9 new shows to get excited about coming to London in 2019
There have been a whole host of major openings in the West End already this year, from musical staples like Waitress and 9 to 5 the Musical, to plays with major stars like Betrayal starring Tom Hiddleston or All About Eve with Gillian Anderson, which have both come and gone. There's still so much to come to London before the year is out, here's our round-up of the theatre shows in London you need to see before the end of 2019.
The hit Broadway musical sent shockwaves through the US when it premiered in 2016, before going on to win six Tony Awards. The breakthrough work from songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who were the team behind the blockbuster musical films The Greatest Showman and La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen is set around of the titular teenager who struggles to make friends at school, before a life-changing event turns his world inside out.
Noel Coward Theatre, from 29th October.
Dear Evan Hansen tickets are available here.
What would have happened if Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet didn’t end with a tragic double-suicide? What if Juliet took control of the story and went on a Eurotrip to get over Romeo? And what if it was all set to the music of Max Martin? You know, Max Martin. He wrote almost every major pop hit of the last 20 years. We’re talking Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” AND “Oops I Did It Again”, Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody” and “I Want It That Way”, Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”, “Teenage Dream” and “Roar”, Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”, Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”… the list goes on and on and on. This is what Shakespeare would have wanted.
Shaftesbury Theatre, from 2nd November.
& Juliet tickets are available now.
James McAvoy returns the West End to star in the first production of Jamie Lloyd’s residence at the Playhouse Theatre. McAvoy, known for starring in the X-Men films as Professor Charles Xavier, will play the titular French nobleman in Edmond Rostand’s 19th century play, which reunited McAvoy and Lloyd after they have previously collaborated on productions of Macbeth and The Ruling Class. Lloyd has always been able to attract star talent to his seasons – see the recent Pinter at the Pinter season – so while details about his year at the Playhouse are sketchy right now, we’re sure this will be the start of something big.
Playhouse Theatre, from 27th November.
Speaking of residencies, Mischief Theatre begins its year-long takeover of the Vaudeville Theatre with a brand-new follow up to their current West End hits The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery. Groan Ups reunites the original Mischief cast for a show about care-free life and how it affects our adulthood. The second production is Magic Goes Wrong later in the year, which they have collaborated with magician superstars Penn and Teller to create. While the third and final production at the Vaudeville is a secret for the time being, Peter Pan Goes Wrong will be returning to London this Christmas. Its run at Alexandra Palace means the company will have four productions running simultaneously in London.
Vaudeville Theatre, from 20th September.
Groan Ups tickets are available now.
Russian spies, poison and Reece Shearsmith playing ‘The President’. Lucy Prebble’s latest play is set to be quite the thriller. It’s based on Luke Harding’s book of the same name, which shined a light on the death of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Litvinenko was a former FSB operative who defected to the UK, and was killed after he was exposed to radioactive polonium-210. Now, Prebble, whose plays include ENRON and The Effect, brings the scandal to the stage.
The Old Vic, from 20th August.
A Very Expensive Poison tickets are available now.
There are a big 12 months in store for Disney fans in the West End, with the Broadway production of Frozen set to reopen the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. While Aladdin will be flying out on a magic carpet, Mary Poppins will be floating down on her umbrella to replace it at the Prince Edward. Starring Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp, the show returns after the huge success it had in 2004 and the two subsequent UK tours. She arrives on the 23rd October, so while she’s looking after the Banks children, we’re hopeful she’ll have time to sort out Brexit while she’s at it.
Prince Edward Theatre, from 23rd October.
Mary Poppins tickets are available now.
It’s taken 22 years since it premiered on Broadway, but Big the Musical is set to get its West End premiere at the Dominion Theatre this autumn. It’s based on the Tom Hanks film of the same name, in which he played Josh Baskin, a boy who wished he could up into an adult and saw his wish come true overnight. With the mind of a 12-year-old and the body of an adult, he has to come to terms with the struggles of adulthood: work, women, and playing a gigantic piano with his feet in a toy store.
Dominion Theatre, from 6th September.
Big the Musical tickets are available now.
You shall not pass… up the opportunity to see British acting legend Ian McKellen on stage in the West End stage later this year. He brings his intimate one-man show, which he’s been touring tiny theatre spaces across the UK in celebration of his 80th birthday, to regale audiences with stories from his illustrious career. From Gandalf to Lear to his Panto dame, McKellen covers all bases, encouraging audience participation along the way. You’d be a fool to miss it.
Harold Pinter Theatre, from 23rd September.
Ian McKellen On Stage tickets are available now.
Peter Nichols play about a couple on the edge of their marriage after having to care for their only child, Josephine who suffers from cerebral palsy, is revived at Trafalgar Studios later this year, directed by Simon Evans. He’s assembled a cracking line-up for the revival too, with Toby Stephens and Claire Skinner playing the husband and wife Bri and Sheila. It’s been revived several times on Broadway, and a major production in London starred Clive Owen and Victoria Hamilton (and later Eddie Izzard).
Trafalgar Studios, from 20th September.
A Day in the Death of Joe Egg tickets are available now.