Lily James and Gillian Anderson in All About Eve

Hottest theatre to book now (and how to get tickets before everyone else)

There is so much great theatre coming up this autumn and something on offer for everyone.  Here are our top picks:

Anthony & Cleopatra

Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play the infamous couple at The National Theatre (watch out for the real live snake on stage!) Playing until 19 January 2019, you can also hear the two actors talk about their roles on Friday 11th January 2019 at 3pm.  Book tickets from £45 here (tickets to the preview on 25 September start at £24).

Measure for Measure

Directed by Josie Rourke, Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden will switch roles with each other in every show, alternating between the powerful Deputy and the powerless Novice at the Donmar Theatre from 28 September – 24 November 2018.  Tickets start at £10 (with new tickets released every Monday) and can be booked here.


First Lady of Broadway Patti LuPone returns to the West End after a 25 year absence to star alongside Rosalie Craig and Bake Off presenter Mel Giedroye. A series of vignettes around Bobbi’s 35th birthday, the original Stephen Sondheim and George Furth 1970s musical won 14 Tony nominations and is now being given a fresh take by director Marianne Elliott (changing the original Bobby into a female Bobbi).  Tickets from £12.50, playing at the Gielgud Theatre until 22nd December 2018.  Book your tickets here.

Pinter at the Pinter

A series of one act plays by Harold Pinter on the tenth anniversary of the playwright’s death has attracted an eclectic and heady cast.  Actors include Tamsin Greig, Celia Imrie, Lee Evans, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves, David Suchet and Anthony Sher.  Mark Rylance will also appear in a special charity performance.  Showing until 23 February 2019, tickets start at £15 and can be booked here.

Twelfth Night

Playing at the Young Vic Theatre, director Kwame Kwei-Armah is opening his first season here with this transfer from NY where it was enthusiastically received.  A musical adaptation of the play with jazz and R&B melodies, think of it has a sort of Shakespearean ‘Hamilton’. 2 October – 17 November 2018.  Book tickets from £10 here (plus you can enter the TodayTix £5 First Preview Lottery here).

RSC’s Macbeth at The Barbican Theatre

Christopher Eccleston stars as Macbeth opposite Niamh Cusack as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company residency at The Barbican.  Playing from 6 October 2018 to 18 January 2019, it is directed by Polly Findlay. Tickets from £10 can be booked here.

The Height of the Storm

With a script by French playwright Florian Zeller, this family drama is translated to English by Christopher Hampton and directed by Jonathan Kent. Jonathan Kent and Eileen Atkins star as a married couple whose daughter’s visit starts to reveal cracks in the family dynamics.   Playing from 6 October – 1 December 2018 at the Wyndhams Theatre, book your tickets here.

Wise Children

Emma Rice launches her new theatre company and residency at The Old Vic Theatre with a vivid retelling of the Angela Carter novel about showbusiness, family, heartbreak and joy. Buy tickets here, from £12, running 8 October – 10 November 2018.

A Very, Very Dark Matter

Martin McDonagh has written this twisted fairytale about writer Hans Christian Anderson playing from 12 October – 6 January 2019 at The Bridge Theatre. The show explores the secret inspiration behind stories such as The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen and The Emperor’s New Clothes. with BAFTA and Oscar winning actor Jim Broadbent playing Hans Christian Anderson who harbours a great secret in the attic of his Copenhagen town house. Tickets from £15, book here.

Wild Duck

After an 1884 Henrik Ibsen play, this new version has been written by the director Robert Icke at The Almeida.  Icke has long proven his strength at reinventing classics in particularly Mary Stuart and Hamlet recently but we suspect that this production will be stronger still: expect the unexpected. Book tickets here (tickets start at £5 for under 25s with savings for the over 65s, students and those living in Islington), showing from 15 October – 1 December 2018.

War Horse

The award-winning play based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, with the Handspring Puppet Company, returns to The National Theatre after a world tour and eleven years after it’s debut.  Showing from 8 November 2018 – 5 January 2019, you can book tickets here (from £45, tickets for under 18s are half price) and you can see Michael Morpurgo talk about the show on 20 November at 5.45pm.

True West

Pulitzer Prize-winner, Sam Shepard’s story of two warring brothers stars Johnny Flynn and Kit Harington (from Games of Thrones).  Tickets start at £15 and the play runs from 23 November 2018 – 16 February 2019 at The Vaudeville Theatre.  Book your tickets here.

All About Eve

Director-du-jour Ivo Van Hove has adapted this film script, (originally starring Bette Davis and Thelma Ritter) about a star actress and her younger fan who starts to eclipse her fame, especially for the stage.  This production will star Gillian Anderson and Lily James. Tickets to the general public go on sale on Friday 27th September at 10am but if you sign up to the Sonia Friedman Production e-mails here, you will receive priority booking on Thursday 26th September.  The play runs from 2 February 2019 for a limited run at the Noel Coward Theatre.

— Francesca
26th September 2018