Top 10 theatre openings in London in June
A summer of sports begins in June, but all the London shows opening in June 2021 are worthy of a gold medal too. There’s plenty of star players returning; Michael Ball dons the Edna dress once more, while Michael Sheen returns to the National.
With the hope that the country opens up in the final stage of the lockdown roadmap, June looks set to be the month where London theatre goes into overdrive. Don’t miss out on West End theatre in June 2021, and check out our top 10 picks for London theatre this month.
Over the past year, the Theatre Support Fund+ has provided a lifeline for out-of-work actors and creatives. Its merchandise, adorned with a “The Show Must Go On!” design made up of artwork from 16 shows has raised over £500,000.
To raise even more money, as well as celebrate the West End’s triumphant return, all 16 shows will take part in a week-long series of concerts. If you can’t visit the Palace Theatre in person, you can still be a part of the event, as the final performance on 6 June will be livestreamed globally.
Palace Theatre, from 2 June.
The Show Must Go On tickets are on sale now.
Inspired by Hirokazu Kore-eda’s award-winning Japanese film of the same name, Jack Thorne adapts After Life into a stage play. After Life follows a group of strangers in purgatory, waiting between life and death. When meeting “officials”, individuals are called forward to decide their lives forevermore, based on past decisions.
Dorfman Theatre, from 2 June.
Set at Notting Hill Carnival, two female teenagers fight for their own personal and political space. They’re wanting to preserve tradition, but with their bodies under threat, can they enjoy an event that is rightfully theirs?
Yasmin Joseph’s debut play J’Ouvert receives its West End premiere as part of Sonia Friedman Productions RE:EMERGE season. You may have even seen it on BBC Four earlier this year, screened as part of BBC Lights Up.
Harold Pinter Theatre, from 16 June.
J’Ouvert tickets are on sale now.
The Royal Court will reopen its doors to live audiences in June 2021, and its season kicks off with Jasmine Lee-Jones’ award-winning play. The two-hander delves into the impact that social media can have on our lives. Cleo has cut off contact with the world, leaving Kara lost for words. But, on the internet, actions and words can be just as impactful as one another.
seven methods of killing kylie jenner explores cultural appropriation, queerness and ownership of black bodies. It’s back at the Royal Court for just six weeks, and you can discover more about the Royal Court’s upcoming season here.
Royal Court, from 16 June.
Dylan Thomas’ Welsh drama will be revived at the National Theatre this month, staged in a reconfigured Olivier Theatre. The community-based drama is a true ensemble piece; landladies in terror of guests, fathers and sons searching for one another and sea captains. Under Milk Wood will star Michael Sheen, returning to the National for the first time in over a decade.
Olivier Theatre, from 16 June.
The 2020 season that never was finally gets its chance to shine at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this summer. Shakespeare’s fateful tragedy kicks off the proceedings, as Kimberley Sykes directs Romeo and Juliet. Not much is known about how this adaptation will differ from the multiple Romeo and Juliet’s citywide. But the role of Benvolio is played by a woman, so we’re expecting plenty of gender-bending.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, from 17 June.
The Donmar Warehouse takes over the Vaudeville Theatre this June with a revival of Nick Payne’s Constellations. A beekeeper and cosmologist meet at a barbeque, with their lives pulled in various directions. But, as the play title suggests, is their relationship written in the stars?
Rather than one cast throughout the run, four separate casts will appear during the 12-week engagement. In June, you can see Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah (18 June – 1 August) or Peter Capaldi and Zoe Wanamaker (23 June - 24 July). Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey (30 July – 11 September), and Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O’Dowd (6 August – 12 September) will star later in the run.
Vaudeville Theatre, from 18 June.
Constellations tickets are on sale now.
School is back in session for West End theatregoers, as Heathers returns to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Based on the 1980s film starring Winona Ryder, Heathers sees Veronica Sawyer on a journey of self-discovery, from being a part of the popular group to becoming infatuated with teen rebel JD. Casting for the Heathers revival is to be announced, but the original West End production made a bigger star out of Carrie Hope Fletcher.
Theatre Royal Haymarket, from 21 June.
Heathers tickets are on sale now.
"You can’t stop the beat” at the London Coliseum, as the long-awaited Hairspray West End revival finally gets the go-ahead this June. It was one of the first musical tragedies affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’s now been postponed by over a year. But, when we hear “Good Morning Baltimore” sung by Lizzie Bea as Tracy Turnblad, it’s sure to feel like the dawn of a new era of theatre.
There’s a star-studded cast in Hairspray too, including the Olivier Award-winning actor Michael Ball reprising the role of Edna Turnblad. Marisha Wallace plays Motormouth Maybelle, with Rita Simons as Velma Von Tussle and Les Dennis as Wilbur Turnblad. So, get ready to go back to 1960s America where the hairdos are high and the energy is even higher.
London Coliseum, from 22 June.
Hairspray tickets are on sale now.
The Bridge Theatre continues its reopening season in June, beginning with the world premiere of Nina Raine’s Bach & Sons. Simon Russell Beale plays the titular music maestro, with the new play exploring how art and creativity can bring a family together.
Bridge Theatre, from 23 June.
Photo credit: J'Ouvert and Heathers (Photos by Helen Murray and courtesy of Heathers original 2018 production)