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DREAMGIRLS Leads December's Top 10 New London Shows

London is never short of theatre temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a big musical revival to starry panto and Matthew Bourne's latest, here are some of this month's most eye-catching openings. Don't forget to check back for BroadwayWorld's reviews...

1. Dreamgirls, Savoy Theatre

Glee's Amber Riley stars as Effie White in Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger's Swinging Sixties musical, inspired by the turbulent rise of Diana Ross and The Supremes. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, this West End revival also features Liisi LaFontaine, Ibinabo Jack, Joe Aaron Reid and Adam J Bernard.

Until 6 Mary, 2017. Book here

2. Hedda Gabler, National Theatre

Patrick Marber's new version of Ibsen's seminal realist drama stars Ruth Wilson and Rafe Spall as the unhappily married couple. They're directed by Ivo Van Hove - the ever-exciting director making his National debut - and the cast also features Kate Duchêne, Chukwudi Iwuji, Éva Magyar, Sinéad Matthews and Kyle Soller.

5 December-21 March, 2017. Book here

3. Cinderella, London Palladium

The glitziest of 2016's myriad panto offerings, this West End extravaganza has an impressive line-up. Natasha J Barnes, Amanda Holden, Paul O'Grady, Julian Clary, Lee Mead and Nigel Havers join forces to tell the classic rags-to-riches fairy tale, in the first pantomime at the Palladium for nearly 30 years. Read our interview with Lee Mead

10 December-15 January, 2017. Book here

4. The Red Shoes, Sadler's Wells

Matthew Bourne's highly anticipated take on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's film and Hans Christian Andersen's tale arrives in London. Ashley Shaw creates the role of Victoria Page, who dreams of being a great dancer, and the company includes Cordelia Braithwaite, Katrina Lyndon, Sam Archer, Chris Trenfield, Dominic North, Michela Meazza and Liam Mower.

6 December-29 January, 2017. Book here

5. Love's Labours Lost/ Much Ado About Nothing, Theatre Royal Haymarket

This hit RSC project pairs two complementary Shakespeare plays - Much Ado in fact was quite possibly known as Love's Labour's Won - and places them either side of the Great War. Christopher Luscombe directs, with Lisa Dillon and Edward Bennett leading the company. Read our interview with Lisa Dillon

9 December-18 March, 2017. Book here

6. Saint Joan, Donmar Warehouse

Gemma Arterton is back on stage, directed by Donmar boss Josie Rourke in the title role of George Bernard Shaw's tragic portrait of an iconic figure. The supporting cast includes Matt Bardock, Hadley Fraser, Elliot Levey and Richard Cant. It's also broadcast live in cinemas on 16 February, 2017.

9 December-18 February, 2017. Book here

7. She Loves Me, Menier Chocolate Factory

The plot of Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock's musical - two warring employees in 1930s Budapest are also lovelorn pen pals - will be familiar if you've seen the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film You've Got Mail. Scarlett Strallen and Mark Umbers lead a sterling company, directed by Matthew White. Read our interview with Mark Umbers

Until 4 March, 2017. Book here

8. Mary Stuart, Almeida Theatre

Robert Icke adapts and directs Schiller's great political tragedy about Mary, Queen of Scots and her cousin Elizabeth I. Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams trade the roles, deciding who plays which with the toss of a coin. The supporting cast includes Alan Williams, Rudi Dharmalingam and Vincent Franklin, and there's original music from Laura Marling.

2 December-21 January, 2017. Book here

9. Art, Old Vic

Director Matthew Warchus returns to Yasmina Reza's modern classic (translated by Christopher Hampton) on the 20th anniversary of its London premiere. Tim Key, Paul Ritter and Rufus Sewell play the trio warring over an expensive abstract painting - testing both their friendship and their prejudices.

10 December-18 February, 2017. Book here

10. Rent, St James Theatre

Another 20th anniversary, as Jonathan Larson's era-defining musical about a group of New York bohemians comes to London as part of a UK tour. Bruce Guthrie directs Ross Hunter, Layton Williams, Lucie Jones, Philippa Stefani, Billy Cullum and Shanay Holmes. Read our interview with Lucie Jones

8 December-28 January, 2017. Book here

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From This Author - Marianka Swain

Marianka Swain is the UK Editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld. A London-based theatre critic and arts journalist, she also contributes to several other outlets, including the Ham & High and Islington... (read more about this author)

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