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Top theatre openings in London in October

We should be in the height of autumn weather, wrapped up in scarves and wearing thick jumpers. But instead we're all parading around in a summer encore to remember. London theatres continue to be brighter than ever too, and with both theatres open in the West End and on Broadway, there's never been a better time to experience live theatre. Here are our top openings for October 2021, and tickets for London shows in October 2021 are on sale now.

West End shows in October

There are some familiar faces  returning to the West End this month, including Arinze Kene in Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical at the Lyric Theatre. There's plenty of London premieres too, including White Noise, The Shark is Broken and a highly-anticipated West End transfer for The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Along with plays at the National and a new Jane Austen take, October 2021 is set to be a great month for theatre. 


Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical

Arinzé Kene will portray legendary Jamaican singer Bob Marley in the world premiere of a new Bob Marley musical. The production has the blessing of Marley's family, and will celebrate his life as a musical pioneer and a rebellious spirit. It's been a long time coming for Get Up, Stand Up!, with creative changes and numerous postponements. But in October 2021, we'll all be singing "No Woman, No Cry" as we leave the Lyric Theatre.

Lyric Theatre, from 1 October.

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical tickets are on sale now.


The Tragedy of Macbeth

As soon as we heard that Saoirse Ronan was making her London stage debut, it's all we've been thinking about. The Little Women and Lady Bird star will play Lady Macbeth in the Shakespeare drama this October, joined by the Olivier-nominated actor James McArdle as Macbeth. Yaël Farber directs the transformative play, and again it's set to be one of the hottest tickets in town. 

Almeida Theatre, from 2 October.


White Noise

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan Lori-Parks' White Noise made waves at New York's Public Theater in 2018. The political play examines how race is viewed through black and white perspectives, and even in the three years since its New York run, our political zeitgeist has changed significantly. So it'll definitely be interesting to see how White Noise, a play about American race relations, connects with a London audience. Polly Findlay directs White Noise, which runs at the Bridge Theatre for six weeks. 

Bridge Theatre, from 5 October.


East is East

As part of the National's reopening season, plays are focusing on the British experience for differing communities. Under Milk Wood focused on a tightknit Welsh village, while Rockets and Blue Lights explores how individuals found their sense of freedom. In October, NT audiences can see the 25th anniversary of East is East, Ayub Khan Din's groundbreaking play about an English-Muslim family set in 1970s Salford. 

When East is East was last in London, the play has emerged into a contemporary classic, with Mark Shenton saying: "the play strikes a universal resonance for any time and any family." For one month only, East is East find its newest London home in the country's most prestigious venue.

National Theatre, from 7 October.


The Shark is Broken 

Dun dun... dun dun... no it's not the impending sound of doom you'll know from Jaws. But if you've watched Jaws, then you'll want to snap up tickets for The Shark is Broken, the new Jaws-inspired comedy that's based on the film's creation. The three-hander play follows the actors as they're stranded on board the Orca in the middle of filming, only to find that it's just one of their problems. The Shark is Broken joins a lineup of shows that made their West End premiere after the Edinburgh Festival Fringe including Six. And we're sure that The Shark is Broken will enjoy similar success too.

Ambassadors Theatre, from 9 October.

The Shark is Broken tickets are on sale now. 


Pride & Prejudice* (sort of) 

Continuing the trend of Edinburgh Fringe shows in London, Isobel McArthur's Pride & Prejudice adaptation finds a West End home at the Criterion Theatre. Jane Austen's novel Pride & Prejudice is given a contemporary, female twist in the West End this October, with a few 1990s tracks sprinkled in for good measure. Inspired by the original story, this Pride & Prejudice retelling sees the five unmarried daughters take centre stage, singing out their worries — think Bridgerton meets Carly Simon. Pride & Prejudice* (sort of) will run at the Criterion Theatre for an open-ended engagement too, and it's set to be fizzing like a bottle of champagne. 

Criterion Theatre, from 15 October.


Indecent Proposal

It's likely that everyone reading this has at some point wondered what they'd do for a million dollars. Skydive? Sleep with spiders? But risk their marriage? That's a decision Rebecca faces gambling one night at Atlantic City's casinos in Indecent Proposal. The 1990s film sent shockwaves around the world with its lascivious storyline, and its new musical adaptation is sure to get people talking too. After a year's delay, Indecent Proposal makes its world premiere at Southwark Playhouse. Not much is known about the creative aspects so far, but there's likely to be musical inspiration from the film, with songs by Seal and Lisa Stansfield. 

Southwark Playhouse, from 22 October.

Indecent Proposal tickets are on sale now.


Brian & Roger - A Highly Offensive Play

From podcast to the stage, you can now watch the actions of Brian and Roger unfold at the Menier Chocolate Factory in October 2021. The play follows the title characters, who are attending support group sessions after their divorces. Seeking advice from one another, the pair strike up an unexpected friendship. With the Daily Telegraph hailing the original podcast as a shining example of British comedy, there could be a theatrical diamond waiting to sparkle in London this month. 

Menier Chocolate Factory, from 22 October. 


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Nearly two years since it was first announced, the stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane makes its West End premiere. The Olivier Award-winning production stays true to the original text, in which a man is plunged back in time to his 12th birthday. But the mythical world really comes alive on stage, and it's no wonder that critics have hailed it as a masterclass in imaginative storytellingEarlier this year, we spoke to Neil Gaiman about The Ocean at the End of the Lane on stage, and you can read our interview here

Duke of York's Theatre, from 23 October.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane tickets are on sale now.


The Choir of Man

Have you been missing out on nights with friends? Miss starting a sing-song at a gig? Well join The Choir of Man, a heartfelt homage to the pub. Combining the concert atmosphere with theatrical storytelling, The Choir of Man reflects on how communities can come together. Set to songs by Sia, Adele and Avicii, this pub only operates on happy hours! And yes, there's a real working bar on stage too, with audiences able to enjoy a tipple or two. 

Arts Theatre, from 29 October.

The Choir of Man tickets are on sale now.

West End shows reopening in October 2021

The majority of West End theatres will be open as normal in October 2021; the first time since the pandemic began. Four West End shows will be reopening for the first time in 18 months, and you won't want to miss the first performances back.

Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses is at Theatre Royal Haymarket from 1 October. Only Fools and Horses tickets are on sale now. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is at the Palace Theatre from 14 October. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets are on sale now.

Magic Goes Wrong

Magic Goes Wrong is now at the Apollo Theatre from 21 October. Magic Goes Wrong tickets are on sale now.

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen is at the Noel Coward Theatre from 26 October. Dear Evan Hansen tickets are on sale now. 

Photo credit: The Shark is Broken and The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Photos by Oliver Rosser and courtesy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane respectively)

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