wed 19/12/2018

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

Nicola Walker in Mark Ravenhill's The Cane at the Royal Court© Bill Knight for theartsdesk

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.


Aladdin, Hackney Empire ★★★★ Clive Rowe returns as the Dame in fast-paced fun. Until 6 Jan

Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre ★★★★ Supreme lucidity and two commanding performances make for a moving production. Until 19 Jan

Don Quixote, Garrick Theatre ★★★★ Riotous revival of Cervantes' much-loved chivalric tale is a crowd-pleasing mix of metatheatrical comedy and music, mingled with melancholy. Until 2 Feb

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

Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe ★★★★ A daring counterintuitive reading stars real-life couple Michelle Terry and Paul Ready. Until 2 Feb

Summer and Smoke, Duke of York's Theatre, ★★★★★ Patsy Ferran gives a remarkable performance as transfer from the Almeida retains pressure-cooker intensity. Until 19 Jan

The Box of Delights, Wilton's Music Hall ★★★★ Captivating adaptation of John Masefield's darkly thrilling novel. Until 5 Jan

The Cane, Royal Court ★★★★ Mark Ravenhill's comeback play is a brilliant account of the abuse of power. Until 26 Jan

The Convert, Young Vic ★★★★ Thrilling revival of Danai Gurira's 2012 play about Christianity and imperialism. Until 26 Jan

The Inheritance, Noël Coward Theatre ★★★★ A virtuoso ensemble justifies baggy monster's West End transfer. Until 19 Jan

The Tell-Tale Heart, National Theatre ★★★★ Bloody good fun as well as bloody, Anthony Neilson's latest is a Poe-faced delight. Until 8 Jan

The Tragedy of King Richard II, Almeida Theatre ★★★★ Simon Russell Beale leads a revelatory interpretation Until 2 Feb

War Horse, National Theatre ★★★★ International sensation stirs the heart anew in its return home. Until 5 Jan

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