Plays to book ahead for

Poldark’s Aidan Turner is heading to the West End

The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noël Coward Theatre

The Michael Grandage Company returns to the West End with this revival of Martin McDonagh’s scabrous and bloody comedy about a dead cat and a merciless Republican paramilitary called ‘Mad’ Padraic. Poldark’s Aidan Turner plays the mad man in question – fans of the TV show who flock to see their hero in the flesh might be in for a shock. From June 23

Translations, National Theatre

The late Brian Friel’s classic drama about Irish identity and the power of language gets a well-deserved revival in the Olivier Theatre. Tickets are extremely limited, so be quick – or join the returns queue. May 22 – July 7

Macbeth, Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack head to Stratford to star in the RSC’s latest version of ‘the Scottish play’.  March 13 – September 18

Niamh Cusack and Christopher Eccleston will star in Macbeth (RSC)

Utility, Orange Tree Theatre

American playwright Emily Schwend won the Yale Drama Prize 2016 for Utility, a play about a mother struggling with two jobs, three kids and an on-off husband. This production is the first time Schwend’s work will be performed in Europe. June 1 – July 7

Happy Days, Royal Exchange Theatre

Maxine Peake will be (literally) up to her neck in it as she plays Winnie, the buried heroine of Beckett’s classic play. Sarah Frankcom directs this revival at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. May 25 – June 23

Fleabag, various venues

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show about an over-sexed, drink-fuelled and emotionally incontinent young woman was a big hit back in 2013, going on to even greater success thanks to a very funny TV version. Now the play is being revived for a UK tour with Maddie Rice taking on performing duties.  The show will stop at venues in Warwick, Hove, Newcastle and more. April 26 – June 9

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Donmar Warehouse

Polly Findlay directs a new adaptation of Muriel Spark’s classic novel in a production that marks the 100th year anniversary of the author’s birth. The next batch of tickets will be available to buy on May 21, but you’ll need to be fast to snap one up. June 4 – July 28

End of the Pier, Park Theatre

Les Dennis and The Inbetweeners’ Blake Harrison star in this new play by Danny Robins about a faded TV star thrust back into the limelight after a young, successful comic pays him a visit. July 11 – August 11

Fleabag is out on tour

Copenhagen, Chichester Festival Theatre

Michael Frayn’s acclaimed and thought-provoking play about the 1941 meeting between German physicist Werner Heisenberg and his Danish colleague Niels Bohr in Copenhagen is being revived in Chichester. A strong cast includes Charles Edwards and Patricia Hodge. August 17 – September 22

Gut, Traverse Theatre

The Traverse is one of the best places in Scotland to see new writing, and this new play by Frances Poet, which is described as ‘a psychological thriller that explores who we can trust with our children’, looks like being one to catch. April 20 – May 12

A Very Very Very Dark Matter, Bridge Theatre

More Martin McDonagh, this time a new play about a dark secret at the heart of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. Jim Broadbent is set to star as Anderson, reuniting with McDonagh after appeared in his play, The Pillowman, at the National Theatre back in 2003. October 10 – December 29

Mood Music, Old Vic

Fresh from his success writing Netflix’s superb Mindhunter, British playwright Joe Penhall returns to the theatre with a psychodrama set in a recording studio. April 21 – June 30

Catch Mood Music at the Old Vic (Getty)

Othello, Everyman Liverpool

An intriguing take on Shakepeare’s tragedy with a female actor, Golda Rosheuvel, playing the ill-fated Moor of Venice. April 28 – July 10

Brighton Rock, various venues

Graham Greene’s novel has been adapted for the stage by Bryony Lavery and is currently on an extensive tour taking in in Cheltenham, Hull, Birmingham and a number of other places besides. Until May 26

Lord of the Flies, Sherman Theatre

Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre is staging a fresh take on William Golding’s seminal novel about a group of children left to fend for themselves on a remote island. October 17 – November 3