sat 16/11/2019

The Best Plays in London | reviews, news & interviews

The Best Plays in London

The Best Plays in London

What to see where and until when: theartsdesk's stage tips

Come dancing: 'Master Harold'... and the Boys at the National Theatre until 17 December Frederic Aranda

London is the theatre capital of the world, with more than 50 playhouses offering theatrical entertainment. From the mighty National Theatre to the West End, the small powerhouses of the Donmar Warehouse and the Almeida and out to the fringe theatres, it's hard to know which to turn. Our guide is here to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. Below is our selection of the best plays on in London right now, with links to our reviews for further elucidation.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Trafalgar Studios ★★★★★ Magnificent revival of Peter Nichols's taboo-busting tragi-comic masterpiece. Until 30 Nov

Baby Reindeer, Bush Theatre ★★★★ Provocative one-man show about a stalker by stand-up comedian Richard Gadd is darkly exciting. Until 9 Nov

Blood Wedding, Young Vic ★★★★ Inventive, poetic if over-stretched revival of Lorca's rural tragedy. Until 2 Nov

Botticelli in the Fire, Hampstead Theatre ★★★★ Jordan Tannahill's queering of Renaissance art is riotously vulgar and unapologetic. Until 23 Nov

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Palace Theatre ★★★★★ The continuing story of JK Rowling's witches and wizards works its magic onstage

Ian McKellen On Stage, Harold Pinter Theatre ★★★★★ Communicator par excellence on a journey from Gandalf to Macbeth via panto, Coronation Street and gender politics. Until 5 Jan

Little Baby Jesus, Orange Tree Theatre ★★★★ Arinzé Kene play from 2011 packs a renewed punch. Until 16 Nov

'Master Harold' ... and the Boys, National Theatre ★★★★ Athol Fugard's 1982 self-exorcism is searingly revived. Until 17 Dec

On Bear Ridge, Royal Court ★★★★ Rhys Ifans gives tragicomic masterclass in Ed Thomas's post-apocalyptic metaphor-fest. Until 23 Nov

Our Lady of Kibeho, Theatre Royal Stratford East ★★★★★ Questions of faith in Katori Hall’s luminous meditation on belief, doubt and miracle. Until 2 Nov

The Permanent Way, The Vaults ★★★★ Devastating resurrection of David Hare's play tackling corporate greed. Until 17 Nov

Solaris, Lyric Hammersmith ★★★★ David Greig’s moving dream-drama of cosmic loneliness is sci-fi at its most philosophical. Until 2 Nov

The Son, Duke of York's Theatre ★★★★ Florian Zeller’s play of family anguish receives a much-deserved West End transfer. Until 2 Nov

Translations, National Theatre ★★★★ - stunning revival of Brian Friel's poignant tragicomedy. Until 18 Dec

The Watsons, Menier Chocolate Factory ★★★★ Jane Austen redux fizzes with ideas in Laura Wade's inventive new play. Until 16 Nov

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.