Top 10 theatre shows opening in London this August
Normally, our theatre eyes in August would be fixated on potential London transfers from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. But all that has changed this year, as long-awaited West End shows finally open up. Introduce kids to world-class entertainment, enjoy a West End reopening or impress your friends with theatre tickets to the newest shows. Here are our top 10 picks for London theatre in August 2021.
West End shows in August 2021
Don't miss out on all the shows taking place in August 2021. If you're looking to laugh the lockdown blues away, then why not see Harry Enfield in The Windsors: Endgame at the Prince of Wales Theatre, or check out Ade Edmondson in Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia. Or if you're looking for an emotional drama, then how about the National's offerings of Paradise and Rocket and Blue Lights. There's also new musicals Frozen and Back to the Future which make their long-awaited London debuts.
No, the Royal Family aren’t the subjects of the latest Marvel film. But could the Royal Family be the Avengers in another life? Anything goes for the royals in The Windsors: Endgame, giving Prince Charles, Prince William and all the royals the soap opera treatment. It’s based on the television series of the same name, which parodises previous royal events in fictitious situations. Cast members include Harry Enfield as the Prince of Wales (at the Prince of Wales) alongside Kara Tointon and Tracy-Ann Oberman. Forget Buckingham Palace, the Prince of Wales Theatre is now the place for a right royal romp.
Prince of Wales Theatre, from 2 August.
The Windsors: Endgame tickets are on sale now.
Award-winning singer Lily Allen makes her stage debut in Danny Robins' 2:22: A Ghost Story this summer. The spine-tingling play follows a couple who’ve moved into a new property that is supposedly haunted. To investigate what may go bump in the night, the couple invite their friends for a dinner party, staying up to 2:22am to meet the ghost. 2:22 A Ghost Story also stars Hadley Fraser, Julia Chan and Jake Wood, and is sure to make you jump in your seat.
Noel Coward Theatre, from 3 August.
Reinventing Ancient Greek tales can prove a mammoth task for any creative team. The National Theatre is set to take on the challenge, as Kae Tempest adapts Sophocles’ Philoctetes for an all-female company. Philoctetes is newly titled Paradise, with Lesley Sharp leading the cast as the wartime hero turned outcast. The National Theatre is also opening up for full capacity audiences from August, and this rousing Greek drama is sure to wow audiences.
Olivier Theatre, from 4 August.
Not all theatre shows have to be a play or a musical. But what live theatre does do, regardless of the production, is bring audiences together through shared connections. In the Royal Court’s August show, The Song Project will explore how thoughts and feelings can be sung through, told through live music and poetry. If you're looking for an emotional show, The Song Project is the pick for you.
Royal Court, from 17 August.
Teachers and students have been virtually attending school for over a year, so it’s deemed normal now to learn via video. That’s what a teacher aims to do when he visits Guernsey in When Darkness Falls. As part of the weekly vlog, a paranormal expert tells the teacher about the island’s horrifying tales. But it’s not the students that will be asking the questions about what happens when nighttime arrives. After numerous postponements, When Darkness Falls opens at the Park Theatre in August 2021 ahead of a nationwide tour.
Park Theatre, from 18 August.
We’re going back in time in the West End this summer — not to March 2020, thankfully. Get your skateboard or DeLorean at the ready and feel "The Power of Love," as the Back to the Future musical gets its long-awaited opening at the Adelphi Theatre. The cult sci-fi film is brought to life on stage, following Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown who time-travel and have to save Marty’s parents to make sure life continues as normal. We spoke to Olly Dobson, who plays Marty McFly a few months ago about what it means to originate such an iconic role on stage.
Adelphi Theatre, from 20 August.
Back to the Future tickets are on sale now.
The Almeida Theatre continues its reopening season with the world premiere of Eleanor Rhode’s latest play. Set, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Nazi occupied Tunisia, the World War Two comedy play stars Adrian Edmondson, and will follow individuals who cannot believe where they’ve ended up. Not much is known about the show, but press material suggests the show is set four months into the occupation, with those imprisoned unable to see a way out.
Almeida Theatre, from 21 August.
The big top is back in the West End! Circus acts, stuntmen and trapeze artists take to the Garrick Theatre this summer for an entertainment spectacular like no other in Cirque Berserk. A full list of acts are to be announced, but the show will feature the motorcycle act ‘Globe of Death’ with stunt riders riding in a mesh sphere ball. If you think you’ve seen it all, let Cirque Berserk widen your horizons.
Garrick Theatre, from 25 August.
Cirque Berserk tickets are on sale now.
The award-winning British-Jamaican playwright Winsome Pinnock returns to the National Theatre with her 2018 play, Rockets and Blue Lights. The dual narrative play balances life in Victorian London and modern-day living, asking questions about freedom and how to respect historical events while changing the future.
Dorfman Theatre, from 25 August.
We may be “In Summer” but that doesn’t mean it’s always sunny in London. Feel the freeze at Disney’s Frozen, opening up the gates at a newly-renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane in August 2021. Samantha Barks plays ice queen Elsa in the Frozen musical, who runs away from Arendelle fearing her powers are too strong. There’s new music written for the Frozen musical too, but yes, the Disney song “Let It Go” does feature.
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, from 27 August.
Frozen tickets are on sale now.
West End shows reopening in August 2021
It’s not just new shows opening in August 2021. West End musicals across the capital will be reopening their doors for the first time in nearly 18 months. As theatres reopen their doors again, it's important that audiences follow the vaccine requirements too. Read more about the vaccine requirements for all West End shows here.
Mary Poppins is at the Prince Edward Theatre from 7 August.
Leopoldstadt is at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 7 August.
Hamilton is at the Victoria Palace Theatre from 19 August.
Mamma Mia! is at the Novello Theatre from 25 August.
Photo credit: The Windsors: Endgame, Cirque Berserk and Back to the Future