Best of Enemies – Noël Coward Theatre
Run ends 18 February
Following its transfer to the West End from the Old Vic last year, James Graham’s sizzling deconstruction of the 1968 election cycle is still the play to watch in London this month. Wickedly sharp writing and powerhouse performances from David Harewood and Zachary Quinto as the first ‘public intellectuals’ to debate politics on a primetime news programme combine to make a show both straightforwardly compelling and almost painfully relevant to our modern age. With a strict end-date fast approaching, be sure to check this one out fast – it might just be one of the defining plays of the year.
Check out our review here.
The Unfriend – The Criterion Theatre
15 January – 16 April
Now out of previews, The Unfriend has completed a triumphant move from the Chichester Festival Theatre, and for a spot of light relief its hard to recommend anything else. A classic farce in the most British sense of the word, Stephen Moffat’s first play is a hand-wringing send-up of politeness in the face of a terrible house guest, and it’s an absolute joy from beginning to end. Mark Gatiss’ solid direction and a cast a the top of their comic game only amplify a terrifically tight script which is increasingly difficult not to love.
Check out our review here.
Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons – Harold Pinter Theatre
18 January – 18 March
If a Valentine’s date is still on the cards, tickets for Sam Steiner’s acclaimed rom-com might be just the, er, ticket. Set in a terrifying dystopia where a word-limit bill restricts how much people can say to each other, Jenna Coleman and Adrian Turner star in a two-hander with plenty of seasonal spirit. The play’s been an audience hit since it was first performed back in 2015, and a little bit of star power might prove just the thing to catapult it into the mainstream.
The Lehman Trilogy – Gillian Lynne Theatre
24 January – 20 May
One acclaimed West End run in 2018 and a Broadway transfer later, the confusingly-titled The Lehman Trilogy returns to London with director Sam Mendes in tow. Translated from Italian playwright Steffano Massini’s 3-part epic about the rise and collapse of the titular financial services firm, the New York Times has called Mendes’ interpretation “genuinely epic and magnificent,” and it absolutely cleaned up at the Tony awards last year. Might be worth seeing what the fuss is all about, eh?
Medea – Sohoplace Theatre
10 February – 22 April
Fan of Sophie Okonedo and classical Greek theatre? Well, this sounds right up your street! The time-old tale of what-happens-after-Jason-and-the-Arganauts returns to the West End, reuniting Okonedo with Haunted Child co-star Ben Daniels, who plays every male part in Dominic Cooke’s new adaptation. Medea also has the honour of opening the Sohoplace theatre – the first new stage on the West End in over 50 years. What better way to welcome something new than with a spot of Eurepidean tragedy?
Shirley Valentine – Duke of York’s Theatre
17 February – 3 June
“You’ve seen the film, now see the play it was based on…” Willy Russell’s Olivier Award-winning 1989 play jets off to the West End for 15 weeks, now with the equally Olivier-winning Sheridan Smith as the famed Liverpudlian housewife. A life-affirming tale of a woman fighting her way out of the clutches of the domestic laundry basket, this feel-good crowd-pleaser is sure to sell out fast. What an uncharacteristically cheerful month on the West End this is…