Top 10 theatre openings in London this September
We may not have had a scorching summer, but September theatre in London is set to be sizzling thanks to the new openings. As well as the West End theatres reopening across the city, there’s also long-awaited revivals popping up throughout the capital as well as star turns. Here are our top openings for September 2021, and tickets for London shows in September 2021 are on sale now.
West End shows opening in September
Don't miss out on all the shows taking place in September 2021. There’s plenty of play revivals taking place across the city, including The Normal Heart and Shining City. Musicals are joining in on the fun too, with The Last Five Years making its long-awaited West End debut at the Garrick Theatre. Or maybe you’re looking to see stars on stage, like Cush Jumbo in Hamlet. Whatever you choose to see, enjoy an incredible evening of theatre in September.
In the early 20th century, Sholem Asch’s play The God of Vengeance was scrutinised by critics and audiences for highlighting immoral behaviour. Actors risked their lives to star in the Jewish drama, but why did this happen? Paula Vogel’s Indecent is a play that explores how The God of Vengeance came into existence. Following her Tony win for the Broadway production, Rebecca Taichman directs the European premiere of Indecent. Indecent reopens the Menier Chocolate Factory in September, initially cut short due to the pandemic.
Menier Chocolate Factory, from 3 September.
Indecent tickets are on sale now.
Don't miss the 25th anniversary of Olivier Award-winning comedy The Memory of Water at the Hampstead Theatre this autumn. Shelagh Stephenson's emotional comedy follows three sisters who think their pasts are similar, but memories of life and loss have hit them differently. If you want to dive into the deep end, why not read our 1999 review of The Memory of Water?
Hampstead Theatre, from 3 September.
Patsy Ferran and Luke Thallon will star in Bess Wohl’s new two-hander play, Camp Siegfried. It’s inspired by the 1930s New York camp of the same name, that welcomed in American teenagers with German descent. As it’s a new play, not much is known about the storyline, but the play will tackle how young people were heavily influenced and indoctrinated with Nazi ideology. Camp Siegfried is also a London debut for playwright Bess Wohl too, but with a track record of shows like Grand Horizons and Pretty Filthy, we’re expecting big things.
Old Vic, from 7 September.
American playwrights seem to be having somewhat of a renaissance in September, as Aleshea Harris’ Is God Is makes its London debut at the Royal Court. Cecilia Noble stars in the revenge drama, following twins Racine and Anaia who travel cross-country to avenge their past. Is God Is is one of two plays opening at the Royal Court in September, with Caryl Churchill’s What If If Only from 29 September. Churchill’s play is only 14 minutes long. Yes, you read that right. 14 minutes.
Royal Court, from 10 September.
The West End is conjuring up past shows once more, as Blithe Spirit is back in town. Jennifer Saunders reprises the role of Madame Arcati in the zany Noel Coward play, which sees Arcati bring the spirit of an ex-wife to the dinner table. When Blithe Spirit was at the Duke of York’s in March 2020, Mark Shenton praised the scenic design, saying that: “Anthony Ward's set and Paul Kieve's illusions provide a memorable comic finale.” Now’s your chance to catch Blithe Spirit, as it runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre for two months before Ralph Fiennes in Four Quartets.
Harold Pinter Theatre, from 16 September.
Blithe Spirit tickets are on sale now.
After two Southwark Playhouse runs in 2020, the Jason Robert Brown musical The Last Five Years makes its highly anticipated West End premiere. Olly Higginson and Molly Lynch star in the romantic musical, following two lovers who fall in and out of heartbreak. When The Last Five Years was at Southwark Playhouse, LondonTheatre.co.uk gave the production five stars, with Matt Wolf saying: “this The Last Five Years is more than fine: for the first time in my experience of a much-produced show, the characters’ giddiness and desolation, their rapture and heartache, propelled me tearily into the night.” Now The Last Five Years is back, but not for half a decade like the title implies, in fact it’s just one month.
Garrick Theatre, from 17 September.
The Last Five Years tickets are on sale now.
Conor McPherson’s recent works include an adaptation of Uncle Vanya and the Bob Dylan musical Girl From the North Country. But 17 years ago, his Tony-nominated play Shining City first wowed audiences and was considered to be close to perfection. This September, experience Shining City once more in a new production at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Brendan Coyle leads the Irish drama as John, a widower who shares his story with a psychotherapist.
Theatre Royal Stratford East, from 17 September.
Historical plays often reign supreme in London, take Mary Stuart at the Almeida and all the Shakespeare histories as examples. This trend is set to continue in September 2021, thanks to The Mirror and the Light, the final part of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy. Ben Miles plays Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor play, which chats Cromwell’s rise to power and inevitable downfall. Many of the cast are also making their West End debuts, so make sure you’ve got your seat round this Tudor court.
Gielgud Theatre, from 23 September.
The Mirror and the Light tickets are on sale now.
For the first time in 35 years, London audiences will get a chance to see Larry Kramer’s autobiographical play The Normal Heart, which explores how New York communities dealt with the AIDS crisis in the early 80s. Ben Daniels will play Ned Weeks, a writer and activist who tries to expose hidden truths surrounding the AIDS epidemic. Dominic Cooke directs The Normal Heart, which will be played on the reconfigured Olivier stage.
National Theatre, from 23 September.
Forget your preconceived notions about Hamlet this September. Later in the month, Cush Jumbo makes her Young Vic debut in the title role of a new adaptation of Hamlet, where all ideas of power, politics and desire are changed. Greg Hersov directs The Good Wife star in Hamlet, and will be joined by Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar as the Ghost and Claudius. Perhaps unsurprisingly, tickets for Hamlet at the Young Vic are like gold dust. But it’s set to be a show of the year, so try to get your hands on them!
Young Vic, from 25 September.
West End shows reopening in September 2021
It’s not just new shows opening in September 2021. A handful of West End theatres will be reopening for the first time in 18 months, continuing the shows that were running before the pandemic hit in March 2020.
Photo credit: Jennifer Saunders in Blithe Spirit, Ben Miles in The Mirror and the Light and Molly Lynch in The Last Five Years (Photos courtesy of Blithe Spirit, The Mirror and the Light and The Last Five Years)