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'The Glass Menagerie'|© Johan Persson/CornerShop
'The Glass Menagerie'|© Johan Persson/CornerShop
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What’s On In London’s West End 2016/17

Picture of Harriet Clugston
Updated: 4 April 2017
Much-loved children’s classics, devastating coming-of-age dramas, classic Depression-era musicals and staples of Western literature come to life on the London stage over the next year, drawing some of the most decorated names in the business to the West End’s boards. Here’s what not to miss.
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Don Juan in Soho, Wyndham’s Theatre

Friday March 17th 2017 – Saturday June 10th 2017

David Tennant returns to the London stage as the titular rogue in Patrick Marber’s comedic take on the classic Don Juan — directed by Marber himself, ten years after it first aired at the Donmar Warehouse. A debauched hedonist, Tennant’s Don Juan (aka DJ) stalks the streets of modern day Soho, spreading his dastardly seed.

Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 482 5120

Courtesy of Joe Public

Courtesy of Joe Public

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Saint Joan, Donmar Warehouse

Friday December 9th 2016 – Saturday February 18th 2017

Gemma Arterton stars as Joan of Arc in the National Theatre’s recreation of the revered George Bernard Shaw classic. Written shortly after Joan’s canonisation, Saint Joan presents a challenging, unromanticised and powerful portrayal of the legendary French warrior-saint.

Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 871 7624

'Saint Joan'|Courtesy of Jo Allan PR

Saint Joan | Courtesy of Jo Allan PR

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The Ferryman, Royal Court Theatre

Monday April 24th 2017 – Saturday May 20th 2017

Making his debut at the Royal Court Theatre, Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) presents Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman. Set in rural Derry, the occupants of the Carney Farmhouse can think of little more than their preparations for the upcoming annual harvest, despite the ongoing Troubles and the infamous hunger strike led by Bobby Sands — until an unexpected visitor interrupts them.

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, United Kingdom, +44 20 7565 5000

Courtesy of Royal Court Theatre

Courtesy of Royal Court Theatre

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Buried Child, Trafalgar Studios

Until Saturday February 18th 2017

Pulitzer Prize-winning play Buried Child from American heavyweight Sam Shepard finally makes its way to the West End this November, with the brilliant Ed Harris set to star alongside Amy Madigan. Regarded by many as the American equivalent to Pinter’s The Homecoming, Buried Child is a macabre, acerbic deconstruction of the American Dream and nuclear family in disillusioned, disenfranchised rural America of the 1970s.

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 871 7632

Courtesy of Emma Holland PR

Courtesy of Emma Holland PR

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DNA, Ambassadors Theatre

Until Friday November 25th 2016

Catch the stars of tomorrow in the West End premiere of Dennis Kelly’s DNA, staged by the National Youth Theatre. An anarchic gang of adolescents roam a gloomy wood, searching for a way to bury their dark secret, in this tense, twisty thriller.

Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, London, United Kingdom, +44 20 7395 5405

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Travesties, Apollo Theatre

Wednesday February 15th 2017 – Saturday April 29th 2017

Transferring to the Apollo after a successful run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Tom Hollander (Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride and Prejudice) stars as Henry Carr in the first London revival in over 20 years of Travesties, a ‘dazzling comedy of art, love and revolution’ by renowned writer Tom Stoppard. Having served as a minor British diplomat in Zurich in 1917, an elderly Carr reminisces about his experiences of the war, and his bizarre memories of James Joyce, Tristan Tzara, and Lenin, imagining himself to have played an unreasonably pivotal role in 20th century history, while scenes from The Importance of Being Earnest slip in and out of the narrative.

Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London, United Kingdom, +44 20 7851 2711

Tom Hollander as Henry Carr in 'Travesties'|©Tom Hall: Johan Persson/Kate Morley PR

Tom Hollander as Henry Carr in Travesties | © Tom Hall: Johan Persson/Kate Morley PR

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An Inspector Calls, Playhouse Theatre

Until Saturday March 25th 2017

Supremely inventive set-design steals the show in Stephen Daldry’s Olivier Award-winning revival of J.B. Priestley’s electric, socialist-minded cautionary tale, coming to the Playhouse Theatre more than 20 years on from its first performance. When an enigmatic police detective pitches up one evening at the home of the affluent Birling family with burning questions about a young woman’s agonising suicide, the family’s – and the world’s — individualistic attitude is thrown into sharp relief. Priestley’s masterpiece has enjoyed renewed acclaim in recent decades, largely off the back of this very production.

Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 871 7631

 Courtesy of Playhouse Theatre

Courtesy of Playhouse Theatre

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Dead Funny, Vaudeville Theatre

Until Saturday February 4th 2017

Returning for a limited season only, this revival of Terry Johnson’s Dead Funny, starring Katherine Parkinson and Steve Pemberton as a despondent couple in a dried up marriage, brings a welcome dash of comedy to the drama-dominated West End. Hilarious but with a soft emotional underbelly, Johnson’s classic depicts the members of the comedy-enthusiasts’ club Dead Funny Society meeting for a day of mourning and celebration in the wake of Benny Hill and Frankie Howerd’s deaths.

Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, United Kingdom, +44 330 333 4814

No Man’s Land, Wyndham’s Theatre

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No Man’s Land, Wyndham’s Theatre

Until Saturday December 17th 2016

Iconic actors Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart have drawn widespread acclaim for their performance in this revival of Harold Pinter’s masterpiece No Man’s Land, appearing on the London stage after a hit run on Broadway in 2014. Reuniting for a UK tour, the pair of acting heavyweights play two ageing writers who drink and reminisce into the night after meeting in a pub, in an intimate, part-comedic, part existentially-despairing staple of absurdist theatre.

Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 482 5120

'No Man's Land'|© Johan Persson/Cornershop

No Man’s Land | © Johan Persson/Cornershop

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The Dresser, Duke of York’s

Until Saturday January 14th 2017

Reece Shearsmith shines as Norman, the dresser half of a co-dependent pair in a WWII-era touring theatrical company, in this much-praised revival of Sir Ronald Harwood’s modern classic, The Dresser. Backstage at a performance of King Lear, Norman attempts stoically to revive and rouse Sir, an ageing, fading, Shakespearean ‘star’, rapidly crumbling under the weight of his own under-appreciation and the memory of grander times, in this at-times-slapstick but moving tragi-comedy.

Duke of York’s, St Martin’s Lane, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 871 7627

Reece Shearsmith and Ken Stott in 'The Dresser|©Hugo Glendinning/CornerShop

Reece Shearsmith and Ken Stott in The Dresser | © Hugo Glendinning/CornerShop

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Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Friday March 24th 2017 – Saturday June 24th 2017

Billed as a ‘black comedy about a family in crisis’, this much-anticipated revival of The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? by revered U.S. playwright Edward Albee — who died in September — will see the dashing Damien Lewis return to the London stage following his acclaimed performance in American Buffalo last year. Lewis is set to play Martin, a successful architect who, along with his wife and son, is thrown into the depths of familial breakdown in the wake of his unlikely affair with a goat named Sylvia.

Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street, London, United Kingdom, +44 20 7930 8890

Courtesy of CornerShop

Courtesy of CornerShop

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The Glass Menagerie, Duke of York’s

Thursday January 26th 2017 – Saturday April 29th 2017

Straight off the back of his monumental success with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two, director John Tiffany returns to the West End with a revival of his Tony Award-nominated take on the classic play that shot Tennessee Williams to fame. The Glass Menagerie follows a family in 1930s St. Louis headed by down-on-her-luck Southern Belle Amanda, an abandoned wife and domineering mother ‘desperate to find a husband for her fragile daughter Laura whilst son Tom dreams of breaking free from their faded’ home.

Duke of York’s, St Martin’s Lane, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 871 7627

'The Glass Menagerie'|© Johan Persson/CornerShop

The Glass Menagerie | © Johan Persson/CornerShop

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The Libertine, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Until Saturday December 3rd 2016

The depravity, debauchery and supreme wit of Restoration poet John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, is brought to life by Dominic Cooper in this revival of British playwright Steven Jeffrey’s scandalous 1994 play. Following in the wake of the likes of Johnny Depp and John Malkovich, Cooper struts and ruts his way across the stage as the fiery, licentious young hedonist, doomed to an early grave after contracting a killer case of venereal disease.

Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street, London, United Kingdom, +44 20 7930 8890

'The Libertine'|©Johan Persson/Cornershop

The Libertine | © Johan Persson/Cornershop

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The Miser, Garrick Theatre

Wednesday March 1st 2017 – Saturday June 3rd 2017

Griff Rhys Jones returns to the London stage after a five-year absence to star in this adaption of French great Molière’s celebrated comedy. Rhys Jones plays the Scrooge-esque Harpagon, whose all-consuming, supreme paranoia regarding the safeguarding of his wealth conflicts with his children’s pursuit of marital bliss. It was recently announced that BAFTA-winning comedian Lee Mack will also be making his West End debut in the production.

Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, London, United Kingdom, +44 330 333 4811

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Nice Fish, Harold Pinter Theatre

Tuesday November 22nd 2016 – Saturday February 11th 2017

Transferring to the West End for just 13 short weeks following an acclaimed run in New York, Academy Award-winner Mark Rylance is joined on an ice-fishing trip by Jim Lichtscheidl — an ‘odd couple, whose ordinary lives are comically exposed’ as they sit in wait atop the unforgiving frozen plains, in a sublimely playful, profound and very funny play.

Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 871 7627

'Nice Fish'|©Teddy Woolf/CornerShop

Nice Fish | © Teddy Woolf/CornerShop

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This House, Garrick Theatre

Until Saturday February 25th 2017

Is a political revolution coming? Will the Labour Party collapse? Can the kingdom stay united?’ James Graham’s acclaimed political play is apparently set in 1974 — but you could have fooled us. Back in London for its West End debut, following its 2012 premiere at The National Theatre, This House dives head first into the murky waters of Westminster, examining the relationships between whips, backbenchers, and minority party members during the turbulent years of hung parliament.

Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, London, United Kingdom, +44 330 333 4811

'This House'|© Johan Persson/Jo Allan PR

This House | © Johan Persson/Jo Allan PR

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Harold Pinter Theatre

Wednesday February 22nd 2017 – Saturday May 27th 2017

Another revival celebrating the work of the late Edward Albee, the Harold Pinter Theatre’s production of the much-loved Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf — billed by one critic as perfectly-timed for America’s post-truth politics — stars four-time Olivier Award-winning Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill (aka Game of Thrones’ slippery Lord Varys) as Martha and George, who draw an unsuspecting younger couple into their fraught, toxic marriage.

Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 871 7627

 Imelda Staunton plays Martha in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? |©Charlie Gray/CornerShop

Imelda Staunton plays Martha in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? | © Charlie Gray/CornerShop

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The Wind in the Willows, London Palladium

Opening Saturday June 17th 2017

Announced to the delight of musical lovers everywhere, Julian Fellowes’ colourful adaptation of the beloved childhood classic by Kenneth Grahame is due to burst onto the stage next summer. Comedian Rufus Hound is set to star as the narcissistic Mr Toad in the whimsical woodland reverie, with David Birrell as Badger, Fra Fee as Mole and Thomas Howes as Rat.

London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, Soho, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 412 4655

Wind in the Willows©Marc Brenner/Jamie Hendry Productions

Wind in the Willows | © Marc Brenner/Jamie Hendry Productions

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42nd Street, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Opening Monday March 20th 2017

The hit Broadway musical 42nd Street transfers to the West End early in 2017, bringing a slice of defiant Depression-era glam to London audiences. Based on the hugely popular novel and 1930s film, the backstage musical follows a gang of New York chorus girls and their dedicated director as they attempt to fly in the face of the gripping austerity of their age.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 412 4660

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The Kite Runner, Wyndham’s Theatre

Wednesday December 21st 2016 – Saturday March 11th 2017

Khaled Hosseini’s devastating, powerful tale of childhood trauma set against the backdrop of the Taliban’s rise to power in Afghanistan makes the leap from page to stage in this haunting production, appearing at the Wyndham’s Theatre for a limited season after a sucessful journey across the UK.

Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, United Kingdom, +44 844 482 5120