Plays to book ahead for

Must-see shows including Martin McDonagh’s new play and a Game of Thrones star taking to the stage

A Very Very Very Dark Matter, Bridge Theatre

Following the success of the West End revival of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Martin McDonagh’s new play is about a chilling secret at the heart of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. Jim Broadbent stars. October 12 to January 6 2019

Troilus and Cressida, Royal Shakespeare Theatre

RSC artistic director Gregory Doran teams up with percussionist Evelyn Glennie to present a futuristic and satirical take on Shakespeare’s play set amid the Trojan War. October 12 to November 17

I and You, Hampstead Theatre

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams makes her stage debut in US playwright Lauren Gunderson’s drama about a teenager confined to her bedroom due to illness, and the visit she receives from an enthusiastic classmate. The New York Times described the play as a ‘perky two-character study in adolescent confusions and cosmic mysteries’. October 18 to November 24

Summer and Smoke (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Summer and Smoke, Duke of York’s

This bold version of one of Tennessee Williams’ lesser-known plays is transferring to the West End following a sell out run at the Almeida. November 10 to January 19 2019

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

The Producers, Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester

This production is set for winter rather than springtime, but anytime of year is a good one to catch the musical version of Mel Brooks’ classic story of a hapless pair of Broadway producers with an accidental hit on their hands. November 30 to January 26 2019

War Horse, National Theatre

The wildly successful adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s World War One-set children’s novel is touring the country throughout the rest of this year and the first half of next, and it will be galloping back to the National, where it made such a big name for itself, in time for the Christmas period. November 8 to January 5 2019

Little Shop of Horrors (Photo: Johan Persson)

The Butterfly’s Spell, Puppet Theatre Barge

The Puppet Theatre Barge is a hidden gem of the London theatre scene, regularly producing high-quality marionette shows for children and adults alike. This production of Lorca’s first play, about a young poet beetle who falls in love with an injured butterfly, can be seen in Richmond from September, and then in Little Venice, the Barge’s other regular mooring, in January 2019. Suitable for ages 12 plus. September 1 to 29

Little Shop of Horrors, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

One of the smash-hits of the summer is this super-charged version of the cult musical about a plant whose appetite gets out of control. Book your tickets quick for this one – and pray the rain stays away. Until September 22

The Cane, Royal Court

Shopping and F***ing playwright Mark Ravenhill is back at the Royal Court with a new play about a beloved teacher targeted by a mob of angry students on the eve of his retirement. December 6 to January 26 2019

The Butterfly’s Spell

The Unreturning, various venues

This new co-production from acclaimed physical theatre company Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth, which interweaves the time-spanning stories of three young men returning home after war, is heading out on an extensive national tour. The itinerary includes stops at the Traverse, in Edinburgh, Leicester’s Curve and the Liverpool Everyman. September 20 to February 16 2019

The Watsons, Chichester Festival Theatre

Playwright Laura Wade takes on the challenge of bringing Jane Austen’s unfinished novel to the stage – and aims to to answer the question of what characters get up to after they’ve been left in limbo by an author. November 3 to December 1

Dust, Trafalgar Studios

Following sell out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and Soho Theatre, there is another chance to catch Millie Thomas’s acclaimed one-woman show about a young woman who commits suicide, but remains as a fly on the wall to see the affect her death has on family and friends. September 4 to October 13


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