The complete guide to West End shows opening in 2020
Please read here for more information about West End theatres, in line with communication from the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre.
With a variety of productions and world premieres opening in 2020 as well as the biggest musicals in town including Hamilton, Wicked and The Book of Mormon, the West End is the place to be. Showcasing the world’s top performers across London’s theatres, don’t miss out on your chance to visit one of the newest shows in the West End set to open in 2020.
West End shows to open in 2020
Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre
Toby Jones and Richard Armitage will star in the West End revival of Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 14th January 2020. In the heat of summer, Sonya and her uncle Vanya spend their days on a crumbling estate deep in the countryside, visited by their local doctor Astrov. When new people appear, the polite facades crumble and repressed feelings start to emerge with devastating consequences.
Leopoldstadt at the Wyndham’s Theatre
Tom Stoppard returns to the West End in 2020 with his latest show, Leopoldstadt. Not much is known about the world premiere, but it will follow a pious Jewish family living in 20th-century Europe as they reflect upon the changing world around them. Inspired by his family history, Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt is sure to be an intimate play that’s going to strike audiences.
The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre
Journey to ancient Egypt via the Dominion Theatre as The Prince of Egypt receives its British premiere this year. A star cast including Luke Brady, Liam Tamne, Alexia Khadime and Christine Allado will lead the show, as a young man ponders over what it means to live ‘through Heaven’s eyes’. Find out more about the musical and book The Prince of Egypt tickets.
Pretty Woman at the Piccadilly Theatre
Pretty Woman: The Musical receives its West End premiere at the Piccadilly Theatre in 2020. Based on the 1990 movie of the same name, fall in love with Vivian Ward and Edward Lewis once more, with the iconic costumes, scenes and all your favourite moments recreated on stage, set to a soundtrack by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. To miss out would be a big mistake… big… huge.
Be More Chill at The Other Palace
The internet phenomenon and latest Broadway sensation Be More Chill transfers to the West End in 2020, as a New Jersey high schooler battles with his identity. Learning of a pill that will control his behaviour, it’s a musical filled with teenage angst but a good heart.
The Seagull at the Playhouse Theatre
From Westeros to the West End… see Emilia Clarke make her West End debut in The Seagull at the Playhouse Theatre from 11th March 2020. She’ll play Nina in the Anton Chekhov classic, masterfully adapted by Anya Reiss, in a drama following the personal and professional relationships between four people chasing their dreams.
City of Angels at the Garrick Theatre
After wowing audiences at the Donmar Warehouse, Josie Rourke’s inventive revival of City of Angels transfers to the Garrick Theatre in 2020. A star cast including Rosalie Craig, Hadley Fraser, Rebecca Trehearn and Vanessa Williams as well as Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts will whisk audiences away to 1940s America in this jazzy musical love letter celebrating the Golden Age of Hollywood.
On Blueberry Hill at Trafalgar Studios
After performances in Dublin and New York, don’t miss the West End transfer of Sebastian Barry’s On Blueberry Hill. The two-man play follows Christy and PJ, two prisoners who spend 20 years together at Montjoy jail as they face up to their lives with explosive consequences.
Baby Reindeer at the Ambassadors Theatre
Richard Gadd stars in his one-man play Baby Reindeer at the Ambassadors Theatre for four weeks. Based on real life events, join Gadd as he performs the award-winning autobiographical drama, following the consequences of giving a free cup of tea to a stranger.
The Doctor at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Set in a hospital, Professor Ruth Woolf is treating a young female patient. When a priest is sent by the patient’s parents to deliver their last rites, Woolf denies access and a national scandal about her behaviour ensues. Juliet Stevenson reprises her critically-acclaimed performance in The Doctor from April 2020, transferring from the Almeida Theatre.
The Watsons at the Harold Pinter Theatre
Laura Wade’s latest play transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre next year, following performances at the Menier Chooclate Factory. Based on an incomplete novel by literary great Jane Austen, the play centres on Emma Watson, a 19-year-old woman who must marry a potential suitor or face a lifetime of poverty and spinsterhood. The Watsons is at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 8th May to 26th September 2020.
The Shark is Broken at the Ambassadors Theatre
As part of Sonia Friedman Productions season at the Ambassadors, the Edinburgh Fringe hit The Shark Is Broken transfers to London. A behind-the-scenes drama on the set of Jaws, join the actors that star in the 1970s hit in this biting comedy, where being stranded on Cape Cod isn’t all bad.
Angels of the North at Trafalgar Studio Two
What would happen if the north of England was a different country? Told through the lens of a struggling taxi firm, John Godber’s Angels of the North is inspired by the events and consequences of the General Election on December 12th 2019, with the effects still being felt today.
To Kill A Mockingbird at the Gielgud Theatre
Rhys Ifans stars as Atticus Finch in the hotly-anticipated Broadway transfer of To Kill A Mockingbird. In a fresh adaptation by Aaron Sorkin, Harper Lee’s literary classic follows a small-town lawyer who is tasked with defending a black man in court, told through his daughter’s point of view. It’s a gripping, emotional drama that’s been hailed as one of the greatest stories of all time, so don’t miss your chance to see it in London.
A Doll’s House at the Playhouse Theatre
Jessica Chastain makes her West End debut as Nora in Frank McGuinness’ adaptation of A Doll’s House, as part of Jamie Lloyd’s year-long season in the West End. The Golden Globe-winning actress will star in the production from 10th June, playing a headstrong woman whose picture-perfect life is called into question.
Sunday in the Park With George at the Savoy Theatre
Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford reprise their Broadway performances in Sunday in the Park with George from 11th June 2020. Inspired by Georges Seurat’s pointillist painting, it’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning, picture-perfect musical following the 19th-century artist as he works to ‘finish the hat’.
Local Hero at the Old Vic
In a musical adaptation of the hit comedy film, Local Hero will receive its world premiere at the Old Vic in June 2020. When an ambitious Texan oil executive arrives in Scotland on a mission to buy a small seaside village, will he able to refine the village? Before the locals get rich, they must decide what their home is worth. Local Hero is at the Old Vic from 18th June to 22nd August 2020.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium
The kaleidoscopic coat will dazzle the West End once more, as Jason Donovan and Jac Yarrow return to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium in summer 2020. Dramatising the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis, the upbeat musical features a soundtrack including ‘Any Dream Will Do’ and ‘Close Every Door’.
Life of Pi at the Wyndham’s Theatre
Based on the extraordinary, Man Booker Prize Award-winning fictional novel, don’t miss Life of Pi as it heads to the Wyndham’s Theatre. Following a young boy who is left to fend for himself with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Royal Bengal tiger for company, experience Pi’s heroic journey of endurance and hope in a show with state-of-the-art visuals and breathtaking puppetry.
Malory Towers at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Emma Rice adapts and directs Enid Blyton’s six-part series of books Malory Towers, coming to Queen Elizabeth Hall this summer. Join Darrell Rivers and her school friends as they get up to plenty of adventures in their own fun way.
Sister Act at the Eventim Apollo
Whoopi Goldberg stars as Deloris Van Cartier in the return of Sister Act, coming to the Eventim Apollo for just 39 performances. Following a lounge singer who joins a convent, she transforms a choir under the watchful eye of Mother Superior getting everyone to raise their voice and be fabulous, baby.
The Pillowman at the Duke of York’s Theatre
After an Olivier Award-winning run at the National Theatre in 2003, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Steve Pemberton will star in Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman in the West End premiere at the Duke of York’s Theatre this summer. Asking what happens when life imitates art, Matthew Dunster directs the electrifying, dark comedy, with performances from 24th July.
Sammy – The Sammy Davis Jr. Musical at the Lyric Hammersmith
Olivier Award-winning actor Giles Terera stars as Sammy Davis Jr. in a brand new musical dedicated to the American entertainer. Written by Leslie Bricusse and directed by Clarke Peters, it’s set to detail the life, career and legacy of this Rat Pack star. Sammy begins performances from July 2020.
Hello, Dolly! at the Adelphi Theatre
Don’t miss a star cast including Imelda Staunton, Andy Nyman and Clare Halse in the return of Hello, Dolly! in the West End, coming to the Adelphi Theatre from 11th August 2020. Following a famous matchmaker who hopes to find the ‘half-a-millionaire’ Horace Vandergelder a wife, she changes tack in order to make her next match for herself. With an iconic score including ‘Before the Parade Passes By’, you won’t want to miss this exciting musical.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Alexandra Palace
Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof returns to London from 30th September 2020. Asking what it takes to survive, see the Pollitt family reunite under tough circumstances in a Pulitzer Prize-winning play for the ages.
The Drifters Girl at the Garrick Theatre
Don’t miss the world premiere of The Drifters Girl, coming to the Garrick Theatre from September 2020. Following the life of Faye Treadwell, Beverley Knight stars as the African-American music manager who worked with 1950s vocal group, The Drifters.
Good at the Playhouse Theatre
David Tennant returns to the West End in CP Taylor’s Good from October 2020. He’ll play John Halder, a German literary professor whose swept up in the politics of 1930s Germany, facing moral decisions that impact the rest of his life.
Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre
Carrie Hope Fletcher will star as the title character in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s newest musical, coming to the West End from October 2020. There’s a book by Killing Eve’s Emerald Fennell so it’s set to be a hit show in London.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Following a sell-out run at the National Theatre, witness an imaginative science-fiction play audiences of all ages will love, as The Ocean at the End of the Lane transfers to the West End. It’s based on Neil Gaiman’s award-winning book, where characters travel back in time in order to save themselves.
Bring it On at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Amber Davies and Louis Smith backflip their way into the theatre as the cheerleaders of Truman High and Jackson High perform in Bring it On. It’s based on the cheerleading film of the same name, with rival squads battling it out to take the crown.
Shows closed in 2020
- Coming Clean at Trafalgar Studios
- Frank Skinner at the Garrick Theatre
- Musik at Leicester Square Theatre
- The Wedding Singer at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre
- Opera Undone at Trafalgar Studios
- Endgame at the Old Vic
- Kunene and the King at the Ambassadors Theatre
- Blithe Spirit at the Duke of York’s Theatre
- One Jewish Boy at Trafalgar Studio Two
- Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre
Still not decided which West End show to see in 2020? Why not check out our monthly round-ups of West End openings so that you can see the newest shows around.