All prices and offer details are correct at time of writing. Subject to change thereafter.
Day 8913 in the month of January and it still feels like February is a lifetime away. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up a host of fantastic shows that will be a great ailment to banish those pesky January blues without breaking the bank.
Shelagh Delaney’s ground-breaking British classic A Taste of Honey returns to the West End for the first time in 60 years. Jodie Prenger leads the cast as Helen in an exciting staging, featuring original compositions performed live by an on stage three-piece band and sung by the cast. Save over 50% on selected tickets for a sweet, cheap, theatre night treat to warm your cold January nights. Offer ends 29th Feb 2020.
This production of Agatha Christie’s thrilling classic immerses the audience in a unique courtroom setting, complete with drama and intensity to keep you enthralled. With tickets from just £13.80, don’t miss out on this gripping story of justice, passion, and betrayal.
The Mousetrap has become the longest running show of any kind in the world by keeping audiences on the edge of their seat in this masterful whodunit by the “Queen of Mystery”. Tickets start from just £19.52 – book now and pay no booking fees on selected tickets! Offer ends 31st Jan 2020.
The Ideal Home Show sponsored by NatWest will offer everything you need to make your house a home to be proud of. Whether you have a big home project, or just want to add those finishing touches, you’ll discover fresh ideas at the UK’s biggest home event. Tickets are just £9.50 – don’t miss out!
It’s the return of one of the most classic combinations known to man – dinner and a show. Buy selected theatre tickets and warm your winter night with a delicious 2 or 3 course meal at your choice of some of London’s most popular restaurants, our treat! Browse our fantastic selection of shows and restaurants to create your ideal evening out.
Cirque du Soleil returns to London’s Royal Albert Hall with the European Premiere of LUZIA, a waking dream of Mexico. The thrilling feats displayed by the stunningly talented cast, which have garnered a number of four-star reviews, will have you wondering how such acts are humanly possible! Playing until 1st March only, don’t miss out on the “effortless, heart-stopping skill” (The Guardian) displayed – book your tickets now.
Following a sold out 2019 national tour, comedy legend Frank Skinner’s critically acclaimed stand-up show Showbiz kicked off a strictly limited five week run in the West End this week. With critics calling the comic’s performance a “a masterclass in owning the room” (The Arts Desk), and tickets priced at just £31.80, this is the perfect show to beat the January Blues.
Magic Goes Wrong is the latest in Mischief Theatre’s already impressive line-up (which includes The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery) and, given the four and five-star reviews that this latest instalment has racked up, it’s safe to say that they’ve knocked it out of the park again! Now booking until June, with further tickets going on sale very soon, book now from just £25 to see the show that will have you “laughing into next week” (The Sun, ★★★★★)
The critically acclaimed, double Olivier Award-winning Old Vic production of Girl From The North Country, which reimagines the music of Bob Dylan as roof-raising ensemble pieces and soul-stirring solos, returned to London in December for a strictly limited run. With just 3 weeks of performances left, and no booking fees on selected tickets, don’t miss out on the “show that transports the soul.” (The Times)
Come From Away are welcoming 10 new cast members to the Rock from 10 February! Winner of 4 Olivier Awards, and playing to nightly standing ovations, this joyous musical shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world that became grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11. Book tickets from just £18.75 and prepare to become an honorary Islander for life!
Following the incredible cast performance on ITV’s Dancing on Ice, and opening at the Dominion Theatre in just under a month, The Prince of Egypt is set to be the West End’s latest musical triumph! Based on the classic animated film, journey through the wonders of Ancient Egypt as two young men, raised together as brothers find themselves suddenly divided by a secret past. Get tickets from just £24.40.
ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition is the brand new can’t-miss, 14,000 square foot immersive experience that invites you inside the iconic band’s personal and creative journey as it ‘skilfully weaves the story of their meteoric rise’ (The Mirror) to global superstardom. For a limited time only, save over 30% on tickets to this ‘informative and fun’ (The Telegraph) exhibition. Offer ends 31st Jan 2020.
Opening to five-star reviews, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s multi award-winning musical returned to its original West End home and audiences are loving it! Don’t miss out on the smash-hit phenomenon – book tickets from just £17.25.
With just two weeks to go until Tom Stoppard’s latest masterpiece arrives in London, Leopoldstadt, directed by Patrick Marber, is pegged to be a passionate drama of love, family and endurance. It is Stoppard’s most humane and heart-breaking play. Book tickets now from £25.
Set on an exotic Greek island and featuring a host of ABBA classics, what could be better? Mamma Mia! is the classic musical that has been seen by millions of people worldwide – see it for yourself with a host of tickets available for just £30.
With plenty of tickets from just £25, there’s no reason to miss out on John Kani’s highly acclaimed play, marking the 25th anniversary of the end of apartheid with a strictly limited London run, following its premiere in Stratford-upon-Avon and a sold-out run in Cape Town. Book now!
All prices are correct at the time of writing. Subject to change thereafter.
Christmas is just a few days away and if you’re struggling with all of the shopping this year, From The Box Office is here to make things easier. Read on for a simple guide of the top shows that we think would make perfect Christmas gifts for all the family!
Feel good and festive
Nativity! The Musical This Christmas join the legendary Sharon Osbourne, father and daughter Danny and Dani Dyer, TV and radio presenter Rylan Clark-Neal and West End star Simon Lipkin as he reprises his role as ‘Mr Poppy’ in the hit show. Not only is this the perfect family Christmas treat, it’s also your last chance to catch the smash-hit show, as 2019 will be its final year on the London stage! Book final tickets with no fees from £29.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Gather your loved ones and celebrate the magic of Christmas with the spectacular new production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. The perfect heartwarming family musical is currently turning London’s Dominion Theatre merry and bright for a strictly limited season. Book final tickets and save over 65% (offer ends 4th Jan 2020).
Only Fools and Horses Mais ouis, mais ouis, Only Fools and Horses has undoubtedly become 2019’s smash-hit new show! The record-breaking and top-rated television series Only Fools and Horses undoubtedly holds a special place in the hearts of the British public and if you haven’t yet had a chance to experience the musical extravaganza that reunites good ‘ol Del Boy, Rodney and the rest of the gang, Christmas is the perfect time to get your hands on tickets! Book from just £17.25.
Mamma Mia! The Party Mamma Mia! and party in the same sentence? We don’t need to hear any more than that! Now booking through to February 2020 due to phenomenal demand, this is the ultimate ABBA night out and perfect for anybody this festive period. Boasting a wonderful three course meal, an immersive show and an ABBA disco to keep you boogying into the night, you can’t go wrong! Book more than two tickets and get yourself a free bottle of fizz (offer ends 31st Dec 2019).
For drama lovers
To Kill A Mockingbird “All rise for the miracle that is ‘Mockingbird’. Unmissable and unforgettable. An American classic” (Rolling Stone)
Since it began performances on Broadway, To Kill A Mockingbird, Aaron Sorkin’s new play based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, has not played to an empty seat; becoming the most successful American play in Broadway history. Starring BAFTA Award nominee Rhys Ifans as the infamous Atticus Finch, don’t miss when this lands on London’s West End in 2020. Book tickets now from £30 for the perfect gift for the plays lovers in your life.
Cyrano De Bergerac James McAvoy returns to the West End in an inventive new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s masterwork by Martin Crimp, with direction by Jamie Lloyd. Fresh from their triumphant Broadway transfer of Betrayal, The Jamie Lloyd Company’s latest production blazes into the Playhouse Theatre with linguistic ingenuity that has earned a host of five star reviews. Get tickets to experience ‘the most breathtakingly exciting show in London right now’ (Evening Standard) from just £18.75.
On Blueberry Hill Following critically-acclaimed and sell-out runs in New York and Dublin, Sebastian Barry’s universally celebrated play, On Blueberry Hill, comes to London’s West End for 8 weeks only in March 2020. Directed by Fishamble’s Jim Culleton, this new play is bursting with humanity as it explores forgiveness, survival, and ultimately, love. With tickets from just £18, don’t miss out on this strictly limited run of Barry’s “beautiful”, “mesmerising”, “mysterious” (The New Yorker) play.
The Doctor Gaining five star reviews from The Guardian, The Telegraph, Financial Times, The Sunday Times and WhatsOnStage, Olivier Award winner Juliet Stevenson delivers “one of the performances of the year” (Evening Standard) in the West End transfer of Robert Icke’s sold-out, five-star Almeida Theatre production. Treat yourself and fellow theatre lovers to “one of the peaks of the theatrical year” (Guardian) with tickets from just £18.
Theatre Gift Card There is a much simpler option, of course – if you can’t pick the perfect show from our incredible selection, let your nearest and dearest decide for themselves with a theatre gift card from From The Box Office. From award-winning West End shows to mind-blowing and fascinating exhibitions, a gift card offers the chance for your loved ones to experience something new and exciting. Get yours here for a simple and thoughtful Christmas gift.
The Gift Card can be used as full or part payment for any tickets available on, or any bookings made through, From The Box Office’s website and will be delivered within 1 day of booking via email. Gift Cards are not redeemable at venue box offices. They are valid for 12 months from the issue date. Find full terms and conditions here.
All prices and offer details are correct at time of writing. Subject to change thereafter.
2020 is set to be another fantastic year for London’s theatre scene, with a whole host of exciting new shows preparing to take the West End by storm. In this handy guide, we’ve rounded up the top shows that we’re most excited for…
Join Luke Brady, Liam Tamne, Christine Allado and Alexia Khadime on a journey through the wonders of Ancient Egypt in this new musical. Based on the acclaimed DreamWorks Animation film, The Prince of Egypt is staged by an international, multi-award-winning creative team and features the Academy Award®-winning song ‘When You Believe’, which was a global hit for Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Tickets are available now from as little as £23.40.
One of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time is now coming to the West End! Pretty Woman: The Musical features direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray), and an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams. Opening on 13th February, this is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, with tickets from just £18.
BE MORE CHILL is the new musical sensation that’s about to invade your brain… in the best way. An unprecedented international phenomenon, this original and hilarious show exploded onto the musical theatre scene and electrified audiences during its runs off- and on Broadway. With tickets from just £23.40, there’s no need to miss out on the fun!
Josie Rourke’s “ingenious, stupendous revival” (The Telegraph) premiered in 2014, when it was hailed as “a blissful evening” (The Stage) that’s “smart, seductive and very funny” (Evening Standard). Starring Rosalie Craig (Company), with a swinging score and a brilliantly witty book, CITY OF ANGELS is a musical love letter to the glamorous world of old Hollywood and film noir. Tickets are on sale now from £20.
Critically acclaimed director Ian Rickson returns to Chekhov for the first time since his landmark production of The Seagull in 2007, reuniting with BAFTA and Olivier Award-winner Toby Jones. Olivier Award-winner Conor McPherson’s stunning new adaptation is a portrayal of life at the turn of the 20th century, full of tumultuous frustration, dark humour and hidden passions. Get tickets from just £15 with no booking fees on selected tickets (offer ends 5th January 2020).
Written by South African actor, activist and playwright John Kani (Black Panther, The Island, Sizwe Banzi is Dead), Kunene and the King sees fellow South African Antony Sher (King Lear, Death of a Salesman) perform alongside John Kani in two exceptionally moving performances. With live music and vocals by Lungiswa Plaatjies completing the company, don’t miss out on tickets from £25 with no fees on selected tickets until 15th Feb 2020.
Vienna in 1900 was the most vibrant city in Europe, humming with artistic and intellectual excitement and a genius for enjoying life. A tenth of the population were Jews. It was not to last. Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of love, family and endurance. With tickets from just £22.50, don’t miss Stoppard’s most humane and heart-breaking play.
Starring David Mitchell, once more donning the bald wig and bardish coddling pouch in his iconic characterisation of Will Shakespeare, and Gemma Whelan as the sweet and fragrant Kate, Ben Elton’s much adored Upstart Crow is set to delight London’s West End from February 2020. Get tickets now from just £22.50.
Following critically-acclaimed and sell-out runs in New York and Dublin, Olivier-Award winning Fishamble and Sebastian Barry’s universally celebrated play, On Blueberry Hill, comes to London’s West End for 8 weeks only from March 2020. Don’t miss out on tickets from just £15, with no fees on selected tickets until 5th Jan 2020.
Escape to an imaginary Mexico – a sumptuous world suspended between dreams and reality. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Book by 26th December and save over 45%.
Following sell out performances across Europe and the UK, NoFit State Circus’ LEXICON comes to London for a strictly limited season at the Roundhouse, promising audiences a spirited and mischievous start to the New Year. NoFit State showcase an array of breathtaking contemporary circus skills and you won’t want to miss it – book by 5th Jan 2020 and save over 45% on selected tickets.
The general worldwide consensus at the moment is clear to see every time we turn on the news, pick up a paper or scroll through Twitter – things are uncertain. This uncertainty is not limited only to politics and the Topic That Must Not Be Named (clue: it rhymes with Frexit); shows are coming and going on the West End like never before, staying for about as long as it takes Marius to get over Eponine’s death – so, not long at all.
There are a handful of shows however, such as the one referenced above, that are bucking this trend, and continuing to thrive in spite of the trying times and ever changing audiences. What is it about these productions that have cemented them in the edifice of theatre? Read on and find out…
As it prepares to enter its landmark 68th year, it’s fair to say that Agatha Christie’s ‘whodunit’ thriller won’t be going anywhere any time soon. As the world’s longest running show, and with over 28,000 performances under its belt, The Mousetrap continues to thrill audiences of every generation with its masterful, edge-of-your-seat plot – the kind that we could only expect from the “Queen of Mystery”.
Boasting over 30 years in the West End, four different venues, three live concerts (all starring some of the finest talents the world has to offer) and a three-time Academy Award®-winning film adaptation starring Wolverine himself, Les Miserables seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. From the infamously heart-wrenching I Dreamed A Dream to the spine-tingling chorus of Do You Hear The People Sing?, Les Miserables tells the story of a French revolution, but it’s its own revolutionary triumphs that deserve to be celebrated for many years to come.
A musical that is both a modern-day classic and a state-of-the-art multi-sensory experience, The Lion King continues to flaw audiences worldwide and go from strength to strength. Adapted for the stage from the Academy Award®-winning beloved film, this multi Tony and Olivier award-winning musical, having just celebrated a monumental 20 years in the West End, will redefine your expectations of theatre.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical masterpiece is now celebrating 31 years at the Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. The Phantom of the Opera is gloriously grand in style. The show’s immense plot, scenery and, of course, its music, have drawn over 100 million people worldwide to see it. Powerful narrative and traditional illusion come together in this masterpiece to create one of the most successful theatre shows in history, and one of the longest running that the West End has to offer.
Winner of over 100 major awards, including three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and ten theatregoer-voted WhatsOnStage Awards, Wicked has now been seen by almost 10 million people in London alone. Boasting a stellar soundtrack and a witty retelling of one of the world’s most famous tales, the re-imagined world of Oz offers nothing but spellbinding theatrical magic.
With new shows popping up seemingly every week, from classic adaptations to groundbreaking new productions, it’s hard to imagine what the West End might look like in 20 or even 10 years. Which of these shows would you like to see continue on its legacy? Sound off in the comments below!
Jason joins Sheridan Smith, with the double Olivier Award winning actress recently announced as The Narrator. Casting for the role of Joseph is to be announced soon.
Jason made his defining stage performance as the title character of Joseph in the 1990s, also at the London Palladium, in a sold-out 18-month run which produced a No.1 single and best-selling soundtrack album. It remains one of the most successful revivals of all time. Jason now returns to the show as Pharaoh, who rocks ‘Song of the King’ in the iconic musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, soon to be re-imagined in this brand new production.
“You never know the measure of a moment until it becomes a memory, and what a moment that was for me. Joseph was a ground breaker in 1991, and what a blast it will be to be back on the prestigious Palladium stage and be part of it all again with a brand new cast in this re-imagined 2019 production. I’m looking forward to breathing new life into Pharaoh and I’m so relieved he doesn’t wear a loin cloth!”
– Jason Donovan
Jason became an international star with the role of Scott Robinson in Neighbours. The series went on to become one of the highest-rating shows in the UK, which led to Jason’s association and huge success with acclaimed producers, Stock, Aitken and Waterman. His debut album Ten Good Reasons was the biggest selling album of 1989, with career sales of 13 million albums and 4 UK No.1 singles.
Following his Olivier-nominated portrayal of Joseph, he has gone on to star in The Rocky Horror Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Priscilla, Annie Get Your Gun, The Sound of Music, The King’s Speechand Million Dollar Quartet. On television he has featured in I’m A Celebrityand Strictly Come Dancing, Who Do You Think You Are, ITV’s Superstarand Piers Morgan’s Life Stories. Jason also appeared in ITV’s drama Echo Beachand he continues to play sell-out tours across the country.
We know it’s February and it’s freezing, but half term is going to roll around nonetheless and you certainly don’t want to be stuck inside all week. Lucky for you, London is host to a kaleidoscopic range of fun-fuelled and fascinating activities to keep you on your toes for the week! Check out our top picks below…
From award-winning Disney movie to smash hit musical comedy, Aladdin is an exuberant West End spectacular, featuring all the unforgettable songs from the much-loved Disney film, such as ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Friend Like Me’, as well as some brand new musical numbers for you and the kids to fall in love with. Book tickets for half-term now from £29.75.
Disney’s The Lion King
So we have a bit of a Disney theme going on right now, but we can’t help but spread the magic! What could be more special this half-term than seeing Disney’s longest running musical? Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, this multi Tony and Olivier award-winning musical will redefine your expectations of theatre. Book your tickets to experience the magic now.
Matilda The Musical
Hailed as a musical triumph and recipient of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, this fantastic piece of theatre continues to delight audiences. Matilda doesn’t just copy Roald Dahls’ classic tale, it adds new depth and is the perfect half-term treat for children of all ages and adults alike. Book tickets now from £23 and prepare to be blown away.
Half-term is jam-packed with interactive activities across education, science, fun, health and wellbeing. Body Worlds have also partnered with The British Red Cross to offer guests CPR interactive workshops! There will be Medical Guides throughout half-term (12pm to 4pm) to answer questions on Mind, Body and Soul. Kids are also welcome to pick up and follow the brand-new Family Trail – all at no additional cost! Book tickets for a family-fun and fascinating day out now.
Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery
Take a trip to London’s Science Museum and explore the incredible wonder of Wonderlab. Kids can become scientists, fuel their imagination and immerse themselves in a world of wonder at this one-of-a-kind interactive gallery. A wonderful exhibition with several daily 20 min shows, this is a great experience for the whole family! Book tickets now.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
A perfect theatre trip for older children (recommended age is 11+), this story of discovery is funny, heart-warming and features an adorable treat at the end! Winner of 7 Olivier Awards and 5 Tony Awards® including ‘Best Play’, don’t miss out on this unique play before it leaves the West End in April. Book selected tickets now with no fees.
The Wider Earth
Join a 22-year-old Charles Darwin on HMS Beagle’s daring voyage to the far side of the world, and discover the gripping story behind one of the most important discoveries in history. A perfect theatre trip for families this half-term, book tickets now from £23.50.
February half-term may be just around the corner, but it’s never too early to start planning family activities! Read on for our top upcoming family shows!
The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice
Back on the Disney theme, but now with the added incredible element of ice-skating! Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on an inspiring walk down memory lane in celebration of magic and family fun. With a national tour, this is the perfect trip for all the family! Book tickets now for a venue near you.
Where is Peter Rabbit?
Hop onto your seats and immerse yourself in the magical world of Beatrix Potter. Watch with delight as your favourite stories and most beloved characters are brought to life in this theatrical spectacular, with beautifully handcrafted puppets, enchanting original songs and a sprinkle of magic. Save up to 30% when booking for a family of four!
Beasts of London
Opening in April, Beasts of London explores the fascinating role animals have played in shaping the capital. Be guided through time, from the Roman era through Medieval London and right up to present day, narrated by the beasts themselves. Discover how animals – from lions and elephants, to horses, rats and pigeons – have shaped the city and its beastly history. Tickets start from just £8.80 – book now!
It’s that time of year again: love is in the air and you’re searching high and low for the perfect Valentine’s date night. Lucky for you, From The Box Office has all rounded up all the romance that the West End has to offer. Read on for the best shows to see this Valentine’s Day…
The Great Gatsby
It’s one of the most famous love stories ever written, and now this unique immersive theatre experience invites you to be part of the romance and excitement of the roaring jazz age. Slip on your dancing shoes and watch the story unfold around you – the party is in full swing! Book now to save up to 53% – tickets from just £15 (ends 6th Feb).
Cirque Du Soleil’s presents Totem
For a truly dazzling date night, it doesn’t get much better than Cirque Du Soleil! Totem is a fantastic combination of impressive acrobatics and mind-blowing displays of human ability. Enjoy a night of wonder and romance that will leave a lasting impression – book you tickets for Totem now to save up to % (ends 11th Feb).
Phantom of the Opera
One of the West End’s most notorious musicals, now celebrating over 30 years at Her Majesty’s Theatre! Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic and compelling tale of The Phantom and his only companion and love, Christiane Daae, has romance enough for any Valentine’s date night. Book tickets now from £28.99, or get tickets to this infamous show with a free meal here.
Weaving together various different tales of love, Company explores what love is and what it can mean to us. This gender-reversed remake, which stars Rosalie Craig and Patti LuPone, is a musical comedy about life, love, and marriage, and features some of Stephen Sondheim’s most iconic songs, a perfect show for an entertaining date night! Book tickets now with no fees (ends 8th February).
What could be more exciting than seeing a brand new West End show for Valentine’s Day? “Waitress is a little slice of heaven!” says Entertainment Weekly, and is “sweet, sassy and passionate,” according to New York Magazine. Don’t miss this uplifting and hilarious musical! Book tickets now from £47.50 for a Valentine’s Date Night that’s sweet as pie.
Showstopper! The Musical
For a truly unique date night experience, it doesn’t get better than Showstopper! The Improvised Musical! You’ll be the first and last audience members to experience the show as you see it, because the entire performance will be thought of before your very eyes, and with your ideas forming the story. Book now for the most original Valentine’s date the West End has to offer!
Motown The Musical
Toe-tap your way to the perfect, fun-filled Valentine’s Day with a trip to see the catchiest musical. Filled to the brim with all of your favourite classic romantic Motown hits, including ‘My Girl’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, a trip to see Motown is guaranteed to leave you feeling the love. Book tickets now from £22.50, or book with a free meal for the perfect date night package.
Take a romantic magic carpet ride to a whole new world with your loved one this Valentine’s Day – it doesn’t get more magical than Disney’s Aladdin! From award-winning Disney movie to smash hit musical comedy, Aladdin is an exuberant West End spectacular, featuring all the unforgettable songs from the much-loved Disney film, as well as some brand new musical numbers for you to fall in love with. Book now from just £27.50.
If these sensational shows aren’t quite what you’re looking for this Valentine’s Day, why not take a browse of our top picks?
Decorations are down, the excitement of Christmas and New Year is over and it feels like it should at least be April by now… January is a drag! Thank goodness we’ve got a West End filled to the brim with fantastic shows to get us through the cold, long nights and get us feeling pumped again…
For Musical Lovers Tap your toes, click your fingers, clap your hands and rejoice in the feel-good comfort of London’s finest musicals. From Olivier award-winners to brand new productions, there’s a musical for every taste.
Experience Company, the legendary Broadway musical, as never before. Winner of two Evening Standard Awards 2018, this riotous reimagining of Stephen Sondheim’s classic features all of the classic Broadway hits, with a new twist. Don’t miss out on the hilarious adaptation, book tickets now!
DIVORCED. BEHEADED. LIVE IN CONCERT! From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII finally take the mic to tell their tale, remixing five hundred years of her-storical and hilarious heartbreak. Book tickets now from just £21.60.
Showstopper! The Musical
★★★★★ ‘If this is what improv can do, you wonder why anyone bothers writing anything down’ -The Times
Do you want to be the first, and last, to see a brand-new musical? The Showstoppers transform audience suggestions into all-singing, all-dancing productions with hilarious results. Come watch an entirely different show every single night! Book tickets now from just £18.
For a unique theatre experience…
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby at the Gatsby Drugstore is now booking through the end of the year due to overwhelming demand!Step into a heart-racing immersive adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal jazz-age novel which puts you in the heart of the action. Slip on your dancing shoes and watch the story unfold around you. Book tickets for this unique theatrical performance here.
Plays If you prefer to have your heart strings pulled or your tummy aching with laughter, we’ve still got you covered with the best plays to see this January!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The smash-hit National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has returned to London for a strictly limited season, following an acclaimed UK and International tour. Winner of 7 Olivier Awards and 5 Tony Awards® including ‘Best Play’, this is a perfect heart-warming tale to help you shake off the cold of January. Even better, you can book tickets now with no fees!
The Wider Earth
Join a 22-year-old Charles Darwin on HMS Beagle’s daring voyage to the far side of the world, and discover the gripping story behind one of the most important discoveries in history. A perfect theatre trip for families this January, book tickets now from £23.50.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘joyous’ (Guardian) production of this legendary comic novel is told by a company of 20 actors accompanied by a band of live musicians. Featuring riotous performances by Rufus Hound and David Threlfall, don’t miss out on this hilarious adaptation. Book now and save up to 56% on selected tickets.
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery
From the comedy masterminds behind five-star hits The Play That Goes Wrong (Olivier Award for Best New Comedy) and Peter Pan Goes Wrong, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is fast-paced and riotously hilarious, masterfully uniting screw-ball comedy with real theatrical invention, and is guaranteed to have you rolling in the aisles. Book now from just £11.80.
As if the bright lights and dazzling shows of the West End aren’t enough to get us running to London’s illustrious theatres, the chance of seeing our favourite celebrities certainly gives us all the more reason to snap up tickets. Take a scroll through the list below to see the stars we’re most excited to see in 2019…
Pinter At The Pinter After what has so far been a star-studded, critically acclaimed season, there’s still plenty of excitement and celebrity appearances in store in Pinter At The Pinter. Don’t miss out on the likes of Martin Freeman, Danny Dyer, Gary Kemp and Rupert Graves in the final shows of the season, book tickets now.
Betrayal The final of the Pinter season plays is set to star Hollywood charmer and Golden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston. The Night Manager and Avengers star will be playing the lead role in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal for a strictly limited 12 week season from March 8th, book tickets here now.
Waitress Katharine McPhee (American Idol, Waitress on Broadway, Smash) joins the WAITRESS London cast to play Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life. Opening in February, book tickets now.
COMPANY Starring Rosalie Craig, Patti Lupone & Mel Giedroyc, experience Company, the legendary Broadway musical, as never before. Winner of two Evening Standard Awards 2018, don’t miss out on the limited run at the Gielgud Theatre. Book tickets now from £13.50 – ends March 30th.
Man of La Mancha The award winning musical Man of La Mancha returns to London, starring Kelsey Grammer and Danielle de Niese. Featuring the iconic song ‘Dream the Impossible Dream’, Man of La Mancha is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’s masterpiece. Tickets start from just £18, book now.
True West Kit Harington (Game of Thrones, Doctor Faustus) and Johnny Flynn (Beast, Genius) star as warring brothers Austin and Lee in the West End Premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winner Sam Shepard’s ferociously funny, modern classic, True West. Book now and save up to 45% on tickets – ends 23rd February!
Dolly Parton Presents: 9 to 5 9 to 5 is about to get down to business – with a strictly limited season at the West End’s Savoy Theatre. Starring Louise Redknapp, Amber Davies, Natalie McQueen and Brian Conley, the smash-hit musical features a book by the iconic movie’s original screenwriter. Book tickets now from £24.
Home, I’m Darling Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Humans) reprises her acclaimed role as Judy, in Laura Wade’s fizzing comedy about one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950’s housewife. How happily married are the happily married? You can find out from January 26th, book tickets now.
The Lehman Trilogy Critically-acclaimed director Sam Mendes (Skyfall, King Lear) returned to the National Theatre to direct Ben Power’s English version of Stefano Massini’s vast and poetic play, which was a hit across Europe, with Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles playing the Lehman Brothers, their sons and their grandsons. The West End transfer opens in May and you can book tickets now from just £21.60.
2019 is going to bring many a new and exciting to show to London’s illustrious West End, but we’ll also be feeling the January blues when some of our current favourites come to an end! Be sure not to miss out on these all-star, all-singing, all-dancing spectaculars before they leave the West End stage…
Kinky Boots Having won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2016 and with songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this ‘dazzling, fabulously sassy and uplifting’ (Time Out) musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. The cast of Kinky Boots will be raising up audiences until 12 Jan only, so get your tickets here now!
Chicago Winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, the sexiest, sassiest, most sophisticated Broadway musical in history is celebrating 21 years of standing ovations in style. Now starring ITV2’s Caroline Flack and star of RuPaul’s Drag Race Todrick Hall, don’t miss out on the razzle dazzle of Chicago before it ends on January 5th – book final tickets now.
Dreamgirls Thirty-five years after the groundbreaking original Broadway production, this UK and West End premiere of the sensational and iconic Tony Award®-winning musical must end on the January 12th! Don’t miss out on this “dream of a show” (The Stage), grab tickets from £30 here.
Motown While we still have a little longer to enjoy the sound and the music of Motown The Musical, this feel-good sensation will still be leaving London’s West End in April 2019. Featuring an eighteen-piece live orchestra, playing 50 Motown tracks, book selected tickets now with no fees!
42nd Street 42nd Street is the song and dance, American dream fable of Broadway. Starring stage royalty Bonnie Langford as the legendary diva ‘Dorothy Brock’, this exuberant production is not to be missed. 42nd Street will be tapping out on January 5th but you can still book last tickets here.
Awful Auntie From the award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny comes the world premiere of David Walliams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie! The perfect treat for families this festive season, book tickets before 6th January here.
Nativity! The Musical This Christmas join father and daughter Danny and Dani Dyer, legendary comedian Jo Brand and West End star Simon Lipkin as he reprises his role as ‘Mr Poppy’ in the hit show Nativity! The Musical. With performances running until December 31st, don’t miss out on final tickets to this smash-hit sell-out show!
The Inheritance Winner of ‘Best Play’ at the Evening Standard Awards 2018, The Inheritance is the play that has taken the West End by storm. Directed by multi Olivier Award winner Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance is “perhaps the most important American play of the century” (The Telegraph). Don’t miss out on this theatrical masterpiece, book now with no fees on selected tickets!
Bat Out Of Hell Following a smash-hit season and bringing to life the legendary anthems of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf, this critically-acclaimed production combines the magic of a musical with the immense energy of rock ‘n’ roll. “It’s loud, exhilarating and blows your socks off” (The Independent), book now before the show closes on January 5th.
Switzerland A teasing metaphysical thriller’ ★★★★ (The Guardian) Filled with razor-sharp dialogue, this chilling and sometimes hilarious two-hander unfolds into a gripping psychological thriller. ‘Very well acted. Calum Finlay impeccable. Booking until 5th January 2019, get tickets now and save up to 53% in our Boxing Day sale!
Summer and Smoke Following a sold-out run at the Almeida Theatre, Rebecca Frecknall’s ‘shiveringly beautiful production’ (The Sunday Times) of Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke has transferred to the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season. Don’t miss this intoxicating play about love, desire, loneliness, and self-destruction – get tickets and save up to 47% before the production closes on January 19th.
The Band For anyone who grew up with a boyband comes The Band a new musical with a beautiful story byOlivier Award-winner Tim Firth and the music of Take That. After one of the most successful musical theatre tours ever, The Band transfers to London’s West End until January 12th only! Book your tickets now and save up to 54%.
Christmas is undoubtedly a magical time of year for families. From classic pantomimes to stunning West End musicals, there’s no shortage of entertainment to be found in London’s theatres. Amongst our favourites this year are Horrible Christmas and Awful Auntie – in spite of their titles, they are wildly fun!
Awful Auntie From the award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny comes the world premiere of David Walliams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie!
When Stella sets off to visit London with her parents, Lord and Lady Saxby, she has no idea that her life is in danger! Waking up three months later, only her Aunt Alberta can tell her what has happened – but not everything Alberta tells her turns out to be true, and Stella quickly discovers she’s in for the fight of her life against her very own Awful Auntie!
★★★★★ “A triumphant adaption of David Walliams’ much loved book!” What’s Good To Do
★★★★ “A real gem! Exciting, thrilling, heart-warming and memorable – another huge dramatic hit!” What’s On Live
If you don’t want to miss out on the riotous adventure that is Awful Auntie before it leaves the stage on January 6th, grab your tickets here now!
Horrible Christmas Horrible Histories proudly presents the terrific tale of Christmas in a special production of Horrible Christmas.
When Christmas comes under threat from a jolly man dressed in red, it’s up to one young boy to save the day! From Victorian villains to Medieval monks, Puritan parties to Tudor treats, get set for a hair-raising adventure through the history of Christmas. Featuring famous faces, such as Charles Dickens, Oliver Cromwell, King Henry VIII, St Nicholas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, witness these historical icons as they join forces to save the festive season!
It’s a celebration of Christmas in the most wonderful, wildly funny and moving way you’ll ever see! With performances running until December 30th, don’t miss out – book tickets now.
Christmas is officially on its way! With the festive spirit filling the air, we’ve put together a handy list of all our favourite Christmas Shows for this year. From family friendly shows to classic ballet, read our top picks below!
For families If there’s one thing that Christmas is for, it’s spending time with your nearest and dearest. What better way to get together and enjoy the Christmas holidays than with a day out and a show in London? We recommend…
Circus 1903 Featuring sensational puppetry and daring feats, this is a show that will have the whole family in awe. Opening on December 19th, Circus 1903 is a sure-fire way to feel the magic this Christmas.
The much-loved adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s children’s book returns to the West End stage this Christmas and is the perfect show for young children. With a running time of just 55 minutes, and plenty of hilarious action to keep them entertained, kids will love this award-winning production. Book tickets now and save up to 48% – tickets start at just £15!
Rumpelstiltskin A treat for older children (8+ is advised), this classic fairy tale is re-imagined with twists, turns and supreme silliness. Opening on 13th December, this five-star, ‘outrageous rocking musical’ (Sunday Mail) stars Australian singer and cabaret star Paul Capsis. Book now and save up to 44%.
Nativity! The Musical Full of your favourite hits from the much-loved films, Nativity! returns to the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo this Christmas, with Danny Dyer, Jo Brand and Dani Dyer in tow! With tickets selling fast, don’t miss out on this star-studded smash-hit.
A Christmas Carol with Simon Callow Following three previous sell-out seasons, this heart-warming and critically acclaimed production of Charles’ Dickens classic tale returns to the Arts Theatre from 8th December for a strictly limited season. A must-see Christmas story for all generations, if you don’t want to miss out, book your tickets now.
Ballet There are few things more magical than taking a trip to see ballet in London at Christmas. Our top ballet productions this year are…
The Nutcracker Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas tale never fails to warm the heart. Opening at the London Coliseum on December 12th, this production from English National Ballet is as traditional and as enchanting as it gets at Christmas! Book now from just £16.80.
The Snowman From The Peacock Theatre comes a show that is ‘guaranteed to melt the heart of even the most cynical scrooge’ (The Guardian). Based on the book and film of the same name, The Snowman is returning to the London stage for a record-breaking 21st year. Children under 2 go free and you can book tickets from just £18.
Girls (or boys!) night out Celebrate Christmas with your friends with a riotous night out on the town. We’ve got a fabulous selection of shows to keep you more than entertained this Winter…
Briefs: Close Encounters Grab your red lipstick and prepare for a fierce night of drag, burlesque, circus and everything else you could possibly want with the Briefs boys! Beat the Christmas chills with this super-hot and thrilling show, with tickets starting from £15.
The Silent Disco Show
Grab your dancing shoes, grab your glowsticks and prepare yourself for a sensory party experience unlike any other. Donning your very own special glowing headphones, this unique club night experience is guaranteed to have you feeling the party spirit this Christmas. Book now from £18.60.
Burlesque Carol Concert Carol singing with one hell of a twist, House of Burlesque invites you to raise your voices and your glasses to all of your favourite Christmas songs as they put on a show that’s sure to raise your pulse. With tickets from just £15.60, you can’t go wrong with this one!
He’s the man behind the show that is currently taking the West End by storm: From The Box Office chatted with Misty writer and star Arinzé Kene about the success of the show, diversity in the West End and what we can expect from him next… Read his answers below.
Misty opened on the West End to rave reviews and standing ovations after every performance. Did you imagine when you were first trying to write the play that this would be the outcome? No, not at all – that doesn’t really cross my mind when I’m working. I try not to let that come into the creative process; I try and keep the creative process as pure as possible and focus on the art. That sometimes means having certain people in the room at certain phases [of creation], some at early stages, some at later stages. We have created a piece that was very honest. I think that having a piece that is as pure as [Misty] is, as untamed as it is, that was the dream, and the success is really just a bonus of that.
What have you most enjoyed about working on Misty?
Firstly, the way that we’ve managed to continue to improve the show, even now that it’s on. Mostly I’ve enjoyed the creative process, though – from the very beginning it’s been an artist’s dream. We began in a bubble, but we’ve been able to go with our instincts which has been really liberating. I’d also say that the getting here and getting to play to this audience every night. The play is structured, but there are elements within it that can change every night, depending on how I feel every night, and I love playing the audience back and forth. I also love the comedy, that’s definitely in the top 3 bits that I love. When I’m on stage I love playing the comedy because it’s so much fun.
What would you say was the most challenging aspect of the play’s creation?
It was a combination [of things] actually, because the play is quite unique in its structure, and so I had to battle some insecurities that I had about writing this piece. I’d also never made anything like it before, so it’s not tried and tested and that was intimidating. In many ways, though, the actual subject matter was the most challenging part; I’m putting my life on stage, and I’ve been quite a private person. I’d never put myself on stage before, and to do that, to put [my life] on stage was quite intimidating but it’s also been really rewarding.
You’ve spoken candidly about the gentrification that you’ve seen taking place as you’ve grown up in London, do you hope that this play can raise awareness of this to a wider audience?
Yeah (sic) definitely. I hope that as an artist I can shed some light on it and open a discussion about it. I think one of the jobs of the artist is to bring something that’s in the dark, into the light, and so that’s what I’ve done. I don’t think the play is answering any questions, I think it’s organising ideas and looking at what’s happening. Gentrification has happened the world over and will continue to, but it leaves a lot of people feeling displaced and, in a way, homeless. It erases people, and it erases their culture. There’s many ways of looking at it, though, and we do that in the play, and we laugh about it too. Half the time [of the play], we’re laughing at a serious matter. You know, one of my favourite books ‘Not Without Laughter’ [by Langston Hughes] deals with some serious issues, but does so in a way that inspires people to see the best of a situation. That’s what I wanted to do [with Misty]: say “let’s look at this” and explore ways to cope with it, but not without laughter.
When you were writing the play, did you consider your audience? Did you hope that you would attract a new audience to theatre?
Yeah, it was considered. The theatre wasn’t somewhere that I’d always felt welcome growing up in London, and I thought Misty was an opportunity to open [theatre] to other audiences. I didn’t exactly step out to do that, I think it’s just the kind of work that I create. I don’t write or create art for any one person, it’s inclusive. I look out every night and see so much diversity in the audiences and that’s what I want. That’s my London. We always knew Misty had the capacity to do that. All the extra marketing and press that we did was just to make sure that those audiences knew that they were included.
You’ve got an upcoming show at The Old Vic, can we expect more Misty-like shows after that?
Well you can expect some more work from me. It might be Misty-esque just because it’s going to be my play, but I don’t know. I’m really focused on telling the stories that I want to tell. I’m constantly trying to find new stories that I want to tell and that I think people need to hear. I love seeing stories and telling stories with people that are misrepresented or under represented. I think more diversity is definitely needed [in the West End].
Do you hope that Misty will be the beginning of a more culturally and racially diverse West End?
It could be. I hope it will be. I think it will help to open doors. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for people before me and [the West End] is getting better. We’ve got Kwame [Kwei-Armah] over at the Young Vic, for example, and others on their way up. I hope [Misty] opens more doors for creators and for people looking to make less mainstream work. The nature of the play in itself isn’t what usually would makes it into the West End, so I hope it changes what people think will make a successful West End show.
Still haven’t seen the smash-hit sensation that is Misty? Book your tickets now and get a free seat upgrade* here!
★★★★ ‘Arinzé Kene is blazingly charismatic’ (Evening Standard)
★★★★ ‘Inspiringly individualistic’ (Daily Telegraph)
★★★★ ‘This firecracker of a show arrives with a bang in the West End’ (Metro)
With thanks to Arinzé Kene.
*Upgrade offer ends 17th November
In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, Only Fools & Horses, the much-loved television show, will be making its way to London’s West End in 2019, reimagined as a musical. With so much excitement surrounding this announcement, we’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane, and have rounded up our top 10 all time favourite moments from the classic BBC show.
10. Pranking Grandad Bless Grandad and his dimwittedness! In this classic scene, Del Boy gets a bit of karma and a taste of his own medicine while scaring his dear old Grandad.
9. Blow up dolls As if it wasn’t hilarious enough that Del Boy had managed to accidentally get his hands on a faulty stock of naughty dolls, they then also turn out to be deadly!
8. Baby names Oh, Trigger. Perhaps one of the most simpleminded characters ever written, you can’t help but love him and his lack of sense! In one of his many classic moments, here we see him discussing Del Boy’s baby names with ‘Dave’.
7. Dave Another classic Trigger moment takes the number 7 spot. Only Trigger, after finally being told Rodney’s real name, could still miss the mark and continue to call him Dave!
6. The Poker Game In what could be classed as one of the most intense poker games we’ve ever witnessed, Del Boy gets one up on Boycie. Let’s be honest, it was about time that somebody put Boycie in his place!
5. We’re finally millionaires Taking the number 5 spot is the moment that finally saw Del Boy and Rodney’s dreams of being millionaires come true. Of course, they celebrated in true Trotter style!
4. The Canary Only the Trotters could find a dead canary and make the situation worse! At number four is the riotously hilarious moment that saw Del Boy forking out £50 to replace a bird he hadn’t even killed.
3. Batman & Robin Perhaps one of the most notorious moments in British TV history, Del Boy and Rodney took to the streets as the caped crusader and his winged partner – with all the hilarious consequences that you’d expect from the Trotters.
2. The Wrong Chandelier Just missing out on the top stop (it was a pretty tough decision) is the moment that saw Del Boy and Rodney smash a near priceless chandelier – as only they could!
1. Del falls through the bar Of course, irrefutably taking the top spot, is the infamous moment in which Del Boy redefines ‘playing it cool’, by falling through the open bar behind him. In a move that rivals even Trigger’s stupidity, even Del Boy can’t style out the embarrassment of this moment!
What do you think of our top ten classic #OFAH moments? Sound off in the comments below! Make sure you don’t miss out on tickets to see the new musical when it lands in the West End; book tickets here.
While the idea of sitting through 7 hours of theatre may seem daunting, it’s important to note that each part of The Inheritance is a self-contained play, i.e., you can technically see one without seeing the other. If you are determined to only see one of the plays, I highly recommend that it is Part 1, however, I recommend more strongly that you see both.
Following a highly successful run at The Young Vic theatre, Matthew Lopez’s two-part, seven-and-a-half-hour play The Inheritance transferred to the Noël Coward Theatre in London’s glittering West End – and rightly so. This is a play that should have a permanent feature in London’s theatre landscape; in every city’s theatre landscape, in fact. This is a play that will make you laugh, move you to tears and teach you about the harrowing events that the LGBTQ+ community has survived, as well as the issues still facing the community today. I would go as far as to say that this is not merely a play; it is far more profound, far more transcendent. It is, in short, the epitome of what theatre should be.
Matthew Lopez’s writing is nothing short of genius. From hilarious quips and quick wit to poignant monologues and graphic accounts of sexual experiences, there is no line without purpose, no word wasted, and not a single fault to be found in this script. The production, masterfully directed by Stephen Daldry, is staged with practically no set and very few props, yet every scene is bursting with such vivid descriptions that it comes to life right in front of you, without the need for assistance from physical objects or sets. What Lopez does with flawless precision, though, is create humans: his are not just characters in a play, they are men who are complex and conflicted, and who yearn for a place in this world, just as any other person does. From the inherently kind-hearted Eric Glass (played by Kyle Soller) to the deeply damaged Toby Darling, child of privilege (played by Andrew Burnap), you’ll become whole-heartedly invested in every character and the stories they have to share.
Each cast member deserves recognition for their incredible performances. Even the characters with the shortest stage time are wholly entrancing, which only serves as a demonstration of the incomparable talent of this cast. However, it would be impossible for me to not mention Samuel H. Levine, who plays both the well-off actor, Adam, and the young rent boy, Leo, who’s story was one of the most captivating features of the play. Also deserving a special mention is Paul Hilton, who doubles as E.M. Forster (Morgan), upon whose work this play comes to fruition, and as Walter, perhaps the most remarkable of the characters. Both actors are, quite frankly, too remarkable for words.
I could write endlessly about these plays, trying, and probably failing, to explain in any comprehensible way just how thought-provoking, triumphant, moving and profound they are. In truth, I cannot recommend them enough and I cannot praise them enough – nor could anybody else for that matter. All I can really say is: when you see them, you’ll understand.
Don’t miss out on The Inheritanceat the Noël Coward Theatre until January 19th 2019!
It’s the story that shaped not only a young man’s life, but the understanding of life as we now know it. Now, Charles Darwin’s inspiring journey will be put on stage for all to see in the first show of its kind at the Natural History Museum. We asked playwright David Morton for all of the exciting details, ahead of the production’s historic opening on Tuesday 2nd October…
The Wider Earth tells the story of Darwin’s voyage on HMS Beagle. How did that voyage affect the rest of his life and work? On 25 October 1831, a 22-year-old Charles Darwin boarded a ship preparing for a voyage around the world. What he saw on the five-year voyage that followed led him to think deeply about the natural world, and to question received opinion about its origins. He also collected specimens – thousands of them – and these specimens, studied in the field and on his return to England, provided vital evidence in support of his ideas, especially on the theory of evolution.
Since this play is based on a real, historical voyage, how did you find the balance between giving a historically true account and telling a good story? To strike the balance we’ve tried to include nothing in the story that doesn’t at least have some reference to actual events. There are definitely some leaps of imagination to heighten the drama but we’ve tried to keep true to the memories of the characters and the contributions they all made.
David Morton’s The Wider Earth
Was there any part of the writing or development process that you found especially challenging? The most challenging part was trying to work out which parts of the history to use. The records of the voyage are so rich with information that it was hard not to include everything.
What do you think will surprise audiences most about the Darwin you’re presenting versus the Darwin they think they know? In the show we try and capture Darwin’s energy, his drive, and his excitement. We wanted to show the Darwin behind the long grey beard, and paint a portrait of Charles as the young man.
In your opinion, what do puppets add to the story (or to theatre in general)? The process of bringing a puppet to life on stage takes an incredible degree of commitment and discipline. Unlike an actor who spends a rehearsal period developing a character, a puppet has to first learn how to be alive before we can even start to wonder as to what its character might be. Ultimately, the process isn’t complete until the imagination of an audience turns the movement cues that we give into the illusion of life. I think that puppets deepen the possibilities of storytelling in theatre, and can provoke a real sense of wonder in an audience.
Of the 30 puppets featured in this production, do you have a favourite? The Galapagos tortoise! And the flightless cormorant.
Since it’s a bit unconventional to stage a play in the Museum, have there been any logistical challenges? Converting the Jerwood Gallery into a theatre for the first time has been a challenge, but the outcome is absolutely worth it!
What has it been like working with the Museum’s scientists? Working with Professor Adrian Lister has been an absolute honour. To receive input into the story from someone who has lived and breathed everything Darwinian for so long has allowed the script to flourish. Adrian has an amazing sense of Charles as a person, and has been just as excited as us about making the story fresh, and bringing the voyage to life.
There are so many incredible and unique aspects to this production: its staging in the Natural History Museum, its 30 hand-made puppets, its blending of animations and live performance. What are you most excited to share with audiences? The experience of the whole thing. I think what’s so special about this work is the integration of the elements. There’s so much to look at, and the world of the play is so rich. Also the amazing cast, their dedication to the characters and the story has been just awe inspiring and I’m so grateful to the whole team.
If you’re as excited as we are for this groundbreaking new production you can book tickets now! Watch the trailer below:
They say that laughter is the best medicine, and we’re inclined to agree! Luckily, there’s jokes aplenty out there in theatre-land, from stand-up superstars to cheesy panto banter. Being the geeks we are, we can’t resist a theatre funny or two, so here are a few of our favourite jokes that only theatre nerds would truly understand…
Two neighbours in Stratford have a dispute about whose house is the authentic birthplace of William Shakespeare. Officials kept the peace by putting a plaque on both their houses.
A Stage Manager’s View of the World: The tech crew trips over clearly marked ledges. Actors trip over tape on the floor. Dancers trip over tape that was pulled up yesterday.
How do you drown an actress?
Place a mirror at the bottom of a pool.
How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
100 of course! 1 to screw the bulb in and 99 to stand around, saying, “It should be me up there!”
How many producers does it take to change a light bulb?
Sorry, a new light bulb isn’t in the budget.
A sound technician, a lighting designer and a stage manager find an old lamp, backstage at the theatre. One of them gives it a rub, and out wafts a genie!
“Since you all found me,” he says, “You each get one wish!”The sound technician steps up and says, “I wish to be sitting poolside in my own multi-million-pound mansion!” And POOF, he is gone.
The lighting director takes his turn and says, “Well, I wish to be sitting on the beach on my own multi-billion-pound private island!” And POOF, he is gone.
Then stage manager turns to the genie and says, “I wish to have them both back in 10 minutes.”
The funniest part of Macbeth is when the soldiers all cut a branch of a tree to hold in front of them while they march on the castle; pretending to be innocent trees instead of an army.
The second funniest part is that it actually works.
And a few one liners for luck…
A friend of mine got sacked as a set designer for not getting the work done. He didn’t make a scene.
Tried acting on a farm once. It went terribly; I got mooed off the stage.
Planning to open a new shadow puppet show. Business plan says we’ll make a fortune, but those are just projected figures.
Whether they make you giggle or groan, if you have any funny theatre gags to add to our list, we’d love to hear them! Or perhaps leave the comedy to the experts and treat yourself to tickets for a professional stand-up show… Browse upcoming comedy shows here!
The Old Vic proudly presents the world première of Girl from the North Country, opening in July. The electrifying new show full of hope, heartbreak and soul, from award-winning playwright Conor McPherson, features the iconic songbook of Bob Dylan, including classics such as ‘Sweetheart Like You’ and ‘You Aint Going Nowhere’.
What’s it about? It’s 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota. A close-knit community, living life on a knife-edge, huddles together in their local guesthouse. Nick, the guesthouse owner, owes more money than he can ever repay; Elizabeth, his wife, is losing her mind, and Marianne, their daughter, is carrying a child that no-one will account for. When a boxer looking for a comeback and a preacher selling bibles show up at their doorstep in the middle of the night, things begin to spiral beyond the point of no return.
So is it a play? Is it a musical? Girl from the North Country is a production with music; Conor McPherson emphasises that it is not a compilation of Bob Dylan’s greatest hits, nor a West End blockbuster in which the plot is driven by the music, but actually a ‘conversation’ between the story and Dylan’s classics.
Is the production biographical to Dylan? It isn’t. However, it is set in the place where he was born (Duluth, Minnesota) in the 1930s, the period from which a lot of music that inspired Dylan (Woody Guthrie) was produced.
Is the music live? Yes, there is a live band, comprised of 4 musicians playing piano, double bass, guitars and strings. Some actors will also be performing musical instruments on stage, including drums, tambourines and harmonica. Jack Shalloo (who plays Elias Burke) has learnt the harmonica for the role!
The cast members will also be using many original instruments from the period in which the production is set, including a 1930s drum kit and piano.
So who is the girl from the North Country? The title is less descriptive than suggestive. Without giving too much away, it could refer to a number of characters.
Is the music in the style of Bob Dylan? Some of the music is in Dylan’s style; however, you’ll see (and hear) a wide variety of styles throughout the performance. Some songs will perhaps feel more souly – and some more folky. There will be big ballads, similar to those performed in more mainstream musicals, and some songs that will be a little more stripped back and bare.
The company of Girl from the North Country recently performed extracts from the show in a recent workshop. Listen to them here.
Has Bob Dylan had any involvement in the production? No more than a few days after Conor McPherson sent Bob Dylan’s management an outline of the production, he received an email from them saying:
‘Bob Dylan has read it, likes it, and is happy for you to go ahead.’
Shortly after, a parcel enclosing 40 Dylan albums arrived at his door, including a note specifying that he could use any songs in any way he liked.
Will Bob Dylan be seeing the production? Conor McPherson and the team have worked very closely with Bob Dylan’s management on the genesis of the show, and will, of course, be inviting him!