Top 10 theatre openings in London this May
Spring is well and truly here. Theatres are finally opening up again for in-person performances. Nature is healing.
Throughout May, West End musicals like Six, Everybody's Talking About Jamie and dance shows including Here Come The Boys are guaranteed to have audiences on their feet. But London theatre openings in May include long-forgotten classics and London premieres.
Usher in a new era of West End theatre from May 2021 and guarantee your place in the first theatre audiences in the capital.
Originally streamed at the end of April, Jermyn Street Theatre will broadcast an encore screening of Rocky Road throughout May. Tyger Drew-Honey and Kirsten Foster star in Shaun McKenna’s new two-hander, following the relationship between a woman and her caretaker.
Jermyn Street Theatre, from 10 May.
Agatha Christie’s timeless murder mystery has entertained West End audiences for over 65 years. After a year of suspended performances, an all-star cast including Cassidy Janson and Danny Mac will become the latest group of holidaymakers in The Mousetrap, interrogated by police to discover the killer in their midst.
When The Mousetrap continues its run at St. Martin’s Theatre, it’ll extend its record-breaking run as the world’s longest-running show. So it’s no surprise that The Mousetrap will reopen on the very first day it can.
St. Martin’s Theatre, from 17 May.
The Mousetrap tickets are on sale now.
You Are Here
Over the past year, Southwark Playhouse have livestreamed dozens of new productions to audiences worldwide. On the first day that theatres can reopen, the off-West End theatre is doing so with Brian Hill’s new 1960s-inspired musical You Are Here. Wendi Peters will play Diana, a Chicago housewife who dreams of exploring the world after seeing Neil Armstrong on the moon.
Southwark Playhouse, from 17 May.
When Michael is diagnosed with HIV in 1984, he’s told he’s got four years to live. So, on what he believes will be his final night, Michael goes off the rails. But then he survives. Given the gift of life, Michael enters his future with a new found determination.
First seen as a streamed production, Jack Holden stars in the in-person premiere of his own one-man play. Cruise is a celebration of life and queer culture that’s inspired by a true story.
Duchess Theatre, from 18 May.
Cruise tickets are on sale now.
Away from the bright lights of the West End, smaller London venues continue to stage world premieres. At the Bush Theatre, Kelly Gough stars in Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s Harm, which tells of one woman’s complicated relationship with her estate agent.
Harm has been made possible by the Culture Recovery Fund, which has provided a financial lifeline to theatres across the country. Don’t miss out on new works taking place across the capital, opening from May 2021.
Bush Theatre, from 18 May.
There’s nothing quite like taking in a Shakespeare play at Shakespeare’s Globe. After a cancelled season last year, the 2021 summer season is sure to attract any Bard lover to the open air theatre. The season begins with a party revival of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, complete with piñatas, streamers and plenty of glitter.
Shakespeare’s Globe, from 19 May.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream tickets are on sale now.
We’re going to hear the people sing at the Sondheim Theatre once more, as the Les Miserables concert version returns this summer. Lucie Jones will join the Les Mis company as Fantine, alongside Jon Robyns, Bradley Jaden and Shan Ako.
If you’re a sucker for “Stars”, bawling with tears at “Bring Him Home” or just looking for “A Heart Full of Love”, then get ready for the theatrical masterclass that is Les Miserables: The Staged Concert.
Sondheim Theatre, from 20 May.
Les Miserables: The Staged Concert tickets are on sale now.
Times are hard for dreamers, but you can believe that Amélie is coming to the West End. After an Olivier Award-nominated run at The Other Palace, the whimsical and imaginative musical opens at the Criterion Theatre. Audrey Brisson will reprise her acclaimed portrayal in the title role, searching for human connection in a hectic environment.
When Amélie was last in London, the musical was packed with “wit in abundance and also some necessary grit, [where a] slice of Paris life comes alive.” So if you’re wishing you could get away from the world, Amélie will transport you to a kinder destination.
Criterion Theatre, from 20 May.
Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me
In previous years, The Son, The Father and Red Velvet have all transferred from the Kiln Theatre to the West End. We can’t be certain whether upcoming shows at the Kiln will make their way to central London, but the Kiln’s upcoming season is sure to entertain. The season kicks off with Amy Trigg’s award-winning Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me, inspired by living with spina bifida.
Kiln Theatre, from 21 May.
As well as old productions reopening their doors, new seasons of work are opening across the West End. At the Harold Pinter Theatre, the RE:EMERGE season begins, with Gemma Arterton starring in Amy Berryman’s Walden. The family drama has it all: space exploration, estranged relationship and sociopolitical conversation.
Harold Pinter Theatre, from 22 May.
Walden tickets are on sale now.
Photo credit: Cruise, Amelie and Les Miserables (Photos by Jack Hextall, Johan Persson and Pamela Raith)