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WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Leads February's Top 10 New London Shows

London is never short of theatre temptations, whether epic dramas or bold fringe shows. From a major Albee revival to starry Shakespeare and a steamy musical, here are some of this month's most eye-catching openings. Check back soon for BroadwayWorld's reviews...

1. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Harold Pinter Theatre

Fresh from her Gypsy triumph, Imelda Staunton leads a stellar cast in this highly anticipated revival of Edward Albee's searing drama. James MacDonald directs, with Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones's Varys) playing opposite Staunton, and Imogen Poots and Luke Treadaway the unfortunate guests of this memorably toxic couple.

22 February-27 May. Book tickets here

2. The Wild Party, The Other Palace

Andrew Lloyd Webber's revamped London musicals venue (formerly St James Theatre) opens with the UK premiere of Michael John LaChiusa and George C Wolfe's steamy show about 1920s vaudeville and behind-the-scenes debauchery. Drew McOnie directs, and original Les Mis cast member Frances Ruffelle stars - read our interview with her

23 February-1 April. Book tickets here

3. Hamlet, Almeida Theatre

Move over, Sherlock. Andrew Scott (did you miss him?) succeeds co-star Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, leading what's sure to be another buzzy Robert Icke production. There's a choice supporting cast too, featuring Juliet Stevenson, Angus Wright, Jessica Brown Findlay, Peter Wight and Luke Thompson.

17 February-8 April. Book tickets here

4. Twelfth Night, National Theatre

In the latest piece of Shakespearean cross-casting (following Glenda Jackson, Michelle Terry, Gillian Bevan and Phyllida Lloyd's Donmar company, among others) Tamsin Grieg plays self-important steward Malvolio, renamed Malvolia, to Phoebe Fox's Olivia. Simon Godwin's production also features Daniel Ezra, Oliver Chris, Tamara Lawrence, Doon Mackichan and Daniel Rigby.

15 February 15-17 April. Book tickets here

5. The Girls, Phoenix Theatre

Tim Firth and Gary Barlow's musical take on the Calendar Girls story, about WI members baring all for charity, hits the West End after popular runs in Leeds and Salford. The cast features Claire Moore, JoAnna Riding, Sophie-Louise Dann, Claire Machin, Michele Dotrice, Debbie Chazen and Marian McLoughlin. Read our interview with Claire Machin

Until 22 April. Book tickets here

6. Speech & Debate, Trafalgar Studios

Stephen Karam's hit satire makes its UK debut, directed by Tom Attenborough. Three misfit teenagers reveal a sex scandal via a musical production of The Crucible, amidst smart explorations of the adult/adolescent dynamic, homophobia and cyber culture. Douglas Booth, Tony Revolori, Patsy Ferran and Charlotte Lucas star.

22 February-1 April. Book tickets here

7. Travesties, Apollo Theatre

A welcome West End encore for Patrick Marber's superb revival of Tom Stoppard's dazzling exploration of art, love, revolution and memory - a hit for the Menier Chocolate Factory last year. Tom Hollander leads a cast that features Freddie Fox, Amy Morgan, Clare Foster, Peter McDonald and Forbes Masson.

3 February-29 April. Book tickets here

8. The White Devil, Shakespeare's Globe

Director Annie Ryan enters the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, bringing a dystopian revival of John Webster's grisly revenge tragedy about a duke who murders his wife in order to possess another woman. The cast features Jamie Ballard, Kate Stanley-Brennan, Mercy Ojelade, Joseph Timms and Paul Bazely.

Until 16 April. Book tickets here

9. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Young Vic

Joe Hill-Gibbins promises an alternative take on the Bard's oft-performed play (particularly in 2016). He's assembled an intriguing company for this dark dive into the subconscious with "the energy of a wild house party", including John Dagleish, Anna Madeley, Jemima Rooper, Leo Bill, Michael Gould, Anastasia Hille and Oliver Alvin-Wilson.

16 February-1 April. Book tickets here

10. Low Level Panic, Orange Tree Theatre

Chelsea Walker helms the first major revival of Clare McIntyre's frank, funny and timely play - about three twentysomething women exploring their bodies, sex lives and relationships - since its Royal Court premiere almost 30 years ago. Sophie Melville, Katherine Pearce and Samantha Pearl star.

16 February-25 March. Book tickets here



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From This Author Marianka Swain

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