Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton well and truly stole the limelight when it opened in London at the end of 2017, but whether or not you’ve managed to bag yourself a ticket, there’s plenty more exciting theatre coming to London (and beyond) in 2018. Here are our top picks of what to see…
The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter Theatre
Following critically-acclaimed productions of Betrayal and Old Times, Ian Rickson reunites with Sonia Friedman Productions to direct a major new revival of Harold Pinter’s brilliantly mysterious dark-comic masterpiece, The Birthday Party, starring Toby Jones, Zoë Wanamaker and Stephen Mangan.
Panton St, London SW1Y 4DN; 9th January – 14th April; tickets from £15
Vault Festival 2018, The Vaults Theatre
From 24th January to 18th March, over 300 new shows will explode in and around the ultra-cool venue by Waterloo. Promising new performers, pop-ups and plenty of surprises, Vault 2018 is the biggest, fairest platform in London for artists to present innovative, daring work.
Launcelot St, Lambeth, London SE1 7AD; 24th January – 18th March; tickets from £5
Girls & Boys, Royal Court
An unexpected meeting at an airport leads to an intense, passionate, head-over-heels relationship. Before long they begin to settle down, buy a house, juggle careers, have kids – theirs is an ordinary family. But then their world starts to unravel and things take a disturbing turn. Girls & Boys will star Carey Mulligan and mark the first collaboration between writer Dennis Kelly and director Lyndsey Turner.
Chelsea, London SW1W 8AS; 8th February – 10th March; tickets from £12
The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, Swan Theatre
Mary Pix, a playwright of the 1600s, has been almost lost to history until now. Her comedy of manners combines mischief-making and mind-bending plot twists with a sharp satirical and distinctly female wit. Her colourful cast of characters dupe and dissemble as the intrigue builds and we’re lead to question: will Mrs Rich ever squeeze her way into high society?
Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7LS; 23rd March – 14th June; tickets from £16
Pericles, Barbican Centre
To save his life, Pericles must navigate stormy seas, pirates, brothels, incest, shipwrecks, human traffickers and tournaments. But as the fireworks dim, and chaos resolves, loss and love reveal themselves. Featuring Barbican Artistic Associate Cheek by Jowl’s French ensemble, last seen here in the explosive Ubu Roi in 2014, Pericles is directed by Declan Donnellan, awarded the Golden Lion of Venice for his lifetime achievement in theatre. In collaboration with Nick Ormerod, they produce their first Shakespeare in French.
Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS; 6th – 21st April; tickets from £28
Eddie and the Slumber Sisters, Brunton Theatre
A family touring show from the National Theatre of Scotland, Eddie and the Slumber Sisters is an interactive experience that – with warm heart, songs and humour – explores grieving through the eyes of a child.
Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA; 27th – 28th April; tickets from £9
Macbeth, National Theatre
Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff play Shakespeare's murderous couple in a production of the Bard’s most intense and terrifying tragedy – with National Theatre boss Rufus Norris at the helm.
Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX; 26th February – 12th May; tickets from £15
Quiz, Noël Coward Theatre
Playwright James Graham (Ink) is back with a fictional imagining based on true events that occurred in 2001, when former British Army officer Charles Ingham was caught for cheating to win the TV quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.
85-88 St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4AP; 31st March – 16th June; tickets from £17.50
Strictly Ballroom the Musical, Piccadilly Theatre
Enter the intoxicating world of Strictly Ballroom the Musical, a spirited place of hot-blooded passion, hard-won dreams and vibrant self-expression. Based on Baz Luhrmann’s legendary movie Strictly Ballroom, the soul-stirring musical stars the popular newcomer Jonny Labey (winner of ITV’s Dance Dance Dance) and Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) as the star-crossed, dance-crazed lovers Scott and Fran. Also starring the acclaimed international artist Will Young (Cabaret) as the show’s charismatic band-leader and a 30-strong cast to create a wondrous world of brilliant songs and astonishing moves to truly affirm that Love is in the Air.
16 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7DY; 16th March – 21st July; tickets from £17
A Monster Calls, Old Vic
Patrick Ness’s piercing novel A Monster Calls is brought to the Old Vic stage in a powerful new adaptation by visionary director Sally Cookson. 13-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum’s very sick and she’s not getting any better. Then, one night, Conor is woken by something at his window. It’s a monster – the kind that comes with stories.
The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8NB; 7th July – 25th August; tickets from £10
The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noël Coward Theatre
Martin McDonagh has taken the film world by storm, winning several Golden Globes for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri earlier this week. He’s also an excellent playwright – his 2015 play Hangmen was The Play To Watch that year in London. Now he’s back with a revival of his 2001 play The Lieutenant of Inishmore, which is set in 1993, against the backdrop of the Irish peace process. Staring Poldark’s Aidan Turner, it promises to be good.
85-88 St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4AP; 23rd June – 8th September; tickets from £69
A Very Very Very Dark Matter, Bridge Theatre
Another play from Martin McDonagh, but this time a new one. In a townhouse in Copenhagen works Hans Christian Andersen, a teller of exquisite and fantastic children’s tales beloved by millions. But the true source of his stories dwells in his attic upstairs, her existence a dark secret kept from the outside world.
3 Potters Fields Park, London SE1 2SG; 10th October – 29th December; tickets from £15