★★★★★
Smash hit musical Dear Evan Hansen brings a heartfelt story of teenage isolation and a soaring songbook to London.
Here we go again: Mamma Mia! The Party, O2 ★★★★★
Greek Island paradise and golden pop music come to life as Sweden's hit immersive Abba experience transports us to a taverna with feasting, singing and lots of dancing.
Virtual reality: War of the Worlds the immersive experience ★★★★★
Immersive theatre company dotdotdot return to London with a new experience based on The War of The Worlds. Don a VR headset and become a character in the story
read our review
Easy as pie: Waitress the Musical, Adelphi Theatre ★★★★★
London gets a slice of the action as hit musical Waitress brings sweet story of pie-baking and self-discovery to the West End. The songs are fresh, but the story feels a little stale.
Feel-good true story: Come From Away, Phoenix Theatre ★★★★★
This utterly heart-warming musical about those stranded in a tiny Canadian town in the aftermath of 9/11 will restore your faith in humanity and leave you with a huge smile.
Courtroom drama: Witness for the Prosecution, County Hall ★★★★★
Director Lucy Bailey takes over London Country Hall for an immersive, site-specific production of Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution.
The London transfer of Lin-Manuel Miranda's magnificent hip-hop music is every bit as brilliant as we had hoped. Make it your mission to get tickets.
Party with Gatsby: The Great Gatsby immersive theatre ★★★★★
The roaring twenties come to life with sparkle, drama and a large yet intimate party in this immersive production of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
Pure magic: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Palace Theatre ★★★★★
read our review
Delightful disaster: The Play That Goes Wrong, Duchess Theatre ★★★★★
Slapstick silliness reigns supreme in this behind-the-scene play about an ill-fated production. Even those who are fearful of farce will find themselves won over by the infectious comic talents of Mischief Theatre Company.
And Mischief Theatre's follow up show, A Comedy About A Bank Robbery which is now running at the Criterion Theatre, is more of the same irresistible silliness. It would be a crime to miss it.
Musicals don't come much funnier than this whipsmart satire by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The story of two Mormons travelling about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get still shocks and delights.