My Top Recommendations From London’s Theatre Productions

One of my very favourite things to do in London is hit the West End for a night at the theatre. From musicals to Shakespeare and the latest productions, I love to take advantage of living in such a culturally rich city and try and see as much as we can (thankfully my husband loves theatre just as much as I do).

We recently celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary and took the day off work for lunch and a matinee performance of Back to the Future – sitting in the theatre when we would normally be working felt super decadent. I have to confess, it wasn’t originally top of my list when it first opened as I wasn’t sure a musical version would work despite the amazing soundtrack of the film but it was amazing and such a feel-good production.  I don’t want to give too much away but if you do go and see it, you’ll be wowed by the DeLorean.

Another of the West End theatre shows I really want to try and get tickets for is Hamnet, which is an adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s amazing novel about the fictional life of William Shakespeare’s son. It’s coming to the Garrick Theatre on a limited run from October to January so definitely one to watch. I love to see theatrical adaptations of some of my favourite books and was lucky enough to have tickets earlier in the summer for A Little Life starring James Norton. It’s an absolutely incredible novel which is bleak and beautiful in equal measure, and although it’s so challenging to bring a book of over 700 pages to the stage, I personally thought Ivo van Hove did the most stunning job. I’m not sure I’ll ever see anything better than that and think about it probably every other day. Whilst the production has now come to an end, there will be a screening of the play in cinemas on September 28th, I’d highly recommend it if you missed out on the play itself.

Another fabulous show currently on and ending in early September is the revival of Oklahoma. I saw the more traditional version many years ago at the National, but loved this modern, inventive reworking. It features all of the classic songs and storyline, but in a pared-back set and with an interpretive dance scene after the interval it really shows how with the right creative team you can take a more traditional piece of theatre and bring it to a modern audience.

Currently the final theatre production for 2023 that I DO have tickets for in October is Kenneth Branagh’s King Lear. One of those excellent Instagram stories targeted ads where as soon as I saw it flash up I went in so they clearly know their audience well! King Lear isn’t a Shakespeare play that I know but I’ve never seen Kenneth Branagh on stage before so can’t wait for something to look forward to when the nights are drawing in.

Finally, if I were to recommend just one current production that will hopefully run and run then it would be Moulin Rouge! I saw it first of all on Broadway back in 2020 for my 40th birthday just a few weeks before the world shut down so was thrilled when they announced a London show would be coming, even if we did have to wait for it. I’ve seen it twice in London as well and would happily go again and again – SO creative and all the extra songs that have been added make it for me even better than the film.

Do you love theatre? I’d love to know what your recommendations are so I can add to my list.

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