Top theatre to see in London in November
The mega theatrical month of November is upon us. Dozens of West End premieres, new original musicals and the early return of Christmas favourites will be keeping us entertained throughout the month. The National Theatre continues their season of new plays, as well as anniversary tours and West End transfers. There’s almost too much theatre to choose from, so here are our top picks for November.
Listen to the sounds of the Drifters in the West End this November, as The Drifters Girl receives its long-awaited West End premiere. Beverley Knight plays the title character, Faye Treadwell, an African-American female music manager who ensured The Drifters’ success as a doo-wop vocal group. The Drifters’ quartet is portrayed by Matt Henry, Adam Bernard, Tosh Wanogho-Maud and Tarinn Callender, and we can’t wait for the 1950s hits to reverb around the Garrick Theatre.
Garrick Theatre, from 4 November.
In 2018, Young Jean Lee made history as the first Asian-American woman to have a play produced on Broadway. Now, her acclaimed play Straight White Men comes to London’s Southwark Playhouse. Straight White Men sees an elderly man invite his three sons back home for an evening, chatting about where their lives have taken them. Straight White Men explores the subverted identity of cis, white men in society today. But, you’ll have to be quick booking tickets, as the play’s only running for a month.
Southwark Playhouse, from 10 November.
Prepare yourself for the spectacular spectacular, as Moulin Rouge: The Musical sashays into town. The 10-time Tony-winning musical has taken over Broadway, as the story of Satine and Christian has stunned audiences with its eye-popping visuals and a soundtrack with over 70 hits. Now, the iconic Parisian cabaret, complete with a windmill and elephant, sets up a new home in the West End, with Liisi LaFontaine and Jamie Bogyo playing the lovestruck leads. Find out more about Moulin Rouge: The Musical in London here.
Piccadilly Theatre, from 12 November.
Bringing the fireworks to London all month long, La Clique returns to the Spiegeltent in Leicester Square this November with plenty of trailblazing cabaret acts to enjoy. From fire-breathing to sword-swallowing, this is as far from a cosy night in front of the fireplace as you can get.
Leicester Square Speigeltent, from 13 November.
Christmas in London isn’t quite right now without Jack Thorne’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol on stage. The tradition continues with the award-winning Charles Dickens adaptation for a fifth year. This year, Stephen Mangan takes on the coveted role of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser who is forced to reevaluate his life after being visited by three ghosts. A Christmas Carol is now a five-time Tony Award-winning play, so be sure to make your Christmas special with a trip to the Old Vic.
Old Vic, from 13 November.
What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play at a reconfigured Playhouse Theatre, as life is a Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club. A-listers Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley lead this highly-anticipated immersive Cabaret musical, which will see theatregoers sitting at stage-side tables while the action unfolds around them. Experience Kander and Ebb’s iconic musical in a new light, thanks to direction by Rebecca Frecknall and a new, intimate setting, welcoming limited audience numbers of just 550.
Kit Kat Club, from 15 November.
Would you be able to survive a shipwreck? It’s not a situation that most of us could ever conceive of being in, but for Pi and his menagerie, he’s got to ensure their survival by living on a lifeboat together. Based on Yann Martel’s award-winning novel and the groundbreaking Life of Pi film, join Pi and the animals in the stage adaptation of Life of Pi at the Wyndham’s Theatre this November. Obviously, a Bengal tiger isn’t going to roar loudly on stage, but Finn Caldwell’s puppetry will breathe life into the big cat.
Wyndham’s Theatre, from 15 November.
Shakespeare plays were staged outdoors at the RSC’s Garden Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon earlier this year. In a seasonal tradition, the Royal Shakespeare Company returns to the Barbican this Christmas with their summer play, this year it’s Phillip Breen’s adaptation of The Comedy of Errors. Having been through a global pandemic, the play of mistaken identities and family members being separated carries an extra layer of emotion. Even so, The Comedy of Errors continues to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, and it’s set to make audiences laugh this winter.
Barbican, from 16 November.
Nancy Carroll leads the cast of Moira Buffini’s comedy play Manor, opening at the National Theatre in November. Carroll will play Diana, a manor owner who must cater for a group of strangers who end up at her house in a storm. One of the guests is Ted (played by Shaun Evans), the leader of a far-right organisation who has the potential to change the house forever.
National Theatre, from 16 November.
T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats poems went on to inspire Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. But the poet didn’t write about whimsical felines. He also wrote about big ideas and global concepts which influence the way we behave. In Four Quartets, Ralph Fiennes delves into the mind of T. S. Eliot to answer questions about our lives, while looking for meaning in a confused society. During the 75-minute performance, Fiennes delivers an extraordinary solo performance that’ll transport audiences into a quieter, more enlightened world.
Harold Pinter Theatre, from 18 November.
Can you believe it’s been 10 years since Curious Incident was first on stage? Since its National Theatre premiere, the award-winning play has taken over the West End, Broadway and enjoyed worldwide tours. Now, for the play’s 10th anniversary, the tale of Christopher Boone is back on the road, kicking off at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre.
Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, from 20 November.
Photo credit: Life of Pi, La Clique and Four Quartets (Photos courtesy of Life of Pi, La Clique and Four Quartets)