19 of the best plays to see in London

West End plays are back. Why not take a trip to the theatre?

View Of Empty Chairs In Auditorium

by Piper Huxley |

Don’t fancy watching a musical? Well, the West End has plenty of other theatrical experiences to offer. Here, at Yours, we’re big fans of the theatre and we’re sharing the best plays to see in London right now.

Now that theatres are up and running again, it’s important to support shows when you can. Sorely missed throughout the pandemic, theatre, as an industry, has undoubtedly had a tough couple of years. So, let’s do what we can to help them out.

Luckily, the West End has a fabulous selection of plays open right now, as well as some exciting productions that are scheduled to open soon. We couldn’t resist putting them in here either.

With big stars like Jodie Comer, Amy Adams and Johnathan Bailey on the West End right now, these plays will ensure you have a dazzling evening ahead of you. We have it all: from long-running plays like Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap and The Woman in Black to shows with limited seasons like The Seagull and My Neighbour Totoro.

Maybe you'll find something you'll really love.

The best plays to see in London in 2022

The Woman in Black

In a re-imagining of Susan Hill's novel of the same name, a lawyer believes that he has been cursed by the Woman in Black. Arthur approaches The Actor to help tell his story.

Though innocent at first, as they reach further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world ghostly haunting on an eerie marsh.

The cast currently stars Max Hutchinson and Terence Wilton.

You can catch The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre, booking through April 2023.

Piper's thoughts: "I went to see this on a school trip a number of years ago. Something that really draws you in with this show is the atmosphere that is created in this old, Victorian theatre. With its crooked, pew-like seats and slanted stage, you already feel very uncomfortable. If you're in need of a good spook, this play is for you. I was terrified."

The Mousetrap

Agatha Christie's masterpiece The Mousetrap has now been running for almost 70 years!

To put it simply, it is a great piece of theatre, written by the greatest crime writer of all time.

We don't want to spoil it for you. So, we're not saying much.

Don't just see it, solve it.

You can catch Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap at the St Martin's Theatre.

Plus, The Mousetrap is embarking on a large UK tour in October, starting at Nottingham Theatre Royal.

Piper's thoughts: "I've seen this one, too, and I really enjoyed it. Agatha Christie fools me every single time I watch Marple or read a Poirot... and this play is no exception."

The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play that Goes Wrong has won so many awards, including the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Fancy that! So successful, they've made spin-off show and even a TV show.

The Play That Goes Wrong is a must-see smash-hit and absolute riot.

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong... does! The accident-prone actors battle against all odds to make it through to their curtain call, with hilarious consequences in-store.

The Play that Goes Wrong is at the Duchess Theatre, booking until April 2023.

Piper's thoughts: "I saw this a few years back. This show was really silly and took every opportunity to make the audience laugh. If you love meta-theatrical comedy, this show is for you. I don't want to spoil what this show has in store, but it's really funny."

To Kill a Mockingbird

After an extremely successful run on Broadway, Aaron Sorkin's new production of the best-selling and Pulitzer-Prize winning novel by Harper Lee has landed on the West End.

The story was inspired by Lee’s childhood in Alabama and follows Atticus Finch and his daughter Scout. Known as one of literature’s towering symbols of honesty and compassion lawyer Atticus Finch seeks the truth in a town that seems determined to hide it.

Be sure to grab your tickets for this important play.

To Kill a Mockingbird is currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre until November.

Piper's thoughts: "This is one of the best books I've ever read. I'm not surprised that this play is doing well worldwide. Though it was written so long ago, and times have changed, so many of the book's central themes remain. This play is important and a must-see."

The Great Gatsby

Welcome back to the roaring twenties! Jay Gatsby invites you to one of his parties. In this immersive experience, lots of drama unfolds in the hottest show in town. Dress to the nines and immerse yourself in this adaption of F Scott Fitzgerald’s popular story.

The Great Gatsby is at Immersive LDN until October.

Piper's thoughts: "The Great Gatsby is a classic story and this immersive theatre show promises an experience like no other."

Jitney

August Wilson’s Olivier Award-winning play comes to London’s Old Vic for a limited one-month run.

Catch tickets whilst you can!

August Wilson’s captivating modern classic examines the relationships between eight men as they love their lives and work day in and day out in racially segregated post-Vietnam America.

Jitney is playing at the Old Vic until July 9th.

Piper's thoughts: "The Old Vic puts on gritty and important shows. This play looks no different - and I'm sure it's great. Grab your tickets whilst you can though."

King Lear

Fancy a trip to the Globe? King Lear is open this summer for a month. The cast will feature Kathryn Hunter in the title role of King Lear, Michelle Terry as Cordelia/Fool and Marcello Magni as Kent.

The King divides his empire among his three daughters, with a promise that the largest share will go to the one who professes to love him the most. However, when he relinquishes his power, Lear is cast out by those he trusts, leading him on a maddening quest for self-knowledge and reconciliation. A family feud of global proportions tears the kingdom apart.

King Lear is at the Globe - for July.

Piper's thoughts: "This production looks dark and I love the gender-blind casting."

The Glass Menagerie

Tennessee Williams wrote classics like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire. However, this season, the West End is putting on a production of The Glass Menagerie, starring two-time Golden Globe-winning actress Amy Adams as Amanda Wingfield.

Amanda, now a single mother, focuses on securing a good life for her and her two kids. However, her ideals clash with the dreams and ambitions of her children.

Amanda’s determination leaves son Tom feeling trapped by his life in St Louis, whilst daughter Laura is under the pressure of securing their future. Looking past the problems her actions are causing her daughter, Amanda still continues her search for a suitor for Laura.

However, dignity and desperation eventually begin to blur.

The Glass Menagerie runs until August at the Duke of York's Theatre.

Piper's thoughts: "Amy Adams is such a fabulous actor. Tennessee Williams writes with such rich details and vibrancy. He is one of my favourite playwrights and captures the complicated nature of existence so accurately. I'm very excited for this show."

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

A major new production of CS Lewis's classic tale comes to the West End this summer.

Step through the wardrobe into the magical kingdom of Narnia for the most mystical of adventures in a faraway land. Join Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter as they wave goodbye to wartime Britain and say hello to a talking Faun, an unforgettable Lion and the coldest, cruellest White Witch - who is played by EastEnders star Samantha Womack.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is playing at the Gillian Lynne Theatre from July until January 2023.

Piper's thoughts: "Judging by the trailer, this production looks spectacular. Great to take your kids - or the grandkids - on a trip to London to experience such a magical show."

Much Ado About Nothing

Lucy Bailey returns to the Globe to direct Shakespeare’s laugh a minute comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.

After a fierce battle has been won, soldiers return to Messina to fight battles on a new front. Two soldiers wage opposite wars, Claudio fights for the love and hand of Hero while Benedick struggles to avoid affection and attachment only to be betrayed by his heart when he meets his match in Beatrice.

Much Ado About Nothing is playing at Shakespeare's Globe until September.

Piper's thoughts: "Much Ado is my favourite Shakespeare. It's actually very funny and you undoubtedly missed all of these moments when you read it in your English class at school. Plus, it's at the Globe. What are you waiting for?"

I've popped in a clip of another Globe version:

Or, perhaps, you would prefer something else...

Henry VIII

This new adaptation brings a different perspective to Henry VIII and you won’t want to miss it.

We all know the story of King Henry VIII, but this new Globe production gives us a chance to see the story unfold from a female perspective - which is what we've been missing. This exploration of lineage, love and power comes to Shakespeare’s Globe and uses a new lens through which to view the familiar tale.

Henry VIII is playing at the Globe until October.

Piper's thoughts: "I haven't read Henry VIII, but this Globe production looks great."

The Doctor

Speaking of doctors... West End treasure Juliet Stevenson stars in The Doctor. After a sell-out run at the Almeida Theatre, Robert Icke's production is transferring to London's Duke of York's Theatre in September.

Ruth Wolff is The Doctor, a practitioner at the top of her game heading a private clinic that specialises in finding a cure for dementia. One day, a patient is struggling to hold on to life.

A catholic priest is intent on giving the young woman the last rites in an attempt to save her soul, but Dr Wolff denies him entry to her room. When the media get wind of this, personal politics, and religion are called into question and social media has something to say about medical ethics.

This ‘devastating’ new play calls into question everything you think you know or believe.

The Doctor opens at the Duke of York's Theatre in September - until December.

Piper's thoughts: "This sounds amazing. I'm very intrigued..."

Life of Pi

Life of Pi is a renowned novel by Yann Martel, which was an international bestseller and selling over fifteen million copies worldwide. It was adapted into a film in 2012 by Fox. The film was nominated for three Golden Globe Award and eleven Academy Awards; four of which it won. With the film and novel being hits, there's no reason as to why the play wouldn't be!

Following the sinking of a cargo ship, a sixteen-year-old boy along with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a hungry Bengal tiger are left at the mercy of nature, who is harsh and forgiving. Time is against them and they have one mission; to survive.

Life of Pi is playing at Wyndham's Theatre until October.

Piper's thoughts: "Wow! The set and puppetry look second to none. This is a powerful story about resilience and getting through something almost impossible. Extraordinary."

Witness for the Prosecution

If you've seen The Mousetrap already, why not catch another Christie mystery?

Agatha Christie's stage play follows protagonist Leonard Vole, who has been accused of killing a widow to inherit her fortune. A lot is at stake in this court case and only time will tell whether Leonard can convince the jury and you, the audience, that he is an innocent man.

Following a shocking witness testimony, it seems Leonard won't be running away from the hangman's noose so easily... Looks like you've been summoned for jury duty...

Witness for the Prosecution is playing at London County Hall until September.

Piper's thoughts: "Another great mystery from Mrs Christie."

My Neighbour Totoro

You will not want to miss the world premiere of this incredible stage adaptation from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Based on the cult classic animated Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro, this new production comes to London’s Barbican for a limited 15-week run. Tickets for this stunning new adaptation are expected to be in high demand.

My Neighbour Totoro tells the story of sisters Satsuki and Mei and one remarkable summer in their lives.

My Neighbour Totoro is playing at the Barbican from October until January 2023.

Piper's thoughts: "I am such a big fan of this film... This is on my list for Autumn, for sure."

The Seagull

Chekhov’s The Seagull in a version by Anya Reiss will play at the Harold Pinter Theatre from June until September, having closed during previews in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

A young woman is desperate for fame and a way out.

A young man is pining after the woman of his dreams.

A successful writer longs for a sense of achievement.

An actress wants to fight the changing of the times.

In an isolated home in the countryside where dreams are in tatters, hopes dashed, hearts broken and there is nowhere left to turn, the only option is to turn on each other.

The Seagull opens in June at the Harold Pinter Theatre until September.

Piper's thoughts: "It's about time I saw this play. The cast is a powerful group of actors."

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter returns! Seven books and eight movies simply weren't enough.

19 years after the battle of Hogwarts in the second wizarding war, this play marks itself as the official continuation of the beloved story of Harry and his friends. Coming in two parts, this show sees the characters we know and love as adults.

Harry Potter is now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. Whilst Harry struggles with work and the echoes of his past, his son struggles to be part of a family legacy. Then, the darkness comes.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is playing at the Palace Theatre, booking until April.

Piper's thoughts: "If you liked Harry Potter, you will like this show."

Mad House

American actors Bill Pullman and David Harbour star in the world premiere of this dark yet funny new play for a limited run. You don't want to miss this awesome duo.

Micheal returns to rural Pennsylvania, to his childhood home, to take care of his dying father. Not long after his siblings Ned and Pam arrive, and their motives seem less pure.

They are determined to figure out exactly how much money Dad really has left and to sort out exactly how they'll be able to get their hands on it in the end.

Mad House runs from June to September at the Ambassadors Theatre.

Piper's thoughts: "These two men are well-known for their roles in everything human and beyond. So, I'm really intrigued as to what this show is all about. Seems sinister."

Jerusalem

Mark Rylance leads the cast in the West End revival of the Royal Court Theatre’s sell-out production of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, which is a comic, contemporary vision of life in our green and pleasant land.

On St George’s Day, the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron, local waster and modern-day Pied Piper is a wanted man. The council officials want to serve him an eviction notice, his children want their dad to take them to the fair, Troy Whitworth wants to beat him up and his mates want his ample supply of drugs and alcohol. Sounds like a wild ride!

Jerusalem has crashed into London at the Apollo Theatre, booking until August.

Piper's thoughts: "I studied Butterworth's play Mojo at university and I enjoyed it very much for its dynamic nature and the exploration of masculinity. This show seems riotous and fun."

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