Top theatre shows to see in London this September
After a completely sold-out run at the Almeida Theatre this summer, James Graham’s play transfers to the West End. Bertie Carvel plays Rupert Murdoch as he goes about making The Sun newspaper the most read publication in the country. It tells all the ins and outs of the paper’s formative years under Murdoch on Fleet Street, from partnering with editor Larry Lamb (played by Richard Coyle), to numerous scandals behind the scenes. (Look out for another appearance by playwright Graham on this list below.)
Ink Tickets are available now.
Five Guys Named Moe
Clarke Peters’ musical returns to London, where it got its first lease of life in the '90s when it tried out at the National Theatre. It’s about a man who is struggling through a break-up, and finds comfort through the five voices coming through his radio providing him with soulful renditions of Louis Jordan numbers. The production is in a brand new, temporary theatre in Marble Arch, complete with 1940s New Orleans bar. We got to sit in on a rehearsal recently and can confirm the cast are sounding tip top, and this will be a really great experience.
Five Guys Names Moe Tickets are available now.
Direct from Broadway, this Tony Award-winning play opens at the National before moving in to the Harold Pinter. On the face of it, JT Rogers’ play is a weighty political drama, following two Norwegian diplomats who facilitate top secret talks between Israel and Palestine – but in reality, it’s a play full of humanity and hope. The scenes of negotiation between the two sides will of course drum up parallels with Brexit (what doesn’t these days), but it is also littered with very funny dialogue and will prove to be a must-see this autumn.
Oslo Tickets are available now
Maureen Lipman directs the world stage premiere of her late husband’s story The Knowledge. Originally a TV series, starring Lipman, Jack Rosenthal’s story is about a group of trainee London cabbies attempting the 'Knowledge', the process of learning all the streets in London. It stars Steven Pacey, Celine Abrahams and James Alexandrou and should prove to be a real riot at the Charing Cross Theatre.
The Knowledge Tickets are available now.
Labour of Love
Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire star in yet another James Graham play in the West End. This one is brand new, and charts the history of the Labour party from the early ‘80s to present day. Freeman plays MP David Lyons alongside Lancashire, who plays his constituency agent, Jean Whittaker. It will be a journey through all the ups and down of the Labour party since the Kinnock years, and will provide perspective in what is set up to be one of the most relevant plays of the year.
Labour of Love Tickets are available now.
Le Grand Mort
Stephen Clark’s play stars Julian Clary as Michael, a man who is obsessed with how the human body can be useful after death. He cooks dinner for his guest Tim, played by James Nelson-Joyce, with whom he engages in an evening of mind games. The play gets its world premiere directed by Tony Award-nominated Christopher Renshaw.
Le Grand Mort Tickets are available now.
Dominic Cooke’s revival of this Sondheim musical of the Zeigfeld Follies boasts a terrific cast. Imelda Staunton, Janie Dee and Tracie Bennett team up as the Follies reuniting in their old, crumbling Broadway theatre. The production has returned to its original one-act form, and Sondheim has been spotted in the audience of initial previews at the National, and the initial reaction online has been more than positive.
Boudica is the last production as part of Emma Rice’s Summer of Love season, her last in the Globe Theatre as artistic director of the space (though she does have plays programmed in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse over the winter). Directed by Eleanor Rhode, playwright Tristan Bernays has reimagined this story about the vengeful Queen, portrayed by Gina McKee, who stood up against the might Roman Empire. It promises to bring to life the violent world of Boudica.
Derren Brown: Underground
The psychological mastermind returns to the West End with this special “best-of” show. It ran at the Charing Cross Theatre earlier this year, and showcases some of the illusionist’s favourite tricks from his previous live shows: Derren Brown Live, Infamous, Svengali, Enigma, An Evening of Wonders and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Derren Brown has had an illustrious stage career over the past 15 years, and now he provides this unique opportunity to relive some of his best moments.
Derren Brown: Underground Tickets are available now.
Footloose: The Musical
Gareth Gates takes to the stage at the Peacock Theatre in this musical based in the 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon. Featuring iconic dance moments, including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let's Hear it for the Boy and, of course, Footloose. It’s in London for just over two weeks, so be sure not to miss it!
Footloose: The Musical Tickets are available now.