The London theatre scene tends to be a sparkling and star-studded affair and 2015 promises no shortage of celebrity appearances and outstanding productions. From feel-good musicals to hard-core tragedy, we’ve selected 10 of the hottest London theatre openings of 2015. Book tickets while you can.
The wonderful Imelda Staunton plays the overbearing, rambunctious character of Momma Rose in Jonathan Kent’s revival of the classic Sondheim musical, Gypsy. The production won a Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical in 2014 during its run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and is now on its way to being a West End smash at the Savoy.
Where: Savoy Theatre. When: From 28th March 2015.
The star-studded production of David Mamet’s play American Buffalo at Wyndham’s showcases not only Damian Lewis (you may have seen him in Homeland or the recent BBC production of Wolf Hall), but also American TV and film legend John Goodman and up-and-coming theatrical star Tom Sturridge. Directed by Daniel Evans, this production of Mamet’s masterpiece about three crooks planning the heist of a lifetime will be John Goodman’s West End debut.
Where: Wyndham’s Theatre. When: From 16th April – 27th June 2015.
As Dame Helen Mirren crosses the pond to take The Audience to Broadway, Olivier Award-winner Kristin Scott Thomas will take up the mantle in a new production of Peter Morgan’s hit play in London’s West End. Scott Thomas, who recently appeared in the Old Vic’s five-star production of Electra, will play the lead role with Stephen Daldry directing.
Where: Apollo Theatre. When: From 21st April – 25th July 2015.
The 15th century morality play, Everyman is coming to the National in a brand new adaptation by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. One of the top London theatre openings this year, the play follows the eponymous character’s desperate search for meaning in his successful and busy life when Death comes a-callin’. Directed by Rufus Norris, this production stars Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) in the titular role, returning to the National’s stage for the first time since playing Romeo and Peer Gynt back in 2000.
Where: National Theatre. When: From 22nd April – 16th July 2015.
Cole Porter’s glittering musical about the impending nuptials of socialite Tracy Lord is dancing its way onto the stage of the Old Vic over the spring and summer. Directed by award-winning director (and musical star) Maria Friedman, this production of High Society is led by Olivier and Tony Award-nominee Kate Fleetwood and promises to be quite the “swell party”.
Where: The Old Vic. When: From 30th April – 22nd August 2015.
Pirates of Penzance
Oscar-nominated director Mike Leigh takes on pirates, policemen and peppy arias in his upcoming production of Gilbert & Sullivant’s comic opera at ENO. Featuring the tongue-twisting “Major General’s Song” (which will be performed by opera star Andrew Shore), Pirates of Penzance is fast-paced and often hilariously funny. And, thankfully, will be sung and surtitled in English.
Where: London Coliseum. When: From 9th May – 27th June 2015.
Woolf Works at the Royal Opera House is without doubt one of the hottest London theatre openings of the summer. Promising to break all the narrative rules of ballet, the production offers up a full-length ballet based on the narrative style of author Virginia Woolf. The brainchild of Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer, Wayne McGregor, this is a must-see for all ballet fans.
Where: Royal Opera House. When: From 11th May – 26th May 2015.
Last seen treading the boards in 2011 in the National Theatre’s production of Frankenstein, Benedict Cumberbatch is back and this time he’s tackling the bard. Cumberbatch will be taking on the eponymous role in Hamlet, a production directed by Lyndsey Turner, and such is his star appeal that the twelve-week run is already sold out. But never fear, the Barbican will be releasing more tickets for performances closer to the production dates.
Where: The Barbican. When: From 5th August – 31st October 2015.
Farinelli and the King
The Globe’s critically acclaimed (and sold out) production of Farinelli and the King, written by Claire van Kampen, will transfer to the Duke of York’s Theatre in September for a 12-week run, and tickets are sure to fly. Mark Rylance, hailed by many as one of the greatest stage actors of our time, plays the depressed King Phillipe V of Spain in this play about the therapeutic power of music.
Where: Duke of York’s Theatre. When: From 14th September 2015.
Inspired by Lewis Caroll’s classic tale of falling down the rabbit hole, wonder.land offers a fresh take on Alice in Wonderland with music by Damon Albarn and lyrics by Moira Buffini. This brand new musical tells the story of Aly and the extraordinary characters she meets in the virtual world of wonder.land; the place she goes to escape the disappointments of the real world. Catch it before it transfers to the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2016.
Where: National Theatre. When: From 27th November 2015 (booking opens in April).
Header image: Gypsy © Johan Persson
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Which of these London theatre openings would you most like to see? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
Written by Giverny Tatterfield