The complete guide to West End shows opening in 2020
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.
Kunene and the King at the Ambassadors Theatre
Antony Sher and John Kani star in Kunene and the King, a RSC production that follows two men from different walks of life as they have a shared interest: William Shakespeare. Set in present-day South Africa, 25 years after the first post-apartheid democratic elections, the pair begin to consider their backgrounds in a socio-political drama.
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.
Endgame at the Old Vic
Alan Cumming, Daniel Radcliffe, Jane Horrocks and Karl Johnson complete the cast of Endgame, performed as part of Matthew Warchus’ fifth season as artistic director at the Old Vic. Following two individuals who are locked in an argument, their bleakly funny double act cling stubbornly to their routine of casual savagery and mutual dependence. Endgame will be performed in a double bill with Beckett’s Rough for Theatre II, rounding off what is set to be an exciting night of theatre.
The Wedding Singer at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre
Kevin Clifton stars as Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer at Wembley’s brand new venue from 30th January 2020. Based on the film starring Adam Sandler, join a wedding singer whose dreams of being happily married are dashed when he’s stood up at the altar. Looking to fall in love, will he be able to step into the spotlight?
Opera Undone at Trafalgar Studio 2
Witness the future of opera in the West End in 2020. Combining Puccini’s Tosca and La bohème, Opera Undone is a sixty-minute revolutionary operatic performance where tales of love, heartbreak and identity come together. It’s at Trafalgar Studios until 7th March, so you’ll want to book now.
Musik at Leicester Square Theatre
Direct from sell-out runs in Edinburgh and London, Frances Barber returns to Leicester Square Theatre with Musik, featuring six original songs by the Pet Shop Boys. Barber will play Billie Trix, a rock star who is used to living a life of excess, but will it impact her choices later in life? Musik is at Leicester Square Theatre from 5th February.
The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre
Journey to ancient Egypt as The Prince of Egypt receives its British premiere in 2020. 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’.
Pretty Woman at the Piccadilly Theatre
Pretty Woman: The Musical will receive 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.
Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre
Ben Elton brings his critically-acclaimed and much adored BBC sitcom to the theatre, with David Mitchell making his West End debut in the stage adaptation of Upstart Crow. Set in Shakespearean England, Shakespeare’s searching for inspiration for his latest play. But Will’s personal life is encountering more dramatic twists and turns than any theatrical story he can conjure.
The Pirate Queen at the London Coliseum
Don’t miss Rachel Tucker and Jai McDowall in The Pirate Queen on 23rd February 2020. Based on the story of Grace O’Malley, it’s a sweeping epic of love, honor, and piracy in Renaissance Ireland that’s sure to inspire any audience member.
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.
Blithe Spirit at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Jennifer Saunders reprises her critically-acclaimed performance as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, playing for six weeks. Noel Coward’s inventive, witty comedy follows Charles Condomine, a novelist and his second wife at a dinner party they’re hosting. Hired by Charles Condomine, clairvoyant Arcati arrives and conjures the ghost of his former wife, with plenty of spooky goings-on.
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.
One Jewish Boy at Trafalgar Studios
Stephen Laughton’s bittersweet comedy transfers from the Old Red Lion Theatre to Trafalgar Studios in March 2020. Fuelled by anti-Semitism, a Jewish family in modern-day Britain get on with their lives, as they face microaggression in many ways. Focusing on the inheritances that haunt us. can the fear of hatred be worse than hate itself?
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 Secret Garden at the London Palladium
Ramin Karimloo, Lucie Jones and Ben Forster star in two concert performances of The Secret Garden at the London Palladium on 4th April 2020. Based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s twentieth-century tale, join a young British girl who has grown up in India and is sent to Yorkshire where she lives with family and relatives she has never met. Check out the full cast here and book The Secret Garden tickets.
Shook at Trafalgar Studios
Out of 1,406 entries into the Papatango New Writing Prize, see the award-winning Shook at Trafalgar Studios in April 2020. Following three teenagers who are locked up in a young offenders’ institution, it’s up to Grace to turn them into parents, but will they be able to escape the system?
4000 Miles at the Old Vic
Timothée Chalamet stars in 4000 Miles at the Old Vic alongside Eileen Atkins in this compelling family play. The Academy Award-nominated star makes his London stage debut in Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, assessing the impact of trust and family love. 4000 Miles is at the Old Vic from 6th April 2020.
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.
Evita at the Barbican
Directed by Jamie Lloyd and featuring music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Evita transfers to the Barbican in 2020. Detailing the life of political celebrity Eva Peron, see how she divided the Argentinian people with her speeches and ambition in an iconic musical that returns to London next summer.
Hello, Dolly! at the Adelphi Theatre
Don’t miss Imelda Staunton 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.
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.
Shows closed in 2020
- Coming Clean at Trafalgar Studios
- Frank Skinner at the Garrick 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 se the newest shows around.