London Theatre Guide: best plays on now in London, 2021
Wondering what theatre to book and what plays to see? From fringe to the West End: London's best theatre
Memory play: The Glass Menagerie, Duke of York's Theatre
Amy Adams makes her West End debut in Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie. Jeremy Herrin directs the production from new company Second Half Productions. Read more.
Star-powered revival: Cabaret, The Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre
Jessie Buckley and Eddie Redmayne star in director Rebecca Frecknall’s revival of Cabaret, staged inside an intimate reconstruction of the musical’s Kit Kat Club. Read more.
Identity conflict: Cock, Ambassadors Theatre
Cock, Mike Bartlett’s 2009 Olivier-winning play, makes its West End debut. Marianne Elliott directs, and Taron Egerton, Jonathan Bailey, Phil Daniels and Jade Anouka star. Read more.
With Jodie Comer: Prima Facie, Harold Pinter Theatre
Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer makes her West End debut in Suzie Miller’s award-winning play Prima Facie. Justin Martin (The Walk, The Jungle) directs. Read more.
Courtroom classic: To Kill a Mockingbird, Gielgud Theatre
Aaron Sorkin's smash-hit stage adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird comes to the West End, with Rafe Spall starring as Atticus Finch. Read more.
Lifeboat survival: Life of Pi, Wyndham's Theatre
Magical theatre adaptation of Man Booker-winning novel Life of Pi hits West End stage, after five-star reviews of sell-out Sheffield production. Read more.
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. Read our review.
Saoirse Ronan on stage: The Tragedy of Macbeth, Almeida Theatre ★★★★★
Celebrated director Yaël Farber returns to London with an elemental production of Macbeth, starring Saoirse Ronan and James McArdle.Read our review.
Grisly black comedy: The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Lyric Hammersmith ★★★★★
Martin McDonagh’s first, brilliantly manipulative play The Beauty Queen of Leenane is revived at the Lyric Hammersmith, directed by Rachel O’Riordan. Read our review.
History resurrected: Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light, Gielgud Theatre ★★★★★
Double Man Booker prize winner Hilary Mantel masters the art of playwriting in her adaptation of The Mirror and The Light, the third instalment of her Wolf Hall series. Read our review.
With Cush Jumbo: Hamlet, Young Vic Theatre ★★★★★
Cush Jumbo delivers a soaring performance in Greg Hersov’s relationship-driven Hamlet at the Young Vic Theatre. Read our review.
Aids drama: The Normal heart, National Theatre ★★★★★
Larry Kramer’s political and largely autobiographical Aids drama The Normal Heart is revived at the National Theatre in a production directed by Dominic Cooke. Read our review.
Micro play: What If If Only, Royal Court Theatre ★★★★★
Premiering at the Royal Court, Caryl Churchill’s 20-minute micro play What If If Only taunts its focal character and audience with the possibilities of unseeable futures. Read our review.
Heart-melting: Frozen the Musical, Theatre Royal Drury Lane ★★★★★
Frozen glitters at the West End’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where a cast led by Samantha Barks and Stephanie McKeon bring to life the sisterhood-championing story. Read our review.
Raising the dead: Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre
After an impressive opening at Theatre Royal Bath in summer 2019, Richard Eyre's revival of Blithe Spirit is coming to the West End in a production starring Jennifer Saunders. Read more.
Ocean romance: Anything Goes, Barbican ★★★★★
Crammed full of glorious and memorable songs and spectacular dance routines, the musical Anything Goes is set to open at the Barbican this summer. Read more.
Star-crossed lovers: Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare's Globe ★★★★★
Trailblazing director Ola Ince delivers a contemporary take on Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe, marrying scenes with stats on a broad range of social justice issues. Read our review.
Rags to riches: Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell reinvent the fairytale format with a new Cinderella musical. Read more.
Mistaken identity: Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's Globe ★★★★★
The Globe’s Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes presents a Twelfth Night that sparkles with gender fluidity, astute comic timing and nostalgic Americana. Read our review.
Combs and curlers: Hairspray, London Coliseum
Michael Ball reprises his role as Edna Turnblad in an all-new West End production of Hairspray. Read more.
David Mamet's political correctness-focused two-hander about a college professor accused of sexual harassment by his pupil comes to the West End courtesy of Theatre Royal Bath. Read more.
Dark fantasy: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Duke of York's Theatre ★★★★★
After an impressive premiere at the National Theatre, this modern myth from the mind of Neil Gaiman comes to life on the West End. Read our review.
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. Read our review.
Reverse relationship: The Last Five Years, Garrick Theatre
Jason Robert Brown’s musical two-hander about a young couple in the early throes of marriage transfers to the West End after moving audiences at Southwark Playhouse. Read more.
When you believe: The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre ★★★★★
The stage of adaptation of 1998 Dreamworks animate film features Stephen Schwartz's award-winning songs and plenty of spectacle to enthral kids. Read our review.
Magical mishaps: Magic Goes Wrong, Apollo Theatre ★★★★★
The masterful comics at Mischief Theatre deliver more raucous slapstick in this disastrous – and dangerous – magic show. Read our review.
Herstory: Six the Musical, Vaudeville 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. Read more.
Poptastic: & Juliet, Shatesbury Theatre ★★★★★
This jukebox musical gives Juliet a feminist alternative ending full of soaring pop hits, glitter and fun. Read our review.
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. Read our review.
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.
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 roaring20s come to life with sparkle, drama and a large yet intimate party in this immersive production of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Read our review.
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. Read our review.
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.