THE BIRTHDAY PARTY Leads January's Top 10 New London Shows
London is never short of temptations, whether splashy West End shows, epic dramas or bold fringe offerings. From a major Pinter revival to Wilde, Schiller and some exciting transfers, here are this month's most eye-catching openings. Don't forget to check back for BroadwayWorld's reviews!
1. The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter Theatre
Ian Rickson has assembled a mighty company for this 60th-anniversary Pinter revival: Toby Jones, Stephen Mangan, Zoë Wanamaker, Pearl Mackie, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Peter Wight. Strangers invade a sleepy seaside boarding house, and the titular birthday party, with menacing results: the absurd terrors of the everyday.
9 January-14 April. Book tickets here
2. Lady Windermere's Fan, Vaudeville Theatre
Classic Spring's Oscar Wilde season continues with Kathy Burke directing this social comedy. The cast features Samatha Spiro, Kevin Bishop and Jennifer Saunders - the latter returning to the West End for the first time in over 20 years. This month you can also catch Simon Callow reading De Profundis (until 6 January).
12 January-7 April. Book tickets here
3. John, National Theatre
Following the success of The Flick, Annie Baker is back at the National with a spooky tale set in a Pennsylvania B&B, where a relationship is tested and the ornaments seem to be watching. James MacDonald directs a cast that includes Marylouise Burke, Tom Mothersdale, June Watson and Anneika Rose.
17 January-3 March. Book tickets here
4. Girl from the North Country, Noel Coward Theatre
The rapturously received Conor McPherson-meets-Bob Dylan "play with songs" transfers from the Old Vic to the West End. This soulful work is set in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1934 - read our review here. The cast features Shirley Henderson, Sheila Atim, Ciaran Hinds, Arinze Kene, Tim McMullan, Emmanuel Kojo and Adam James.
Until 24 March. Book tickets here
5. Eugenius!, The Other Palace
There's plenty of buzz around this new musical, which built up a cult following prior to a sell-out concert performance at the London Palladium. Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins' homage to the Eighties sets a teen love story against a backdrop of comic books and superheroes. Ian Talbot directs.
22 January-3 March. Book tickets here
6. My Mum's A Twat, Royal Court
The most arresting play title of the month (possibly year) goes to Anoushka Warden's debut, a funny, frank account of a adolescent angst and losing your mother to a cult. The reliably hilarious Patsy Ferran gets a well-deserved showcase in this solo show, directed by Vicky Featherstone and Jude Christian.
8-20 January. Book tickets here
7. Mary Stuart, Duke of York's Theatre
Robert Icke's acclaimed Almeida production gets a West End encore. Once again, Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams toss a coin at the start of this Schiller epic to decide who plays the titular Mary and who takes on Elizabeth I. The supporting cast features Rudi Dharmalingam, John Light and Elliot Levey.
13 January-31 March. Book tickets here
8. Beginning, Ambassadors Theatre
Another West End transfer of a recent hit, this time something of a sleeper one: David Eldridge's endearingly awkward two-hander romcom, told in real time in a bravura 100-minute Polly Findlay production. The superb Justine Mitchell and Sam Troughton reprise their roles from the National Theatre run.
15 January-24 March. Book tickets here
9. OVO, Royal Albert Hall
Cirque du Soleil are back with the European debut of their spectacular new show. The title means "egg" in Portuguese, and the catalyst is a mysterious egg appearing amidst a group of curious insects. Fifty performers from 12 countries bring their acrobatic prowess to London, including a flying act that promises aerial awe.
7 January-4 March. Book tickets here
10. All's Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare's Globe
After helming a notable Taming of the Shrew in 2016, director Caroline Byrne returns to the Globe to tackle Shakespeare's tragicomic work about a heroic orphan pursuing love. The cast features Ellora Torchia, Will Merrick, Martina Laird, Nigel Cooke, Paige Carter, Hannah Ringham, Imogen Doel and Shaun Mason.
11 January-3 March. Book tickets here