Top 10 theatre openings in London this November
As the nights are drawing in, there's no better way of keeping warm on a chilly November night than discovering some new theatre. In London this month, there's plenty on offer from musical premieres about Greek mythology and The Cat in the Hat, new plays about a novelist or wannabe knight, and a flutter of Harold Pinter, as we ave become accustomed to. Here are our top ten theatre picks for November.
National Theatre, from 2nd November
With music, lyrics and a book by musician Anaïs Mitchell, musical Hadestown gets its first UK run in the Olivier at the National Theatre prior to its Broadway premiere next year. Directed by Rachel Chavkin, the show updates the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which Orpheus travels through to the underworld to rescue his fiancé. The cast includes West End favourite Eva Noblezada, Andre de Shields and Reeve Carney, who originated the role of Spider-Man in Bono and The Edge’s Broadway musical.
Hadestown tickets are available now.
Garrick Theatre, from 27th October
The Royal Shakespeare Company brings Angus Jackson’s production of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel to the West End, starring Rufus Hound and David Threlfall. Adapted by James Fenton, with songs by Fenton and Grant Olding, the story tells of an eccentric man who sets on a quest to become a knight, with help from his servant sidekick. This music-laced production ran in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2016 to warm critical reception, and will no doubt bring some laughs to the West End.
Don Quixote tickets are available now.
Caroline, Or Change
Playhouse Theatre, from 20th November.
From Chichester to the West End, via a stop at the Hampstead Theatre, Tony Kushner’s musical Caroline, or Change arrives in the West End. Starring Sharon D Clarke as the titular maid, Caroline has her values put to the test when the son of the family she works for offers her his pocket money, pitting her with a moral dilemma that could see her feeding her family. With songs by Jeanine Tesori, the world around Caroline comes to life as she sings songs with the radios, washing machines and tumble dryers she finds in her basement. Mark Shenton said it was ‘too good to miss’ when he reviewed the Hampstead production, so consider yourself told.
Caroline, or Change tickets are available now.
Pinter Three: Landscape, A Kind of Alaska, Monologue and other Sketches
Harold Pinter Theatre, opens 10th November
The Pinter nights continue in London as Jamie Lloyd’s huge season rolls on. Pinter Three sees Lee Evans, Tamsin Grieg and Meera Syal among the cast for Landscape, which sees two characters unable to hear each other as the speak, A Kind of Alaska, about a woman waking up from a 30-year coma, and a series of other sketches. At certain performances, Penelope Wilton will appear in Tess, a short monologue she premiered at the National in 2002.
Pinter Three tickets are available now.
Pinter Four: Moonlight and Night School
Harold Pinter Theatre, from 1st November
Pinter Four is the first production Lloyd has handed over completely to other directors. Lyndsey Turner directs Moonlight, set in the bedroom of a dying father, while Ed Stambollouian directs Night School, which sees a criminal return from prison to find his room occupied by a mysterious woman. It stars Janie Dee, Robert Glenister and Jessica Barden.
Pinter Four tickets are available now.
Summer and Smoke
Duke of York’s Theatre, from 10th November.
Rebecca Frecknall’s hauntingly good production of one of Tennessee Williams’ lesser-performed plays transfers to the West End. It stars Patsy Ferran in the lead role of Alma, an anxious young girl whose spirituality and sensuality ignites upon the return of her childhood neighbour. Transferring from the Almeida, the cast play nine pianos played in various ways across an intimate set, which will be a treat to experience once more in the West End.
Summer and Smoke tickets are available now.
Ambassadors Theatre, from 10th November
Following the early closure of Foxfinder, and unfortunate difficulties getting Eugenius to the West End, Joanna Murray-Smith’s play Switzerland transfers to the West End from Theatre Royal Bath. Phyllis Logan plays renowned thriller novelist Patricia Highsmith, who lives a secluded life in the Swiss Alps when a young published arrives on her doorstep pleading for her to write one last story.
Switzerland tickets are available now.
The Funeral Director
Southwark Playhouse, opens 2nd November
This year’s Papatango Prize winner Iman Qureshi’s play is about Ayesha, the director of a Muslim funeral parlour. She faces a dilemma when a man walks in to organise his boyfriends funeral, and all of a sudden she has a quarry of moral questions to answer.
Southwark Playhouse, from 22nd November
Based on the many works of children’s story master Dr Seuss, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens’ musical Seussical merges worlds and characters together, with a plot loosely based on Horton Hears a Who! With songs such as “A Day for the Cat in the Hat”, “Horton Sits on the Egg” and “The People Versus Horton the Elephant”, this is be a perfect way to introduce little ones to musical theatre, or for big kids to take the night off and reminisce with their favourite characters.
A Christmas Carol
The Old Vic, from 24th November
Christmas returns to The Old Vic with a revival of Jack Thorne’s magical production of Dickens’ classic festive tale. With Stephen Tompkinson taking the lead role, Matthew Warchus’ production will instil that festive feeling - if you’re in need of a nudge in the right direction – with clementines, mince pies, an auditorium full of snow and a show full of heart to start your Christmas right.
A Christmas Carol tickets are available now.