See which theatre shows are returning to the stage in London
If you missed these shows the first time around, you now have another chance to catch them. Find out which shows are returning to the stage in London.
The one downside of having so much fantastic theatre in London is that sometimes a brilliant show comes and goes before you have a chance to catch it. You might not have space in your diary, or perhaps you only hear about a sleeper hit right at the end of its run.
That’s why it’s so exciting to see many of those ground-breaking shows coming back for an encore run – either at the same theatre, or perhaps transferring into the West End. It means a second chance for you to see a production for the first time, or perhaps you loved it so much that you’re eager to revisit it, maybe with a new cast or in a different venue.
So, here’s our guide to all the great returning shows in London that you can book for now.
The RSC’s astonishing adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed animated film was a massive hit for the Barbican when it premiered in 2022. In fact, it broke the theatre’s box office record for ticket sales in one day – beating out the 2015 Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch. It also went on to win six Olivier Awards.
Happily, My Neighbour Totoro is back at the Barbican this autumn, once again telling the spellbinding tale of two sisters who commune with forest spirits – including the titular figure, brought to life thanks to jaw-dropping puppetry. This is truly theatre at its most magical.
Book My Neighbour Totoro tickets on London Theatre.
Michael Frayn’s backstage farce is one of the funniest plays ever written, and we were treated to a side-splitting revival of it recently with a starry cast led by Felicity Kendal. Now it’s back for more, bringing hilarity to the Theatre Royal Haymarket – and giving us the perfect way to beat the winter blues.
Kendal is reprising her role, as are Jonathan Coy and Alexander Hanson. They’re joined by Mathew Horne (Gavin & Stacey), Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders) and James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley, Four Weddings and a Funeral). Prepare to laugh till you cry!
Book Noises Off tickets on London Theatre.
Maggie O’Farrell’s best-selling novel gives readers a very different perspective on William Shakespeare: that of a grieving parent. Her book was skilfully adapted in a powerful play, which premiered at the RSC’s Stratford home this spring – and now West End audiences will get a chance to experience it.
Hamnet takes us to Warwickshire in 1582, when Shakespeare falls for Agnes Hathaway. But the death of their son is a shattering event that both threatens to destroy their family – and ultimately proves inspiration for the most humane playwright in history.
Book Hamnet tickets on London Theatre.
Another must-see page-to-stage transfer is the National Theatre’s astounding version of Neil Gaiman’s novel – brought to life through clever storytelling, imaginative effects and wonderful puppetry. Missed its previous runs? Good news: it’s back in the West End this autumn.
This hugely popular production follows a man revisiting the strange events of his childhood, involving personal trauma and otherworldly creatures. The innovative adaptation is perfect for family audiences, set to transport viewers of all ages.
Book The Ocean at the End of the Lane tickets on London Theatre.
Missed this buzzy new musical when it premiered in Chester? Fear not – it’s travelling to the West End for a run at the Apollo Theatre, with David Hunter and Joanna Woodward reprising their lead roles as central couple Henry and Clare.
These soulmates, who captured readers’ hearts in Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 novel, are constantly torn apart by Henry’s time-travelling. Now their story is told through music, with an original score from Joss Stone and Dave Stewart.
Book The Time Traveller’s Wife tickets on London Theatre.
A big hit for the National, Jack Thorne’s electrifying slice of theatrical history comes to the West End’s Noel Coward Theatre. Don’t miss this chance to see the battle royale between Richard Burton and John Gielgud as they stage their legendary Broadway Hamlet.
Sam Mendes’s incredible cast is back too, led by Johnny Flynn as Burton, Mark Gatiss as Gielgud, and Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor. Expect fireworks as these theatrical titans clash, in the backstage drama with both style and soul aplenty.
Book The Motive and the Cue tickets on London Theatre.
Another triumph for the National Theatre (which is really on a roll right now!) is James Graham’s phenomenal football drama Dear England. It tells the story of manager Gareth Southgate, but you don’t have to love the beautiful game to enjoy this wildly entertaining state-of-the-nation drama.
Joseph Fiennes reprises his sensational turn as Southgate, in Rupert Goold’s thrilling production – which features one of the best set designs you’ll see in London this year, courtesy of Es Devlin. It’s now set to hit the back of the net in a West End house.
Book Dear England tickets on London Theatre.
Bartlett Sher’s gorgeous revival of this classic musical wowed Broadway in 2015 and then the West End. But if you missed it, you’ve got another chance to “get to know” governess Anna and her charges: the musical is returning to London.
Leading the cast for this Dominion Theatre run in early 2024 is Helen George – aka Trixie in the BBC’s Call the Midwife – and Darren Lee. Shall we dance? Accept your invitation for a glorious whirl of a show by booking now.
Book The King and I tickets on London Theatre.
It wouldn’t be Christmas in London without a visit from Buddy – the lovable North Pole misfit, originally played by Will Ferrell in the movie comedy. This stage musical version has become a West End staple, with actors like Jay McGuiness and Simon Lipkin inhabiting Buddy.
Elf is back in the West End for Christmas 2023, spreading festive cheer to Dominion Theatre audiences. The new cast features Georgina Castle, Rebecca Lock, Nicholas Pound, Kim Ismay and Dermot Canavan. It’s the perfect present from Santa.
Book Elf tickets on London Theatre.
Only a few lucky people got to see this star-studded tribute to the late, great composer the first time around, since it was a one-night-only affair. Thankfully, producer Cameron Mackintosh has now brought his gala back to the West End for a full run.
The incredible company features Broadway baby Bernadette Peters and the legendary Lea Salonga, plus amazing musical theatre names like Christine Allado, Bonnie Langford, Janie See, Jac Yarrow, Joanna Riding and Jeremy Secomb.
Book Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends tickets on London Theatre.
Standing at the Sky’s Edge
One of the biggest recent success stories in British musicals is this heartfelt new show which began life in Sheffield, and had a brilliant run at the National earlier this year. It definitely deserved a further life, so it’s wonderful to see it now going into the West End: next up is London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre.
Standing at the Sky’s Edge charts the lives of three generations of residents at the iconic housing estate in Sheffield, and features the amazing songs of singer-songwriter Richard Hawley. It won two Oliviers, including Best New Musical, and its transfer is an exciting moment for fresh British talent.
Check back soon for more information about Standing at the Sky’s Edge tickets on London Theatre.
Originally published on