The stage is the place to head to this autumn. Here’s our pick of the best theatre tickets, featuring Hollywood stars and reworked classics
From an adaptation of a horror classic to an award-winning comedy and sexually-charged drama, here’s our pick of the best theatre productions coming this autumn...
Trafalgar Studio One, London, until 18 November 2017
The great Stockard Channing (Grease, The West Wing) comes to the London stage in 2017 to star in a new production of the acclaimed drama Apologia.
Channing headlines as Kristin Miller, the strong-willed head of a high-achieving liberal family. An eminent art historian, Miller has just published a memoir, but the book manages to reignite long-dormant tensions between her and her two sons, Peter and Simon.
The veteran actress has been winning rave reviews for her performance, with The Guardian writing: “Channing is a serious, intelligent actor and even induces sympathy for the character of a seemingly monstrous matriarch.”
Lyric Theatre, London, until 1 April 2018
It’s eight years now since the king of pop Michael Jackson died, but there’s no sign that his popularity is waning – in fact, he’s probably even more famous now than when he was alive.
This thrilling live show celebrates the career of the greatest pop star that ever lived (as well as his former band, The Jackson 5), with eye-popping multi-media effects and amazing choreography, courtesy of award-winning director Gary Lloyd.
The cast perform all of Jackson’s major hits, including I Want You Back, I'll Be There, Show You The Way To Go, Can You Feel It, Rock With You, She's Out Of My Life, Beat It, Billie Jean, Earth Song, Thriller and many more.
Dazzlingly spectacular, Thriller Live is definitely the kind of lavish, no-expense-spared show that Jackson would have approved of.
Derren Brown: Underground
Playhouse Theatre, London, 11 September–14 OctoberWhat is Derren Brown? A magician? Illusionist? Mentalist? They’re questions you’ll still be asking at the end of Underground, a not-to-be-missed stage show that pulls together highlights from Brown’s previous productions to create a dazzling evening of magic and mind control.
The show promises to reimagine some of his favourite tricks and revisit some of his most famous moments, and it’s sure to have audiences scratching their heads and asking, “How DOES he do it?”
The Play That Goes Wrong
Duchess Theatre, London, until 25 Feb 2018
Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields’ play has been justly acclaimed, winning Best New Comedy at the 2015 Laurence Olivier Awards.
Focusing on a drama society’s attempts to put on a production of a 1920s murder mystery, The Play That Goes Wrong is about just that – a play that goes horribly, horribly wrong.
Called “a great-looking, brilliantly performed piece" by The Daily Telegraph and with The Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts saying of it, "As it all goes awry it becomes hard not to gas yourself with laughter”, The Play That Goes Wrong is an uproarious comedy that has proved so popular that it’s even transferred to Broadway, directed by acclaimed Star Wars and Star Trek director JJ Abrams.
Venus in Fur
Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, 6 October–9 DecemberGame of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer and David Oakes (The Borgias) headline this erotically-charged drama by American playwright David Ives.
Oakes plays a director by the name of Thomas Novacheck, who is putting on a production of the scandalous 19th-century novel Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. After auditioning hundreds of potential leading ladies, he has almost given up hope until Vanda Jordan (Dormer) walks through the door. Novacheck is immediately drawn to Jordan, but what begins as harmless attraction soon turns into obsession...
Directed by Patrick Marber (Closer), Venus in Fur is an intoxicating dark comedy of desire and fantasy, which has been justly acclaimed since its debut in 2010.
“It is a play that grabs you by the dog collar,” says Dormer. “The banter is smart and sexy. Each character has layers upon layers, which is like catnip for actors.”
Phoenix Theatre, London, 20 October–10 March 2018
The Exorcist is widely regarded as one of the scariest movies of all time. The winner of two Academy Awards, it’s a rare horror film that is as cherished by film critics as it is by audiences. Now, 44 years after its release, theatre director Sean Mathias (Bent, No Man’s Land) is bringing William Peter Blatty’s tale to the stage.
With the movie mostly taking place in one room – the bedroom of Regan MacNeil, the young girl who finds herself possessed by the Devil – The Exorcist easily lends itself to the theatrical experience. This John Pielmeier-penned adaptation premiered to impressive box office results and great reviews at the Birmingham Rep in 2016, and is certain to have been fine-tuned for its move to the West End.