The Makings of a Murderer at the Adelphi Theatre is certainly worth catching if it comes near you on tour, though a strong stomach and nerves of steel certainly are highly recommended.
‘Feels incredibly modern, relevant & powerful’: For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy – Apollo Theatre ★★★★
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy at the Apollo Theatre is a powerful and thought-provoking production which offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by young black men in today’s society.
‘It was crying out to be turned into a big, silly, glittery musical’: Felix Hagan & Zoë Roberts on the West End transfer of Operation Mincemeat
Recently crowned winners of the Best Musical Production at the Off West End Awards, SpitLip is set to move their hit show Operation Mincemeat to the West End for a limited run this spring; they take over at the Fortune Theatre, following The Woman In Black‘s haunting 33-year run.
‘You couldn’t really ask for a more genuinely touching show’: THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF MUSICAL – Noel Coward Theatre ★★★★
A British institution, Bake Off is may not seem like the most likely source for a musical but thankfully, its musical adaptation, The Great British Bake Off Musical at the Noel Coward Theatre, works incredibly well and is an easily digestible, heart-warming show and a love letter to the series so many love.
‘Sheridan Smith is completely born for this role’: Shirley Valentine, Duke of York’s Theatre ★★★★★
From the audience at the Duke of York’s Theatre, it’s clear that Shirley Valentine is a much loved story and after seeing Sheridan Smith’s performance, I think it’s only going to receive further love and praise.
‘A stunning addition to the West End’: OKLAHOMA! – Wyndham’s Theatre ★★★★
One of the most exciting and invigorating productions of recent time, Oklahoma! at the Wyndham’s Theatre is truly a spectacle of theatre which uses a number of engaging elements to transform this old school show, into something which feels fresh and bracing.
‘The fact that it’s actually coming to fruition is crazy’: Owen Chaponda & Merryl Ansah take over the iconic roles of Simba & Nala in The Lion King
Emma Clarendon chatted to Owen Chaponda and Merryl Ansah about returning to the West End production of The Lion King to star as Simba and Nala, having previously been in the ensemble.
‘A blend of rom-com & dystopian fantasy’: Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons – Harold Pinter Theatre
Culture which arrives from the margins to the mainstream is a classic phenomenon. In the case of Sam Steiner’s Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons it has taken almost a decade for this two-hander to make the journey from a student production at Warwick University, via the Warwick Arts Centre in 2015 — plus outings to the National Student Drama Festival and Edinburgh Festival — before finally arriving in the West End.
‘I left rather impressed’: 2.22 A GHOST STORY – Lyric Theatre ★★★★
One of the London stage hits of the immediate post-pandemic period, 2.22 A Ghost Story opened with a big gala night in its new home. The big attraction on this occasion is the West End debut of Cheryl (her name now a simple mononym rather than the Tweedy she once was as one-fifth of pop band Girls Aloud).
‘Everything theatre should be’: My Son’s a Queer (But what can you do?) – Ambassadors Theatre ★★★★★
Let’s start off by saying that this show My Son’s a Queer (But what can you do?) at the Ambassadors Theatre is the most joyous and heartfelt 75 minutes I’ve maybe ever experienced in the theatre. Rob Madge has taken the highs and lows of their childhood to create a show which celebrates individuality in the most spectacularly jubilant way.
‘It’s the epitome of razzle dazzle’: MOULIN ROUGE THE MUSICAL – Piccadilly Theatre ★★★★
A tale of two halves, Moulin Rouge the Musical is both a spectacular spectacular and a chaotic conundrum. Based on the 2001 film of the same name, it tells the story of fated lovers Christian and Satine, who despite the hardships which surround them, just want to be free to love one another. This musical adaptation takes elements from the film but also puts an extreme jukebox spin on the whole thing.
‘As vibrant & wonderful as ever’: SIX THE MUSICAL – Vaudeville Theatre ★★★★★
Going into a new year it’s great to see that Six the Musical is as vibrant and wonderful as ever. The current queens of the castle do an outstanding job of keeping the energy of the show fresh and truly engaging so that both first time audiences audiences and longtime Six fans can feel like they’re experiencing something special.
‘Typifies the magic of theatre’: Why the West End’s Life of Pi remains so captivating
Not long left to catch Life of Pi in the West End. If you possibly can, I recommend you beg, borrow or steal to get one of the last remaining tickets – or plan ahead now for the five-time Olivier Award-winning play’s 2023/24 tour.
‘Live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar’: Alun Hood celebrates his Top 20 new theatre shows of 2022
As somebody who loves a listicle plus a bandwagon to jump on, how could I NOT compile my list of my top 20 new (to me) shows of 2022? It’s been 12 months in which live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar, although the impending cost of living crisis is inevitably, and understandably, causing anxiety in theatrical circles. Please do get out there, if you can, and support your local venue in 2023.
Rev Stan chooses her Top Ten Plays of 2022
This feels like a moment; I haven’t been able to do a best of theatre list since 2019 because of ‘you know what’. It’s been huge fun revisiting the plays I’ve seen – nearly 50. And while that total is down on pre-pandemic levels, it was still tricky to narrow down my choices, but here goes.
‘Definitely a show that’s been revived at the right time’: ORLANDO – Garrick Theatre ★★★★
Thought to be inspired by Virginia Woolf’s romance with Vita Sackville-West, Orlando depicts a boisterous protagonist whose journey spans five centuries and two genders. Its awareness of gender politics and expectations as well as the way is defies them is really something special, and it’s astounding that Woolf wrote such a groundbreaking piece of work in 1928 and that it remains so relevant now.
‘Symbolic & powerful tale’: LIFE OF PI – Wyndham’s Theatre
I shed a tear or two at the end of the symbolic and powerful tale that is Life is Pi at the Wyndham’s Theatre, which leaves the West End on 15 January 2023. If you can, take yourself along to catch one of the most imaginative shows out there.
‘A profoundly thought-provoking play’: GOOD – Harold Pinter Theatre ★★★★★
A victim of rescheduling because of theatre lockdowns, Good, starring David Tennant, finally gets in front of an audience but is it worth the wait? Tennant is a household name because of his screen work, but he is also a seasoned stage actor, taking on an eclectic mix of roles from Hamlet to Don Juan in Soho, so expectations are high.
‘Gabriel Byrne is a magnetic presence’: WALKING WITH GHOSTS – Apollo Theatre ★★★★★
Following in the footsteps of the likes of David Suchet and Ian McKellen, celebrated Irish actor Gabriel Byrne brings his memoir, Walking With Ghosts, to the stage. This brief West End run comes off the back of an engagement at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre earlier this year, and a stint on Broadway will follow next month.
‘The audience involvement is what makes it special’: Julian Forsyth is thrilled to be returning to The Woman in Black
Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon chatted to Julian Forsyth about starring in The Woman in Black as Arthur Kipps in London’s West End.