The Top 20 New London Shows Opening In 2021

We round up the most exciting plays and musicals in the West End and beyond

By: Sep. 03, 2021

The Top 20 New London Shows Opening In 2021

As theatre comes roaring back, this autumn and winter see plenty of exciting new productions, including big West End musicals and intriguing plays. Here are the shows that we're most looking forward to seeing.

1. Cabaret, Playhouse Theatre

Welcome to the Kit Kat Club! The Playhouse is going to be transformed into an immersive space, with Kander and Ebb's musical played in the round and capacity limited to just 550. That puts us up close and personal with stars Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley, directed by Rebecca Frecknall.

15 November-5 March, 2022

2. Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

The stage version of Disney's film phenomenon finally comes to London, tweaked since its Broadway debut - including a new duet for the princess siblings. Samantha Barks, Stephanie McKeon, Oliver Ormson, Craig Gallivan and Obioma Ugoala lead the cast, and Michael Grandage helms this epic production.

Until 3 April, 2022

3. Hamlet, Young Vic

Cush Jumbo was due to play the Prince of Denmark when Covid hit - and, happily, she will now take on the iconic Shakespearean role this autumn instead. Greg Hersov directs a company that also features Line of Duty's Adrian Dunbar, Tara Fitzgerald, Norah Lopez Holden, Jonathan Ajayi, and Joseph Marcell.

25 September-13 November

4. Get Up, Stand Up: The Bob Marley Musical, Lyric Theatre

The Jamaican reggae legend is honoured with this new musical, featuring his indelible songs - like "No Woman, No Cry", "I Shot the Sherrif" and "One Love" - and telling his inspiring life story. Clint Dyer is at the helm of this hotly anticipated production, Lee Hall supplies the book, and Arinzé Kene plays Bob Marley.

1 October-3 April, 2022

The Top 20 New London Shows Opening In 2021 5. Life of Pi, Wyndham's Theatre

How on earth do you translate Yann Martel's Booker-winning novel - most of which takes place in a stranded boat, with a live tiger - to stage? Well, Lolita Chakrabarti found a way at Sheffield Crucible, and this acclaimed adaptation is now coming to the West End. The original cast reprise their roles, including Hiran Abeysekera as Pi.

15 November-27 February, 2022

6. Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre

Expect a spectacle like no other as Baz Luhrmann's gloriously excessive film comes to stage. This Broadway transfer is directed by Alex Timbers, with a book by John Logan and eye-popping costumes by Catherine Zuber, and the jukebox score features a whopping 75 songs. The cast is yet to be announced.

12 November-9 April, 2022

7. The Mirror and the Light, Gielgud Theatre

The final part of Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy follows Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies onto stage, once again starring Ben Miles - who also adapted this volume with Mantel - as Cromwell and Nathaniel Parker as Henry VIII, directed by Jeremy Herrin for the RSC. Can the king's canny advisor hold onto power?

23 September-January 23, 2022

8. Back to the Future: The Musical, Adelphi Theatre

Following their premiere in Manchester, time-travelling teenager Marty McFly and mad scientist Doc Brown arrive in the West End. All the hallmarks of the Michael J Fox-starring film are here, with Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis as part of the creative team, plus music from Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard. Roger Bart and Olly Dobson star.

Until 13 February, 2022

9. What If If Only, Royal Court

A new Caryl Churchill play is always an event - and her latest has the distinction of being a very precise, and concise, 14 minutes long. We don't know much about the plot as yet, other than the tease: "Your partner's died, could things have been different?". Linda Bassett and John Heffernan are directed by James Macdonald.

29 September-23 October

The Top 20 New London Shows Opening In 2021 10. The Shark is Broken, Ambassadors Theatre

After making a splash at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival, this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Jaws gets a welcome West End run. Writer and star Ian Shaw, who plays his father Robert in the show, recounts the actors' disintegration as the mechanical shark kept failing, the weather got worse, and tempers flared.

9 October-15 January, 2022

11. The Tragedy of Macbeth, Almeida Theatre

The Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan stars opposite James McArdle in Yaël Farber's new take on Shakespeare's Scottish play - billed as a spine-chilling elemental production, and a more feminist reading that puts the Macbeths on equal footing. The lead pair last appeared together in the film Mary Queen of Scots.

1 October-20 November

12. Manor, National Theatre

Expect explosive, and topical, drama from Moira Buffini's latest, which sees a group of strangers sheltering in a run-down manor house during a storm - including the leader of a far-right organisation. Will it result in salvation or destruction? Nancy Carroll and Endeavour's Shaun Evans star, directed by Fiona Buffini.

16 November-1 January, 2022

13. The Drifters Girl, Garrick Theatre

Beverley Knight stars in this new musical as Faye Treadwell, the pioneering manager of chart-topping band The Drifters, whose hits included "Save the Last Dance for Me" and "Kissin' in the Back Row of the Movies". Jonathan Church directs a cast that also features Adam J Bernard, Matt Henry, Tarrin Callender and Tosh Wanogho-Maud.

4 November-26 March, 2022

14. Best of Enemies, Young Vic

James Graham's latest political play takes us back to 1968 and the pivotal battle between conservative William F Buckley Jr and liberal Gore Vidal, rival TV analysts of a fraught presidential race. Jeremy Herrin directs this Headlong production, which will doubtless have plenty of parallels with our current situation. Casting is yet to be announced.

2 December-29 January, 2022

The Top 20 New London Shows Opening In 2021 15. La Belle Sauvage, Bridge Theatre

Like Life of Pi, Philip Pullman's novel - the first in his Book of Dust trilogy - is a mighty adaptation challenge, involving as it does a boat chase during a great flood. But Nicholas Hytner, who brought His Dark Materials to The National Theatre, is surely up to the task; Bryony Lavery supplies the adapted text.

2 December-19 February, 2022

16. Indecent, Menier Chocolate Factory

Rebecca Taichmann's Tony-winning production of Paula Vogel's play has its belated London opening. In 1923, the cast and theatre-owner staging Sholem Asch's Jewish drama The God of Vengeance were charged with obscenity. But was it really defamatory, and should we risk all for art? The cast features Cory English, Peter Polycarpou, Finbar Lynch and Alexandra Silber.

Until 27 November

17. Spring Awakening, Almeida Theatre

Rupert Goold directs Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's landmark Tony, Grammy and Olivier-winning rock musical. Adapted from Frank Wedekind's once-banned play, about inquisitive teenagers in a repressive, censorious society, this is the first major London revival. Amara Okereke and Laurie Kynaston star.

30 November-22 January, 2022

18. 'Night, Mother, Hampstead Theatre

Stockard Channing and Rebecca Night star in Marsha Norman's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which had its UK premiere at the Hampstead back in 1985. The powerful two-hander features a mother and daughter whose quiet existence is shattered by a monumental decision - one that will mark this night out as unforgettable. Artistic Director Roxanna Silbert directs.

22 October-4 December

The Top 20 New London Shows Opening In 2021 19. Bring It On: The Musical, Southbank Centre

The spirited stage musical version of the popular cheerleader comedy film has an impressive creative team, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeff Whitty, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green. Amber Davies (who has been studying Netflix's Cheer) and former Olympic gymnast Louis Smith star in this new production, which heads out on a UK tour after its Southbank run.

8 December-22 January, 2022

20. Hex, National Theatre

The National's Christmas show is a dark new musical version of Sleeping Beauty, telling the story of the so-called "bad" fairy who curses the princess; Rosalie Craig plays the fairy. Shades of Wicked, perhaps? Rufus Norris directs, and the show has a book by Tanya Ronder, music by Jim Fortune, and lyrics by Norris.

4 December-22 January, 2022

Which shows are you excited to see? Let us know @BroadwayWorldUK! And don't forget to check back for our reviews, interviews, pictures, videos and features


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From This Author - Marianka Swain

Marianka Swain was UK Editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld. A London-based theatre critic and arts journalist, she also contributes to other outlets such as the Telegraph, The i Paper, Ham & High... Marianka Swain">(read more about this author)



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