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London theatre - plays 2019

Top 10 plays opening in London in 2019

Will Longman
Will Longman

As we reflect on one great year of theatre in the West End coming to a close, the tantalising prospect of new productions is on the horizon. With so much on offer across the capital in the next 12 months, we've rounded up some of the biggest and most exciting play openings coming up. 

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The Lehman Trilogy

After a sell-out premiere in the Lyttelton in the summer, Sam Mendes' epic production of Stefano Massini's epic play telling a comprehensive history of one of the biggest financial institutions to have ever collapsed. Founded by three brothers in 1844, at its height, Lehman Brothers was the fourth largest investment bank in the US when it filed for bankruptcy amid the 2008 financial crisis. Starring Ben Miles, Simon Russell Beale and Adam Godley, The Lehman Trilogy tells of the bank's formation, zips through its history before arriving at its eventual collapse in a masterclass of story-telling.

Piccadilly Theatre, from 11th May.

Buy The Lehman Trilogy tickets

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Credit: Gage Skidmore

Betrayal

The Pinter at the Pinter season of the writer's short plays culminates with a production of one of his best-renowned full-length works. Starring Tom Hiddleston in a play Pinter described as bearing the closest resemblance to his life of all his works, Betrayal works its way backwards through a seven-year affair. Its unique style is quintessential Pinter, where the silences speak louder than words. It's set to round-off a great celebration of Pinter, and is bound to a highlight of the year in theatre.

Harold Pinter Theatre, from 6th March.

Book Betrayal tickets

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All About Eve

Ivo van Hove returns to London after last year's hit production of Network at the National with another adaptation of a classic American film. This time, Gillian Anderson and Lily James star in the story of a jealous understudy determined to derail the career of her Broadway idol in All About Eve.

Noel Coward Theatre, from 2nd February.

Book All About Eve tickets

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Photo credit: Anna Hanks (flickr) & Heather Paul (flickr)

All My Sons

The Old Vic are staging two major Arthur Miller productions in the new year: The American Clock in February is followed by Sally Field and Bill Pullman starring in the All My Sons. Co-produced by Headlong and directed by Jeremy Herrin, this story about a couple living on the edge of the American Dream is bound to provide a reflection on life in America today.

The Old Vic, from 15th April.

Buy All My Sons tickets

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Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Shipwreck

Speaking of America today, Anne Washburn returns to the Almeida in 2019 with a new play about having dinner with the 45th President of the United States. Not only are we expecting it to reveal some truths about the President's dietary habits (we know he loves fast food, and he drinks an almost impressive 12 Diet Cokes every day), it is sure to be a searing and probably absurdist look at the state of the nation/world under Trump.

Almieda Theatre, from 12th February.

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Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Cillian Murphy stars in Enda Walsh's adaptation of Max Porter's award-winning novel which tells the story of two boys forced to face up to the reality of the death of their mother alongside their despairing father. One day, they are visited in their London flat by Crow, who helps guide the now family-of-three through their grief.

Barbican, from 23rd March.

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Richard III

Theatre returns to Alexandra Palace after an 80 year absence and, after Horrible Christmas comes Headlong's production of Shakespeare's Richard III. Tom Mothersdale, who recently starred in the critically-acclaimed production of Annie Baker's John at the National, plays the iconic villain in John Haidar's new production, which will also tour the UK.  

Alexandra Palace, from 13th March.

Richard III tickets are available now

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seven methods of killing kylie jenner

Last year, the Royal Court staged a play with one hell of an eye-catching title: Anoushka Warden's My Mum's a Twat. In 2019, an equally effectively-titled play will be staged there: Jasmine Lee-Jones' Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner. It might not be explicitly about killing the Instagram star, and focusses instead on Cleo who uses the internet from her bedroom to make her voice heard.

Royal Court, from 4th July.

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Photo credit: Steven Chee

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

Cate Blanchett makes her National Theatre debut in Martin Crimp's new play When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, which uses Samuel Richardson's novel Pamela to explore the impact of gender roles. Katie Mitchell directs the production, which sees six characters 'act out a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance'. It'll be tough to get a ticket, though, with the production selling out at the Dorfman almost instantly.

National Theatre (Dorfman), from 16th January.

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Death of a Salesman

Following Marianne Elliott's sublime production of Stephen Sondheim's Company in the West End, the director takes on a new staging of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Starring Wendell Pierce making his UK stage debut alongside Sharon D Clarke and Arinze Kene (who both had fantastic years on stage in 2018), we're expecting big things from Elliott's vision for this classic play.

Young Vic, from 1st May.

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