2020 has been a lousy year for theatre. While there have been a few socially distanced performances, most venues had to remain closed for most of the year during lockdowns. The future of UK theatre has become uncertain. But it’s not all doom and gloom – many theatres are optimistic about reopening in 2021. With Covid-19 vaccines rolling out across the country, theatres have started planning shows to open in the new year, dependent on the restrictions.
It’s time to get excited about the revival of UK theatre. So here’s a list of the best theatre shows coming to London next year.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The eighth story in the acclaimed Harry Potter series has had fans excited for years. If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, the Palace Theatre is currently booking for performances from March 2021. Get your hands on tickets while they’re still available!
This musical adaptation based on the modern Disney classic features all of your favourite Frozen songs, plus a few extra. Performances at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in Covent Garden weren’t able to go ahead this year, but they’re already booking for April 2021. This show will transport you back to Arendelle and is sure to be fun for the whole family.
Iphigenia in Splott
If you’re a fan of political theatre, this is not one to miss. Referencing the Greek myth of the same name, the show follows Effie, a woman from Cardiff who is witty, brave and self-confident. Her encounters take a close look at the lack of resources in the NHS, austerity politics and the working class. The show has been restaged at the Lyric Hammersmith for a new socially distanced performance opening in January 2021 (dependent on restrictions).
Doctor Who: Time Fracture
If you’re a Doctor Who fan, this show should 100% be on your list. This theatre experience at Immersive LDN in Mayfair follows the Time Lord through London at the heart of the Blitz. Of course, the story takes the protagonist through parallel worlds and times on a perilous journey that is unbelievably exciting. The show plans to reopen in April 2021 and is booking now.
Back to the Future: The Musical
The 1980s time-travelling classic has been reinvented for the stage and has big plans for next year. This all-singing, all-dancing twist on the Michael J Fox classic will bring us joyful nostalgia right when we need it. They plan to reopen in May 2021 at the Adelphi Theatre in London. The show has already had a successful run in Manchester, and its run in London is bound to be as good, if not better.
Life of Pi
A spectacular adaptation of the bestselling book by Yanna Martel is finally in London after much anticipation. The show premiered in Sheffield in 2019 and in September 2021, it’s coming to London at the Wyndham’s Theatre. The show includes mechanical puppets for the animal characters, including the tiger central to the story. Theatre fans have eagerly awaited the show’s move to London, so get your hands on tickets as soon as you can.
This five-star rated show is based on the most famous love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet. In this musical retelling, the cast asks what would have happened if Juliet had a life after Romeo. It includes some of the greatest pop anthems of the last thirty years, rewritten for the stage, like Britney’s ‘Baby One More Time’, Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since U Been Gone’ and The Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. If you missed the first run, you can get tickets now for March 2021.
Sister Act: The Musical
From July 2021, the Eventim Apollo is hosting a show like no other. The limited-run stars Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg reprising her role from the 1992 film alongside Jennifer Saunders as Mother Superior. The story has been brought forward to 2020, but with the classic story and songs we all love. It has new original music inspired by the golden age of disco. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime show.
TINA - The Tina Turner Musical
This show is a musical adaptation of the life of legendary Tina Turner. It combines the feeling of seeing her live in her prime and the backstage drama of her personal life. The show comes back to the Aldwych Theatre in June 2021, booking now. So don't miss Tina's incredible journey and classic songs, in a story told by Oliver Award-winning playwright Katori Hall.
To Kill a Mockingbird
This adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird is finally debuting in London from May 2021. It follows the same story of the classic book, with the Finch family navigating life in the Southern US during the Great Depression. There will be a brand new original score for this version, but the cast is yet to be announced. It was the most successful American play in Broadway history, running for a year from November 2018. Tickets are available for the run at London’s Gielgud Theatre now.
This Jane Austen inspired play is entirely improvised and touring the UK from May 2021, stopping at 11 locations across the South and South-West. It’s totally different each time it is performed, but every show is one worth seeing. It includes “lost” Austen masterpieces such as Sixth Sense and Sensibility and Double 0 Darcy. It has already had seven sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, several UK tours and a special recording for BBC Radio 4. If you can catch this one in 2021, we highly recommend you do.
Theatre in 2021
Don’t panic – theatre is hopefully coming back to the UK in full force next year, with all this and more. If you’re itching to get back to the theatre, there’s not long to wait. Audiences will be running back to performances across the country, so get your tickets now while they’re still available!