Top theatre to see in London in April

From Sir Ian McKellen returning to Shakespeare in Player Kings to bright, bold costumes in Priscilla the Party!, here’s the top theatre picks in London this April.

Olivia Rook
Olivia Rook

Spring is in the air. And the biggest night in West End theatre is on the horizon. Hannah Waddingham returns to host the Olivier Awards on 14 April, with shows including Sunset Boulevard, Dear England, and Guys & Dolls up for awards. Find out more about the Olivier Awards. But the Olivier Awards is only one evening's worth of a month of theatre to look forward to.

Read on for our top picks for what to see in London this April.

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Player Kings, Noël Coward Theatre

Two Sirs unite in Player Kings, when six-time Olivier Award-winner Sir Ian McKellen takes on the role of drunken knight Sir John Falstaff. Robert Icke’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts I and II builds toward the climactic Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, but with McKellen cast as Falstaff, it’s likely a great deal of the action will be focused on his antics with King Henry IV’s eldest son Prince Hal. McKellen’s most recent Shakespearean role was Hamlet at Theatre Royal Windsor which, at the age of 82, made him the oldest actor to play the part. It’ll be thrilling to see what he does with this new challenge. Ted Lasso’s Toheeb Jimoh and Richard Coyle (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore) also star as Hal and King Henry IV.

Book Player Kings tickets on London Theatre.

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Priscilla the Party!, HERE at Outernet

It’s time to go Down Under in Priscilla the Party!, a new immersive party based on the Oscar®-winning 1994 film and the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical about a group of drag queens who travel across the Australian Outback to perform their cabaret show. The party will showcase over 500 costumes and more than 200 head-dresses, with a score that includes pop hits such as “Hot Stuff”, “It’s Raining Men”, and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.

Book Priscilla the Party! tickets on London Theatre.

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Minority Report, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

The year is 2050 and neuroscientist Dame Julia Anderton is ready to launch the next phase of her pioneering PreCrime programme, which detains people for crimes before they are committed. Intrigued? This is the premise of Philip K Dick’s thrilling science fiction novella, now adapted for the stage by David Haig, in a production directed by Max Webster, who brought Life of Pi to the West End. Prepare to feel unsettled by this terrifying look into the future.

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Guys & Dolls, Bridge Theatre

Listen up, guys and dolls! Now is your chance to secure tickets to see the new cast of Nicholas Hytner’s immersive, award-winning production of Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre, with Owain Arthur and Timmika Ramsay starring as the new Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide. The show will transport you from the streets of Manhattan to a bar in Havana, and follows a couple of big city gamblers and the women who love them.

Book Guys & Dolls tickets on London Theatre.

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The Cord, Bush Theatre

Bijan Sheibani, one of the writers of the One Day Netflix series, brings a new play about the challenges of fatherhood to the Bush Theatre, a home for new writing in London. This premiere production sees writer/director Sheibani reunite with the creative team behind his 2019 Bush Theatre hit The Arrival. Lucy Black (Till the Stars Come Down), Irfan Shamji, and Eileen O’Higgins star as the family adjusting to a new arrival.

Book The Cord tickets on London Theatre.

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Nachtland, Young Vic

What would you do if you found a piece of art in the attic painted by none other than Adolf Hitler? Satirical playwright Marius von Mayenburg’s new play asks just that, in a show alive with sibling rivalries and dysfunctional family dynamics. Patrick Marber, who recently won a Tony Award for Leopoldstadt, directs a cast that includes Dorothea Myer-Bennett (also of Leopoldstadt fame), Absolutely Fabulous and Little Voice star Jane Horrocks, and Peep Show’s Angus Wright.

Book Nachtland tickets on London Theatre.

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Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon, Garrick Theatre

Teen angst is taken to another level in Rosie Day’s darkly comic one-woman show Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon, which is playing every Sunday at the Garrick Theatre and sees break-out Bridgerton star Charithra Chandran make her West End debut. She plays a 17-year-old social misfit, who has to grow up quickly following the death of her sister. The show also stars Shelley Conn (Bridgerton), Philip Glenister (Life on Mars), and Isabella Pappas (Stranger Things: The First Shadow), who appear on screen as part of the show’s unique video design.

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BARE, London Palladium

Coming-of-age musical BARE is heading to the London Palladium for one night only, starring Jordan Luke Gage (Bonnie and Clyde, &Juliet) and Laurie Kynaston, who is also appearing alongside Brian Cox in A Long Day's Journey Into Night in the West End. BARE, which has music by Damon Intrabartolo and lyrics by Jon Hartmere, follows a group of students at a Catholic boarding school, as they come to terms with who they are and what they want from their futures.

Book BARE tickets on London Theatre.

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Photo credit: Sir Ian McKellen in Player Kings. (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

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