October 2019

Top 10 London theatre shows opening this October

Will Longman
Will Longman

It's official... the weather's rubbish, the nights are drawing in and the leaves are turning brown. Summer is over, but the West End seems brighter than ever with transfers from across the country, new productions of old classics and a few famous faces scattered around for good measure too. Here's our top 10 picks for October.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

Claire Skinner and Toby Stephens star in a revival of Peter Nichols' 1967 play, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, in which they play two parents getting to grips with caring for their disabled daughter. The play, which starred has Eddie Izzard and Victoria Hamilton in the West End, on Broadway and as a TV film, has made headlines for its casting of actor Storme Toolis as the first disabled actor to play the role of the daughter - Toolis has cerebral palsy like the character she is playing. Simon Evans returns to Trafalgar Studios after last year's production of Killer Joe.

Trafalgar Studios, from 21st September.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg tickets are available now.

Ghost Quartet

A(nother) brand new theatre opens in London, this time in the beating heart of Soho: the high-tech Boulevard Theatre inside the building that used to be Raymond's Revuebar. Artistic director Rachel Edwards has programmed Dave Malloy's campfire musical Ghost Quartet as the first piece. Weaving a number of creepy ghost stories together, the show's unique style makes it a bold but exciting first choice for the space.

Boulevard Theatre, from 24th October.

Ghost Quartet tickets are available now.

Ghost Stories

Did somebody say Ghost Stories? Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's terrifying play returns to the West End just in time for Halloween after creeping out the local audiences of Hammersmith earlier in the year. Simon Lipkin plays Professor Phillip Goodman, a paranormal investigator who recounts three tales he simply has never been able to rationally explain.

Ambassadors Theatre, from 4th October.

Ghost Stories tickets are available now.

Noises Off

The Lyric Hammersmith hilarious production of Michael Frayn's timeless comedy gets a transfer to the West End (clearly a good month for the Lyric...). Jeremy Herrin's production stars Meera Syal, Sarah Hadland, Lloyd Owen and Daniel Rigby as a repertory company of actors touring a terrible play, as professional and personal relationships unravel on stage night after night. Click here to watch our interview in rehearsals with the cast.

Garrick Theatre, from 27th September.

Noises Off tickets are available now.


While we're on the topic... following positive notices for A Doll's House, the first production in Rachel O'Riordan's first season at the Lyric Hammersmith, the new artistic director's programme continues with a new play by David Greig. Based on the play by Stanisław Lem, Solaris sees three scientists make contact with a new planed. Matthew Lutton directs a cast including Polly Frame and Jade Ogugua.

Lyric Hammersmith, from 10th October.

Solaris tickets are available now.

The Man in the White Suit

The classic Ealing Comedy starring Alec McGuinness is set for the West End stage in an adaptation by incoming Birmingham Rep artistic director Sean Foley. Starring Stephen Mangan in the lead role of Sidney Stratton, he plays a budding physicist who discovers a material that can never stain or deteriorate to the delight of the clothing sectors bigwigs, until they realise it's set to put them out of business. Following a pre-West End run at Theatre Royal Bath, the play also stars Kara Tointon and Sue Johnston.

Wyndham's Theatre, from 27th September.

The Man in the White Suit tickets are available now.

Groan Ups

Mischief Theatre begin a one year of new shows in the West End with Groan Ups, a play about, well, growing up. The Play That Goes Wrong group are already hard at work on the next productions, one is yet to be revealed but their collaboration with magician maestros Penn and Tells, Magic Goes Wrong, has already had a short preview run in Manchester ahead of its opening later this year.

Vaudeville Theatre, until 1st December.

Groan Ups tickets are available now.

Master Harold and the Boys

Roy Alexander Weise directs a cast which includes Lucian Msamati and Hammed Animashuan in the Athol Fugard play set in the apartheid era in South Africa. Thought to be semi-autobiographical (Athol's birthname is Harold), the play is set over a long afternoon on a tea shop where two African servants are practicing their ballroom routines before a competition. If you'd like a little more story with your Strictly, then this is for you.

National Theatre, until 17th December.


The National's hit production of Brian Friel's play about language and identity returns to the Olivier this autumn. The play sees a young man return to his native rural Irish village from England, from where he has brought two soldiers who plan to map the area, replacing traditional Gaelic place names with English ones. Ian Rickson's sell-out production returns starring Ciaran Hinds returning as schoolmaster Hugh, and Fra Fee taking over from Colin Morgan in the role of Owen.  

National Theatre, from 15th October.

On Bear Ridge

From a very Irish play to a very Welsh one, Rhys Ifans, Rakie Ayola, Jason Hughes and Sion Daniel Young star in Ed Thomas' new play about a general store in a small rural village. The semi-autobiographical piece has opened at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff, and transfers to the co-director Vicky Featherstone's Royal Court.

Royal Court, from 24th October.

On Bear Ridge tickets are available now.

Originally published on

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