Autumn 2018 / Winter 2018 Show Round-up
These Autumn 2018 shows have now all closed in the West End, but why not check out productions coming to the West End in 2020?
A spattering of Harold Pinter mixed in with a handful of ‘Game of Thrones’ stars, Autmun 2018 was an pretty exciting time for Theatreland. Here’s the shows that burst onto the London stage this autumn and winter.
Shows that opened in 2018
Previews from 6th September – Foxfinder at the Ambassadors Theatre
Foxfinder is an unsettling, darkly comic tale that explores the fallibility of belief. “Rich, rare and deeply unsettling” (Time Out), Dawn King’s dystopian fable won the Papatango New Writing Competition in 2011 and makes its West End debut this year at the Ambassadors Theatre. The fox is the reason that the human race are dying out. Set in a world that is both recognisable and strange, the story focuses on a farming family who are struggling to feed themselves as their crops fail to grow. Unexpectedly, William, a Foxfinder, arrives to rid them of the plague. As the hunt progresses, he finds more questions than answers…
Previews from 8th September – Misty at Trafalgar Studios
Misty is “heart-pounding, blood-pumping, uncategorisable magic” (The Upcoming), a vibrant polemic about the creative process and the underground soul of inner city London. This lyrical journey is an ingenious blend of gig theatre, spoken word, live art and direct address. Misty played a sold-out run at the Bush Theatre earlier this year, opening to rave reviews. This epic delve into urban London’s pulsating heart confronts the assumptions and expectations underpinning acts of creative freedom, told with the stunning aid of orange balloons that engulf the stage. Misty is a must-see show for this autumn.
Previews from 13th September – The Lover / The Collection at the Harold Pinter Theatre
The Jamie Lloyd Company presents The Lover / The Collection, starring David Suchet, Russell Tovey, John Macmillan and Hayley Squires at the Harold Pinter Theatre as part of its complete season of one-act plays by the Nobel Prize-winning British writer Harold Pinter. Celebrating the legacy of the “most influential, provocative and poetic dramatist of his generation” (The Guardian) on the 10th anniversary of his death, this duo of plays promises an unforgettable theatrical experience.
Previews from 21st September – The Inheritance at the Noël Coward Theatre
Described as “perhaps the most important American play of the century so far” (The Telegraph), Matthew Lopez’s major two-part drama, The Inheritance, transfers to the West End following its sold-out run at the Young Vic. This “crystalline production, pierces your emotional defences” (The Guardian), exploring profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious, gay New Yorkers. The Inheritance plays across two parts, which can be seen either in one day or over two evenings.
Previews from 2nd October – The Height of the Storm at Wyndham’s Theatre
Described as “the most exciting playwright of our time” by The Guardian, Olivier Award-winning Florian Zeller brings his new play to Wyndham’s Theatre for a strictly limited season. This compelling family drama about the fragility of life stars the multi-award-winning actors Jonathan Pryce and Dame Eileen Atkins. André and Madeleine are an affectionate couple who have been married for fifty years. One weekend, their daughters arrive, and so do a bunch of flowers sent by a woman from the past. A series of unusual events – including the reappearance of this mysterious woman – cause the devoted couple’s marriage to come under scrutiny. The Height of the Storm explores the themes of love, life and family bonds, it’s guaranteed to be a gripping production, so make sure it’s added to your autumn bucket list.
Previews from 27th October – Don Quixote at the Garrick Theatre
Cervantes’ Don Quixote, widely considered one of the greatest works of literature ever written, comes to the Garrick Theatre this October. After a sell-out 2016 run at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon to mark the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’ death, this brilliantly staged “boisterous romp” (The Times) is brought to you by the Royal Shakespeare Company for a strictly limited 14-week season. Told by a company of 20 actors accompanied by a band of live musicians, Don Quixote follows the disastrous misadventures of Alonso Quixano aka Don Quixote (David Threlfall), an eccentric old man who is obsessed with books on chivalry, and his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza (Rufus Hound).
Previews from 10th November – Summer and Smoke at Duke of York’s Theatre
The Almeida Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke is set to transfer to the West End this November. The hauntingly atmospheric play sees an unlikely romance blossom between a minister’s daughter and an unruly young doctor, with an electric central performance by Patsy Ferran, who received plaudits from the critics during Summer and Smoke’s original run. Alma Winemiller becomes infatuated by her next door neighbour, a young doctor named John, when he returns to his childhood home. Alma is a modest, nervous individual who is prone to panic attacks, while John is the confident son of a physician. The pair become tangled in a complicated relationship, where their individual explorations of spirituality and sexuality clash.
Previews from 23rd November – True West at the Vaudeville Theatre
‘Game of Thrones’ star Kit Harington and Jerusalem actor Johnny Flynn star in Sam Shepard’s stunning Pulitzer Prize nominated play True West on its return to London. Successful Hollywood screenwriter Austin is house sitting for his mother while she is on vacation, and is joined by his older brother Lee, who steals from houses for a living. There is tension between the two siblings who haven’t seen each other for at least five years. They sit in their mother’s front room, and Lee distracts Austin as he works on his latest film with nonsensical questions, but this is only the beginning of the psychological manipulation. When Austin meets with Saul, a Hollywood producer, to discuss the script, Lee proposes an idea for a storyline, and under Saul’s instruction, the brothers must now collaborate to develop the screenplay.
Previews from 27th November – A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic
Returning to The Old Vic by popular demand is Jack Thorne’s joyous adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This timeless classic has been spectacularly reimagined for the modern stage, with a uniquely immersive in the round seating, which brings the audience that bit closer to the uplifting story. Filling the auditorium to the brim with mince pies, entrancing lanterns, music and merriment, this production is a love song to Christmas and the power of both forgiveness and redemption.
Previews from 1st December – Nine Night at Trafalgar Studios
Following an acclaimed run at the National Theatre, Natasha Gordon’s “remarkable debut play” (Evening Standard), Nine Night, transfers to the West End. Nine Night, otherwise known as Dead Yard, is a funerary tradition practiced by Jamaican communities. Gloria is gravely sick and when her time comes, the celebration begins. For Gloria’s children and grandchildren, however, recognising her death with a party that lasts over a week is a test. Directed by Roy Alexander Weise, this touching story explores the rituals of family, the ability to inhabit two cultures – one ancient and one modern – and the tensions that arise following the passing of a loved one.
Previews from 20th December – Party Time / Celebration at the Harold Pinter Theatre
Another exciting Jamie Lloyd Company production opening late this year. Harold Pinter’s Party Time / Celebration stars numerous favourites including Ron Cook, Phil Davis, Celia Imrie, Gary Kemp, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Abraham Popoola and John Simm. The highly pertinent Party Time is paired with Harold Pinter’s final play, Celebration.