Top theatre to see in London in November

Find out the best shows to see in London in November 2023.

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

There’s no better way to escape those dark winter nights than with a trip to the theatre. Happily, November is serving up plenty of exciting London shows to keep any winter blues at bay, with some major openings in the West End and beyond.

Fans of the Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things will want to make a beeline for the exciting theatrical spin-off, The First Shadow, and you’ve got a second chance to catch the simply astonishing My Neighbour Totoro. Plus there’s intriguing royal drama with Backstairs Billy, and a starry cast for new play Lyonesse.

It’s also a great month for concerts, with amazing West End and Broadway names like Rachel Tucker and Mandy Patinkin treating London audiences to an intimate show. All of that, and the Christmas fun is beginning with festive goodies like Elf.

Book tickets to London shows in November on London Theatre.

Stranger Things The First Shadow - 1200 - LT

Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre

We’re back in Hawkins, Indiana, but this story is set in the 1950s rather than the 1980s – so some of the Netflix series’ favourite characters, like Joyce and Hopper, are still in high school.

This prequel tale will also dig into the origin story of villain Henry Creel aka Vecna, which means crucial hints for the show’s final season. It’s created by Kate Trefry and Jack Thorne, and directed by Stephen Daldry.

Book Stranger Things: The First Shadow tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

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Lyonesse, Harold Pinter Theatre

Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James star in Penelope Skinner’s new drama. Scott Thomas plays a reclusive actress who disappeared 30 years ago, and is now ready to reveal all to the world.

James is the young film executive who visits her to assist in this comeback – but who will ultimately control the story? Ian Rickson directs this intriguing and topical play.

Book Lyonesse tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

My Neighbour Totoro - 1200 - LT

My Neighbour Totoro, Barbican

Last year, the Royal Shakespeare Company brought Studio Ghibli’s iconic film to theatrical life in the most magical and moving way, and the Barbican production went on to win six Olivier Awards.

Now it’s back for a welcome second run. Follow two sisters as they explore their new home in the countryside, while their mother is in hospital, and discover all the ancient spirits surrounding them – including the amazing puppet Totoro.

Book My Neighbour Totoro tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Peter Pan Goes Wrong - 1200 - LT

Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Lyric Theatre

Mischief’s hit show is back in the West End for a festive run. This hysterical follow-up to The Play That Goes Wrong sees the unlucky Cornley Drama Society trying to stage JM Barrie’s tale – with inevitable results…

It’s a hilarious spin on the beloved Peter Pan tale, an awfully big adventure with some awfully big disasters. Of course, trying to fly to Neverland is asking for trouble! This is gut-busting fun for all the family.

Book Peter Pan Goes Wrong tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Backstairs Billy 1200 LT

Backstairs Billy, Duke of York’s Theatre

Michael Grandage directs this fascinating look at a little-known royal relationship, between the late Queen Mother and her loyal servant William “Billy” Tallon. Set in 1979, the play reflects a turbulent time for Britain under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Penelope Wilton stars as the Queen Mother, and Luke Evans plays Billy, in this intriguing behind-the-scenes comedy by Marcelo Dos Santos.

Book Backstairs Billy tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Elf - 1200 - LT

Elf, Dominion Theatre

You know it’s time to start your Christmas shopping when Buddy is back in the West End. The popular stage version of the Will Ferrell-starring comedy film Elf, this family-friendly musical comedy sees Buddy journeying from the North Pole to New York to find his dad.

We first saw Elf at the Dominion back in 2015, with Buddy played by Jay McGuiness. The 2023 production is led by Matthew Wolfenden, Georgina Castle, Tom Chambers, Rebecca Lock and Kim Ismay.

Book Elf tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Rachel Tucker - 1200 - LT

Rachel Tucker in Concert, Cadogan Hall

West End and Broadway leading lady Rachel Tucker is an international star thanks to her remarkable work in everything from Wicked and Come From Away to We Will Rock You and Sting musical The Last Ship.

This is a rare chance to see her perform in concert – not just the standout songs from those shows, but plenty of other songs from musicals and from other genres too. It’s also the launch for Tucker’s third album, so it’s a truly unmissable event.

Book Rachel Tucker in Concert tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

two strangers (carry a cake across new york) LT 1200x600

*Two Strangers (carry a cake across New York)*, Kiln Theatre

It’s a transatlantic romcom-meets-new musical! Upbeat Brit Dougal is flying to New York for his dad’s wedding, where he meets impatient Robin, sister of the bride. Will opposites attract?

This new musical is from the British writing team of Jim Barne and Kit Buchan, and stars Sam Tutty (of Dear Evan Hansen fame) and Dujonna Gift.

Book Two Strangers (carry a cake across New York) tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

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Mandy Patinkin – Live in Concert, Lyric Theatre

TV and film viewers may recognise him from Homeland and The Princess Bride, but stagey fans know that Mandy Patinkin is also a musical theatre legend, the star of Sunday in the Park with George, Evita and more.

This November, don’t miss this thrilling chance to see him in concert in London. Accompanied on Adam Ben-David at the piano, hear Patinkin sing everything from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and of course Sondheim.

Book Mandy Patinkin – Live in Concert tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

The Interview - LT - 1200x600

The Interview, Park Theatre

It’s royal drama, part two! This time it’s Princess Diana in the theatrical spotlight, and a very controversial moment in history: her now-controversial 1995 TV interview with Martin Bashir.

Jonathan Maitland’s new political play examines Diana, Bashir and the BBC as he questions what we justify in the name of truth, and who ultimately tells our story. Yolanda Kettle, Tibu Fortes, Naomi Frederick and Ciaran Owens star.

Book The Interview tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

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Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen, Bush Theatre

This is the first London run of the smash-hit Edinburgh Fringe show, which won the Fringe First Award and had audiences both laughing and wiping away tears, and sees Samuel Barnett reprise his acclaimed performance.

Marcelo Dos Santos’s one-man show is about a queer comedian in his thirties who finally meets his Mr Right, only to sabotage this shot at true love. Matthew Xia directs.

Book Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

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To Have and to Hold, Hampstead Theatre

Hampstead hosts the world premiere of this new comedy by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors, Jack Absolute Flies Again), directed by Richard Wilson and starring Alun Armstrong and Marlene Sidaway.

To Have and to Hold centres on retired couple Jack and Florence, who are happily bickering their way through the years. But drama comes in the form of their anxious son and daughter, in this amusing multi-generational tale.

Book To Have and to Hold tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

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Sputnik Sweetheart, Arcola Theatre

Bryony Lavery adapts the wonderful novel by Haruki Murakami for stage. Murakami’s globe-spanning tale follows a man searching for his lost love, a young Japanese writer who disappears in Greece.

Part detective story, part tortured romance and part mystical experience, Sputnik Sweetheart is directed by Melly Still and stars Millicent Wong, Naruto Komatsu and Natsumi Kuroda.

Book Sputnik Sweetheart tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

The Witches - LT - 1200x600

The Witches, National Theatre

We just can’t get enough of Roald Dahl musicals! Joining the likes of Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is this hugely exciting new adaptation by Dave Malloy (the Tony-winning Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) and Lucy Kirkwood (Olivier Award winner for Chimerica).

Can Luke and his grandmother defeat the witches’ evil plan? The cast features Katherine Kingsley as the Grand High Witch, Sally Ann Triplett as Gran, and Daniel Rigby as Mr Stringer.

Check back for The Witches tickets on London Theatre.

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