12 unmissable theatre shows coming to the stage in 2021
Add magic to your year with the art of theatreBack to Itineries
Whether you’re looking for a musical to sweep you off your feet or to soothe your soul after a troublesome year, discover our guide to what’s on in theatreland throughout 2021.
Theatre, culture, things to do in London, must-see theatre shows in 2021, top London shows, plan your visit
Close to Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Green Park, Piccadilly Circus, Bond Street, Oxford Street, St James's Park tube stations. Nearby bus routes include 6, 9, 14, 19, 22, 38, N9, N19, N22, N38, N94. Nearby Santander bicycles and bicycle parking available.
When will West End shows return to the stage?
Undoubtedly a sector to take the biggest hit throughout the covid-19 pandemic, theatre ground to a halt in March 2020.
Given a glimmer of hope towards the end of 2020, West End shows relaunched with a smattering of performances for those lucky enough to swipe-up a ticket to see a socially distanced production.
Now emerging into the new year, hurrah, the end of the pandemic is in sight – if a little way off.
The vaccines give us some much-needed hope that our lives will be largely back to normal by Easter. By which time, 30 million of those most at risk should be vaccinated. Who knows what might happen next but, based on current assumptions, you should once again be able to see your favourite shows and must-see productions with confidence.
Thus, now is the time to play your part, plan and pre-book a ticket to see a show. Whether you’re looking for a musical that’ll sweep you off your feet or a comedy to watch with your bubble, there’s plenty for you to choose from in our roundup of upcoming shows in 2021.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre
Bringing a fantastic, fresh feeling to Shaftesbury Avenue, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a modern-day fairy tale based on a true story.
Inspired by a 2011 BBC Three documentary, Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, the fabulous, fun and fearless musical tells the tale of 16-year old Jamie from Sheffield who has a dream he’s determined to realise.
The show reopened at the Apollo Theatre at the end of 2020 but is temporarily on hold while London is placed in lockdown. Pre-book tickets from just £20 each to performances running until 2nd May 2021 and enjoy this fun-packed production while you can.
Book tickets online here. Or, call +44 (0)330 333 4809.
Magic Mike Live at the Hippodrome Casino
Based on the films Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, this 90-minute show is equal parts empowering and exhilarating.
Co-directed by Channing Tatum, it’s a sizzling night of steamy performances by some of the hottest male entertainers on the planet. Filled with abs, pecs and not a lot of clothing from just £39 a ticket, it’s the ultimate excuse to get your girls together for a good old night on the town. Pre-book tickets now, with performances restarting from 16th April 2021.
Plus, why not make a night of it? Reserve your table at the Hippodrome’s very own Heliot Steak House, voted by Bookatable as London’s best Steak House in 2018. Or, explore the outdoor heated terrace running over three-floors, or one of six bars located inside this gigantic venue.
Book tickets online here. Or, call or email to find out more using the following details:
T: +44 0844 453 9091
SIX The Musical at Lyric Theatre
Prepare to lose your head as one of the most empowering pieces of modern British musical theatre returns to take the stage at London's Lyric Theatre.
From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power.
Relaunching once London's lockdown restrictions are lifted and running until 18th April 2021, the sell-out intoxicating Tudor take-off offers an incredibly strong and powerful message to onlookers. Pre-book tickets from £24.95 each.
Book tickets online here. Or, call +44 (0)330 333 4812.
Good at Harold Pinter Theatre
David Tennant’s near-obsessive latter-day penchant for playing antiheroes continues with Dominic Cooke’s revival of Scots playwright CP Taylor’s great 1982 play ‘Good’.
It charts the moral downfall of John Halder, a decent German professor with a Jewish best friend, Maurice, as he slowly internalises and accepts the ideology of the Third Reich. Tennant stars as Halder, in this devastating drama about a good man's descent into Nazism.
Originally due to open at the Playhouse theatre in October 2020, for obvious circumstances, this play will bless the stage of the Harold Pinter Theatre for a strictly limited run from 21st April – 17th July 2021. Pre-book tickets from just £20 each.
Book tickets online here. Or, call +44 (0)3330 096 690.
Back to the Future the Musical at Adelphi Theatre
"Great Scott!" A Back to the Future musical only seconds away from Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus?
When Marty McFly finds himself transported back to 1955 in a time machine built by the eccentric scientist Doc Brown, he accidentally changes the course of history. Now he’s in a race against time to fix the present, escape the past and send himself… back to the future.
Take an electrifying ride back in time as the 1985 blockbuster film and pop culture phenomenon arrives in London’s West End with groundbreaking new musical adventure. Running from 14th May – 26th September 2021. Pre-book tickets from only £24 each.
To Kill A Mockingbird at Gielgud Theatre
After its huge success on Broadway, don't miss Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic.
Lee’s incredible novel was long on the top of banned book lists. Inspired by Lee’s childhood in Alabama, the story follows Atticus Finch and his daughter Scout. Known as one of literature’s towering symbols of honesty and compassion lawyer Atticus Finch seeks the truth in a town that seems determined to hide it.
This new adaptation by Sorkin sees things in a different light. Don’t expect Atticus to be the shining beacon of virtue you have always known him to be. Taking centre stage at Shaftesbury Avenue’s Gielgud Theatre from 27th May – 6th November 2021. Pre-tickets from just £24 each.
Get Up Stand Up at Lyric Theatre
Soothe your soul after a troublesome year with the music and spirit of one of the world’s great prophets - Bob Marley.
Taking inspiration from the legendary artist’s extraordinary life and visionary lyrics, this brand new musical makes its world premiere at London’s Lyric Theatre from 28th May – 19th December 2021.
Filled with an exhilarating mix of Marley’s hits played live, rediscover his story of passion, political unrest and progress with his musical message of love and unity. Pre-book tickets from £24 each.
Book tickets online here. Or, call +44 (0)330 333 4812.
Les Misérables at Sondheim Theatre
Now the world’s longest running musical, discover Cameron Mackintosh’s global stage sensation of Boublil and Schonberg’s Les Misérables, reopening at Shaftesbury Avenue’s Sonheim Theatre from 29th May 2021.
Set amid the social and political struggles of 19th century France, former prisoner Jean Valjean, is pursued for decades by his policeman nemesis, Javert. Their epic cat-and-mouse journey takes them from the French fields to the gritty Parisian sewers, amidst an enthralling story of broken dreams, unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Pre-book tickets from £45 each.
Leopoldstadt at Wyndham’s Theatre
Wise, witty and devastatingly sad, yet teeming with humanity and history, don’t miss this play inspired by playwright Tom Stoppard's Jewish heritage.
Exploring Jewish identity through the intergenerational story of the urbane and secular Merz family, Leopolstadt follows a Jewish family in Vienna across six decades from 1899 – 1955.
The story visits the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and – for Austrian Jews – the Holocaust, leaving the survivors to pass on a story which hasn’t ended yet.
Stoppard’s alleged final play sees him go out on an almighty high, running from 12th June – 4th September 2021. Pre-book tickets from just £20 each.
The Book of Mormon at The Prince of Wales Theatre
Brace yourself for a shock, brought to you by the creators of ‘South Park’ - Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
There are “fucks” and “cunts” but beneath it all, this is a big-hearted affair that pays note-perfect homage to the sounds and spirit of Broadway’s golden age.
One missionary, Elder Price, is an enthusiastic go-getter with a strong dedication to his faith, while his partner, Elder Cunningham, is a socially awkward but well-meaning nerd whose tendency to embroider the truth soon lands him in trouble. The pair venture on a trip to Africa and what unfolds next is what you'll enjoy the most.
Reopening at the Prince of Wales Theatre, seconds away from Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, from 12th July 2021. Pre-book tickets from £23 each.
Life of Pi at Wyndham's Theatre
Prepare to be mesmerised by Lolita Chakrabarti's acclaimed stage adaptation of Yann Martel's extraordinary novel.
After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, there are five survivors stranded on a lifeboat - a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a Royal Bengal tiger, and a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?
Based on the beloved fictional book and featuring breath-taking puppetry and state-of-the-art visuals, don’t miss this must-see adaptation of an epic journey of endurance and hope. Running from 26th September 2021 – 9th January 2022, pre-book tickets from £27.50 each.
The Drifters Girl at Garrick Theatre
Beverley Knight stars as legendary music manager Faye Treadwell in this inspiring new musical that charts her trailblazing journey.
Discover the remarkable story of one of the world’s greatest vocal groups, The Drifters, and the truth about the woman who made them.
Filled with an unbelievable soundtrack of some of the most iconic songs in music history including Save the Last Dance for Me, Under the Boardwalk, and Stand by Me. Opening at the Garrick Theatre on 4th November 2021, pre-book tickets from as little as £20 each.
Book tickets online here. Or, call +44 (0)330 333 4811.
The Gielgud Theatre was opened on 27th December 1906 as the Hicks Theatre in honour of actor, manager and playwright Seymour Hicks, for whom it was built. Designed by W.G.R. Sprague in Louis XVI style, the theatre is a pair with the Sondheim Theatre, originally known as the Queen's Theatre, which opened in 1907 on the adjacent street corner.
Harold Pinter Theatre
The Harold Pinter Theatre opened in 1881 as the Royal Comedy Theatre and staged hugely successful shows, such as The Rocky Horror Show’s West End debut. The name changed in 2011 to The Harold Pinter Theatre in honour of Pinter’s work for the Comedy Theatre. The theatre recently produced Pinter at the Pinter, a series of one-act plays in celebration of Pinter himself.
The Apollo Theatre first opened its doors more than a century ago in February 1901. It is a Grade II listed building and one of the most well-known theatres in London’s West End. Based on architect Lewin Sharp’s design, Henry Lowenfield - a Polish-born British businessman and theatrical impresario - commissioned the building's construction. When the theatre officially opened, it became the 4th legitimate venue for theatrical performances to be built on Shaftsbury Avenue.
Prince of Wales Theatre
Prince of Wales Theatre, home to The Book of Mormon, is part of Delfont Mackintosh Theatre group which is owned by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and operates eight of the most prestigious theatres in London's West End. Designed by architect C. J. Phipps, in 1884 the theatre was initially known as Prince's Theatre.
Originally The Queen's Theatre, the Sondheim Theatre is a popular venue on Shaftesbury Avenue in London's West End and home to the international award-winning musical, Les Misérables. When the theatre opened on 8th October 1907, it was a twin to the Hicks Theatre, now the Gielgud Theatre. Both the theatres followed W. G. R. Sprague's design.
The Hippodrome Casino
Discover the UK's largest and most popular casino and entertainment venue comprising three gaming floors, slots room, a Poker Stars deck, 180-seat cabaret theatre and London's number one steak house. Plus, enjoy a drink at one of the six resident bars, indoor smoking terrace, or heated outdoor terrace spanning three floors of this incredible casino.
The Garrick Theatre opened on 24th April 1889 with The Profligate, a play by Arthur Wing Pinero. In its early years, it specialised in the performance of melodrama, and today the theatre is a receiving house for a variety of productions. The theatre is named after David Garrick, and was designed by Walter Emden.
Opened in 1888, the Lyric Theatre is the oldest surviving theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. It's now home to stage-show spectaculars including Six The Musical. C. J. Phipps built the theatre for the producer Henry Leslie, who financed it from the profits of the light opera hit, Dorothy.