FOLLIES Leads September's Top 10 New London Shows

By: Aug. 31, 2017
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London is never short of theatre temptations, whether West End epics or bold fringe offerings. From starry Sondheim to political plays and a new Florian Zeller, here are some of this month's most eye-catching openings. Don't forget to check back for BroadwayWorld's reviews...

1. Follies, National Theatre

The pairing of Stephen Sondheim and Imelda Staunton has produced sensational results in the past, so expectations are high for Dominic Cooke's revival - featuring 37 performers and a 21-piece orchestra. The cast also includes Janie Dee, Tracie Bennett, Zizi Strallen, Philip Quast and Alex Young.

Until 3 January, 2018. Book tickets here

2. Labour of Love, Noel Coward Theatre

James Graham's timely new political comedy, set in Labour's traditional northern heartlands, tackles the Party's clashing values and fraught process of modernisation. Jeremy Herrin directs a cast led by Martin Freeman, Sarah Lancashire and Rachael Stirling in this Michael Grandage Company and Headlong premiere.

15 September-2 December. Book tickets here

3. Ink, Duke of York's Theatre

Another West End booking for Graham, as his acclaimed Almeida play gets an encore run ­- read our review here. Bertie Carvel skilfully inhabits Rupert Murdoch in this Sixties Fleet Street drama about the birth of game-changer The Sun, and Rupert Goold's excellent transferring cast also features Richard Coyle, David Schofield and Sophie Stanton.

9 September-6 January, 2018. Book tickets here

4. Five Guys Named Moe, Marble Arch Theatre

A brand-new immersive theatre hosts Clarke Peters' hit show set in 1940s New Orleans and featuring the trailblazing music of 'King of the Jukebox' Louis Jordan. Peters himself directs, with Andrew Wright choreographing, and the cast includes Edward Baruwa, Ian Carlyle, Dex Lee, Idriss Kargbo, Horace Oliver and Emile Ruddock.

Until 25 November. Book tickets here

5. Oslo, National Theatre

Winner of this year's Tony Award for Best Play, J.T. Rogers' gripping drama, directed by Bartlett Sher, tells the true story of the maverick Norwegian diplomats who helped negotiate peace between Israel and Palestine. Toby Stephens and Lydia Leonard star, and the production has already announced a West End run.

5-23 September, then 2 October-30 December at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Book for the National Theatre here and West End here

6. The Lie, Menier Chocolate Factory

French playwright Florian Zeller returns with another witty deconstruction of honesty and fidelity - a companion piece to The Truth, which had its UK premiere at the Menier in 2016. Also back are translator Christopher Hampton and director Lindsay Posner; Samantha Bond, James Dreyfus, Tony Gardner and Alexandra Gilbreath star.

14 September-18 November. Book tickets here

7. Boudica, Shakespeare's Globe

Gina McKee is the Queen of the Iceni battling the Roman Empire in this new history play by Tristan Bernays, with contemporary commentary on war, occupation and nationhood. Eleanor Rhode directs, and the cast also includes Forbes Masson, Clifford Samuel, Jenny Fitzpatrick, Joan Iyiola, Natalie Simpson, Samuel Collings and Tok Stephen.

8 September-1 October. Book tickets here

8. Waiting for Godot, Arts Theatre

Samuel Beckett's masterpiece returns to the West End, 62 years after making its English-language premiere at the same venue directed by Peter Hall. Peter Reid's internationally touring production, coming to the UK for the first time, stars Patrick O'Donnell, Paul Kealyn, Nick Devlin and Conor Donelan.

5-23 September. Book tickets here

9. The Knowledge, Charing Cross Theatre

Maureen Lipman directs the stage premiere of her late husband Jack Rosenthal's comedy, based on his 1979 TV film about four Londoners tackling the fearsome Knowledge test in an attempt to become a black cab driver. The cast features Steven Pacey, Celine Abrahams, Ben Caplan, Jenna Augen and James Alexandrou.

4 September-11 November. Book tickets here

10. Aida, London Coliseum

Phelim McDermott, acclaimed for his production of Egyptian epic Akhnaten, helms Verdi's tragic tale of love and betrayal amid the clash of war. Expect the full power of the ENO's Chorus and Orchestra, with sopranos Latonia Moore and Morenike Fadayomi sharing the title role, and Gwyn Hughes Jones playing Radamès.

28 September-2 December. Book tickets here

Want more recommendations? Find previous Top 10 lists here