Book tickets to the hottest Off-West End autumn shows

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

London’s glittering West End is always an enticing prospect, but you can also find an array of fantastic theatre options Off West End too – including cutting-edge plays, experiences and new musicals. There are numerous venues that are just as well respected as the West End houses, thanks to their strong track records of entertaining and surprising audiences.

They include specialist venues like Shakespeare’s Globe and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, leading subsidised theatres like the Barbican, National Theatre, the Old Vic and the Young Vic, miniature powerhouses like the Donmar Warehouse and The Other Palace, proud local spaces like the Kiln Theatre, Park Theatre and Southwark Playhouse, and recently built venues like the Bridge Theatre.

So, whether you’re after a new show or a great revival, a traditional staging or something more avant-garde, a larger space or an intimate experience, follow our tips for the best Off West End autumn shows that you can book for now.

Book tickets to Off West End shows on London Theatre.

Eureka Day, Old Vic

Hollywood star Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets, Mad About You) makes her UK stage debut in this incendiary satire from American playwright Jonathan Spector. Set at a hip, progressive school in California, where everyone congratulates themselves on their sensitivity, the community is torn apart by an outbreak of mumps. Suddenly parents show their anti-vax colours and refuse to comply with quarantine. It’s the perfect show for our age of febrile debate, culture wars and fake news, and a brilliant start to your autumn theatre-going.

Book Eureka Day tickets on London Theatre.

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Handbagged, Kiln Theatre

It’s the clash of the titans in Moira Buffini’s brilliant political comedy, which features a (fictionalised) glimpse of Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher’s weekly meetings when the latter was Prime Minister. What did these two powerful but very different women talk about, were they, as is generally assumed, at odds, and did they find any common ground? Buffini’s play premiered here before transferring to the West End, and is now back by popular demand – along with original cast member Marion Bailey as the Queen.

Book Handbagged tickets on London Theatre.

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A Single Man, Park Theatre

Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 literary masterpiece was adapted into a film by Tom Ford in 2009, starring an Oscar-nominated Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult and Matthew Goode. Now Simon Reade brings this exquisitely poignant tale, about a gay college professor in California grieving for his partner, to the stage – meaning we’ll have two Isherwood-inspired shows in London this autumn, with A Single Man joining Cabaret. It will be fascinating to see how Isherwood’s story of heartbreak, renewal and queer love resonates in 2022, and how this tender drama plays out in the Park’s intimate theatre space.

Book A Single Man tickets on London Theatre.

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Witness for the Prosecution, London County Hall

Join the jury and see if you believe whether Leonard Vole really killed a widow in order to inherit his wealth – and whether his wife Romaine is telling the truth. It’s one of Agatha Christie’s particularly fiendish whodunits (or, in this case, who testified and why), and the perfect opportunity to match your sleuthing wits against the Queen of Crime. Even better: this site-specific production in the majestic London County Hall makes it feel like you’re in a real-life courtroom, witnessing all the drama first-hand. Enter the ultimate murder mystery this autumn.

Book Witness for the Prosecution tickets on London Theatre.

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Antigone, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

North London’s picturesque venue places its productions amidst the trees and local wildlife of this verdant park (expect the odd stage invasion by a curious pigeon or duck). The atmosphere also has an electric intensity, as the light falls and we reach the climax of a great drama.

That should certainly suit Inua Ellams’s new telling of Antigone, the final instalment in Sophocles’s tragic trilogy. The titular Antigone wants to bury her brother, but it’s forbidden by the king – as familial passions and civil war merge with terrible consequences.

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Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

One of the recent additions to London’s theatre scene is the Troubadour Wembley Park, a vast space which used to be a television studio. It’s already had some exciting productions, like the Sleepless in Seattle musical and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and now it hosts a particularly intriguing new venture: Steven Knight, creator of the hit BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders, teaming up with Rambert’s artistic director Benoit Swan Pouffer to create a dance-theatre continuation of the story. Hit or miss? You can find out this autumn.

Book Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby tickets on London Theatre.

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My Neighbour Totoro, Barbican

Exit tap-dancing extravaganza Anything Goes, and enter My Neighbour Totoro — ensuring that the Barbican is still the place to be. This hugely anticipated world premiere sees the Royal Shakespeare Company creates a new stage adaptation of a beloved Japanese anime film. My Neighbour Totoro follows two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who move into an old house when their mother goes into hospital and encounter spirits like the forest protector Totoro. The show features music from the film’s composer, Joe Hisaishi, and puppets made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Find out more about My Neighbour Totoro before seeing the show this autumn.

Book My Neighbour Totoro tickets on London Theatre.

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The Canterville Ghost, Southwark Playhouse

This is Oscar Wilde’s ghost story like you’ve never seen it before. Written in 1887, Wilde’s bone-chilling tale is about an American family who move into the English country house Canterville Chase, ignoring dire warnings that it is haunted. They’re soon visited by the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville, however the family aren’t quite as helpless as they seem. Hear this supernatural romp told by a comedian, a psychic, a magician and a compère in this vaudeville spectacular by company Tall Stories. It’s sure to match the autumn chill…

Book The Canterville Ghost tickets on London Theatre.

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Shakespeare’s Globe

There’s still time to visit this incredible replica of an outdoor Elizabethan playhouse, which gives you a sense of what it was like to see a show in Shakespeare’s time. The line-up for the ongoing 2022 season includes: a riotous take on shipwreck play The Tempest; a powerful take on Joan of Arc called I, Joan; the classic romcom Much Ado About Nothing set in post-war Italy; and, beginning in December, an intriguing new female spin on the Arabian One Thousand and One Nights myths, Hakawatis. Don’t miss out on an autumn packed with drama.

Check out the biggest West End shows opening this autumn. Book tickets to West End shows this autumn on London Theatre.

Photo credit: The Canterville Ghost (Photo courtesy of production)

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